Lives On The LinesLives On The Lines

Steam, Dragons and Landscape Painting along the Gainsborough Line

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Lives On The Lines

Take an audible journey by train and meet fascinating people living and working across our Great Anglian landscape. We’ll explore majestic coastlines 
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Meet beautiful steam trains, traverse ancient orchards and find out how a dragon – or alligator – found its way to an East Anglian village! We’ll hear about local life and legend in the landscape that inspired one of England’s most influential painters. It’s all to be discovered along Greater Anglia’s Gainsborough Line.

The Gainsborough Line may be the shortest line in our series, but its history is long! We begin our adventure crossing a magnificent viaduct – and one of the largest brick-build structures in England.

Just minutes outside Marks Tey at Chappel and Wakes Colne lies the East Anglian Railway Museum. Engineer and fix-it fan Peter gives us an incredible insight into the work he and his colleagues do to restore and revive the majestic history of rail travel and trade. With engines dating from the birth of steam to our recent past we hear how experts are getting hands on with the nuts and bolts of rail and giving us a fun family day out in the process!

We stop off at Bures where the River Stour forms the boundary of Essex and Suffolk. Gill is a local parish councillor and guides us from the beautiful station garden in full bloom, through this picturesque and historic village. She shares its claim to the crowning of King Edmund – the last East Anglian King – as well as a bizarre tale about a dragon, which you might still spot today! She also points out snapshots of Tudor architecture that tell of life here through the ages.

Oh and do you know what Pickleball is? You heard it here first!

The final stop on the Gainsborough Line is Sudbury and home to Gainsborough’s House. This museum is currently being redeveloped to include a major arts hub and was the birthplace and home of this English Landscape Master. We speak to Museum Director Mark and find out about the life and local inspirations of the painter before taking a watery and wonderful walk in the sunshine.

Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

Find out about the Gainsborough Line and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail partnership at

And explore travel with Greater Anglia at


East Anglian Railway Museum


Gainsborough House Museum


Bures community website

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Lives On The Lines

Take an audible journey by train and meet fascinating people living and working across our Great Ang 
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