Monthly Archives: March 2012

You get Allsorts and they are not always liquorish.

Just looking at the weather first thing this morning I just knew it was not going to blast any records business wise out of the water, and I was spot on.

The fun started even before I got to the station, Just before I got to the signal box I was approached by what’s generally know as a member of the public. Local crackpot would have been more accurate.

He uttered the immortal words of “I hope as there is a diesel shortage that the railway will run steam today?”

Those few words condemned him to two things, one a mention in the blog and two the comments going forward to the pillock of the week competition where, with just Sunday to go he is way out in front.

I was lost for words which for me is rare, and just decided that his comment did not really warrant a reply, well not one that could have been heard by a mixed audience anyway.

The station was up and running by 9am and Wansford were informed that there was a breathing life form at Orton Mere.

We settled down for a quiet day.

First visitor was Peter on his new biddy buggy. If he gets one any larger they will stick Stagecoach on the sides and Citi1 on the front and back.

Peter was closely followed by Sally who, unlike Peter was at the station to actually do some work.

First train was a shade late and we had a few passengers for it which considering we had an approaching arctic front was pleasing.

When the train arrived we noticed that both of the TTI’s had their heads out of the windows, this normally means it’s dry, cloudy and not too cold. Some stock was dropped off as well so all was well with the world.

During the time before second service a few hardy souls popped in for drinks and information, but not always in that order!

Nigel Sally’s other half turned up when he got home from a hard morning sitting in a warm office, he bought cakes!!! Very nice they were too, thanks young Nigel your kindness is appreciated.

Never being one to miss the obvious the staff noticed it was getting colder, and the cold front was not due to me sulking because not though money was being spent.

The day finished quite cold and personally I was glad to get home at the end of it.

Not a day that will go down in the records as outstanding but then again to be honest not many do.

Friends Reunited re-launched

Well they are having another go and seemingly trying to push it as a nostalgia site.

Well speaking personally if I wanted to know what people I went to school were up to now I would have kept in touch with them over the years.

Now I would guess that like me most people reading this have looked at Friends Reunited and looked up what they could about people they have been to school or work with.

Now having had a play some time ago all the people I found I was not keen on them the first time round so I am sure that I have even less in common with them now.

We always like to look back with rose tinted glasses over our shoulder, human nature dictates that we always put more effort into remembering the good bits rather than the bad ones.

Certainly I have no desire to meet anybody I knew in the past that I am still not in contact with and to be honest I doubt if they want to meet me either.

As is often said YOU CAN’T GO BACK, and if you do try to you find it is not as you remembered and will end up a disappointment.

What do you think? Answers on a postcard before the prices of stamps go up, failing this just make a comment on this post.


Newer is not always better

You know when you have something new but you prefer what you had before, well I find that with cameras.

My first digital camera was a Kodak DX6340, by todays standards a bit on the basic side. Only 3.5Mp as well, but it took some darn nice photographs, here is one for example.


That camera met it’s end on a platform when I dropped it!

Then I had another Kodak a Z700 and that took super pictures as well, it it had one irritating problem and that was the lack of a shutter sound when you took a picture, you could often be too quick and take a nice picture of the floor.

Then it all started to go downhill, cameras got more megapixels and more features and I have never had one I like since.

I currently have a 12.5Mp Casio and it has lots of settings but I just don’t get on with it, it has too many annoying features that you don’t notice until your out and about. The end result is that I don’t take it out and about.

Also I have the wife’s old Kodak and use that more. But it’s a bit on the small side and uses one of these fancy flat batteries and I don’t have a spare.

But one thing I do miss more than anything these days on a camera is a viewfinder, it’s not as easy to hold a camera still when looking at a screen which can be hard to see with bright light behind you as it is to have a camera up to your face when looking through a viewfinder.

Yes I do miss my old Kodak…

Well that was not a bad day I suppose

It ended up a nice day weather wise once the fog and cloud burnt off.

Had Jason with me today, who as usual went round like a rabbit on speed!!

Had Cris as well for a couple of hours to see if he liked working at a station.

He tootled off after a couple of hours with a glazed shell shocked look, but sent a very nice email when he had recovered and would like to do some weekdays so that is excellent.

Quiet for first train but a busy afternoon with the best day of the year so far in the shop and the third best day of the year ticket wise.

Temp rose to a heady 13.6c at best but the sun bought out the sun worshipers in clothes more suited to August rather than March.

Nice bunch of people in as well and the new range of ice cream seems as though it will be popular.

