Monthly Archives: February 2011

what’s your email address?

I had an email today.

It said “I don’t know your email address can you please send it to me?”

I am lost for words!!!


Three thirds

Well today was a day of three thirds.

A third sunshine, a third cloud and a third rain.

Certainly it was not enjoyable and a clutch of nice passengers and visitors could not change that.

When it’s cold at the station then it’s cold.

There is nothing more really to add, all in all a day with almost no pleasure except the pleasure of going home.

Two against the rest

Today was one of those days when you see more staff than customers.

First we had the civils, then we had the S&T duo in, to top it off we had the crew from the class 14 which was pulling the civils train in as well.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Never in the field of station visitors have so many spent so much time spending so little!!

Still it made for an interesting day.

Nathan was helping me today and I have finally found a way to keep him quiet. You give him a Nene Steam he has not read before. It works wonders!!!

In-between the rain it was not too bad but we had a cold wind which chilled me right through. Now I can just imagine Peter from PNV reading this and saying to himself blimey to do that it must have been one hell of a wind.

Now for the anoraks who read this blog, and you both know who you are here are a couple of shots of the class 14 at Orton Mere today.

CIMG0404    CIMG0409

If you can’t contain your excitement please feel free to click on the images for a larger version, it might be the only excitement you get this weekend.

The wife is with me tomorrow so I will have to practice my best behaviour so I don’t put my foot in it.

More exciting adventures tomorrow.

The Civils team

The railway could not operate without the civils team. They do track maintenance etc. Sometimes they have been known to get a bit damp and cold in the winter,

Here are a couple of pictures taken back in 2008. Tomorrow (Saturday) they will be paying me at visit at the station.

100_0218   100_0215c

One of the less glamorous but very essential jobs on the railway, there is more to volunteering than riding on the trains!!!

Remember people like this next time your riding on a preserved line and it’s raining and you pass a bunch of volunteers trackside in Hi-viz Orange. Especially as they are not getting paid!!!

Is there much variation?

One of the things I am often asked by people who look at this blog is do I see many different engines?

The answer to that is yes and no, it depends on the service and whether we have a special event on.

Here are a few pictures taken at Orton Mere of just a small number of the locomotives that have run since I have been at the station.

They are in no special order and there are many more which I have not included.

100_0029a   100_0181

100_0197c   100_0203c

100_0588   100_0729a

100_0787   100_0788a  

 100_3825b   100_0337

100_4300a   100_4470

100_1715   100_0307

100_0176A   101_4898

Half a day of non-excitement

To say today was a dead loss would be an understatement.

We closed after the second train as we had seen one person all day and he was just looking for a timetable.

There are some days that are quiet and some that have the makings of a total waste of time and today was the latter.

Not opening Wednesday & Thursday, I have some paint to watch as it dries and that will be more exciting. Seriously, with the amount of electricity we consume when open on quiet dismal days, and the next two are forecast to be that we make more money for the railway by being shut rather than open!!!

Watch this space for the rundown of all the excitement of Saturday the next day we are open in due course!!

More of yesterday but dry

The only good thing about today compared with yesterday is that it was dry.

Still cold and dismal, but a bit busier, still nothing to get excited about though.

Mind you looking on the bright side it was a good weekend for Brian to get his first taste of station work, he might have gone into shock for life if he had started in the summer!

A few regulars were about but still too cold for the more delicate of them. But nice to see the ones that were about.

Highlight of the day was two foreign females who came in asking about going on train. Shame the next train was going to be the last. The smiled and nodded their heads as I explained what options were available for them, shame they had the glazed look of two people who did not understand a darn word of what I was telling them. They tootled off with details of the timings of the last train to and from Peterborough, which was about the only trip they could do never to be seen again! Why do people who don’t understand what your saying always nod their head as though they do?

No services Monday but back open again Tuesday again with Brian who must be a glutton for punishment.

Half term opening means one of two things:-

1 dead as a dodo

2 women in with screaming kids who rather than being on their scooter or bike should really be in a secure cage.

Not forgetting those women who think that a cup of tea or coffee gives them included seat hire for an hour whilst their children scream round the place, it always amazes me that the children with the biggest mouths always seem to miss it when inserting crisps or sweets and then tread them into the floor.

So now let’s see what Tuesday brings….

The rain almost put the ARK in Arkwright

What a dismal day weather wise as can be seen from these pictures taken first thing.

CIMG0390  CIMG0391

I am sorry to say it stayed much the same all day even when the rain stopped briefly.

A few passengers but not anywhere enough to declare the day a success.

Had a new chap Brian with me today, a nice chap he will settle in at the station and he has a sense of humour which on a day like today always helps. Plus Jason contacted me yesterday and came down to help today as well, so for 99% of the day the staff outnumbered the visitors.

Highlight of the day, well there really was not one to be honest unless you count the fact that we did not get cold enough for something to drop off.

Brian and I on Sunday and better weather is forecast so we have high hopes for an increase in business.

Time as they say will tell……

Some unusual people

No I don’t mean the staff of the station, though it must be admitted that some of us could quite often be classed as unusual.

I am thinking about some of the people who follow me on Twitter, some are from all over the world, and I have never heard of them. It puzzles me that they could be interested in the wittering’s, or should that be twittering’s of a volunteer on a heritage railway! I am not even that regular with my postings.

Still it takes all sorts they say.

Getting back to the subject of railways we are running both days this weekend and would you believe it we have heavy rain forecast for tomorrow. There is nothing like a wet day at Orton Mere with soggy staff and soggy passengers. Not to mention damp dog walkers and even damper dogs!

Oh deep joy!

The origins of Internet trading

How the Internet started:-

A revelation with an Incredibly Big Message (IBM):

Well, you might have thought that you knew how the Internet started,
but here’s the TRUE story ….

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of
Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg.  
Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.

And she said unto Abraham, her husband: "Why dost thou travel so far
from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever
leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her – as though she were several saddle bags
short of a camel load, but simply said: "How, dear?"

And Dot replied: "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in
between to send messages saying what you have for
sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price.

And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s
Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with
the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success.
Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever  having
to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying,

Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was called

Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed
a language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew To The People (HTTP)

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete
himself inside Abraham’s drum and began to siphon off some of
Abraham’s business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted
for insider trading.

And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy
horsefly take to camel dung.

They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the
deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were
going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought

off every drum maker in the land.

And indeed did insist on drums to be made that would work only with
Brother Gates’ drum heads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say: "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken
over by others."

And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to
be known. He said: "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied: "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO,"  said Abraham.
And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.

Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated
Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside.

It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE)

And that is how it all began.

Truuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuly!!! Honest Guv!!!