Monthly Archives: January 2011

Only one day late!

Well it’s only one day late!

After spending Sunday at Ferry Meadows freezing my nuts off on a cold dull dismal day, the day after we have sunshine!!!

Although it’s still cold sunshine makes all the difference to whether you enjoy the day or not.

On dismal cold days you have to resist the urge to strangle the next customer who comments “it’s cold isn’t it?”

The comment of the day yesterday which I forget to mention when I did the blog yesterday was “Are there trains today”, I mean do they really think that a station master past his peak would be standing in a cold station building with the lights on wearing a thick pullover and a fleece, holding a coffee to keep their hands warm if trains were not running!!

I know many people think that individuals involved with the heritage train scene are not quite the ticket, and in many cases that may be true but even we are not daft enough to stand in the cold in an open station unless the trains are running.

It reminds me of the idiot I heard on the bus yesterday say to their friend “Of course it gets dark at night”. The mind boggles and what is a worry is that they are free to breed amongst themselves.

om1

Here to remind me of the pleasures that await me next Sunday is a picture of the station on a frosty morning.

Oh well back now to pounding the keyboard, safe in the knowledge that the local idiots will be lining up to await their turn to visit me back at Orton Mere station next Sunday.

The cold zone

Another day at Ferry Meadows today.

Not at all busy, but it was darn cold so not surprised.

Had some really nice people up from the caravan site, some of whom travelled. People who are on holiday generally always seem to be in a better mood.

Enjoyed working with Meg again and she has mastered coffee just the way I like it.

Back at Orton Mere next week and it will be nice to be home so to speak.

Nathan and Stephen have enjoyed themselves looking after my station for me and I will let them have a go in the height of summer, then they will know what busy is!!!

Two here and two there

Well a quiet day today. Because of Neville not being well I went down to Ferry Meadows to run there with the help of Meg.

I put Stephen and Nathan at Orton Mere and I am pleased to report they had a fairly event free day.

All stations were quiet, we had the Polish Tank locomotive in service today.

CIMG0368

Here it is arriving at Ferry Meadows on the first service back to Wansford.

The platform shows how packed we were.

Mind you it was darn cold day, the kind of cold that penetrates and chills you through.

A few funny looks from the crew and staff on the train when it first arrived from
Wansford, Mind you I often get funny looks so that was nothing new.

Very quiet between services, gave the battery on the Blackberry a good hammering surfing the net and catching up on email.

Back at Ferry Meadows next week, hopefully it will be a bit warmer than this week, Either I am getting more delicate or I am
feeling the cold more in my old age, I am not sure which.

Busy week ahead so onwards and upwards and all that and prepare myself for an exciting day next Sunday at Ferry Meadows.

I have a fan!!!

It appears I have a fan.

Young Matt says my use of words on the blog makes him laugh, just so you know what a crackpot looks like here are pictures of the lad in full flow.

Matt1 matt

I believe when the first picture was taken he was just checking to see there was a locomotive on the front of the rake of coaches, you can never be too sure some days!!

In the case of the second picture he was still training to be a guard. I promised him that I would never mention the time the flag flew off the end of the stick when he waved it, and because I keep my promises I wont mention it!!

There is also no truth in the rumour that he stood still too long in the Wansford shop one Saturday and Angie put a price ticket on him.

Wansford Timetable 1910

I came across this sometime last year on the net, but can’t remember where, it shows a 1910 timetable for services from Wansford.

The table below shows the train departures from Wansford on weekdays in April 1910.

Departure

Going to

Calling at

Arrival

Operator

03.54

Peterborough East

Peterborough East

04.05

LNWR

06.31

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

08.00

LNWR

08.25

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

09.50

LNWR

08.29

Peterborough North

Castor, Overton, Peterborough North

08.48

GNR

08.40

Peterborough East

Castor, Overton, Peterborough East

09.04

LNWR

08.45

Rugby

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Ashley & Weston, Market Harborough, Lubenham, Theddingworth, Welford & Lutterworth, Yelverton & Stanford Park, Lilbourne, Clifton Mill, Rugby