Train was slightly late all services so nice to see that back to normal. Quite busy as well.

Nothing running public service wise until next Saturday when we have a full weekend service.

Got there early and opened for 8.30am and first customer at 8.40am. Gem of the day was when I was checking the back door was locked at the end of last service when a woman on a bike stopped and asked if I was just opening. I think my face may have said it all as she did not wait for an answer but just biked off.

Now a week of proper work then back for all the fun of the railway next Saturday

Let there be light!!!

As you may have spotted in the details released today the Olympic Torch is coming to Orton Mere Station!!!!

It will travel by steam train from Wansford Station to Orton Mere Station.

There is no truth in the rumour I will be doing platform tickets!!

Though I really hope I am able to tell a few councillors who may attend that there are no public toilets at the station due to the council closing them!!

A touch of the Irish

I had Paddy helping me today, now last time he was with me be broke a mug, not an expensive one or anything like that I hasten to add.

Well Peter who used to work at the city centre station popped in today with Sue his daughter to bring Paddy a replacement mug he could use.

Now at this stage I should point out that Paddy is part Irish, which many may say explains a lot!

Anyway the mug was shall we say appropriate.

If you will pardon the pun a mug shot is below.



Paddy reckons the handle will be excellent to tuck the tea bag behind. Personally I awaiting burnt fingers when he picks it up!!!


An Arkwright does it again!!!

Networking older than previously thought.

Last year, after having dug to a depth of 5 metres, Canadian 
archaeologists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years.

They came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a 
telephone network more than 150 years ago!

Not to be outdone by their neighbours, in the weeks that followed, 
an American archaeologist dug to a depth of 10 metres. Shortly 
afterwards, a story was published in the New York Times :

"American archaeologists, finding traces of 250-year-old copper 
wire at a depth of 10 metres, have concluded that their ancestors 
already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years 
earlier than the Canadians"!

A week later, British authorities reported the following :

"After digging to a depth of 20 metres in Yorkshire, Jack 
Arkwright, a self-taught archaeologist reported that he had found 
"absolutely f+++ all"!

Jack has therefore concluded that, 250 years ago, Britain had 
already gone wireless"!

Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it !

Just going with the flow….

There are some days on the railway when things just flow and today was one of those days.

Paddy & Jason were with me today, it was like working with two whirlwinds. But as I say it just flowed.

We had sunshine and it was just about shirt sleeve weather, the only thing we were missing was ice cream, but that will be sorted in the next week.

All the nice people were out as well, not the moneyed people just the nice ones!!

But it’s fair to say it was a most enjoyable day indeed. No funny stories really to tell and nobody who was an outstanding pain in the rear. We sold tickets and did a bit in the shop. Even the train was to time within a couple of minutes on each service!!

It just shows what a difference a week makes, this time last week we had a monsoon, it was cold and we finished the day with sleet and snow. This week we had not a breath of wind and wall to wall sunshine. The railway desperately needs more running days like this.

You watch next weekend when we have ice cream in stock it will be back to the fan heaters on full blast and each taking turns at hugging the urn.

Lets see how accurate I am about next Sunday in seven days time.

That’s the kiddy winks all sorted for this year

Well that’s the ice cream we will be stocking at the station this year all sorted.

A completely new range from different suppliers.

No more Magnums, they are so yesterday!!!!

Plus the really good news no more bleddy Mini-Milks so beloved by tight mean parents.

Going up market with a range of decent tubs as well, we tried them a couple of years ago and they went really well.

It’s going to be a good year I can feel it in my water!!!

Anybody would think it was winter!!!

Now I must start off by saying I did not enjoy today, it rained all day, it was cold and it was dismal. Then to top it off we finished the day with a mixture of snow and sleet!!

Here is the station before first service, as you can see not all that inviting in the cold rain.

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Mind you I was surprised that we had passengers for the first service. It was not a day I would have chosen to travel I must be honest. But I was more than happy to take their money.

The crew were a happy bunch on the first service despite the weather, here they are on the first service back to Wansford.


They were as you see slightly damp.

All we did in the shop were a couple of cups of coffee, it was not a day for a walk round the Mere!

Last service of the day arrived from Wansford in a flurry of snow and sleet. It was still sleeting when we caught the last train down to Ferry Meadows.

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The wife and I went to the station prepared, I took the laptop and Sue gave her Kindle a good hammering during the day. I managed to get some work done so that was a bonus.

The weekend will not in any way go down as one of the most enjoyable but it is weekends like this that make us appreciate the good ones.