Monthly Archives: August 2013

Running late, we like to be authentic…….

I am late with the blog of the bank holiday, tut tut whatever next.

Well the bank holiday was interesting, although I was only at the station for two of the three days.

Saturday was all you would expect from a bank holiday weekend, we had cloud, heavy prolonged rain and towards the end of the day some sunshine. I must admit we were busier than I expected.

Sunday and Monday were nice sunny days which is unusual for a bank holiday, Sunday as would be expected was the busier of the two, it was back to business as it was a few years ago, people were out and about.

Monday Peter and his daughter Susan ran the station so I could go and visit my mum who is still in hospital, I reckon the station would have been less work but there you go. Mum, for those who have enquired is much more chipper and on the mend, they just need to get her more mobile. They are trying a walking frame, left to me I would opt for a stick of dynamite.

Getting back to the railway, we are running Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday this week as it’s the last week of the school holidays. Next week will see the little darlings back at school, and some normality return to things.

I am writing this on the Wednesday and I am at the station open for business, how busy we will be is anybody’s guess, as I have often said time will tell.

Calm water

Now most people who know me will agree, I normally go with the flow, though I will admit I do cause the occasional ripple, and even a few waves in the past. But it’s fair to say that I generally go with the flow.

But this weekend there was just no flow, neither day was what you could call exceptional, we had a special event on but nobody who came to the station mentioned it, or for that matter even seemed to know of it’s existence.

Now as I often also say as a volunteer I am not paid to worry, if only for the simple reason that as a volunteer I am not paid! But something this year is not right, we have had some really good special weekends planned, and some have been quite successful, but others have been like a firework that’s lit, shows signs of flaring into life only to have a dog come along and pee on the fuse.

I always try and speak to people when they arrive back at my station and ask if they enjoyed themselves, it is I think important that we know what customers think of us and how much they enjoy or for that matter don’t enjoy the experience. Now today without exception the people I spoke to all said they had a super time and they had enjoyed themselves, but not one mentioned the special event this weekend and that’s a worry.

Lot’s of effort goes into organising events, but I do ask myself the question “Are we doing events that appeal?” and to be perfectly honest I think in lots of cases the answer is no we aren’t. The people who travelled from my station today would have done so even if there was no special event, this is proven from the fact that they arrived intending to travel not knowing the event was on.

Now please don’t think this is a criticism of those who organise events, it’s not. They put in a lot of hard work, and very often their hard work is rewarded and the railway has an excellent weekend, for example we do both steam and diesel gala weekends very well, we have lots of happy visitors, which is what it’s all about, and no doubt our autumn steam and diesel galas will be a success. But this year we seem to have sometimes missed the target with what we offer, perhaps we need to all sit down and ask ourselves why?

 

Customers are like buses.

Paddy with me today and Rosemary doing the garden.

A really enjoyable day today, we had a fair number of customers and without exception they were a pleasure to talk to. I mean you can have a day when you get people who seem hell bent on not enjoying themselves. Then, like today you can get a steady stream of really nice people..

Shop is steady this year and certainly won’t break any records, but we must make the best of what we have. Ticket wise was not too bad at all. I mean we even saw a bit of sunshine.

A mixture again of both steam and diesel so everybody was happy.

Next weekend sees a Children’s TPO weekend so we await that with great interest. Now for a busy week in the garden and the office, the pleasure just keeps on coming!!!!

Going with the flow.

It was an interesting day today.

I had Peter and his daughter Susan with me today, and before you ask that was not the interesting bit.

Some days I just get the feeling that we will have a non-normal day and today was one of those days.

First service was not bad for time and it departed OK for city centre. Shortly afterwards we got a call saying it had failed at city centre. So once the second man and staff were back at Wansford having been taken there by road, a rescue diesel was sent up and the whole train was recovered passengers and all back to Wansford.

Second service ran late as an expected diesel service. But the steam engine was sorted and back in action for the third service, though even to my untrained ears it did not sound quite right, but it hauled third service both ways all OK. We finished as scheduled with the last service being diesel hauled.

The passengers all seemed fine with the extra bit of adventure. One commented that it was always different travelling at our railway, I am not sure if it was a complement, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it was.

Has some passing trade from walkers etc. but nothing exceptional. But it was overall an enjoyable day not too hot either which after the weather of late was most welcome.

Tomorrow I have Paddy with me so I look forward to another decent day.

 

 

ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Well I think it’s fair to say the weekend was quiet.

Or in simple terms we were not rushed on either day.

I had Nigel & Sally with me on Saturday plus Harry chipped in as well, at least with four of us it looked busy.

Sunday saw Nathan with me, I think the poor lad is in a time warp as he was whistiling christmas carols at one stage.

Next week sees our 1960’s weekend, I await with interest to see how it all goes, we need the right weather and activities to attract the visitors.

Busy week ahead, so not at the station until next Saturday….