10.34

LNWR

08.50

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

09.15

GNR

09.48

Leicester Belgrave Road

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Medbourne, Hallaton, East Norton, Tilton, Loseby, Ingersby, Thurnby & Scraptoft, Humberstone, Leicester Belgrave Road

11.22

GNR

10.19

Peterborough East

Castor, Peterborough East

10.37

LNWR

10.50

Peterborough East

Overton, Peterborough East

11.05

LNWR

10.52

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

11.15

GNR

11.09

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

12.35

LNWR

11.42

Rugby

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Ashley & Weston, Market Harborough, Lubenham, Theddingworth, Welford & Lutterworth, Yelverton & Stanford Park, Lilbourne, Clifton Mill, Rugby

13.30

LNWR

11.47

Peterborough North

Castor, Overton, Peterborough North

12.06

GNR

11.55

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

12.20

GNR

12.28

Peterborough East

Peterborough East

12.40

LNWR

13.05
Fri only

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

13.28

GNR

13.52

Peterborough East

Castor, Overton, Peterborough East

14.12

LNWR

14.14

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

15.40

LNWR

14.37

Leicester Belgrave Road

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Medbourne, Hallaton, East Norton, Tilton, Loseby, Ingersby, Thurnby & Scraptoft, Humberstone, Leicester Belgrave Road

16.10

GNR

14.37

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

15.02

GNR

14.49

Peterborough East

Overton, Peterborough East

15.05

LNWR

15.56

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

16.21

GNR

16.02

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

17.38

LNWR

16.16

Peterborough East

Castor, Overton, Peterborough East

16.33

LNWR

16.37

Rugby

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Ashley & Weston, Market Harborough, Lubenham, Theddingworth, Welford & Lutterworth, Yelverton & Stanford Park, Lilbourne, Clifton Mill, Rugby

18.23

LNWR

17.30

Peterborough North

Castor, Peterborough North

17.46

GNR

18.37

Northampton Castle

Elton, Oundle, Barnwell, Thorpe, Thrapston, Ringstead & Addington, Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough, Ditchford, Wellingborough, Castle Ashby & Earls Barton, Billing, Northampton Bridge Street, Northampton Castle

20.05

LNWR

18.40

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

19.03

GNR

19.37

Peterborough East

Castor, Overton, Peterborough East

19.58

LNWR

19.42

Leicester Belgrave Road

Nassington, King’s Cliffe, Wakerley & Barrowden, Seaton, Rockingham, Medbourne, Hallaton, East Norton, Tilton, Loseby, Ingersby, Thurnby & Scraptoft, Humberstone, Leicester Belgrave Road

21.11

GNR

19.55

Stamford East

Wansford Road, Ufford Bridge, Barnack, Stamford East

20.20

GNR

20.11

Rugby

Seaton, Market Harborough, Welford & Lutterworth, Rugby

21.32

LNWR

22.01

Peterborough East

Peterborough East

22.15

LNWR

22.35

Peterborough East

Peterborough East

22.48

LNWR

Amazing what you can turn up if you have a dig. Overton Station that is mentioned is now Ferry Meadows Station. With the exception of that and Wansford none of our current stations existed then.

The warmest it’s been cold so far.

Except for the wind it felt quite mild today in the station, I am not sure if the hot air from Paddy and I had anything to do with it though

CIMG0345   CIMG0347

As you can see from the pictures above we were not exactly bathed in sunshine.

A steady day customer wise with good ticket sales, we even had a few children dragging unwilling parents in for ice cream, which we don’t stock at this time of year.  Hardy creatures children they decide they want stuff even though it is not the ideal weather for what they want..

No 377 King Hakkon pulled it’s last public services with us today before it returns to Bressingham it’s home railway.

CIMG0349Here it is on platform 1 at Orton Mere on it’s last trip of the day heading back towards Wansford. Despite it’s limited pulling power it has on it’s two visits to NVR proved a popular engine with both crews and the visiting public alike. It makes a bit of noise and has a loud whistle which are two things that appeal to the younger visitor.

First surprise of the day was when we spied young Matt on the footplate, it’s unusual to see him near anything that could ruffle his hairdo or deposit black smut anywhere. But I am pleased to report he seemed to be enjoying himself and seemed to be no dirtier at the end of the day than he did at the start, and I can assure readers there is no truth in the rumour that a mirror and hair gel was spotted on the footplate.

