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Sandringham

Sandringham lies in north-west Norfolk approximately 8 miles north of King's Lynn.

Sandringham House belongs to the Royal Family and is their favourite country retreat. The hall was purchased in 1862 by Queen Victoria and was then redesigned for the Prince of Wales (Edward VII). The red-brick house was completed in 1870.

Sandringham House

George V died at Sandringham in 1936 and the event is commemorated by John Betjeman in his poem Death of George V. Here is the first verse:
 

Spirits of well-shot woodcock, partridge, snipe
  Flutter and bear up the Norfolk sky:
In that red house in a red mahogany book-case
  The stamp collection waits with mounts long dry.

George was renowned for his love of shooting and also for his stamp collecting. On his deathbed, the King's doctor, Lord Dawson, injected him with morphine and cocaine which prompted the following popular rhyme:
 
Lord Dawson of Penn
Has killed many men
That is why we sing
"God save the King."

On the instructions of King Edward VII all of the clocks at Sandringham were set half an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in order to allow  more daylight for hunting. This custom ended with the death of George V. George V famously said: 'Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world'.

Sir John Betjeman visited the Sandingham area when he was making his BBC TV programme 'Betjeman Goes by Train' - in which he travelled on the line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton. He stopped at Wolferton Station and was impressed by the quality of the buildings. The station was in operation from 1862 to 1966 and was used by many members of the Royal Family and their guests. Betjeman's programme was broadcast in 1961 - just five years before the line was closed. Here is part of his commentary:
 

'Now we're coming out of the flat land into the royal country of Sandringham and guarding it is Wolferton Church, the usual Norfolk church with a tall tower and a tall nave and chancel.......and then we come to Wolferton Station, different from all other stations in England.'

One of the strangest visitors to Wolferton Station was the Russian monk Rasputin who once travelled here to demand an audience with the king. Apparently, he was politely rebutted and put back on the train to the capital.

Each year the Sandringham Estate hold a 'Country Show' and the following is my humorous take on proceedings:
 

Schedule of Events

10.00 Mounted Lurching
10.30 Ferret Stretching
11.00 Thatch Scratching
12.00 Fly Dyeing
 1.00 Coarse Scurrying
 2.00 Pony Hurling
 3.00 Gundog Dipping
 
 

 

 

 

 

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