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The first of Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway's fleet of vintage buses

Vintage bus tours to Bishop's Snoring

If the vintage bus tours to Brindlecliffe prove to be a success the management hopes to run additional tours from Friars Ambling Halt to Bishop's Snoring. Except the line from Eaton St Torpid to Frairs Ambling Halt is not expected to be built for Quite Some Time.


Snoring Episcopi (better known as Bishop's Snoring, often mispunctuated Bishops Snoring) was known as Snoring Regis (or King's Snoring) until 1357. The locals can't be bothered with any of this pretention and just call it Snoring.

'Snoring' is from a Scandinavian man's name, Snorra, combined with Old English ingas which has the sense of 'the people of' – so presumably this was land occupied by descendants of Snorra. Similar names can be found locally, such as Effing, originally 'Effa ingas', 'the people of Effa'.

Before the creation of a seaport in the thirteenth century (only possible after a major flood redirected the watercourse) the main activity in the area was saltmaking. Fishing and glassmaking (using the locally-available high purity sands) developed in the seventeenth century.

Starting in the nineteenth century many fairground and traction engines were built at the works of Savage Brothers and Alfred Dodman and Co. The management of Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway hope to pay homage to such showman's attractions as part of future developments.

Gallopers built by Savage Brothers in the 1890s (part of the Thursford Collection)
One of the rides from a Savage Brothers carousel now in Lynn Museum.

Although traditional brewing operations ceased in the 1950s, more recently a microbrewery has developed new brews, such as Bishops Snoring IPA. (Not to be confused with Beeston Brewery whose range includes "'The Squirrels Nuts' 3.5% ABV. Mild styled ale. Silver medal winner at the 2009 Norwich Beer Festival. Smooth dark and very tasty."). Bishops Snoring IPA was an important factor in the success of the main event so far at Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway.

The town has a wonderful minster, an even more wonderful chapel, the Greyfriars Tower, the Red Mount chapel, two-and-a-half museums – the best, the second best (by a neck), third (by several lengths), a theatre and cinema. Lots of historic information, although the home-grown medieval mystic, Margery Kempe (circa 1373 to after 1438) is largely overlooked.

Four miles to the south-west is the splendid redundant church at Wiggenhall St Germans.

The east window of Lynn Minster

Part of the south door of St Nicholas Chapel

Red Mount Chapel

The amazing bench ends in Wiggenhall St Germans

Why there's no tourists in Bishop's Snoring

Few tourists successfully visit Bishop's Snoring as most die from the effects of exhaust fumes in the gridlocked roads which encircle the town. The council's policy is that there wouldn't be any traffic jams if drivers didn't keep dying in their cars, so they don't need to spend money on improving highways. And if you think the management made that up, think again:
    'Encouraging people to explore the [region] by public transport, bicycle or on foot is seen as the best way of addressing traffic problems associated with the increasing numbers of visitors' cars.'
    Norfolk Coast Transport Strategy para 3.3.6

This undated report was written circa 2005 when there was still abundant money available for highways improvements. Presumably the authors are now living off a generous pension after a life-long career serving the best interests of the region. Ahmmm…  Perchance some of these pensioners have, like the management of Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway, developed COPD from sitting in too many traffic jams and find it difficult to walk any distance, still less cycle. As public transport only ever runs where and when the bus companies want to go, not where and when people want to get to and from (and only then if there are generous government grants, which seemingly are destined become as extinct as Ectopistes migratorius) then car-free tourism means everyone learning to fly a gyrocopter. Or maybe paddling up and down the coast in a canoe?

These days it seemingly costs 300,000 to just write down the bleedin' obvious ideas about what needs to be done. The locals are mumbling and grumbling. This led to a rattling of china teacups against their saucers in the wood-panelled committee rooms of Westminster. Instead of spending all the region's money on Great Yarmouth's roads, there was the Grand Gesture of dualing just one flyover. So that's crossed Bishop's Snoring road improvements off the budgets for another decade.

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Images and text copyright Bob Trubshaw 2018–2021