Paddy was his normal self and it was nice to have him back at the station after the winter break, he arrived on his bike a feint shade of blue and puffing slightly, personally I reckon he is still working off the Christmas extra food.

All in all an excellent day and we now have a week to recover before services again next Sunday.

Here we go again

Back at the station for another action packed year and the first day did not disappoint. Well Nathan saw action when heating up some soup, and he had a minor eruption in the machine and ended up cleaning it.

Nathan  moaned about the cold, tut tut these youngsters don’t know what cold is!!!!! When I were a lad we had ice blocks in the fireplace to warm up the cave!!!

Highlight of the day was a pleasant chap complete with an Elmer Fudd hat and a pint sized dog asking after ice cream!

Nathan had bought his DVD portable player and we watched a few episodes of Oh Doctor Beeching!!! It was so realistic I thought we were watching the Wansford security cameras!!!!

Other than that we sold some tea and coffee but no tickets, train was certainly quiet.

But quiet and cold or not it was nice to be back in the Sunday routine at the station, looking forward to next Sunday.

Decisions Decisions

I am sitting here in the office, coughing, spluttering and sneezing away, feeling a bit hot with a slight gloss finish deciding if I will be fit enough or not to open on Sunday.

This has not been the best of weeks, I have felt terrible for most of it, and show no real sign of feeling  much better. Still looking on the bright side if I do open on Sunday I may be able to give a few germs to those visitors who came last year full of self importance and stupid questions. Arkwrights revenge so to speak. The station has a motto and it is “All customers bring us pleasure, some when they arrive and some when they leave”!!!

Most likely I will open as I need to get out of the office and the house and into the fresh air. Plus it can’t do my keyboard much use me keep dripping on it.

Still looking on the bright side I have a couple of new projects I want to get my teeth into work wise this year so that will keep me busy and hopefully will eventually bring in a few pennies.

keeping wellThe above picture reminds me I must wrap up warm on Sunday if it’s cold then customers who order a hot drink can expect it to be cold by the time it gets from the urn to them!!

oneofthosedays This one will be me by the end of Sunday most likely, I think I will print it out and stick it on the counter as a hint to people!! Mind you they don’t read so most likely it would be a waste of time. If I get one more person read the time board outside and then come in and ask the train times this year I will scream!!!

Right on with some work, I can’t sit here planning what I am going to do on the railway it would go against tradition.

You can tell Christmas is gone….

You can always tell when Christmas is gone as far as the food retail business is concerned.

Sue and I just ate our first hot cross buns of the year!!!

Sad really!!!

Well here we are in 2011

Well Happy New Year to the followers of this blog.

2011 is upon us and without doubt in my opinion it will be a difficult year, and from the railway point of view one where every visitor or passenger counts.

Over this New year three day period we are running trains, however I am not open at Orton Mere quite simply because I have no cover staff wise. My wife says quite rightly it’s too cold down there and also she works full time and has had a very busy Christmas. I would have opened if I had cover to assist me, as I don’t then we are closed.

No doubt there will be some people who will have surfaced during the Santa specials and helped on quite a few days, this is because the Santa trains are looked upon as “Fun” now no doubt when we get to the difficult bit of providing a  normal service in what can be tricky unpredictable weather they will fade away until next November and not be heard or seen of until then.

Now I know some will say well they are volunteers, and that is true. However, to paraphrase a well known saying “The railway is for all year not just for Christmas”.

It is vitally important that the railway makes as much profit this year as it can, as without that profit there will be no Santa trains or for that matter trains of any sort. So if your one of those who surfaces for the Santa trains or only when the sunshine is out and it is warm just think of the volunteers who turn up in all weathers to provide visitors to the railway with a service. Leave your nice warm fire and come along and help when it’s cold and the sun is not out, despite what you may think it is fun all weathers on the railway.

If that has not convinced you then think of the steam crews who are there at 5am in the snow as they were some days of the Santa’s getting the locomotive ready for service. They have my total admiration for their commitment and dedication to the railway. Just think of them next time it’s cold and your in the warm as you only volunteer for the good bits.

 

Robert
A.K.A Old Arkwright