The last three days have been yet another Bank Holiday here in the UK, but this one was a little different to most others in as much as it was quite warm and we had no rain.
This confused the locals who were at a loss what to do now they could have three days without rain and the need to wear a muffler and thermals over a bank holiday.
Some ventured out in a selection of attire varying from you have got to be joking to Heavens! look at them. The British have this knack of being able to dress to look like an idiot without really trying.
Anyway back to the excitement of a bank holiday at the station. We had a total of four staff to cover the three days. Saturday saw me and Susan, Sunday saw me, Sue my wife and Susan, Monday saw me and Paddy. So as you can see we were not exactly flush with staff. We also had Rosemary intending the garden on Saturday and Sunday, it’s looking nice as always this year.
The motive power provided a bit of interest as always in it’s performance and expectations. The little tank engine No22 was down to provide the hauling power all three days. Here it is on Saturday.
Rumour has it that as soon as it was known to be down for all three days a book was opened and bets were taken as to how long it would last. Whoever chose just the first three services on Saturday will have won the money!!!
It was giving some problems on the third service back to Wansford and by the time the fourth service arrived it had changed it’s colour to blue and was running on diesel looking just like a class 14. Here is a picture of the locomotive pulling fourth service and it is a class 14!!!
That put the dampers on us running an all steam service over the weekend, but at least we ran a service and on time as well. It’s a shame that the No22 failed as when it’s running it’s a nice little engine and popular with the visitors.
So locomotive wise that bought us to Sunday and Monday. Now it was a fair bet that we would not be running diesel, so with the tank engine out of the frame there were really only two options. The first was the American locomotive that’s with us or the other option was “City of Peterborough.” Now go on guess which one we used…. Go on be a devil have a guess….. If you selected City of Peterborough then you have won first prize which is a weekend helping me at the station. Now if you think thats a poor first prize please bear in mind that second prize is helping me for a month!
Here it is first service on Sunday morning arriving hot wheeled from the depths of Wansford.
The one thing you can always be certain of when it’s running is that it will keep the visitors happy, it’s a popular locomotive with both the paying and non-paying public.
A lot of work has been put into making the locomotive look nice, it gleamed in the sunshine and ran almost to time on both days give or take.
Right with that out of the way lets get round to the visitors.
We had quite a few of my regulars and a few of those who think they are regulars but aren’t really. But as always it was nice to see them.
We did OK in tickets and in the shop, we knew in the present economic climate we were not going to break any records. But all in all we had some really nice people over the weekend.
Certainly the chap who asked for a loo and then expected me to fill four almost empty plastic bottles with water. I tactfully or as tactfully as I normally am pointed out that we sell bottled water and don’t fill bottles with tap water. We are after all out to make a profit even if at times it does mean we don’t make friends in the process. It’s also a shame that at no stage of his education did he learn to use the words please and thank you. Perhaps he was off school that day?
But the best highlight must go to first thing this morning when, after putting out the signage and the bins etc a little old chap approached me and asked if I rented out canoes. When I said we didn’t he muttered that he was sure he had rented one from us before and could I check out the back to see if we had some hidden away. I informed hime we did not have an out the back, and we did not rent canoes. He wandered off muttering and was not seen again.
So there you have it a potted summary of an exciting weekend at the cutting edge of the tourist industry. Next weekend is a normal weekend, or as normal as any weekend at the station ever is.