Monthly Archives: November 2014

Another railway.

Now if you go round the UK you will see there are a fair number of heritage railways.

I must admit I have not been on many, but one that did stand out a few years ago, seven to be exact was “The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.”

It’s narrow gauge and the visit was most enjoyable, the staff were friendly, the station immaculate, they had an excellent gift shop well laid out and not a bit of cheap tat in sight.

Here are a few pictures I took, and I hope that next time I visit North Devon I will be able to do a repeat visit.

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Two of my early images of the railway..

This is the very first image I took of the Railway, it was taken before I was a member, it still remains one of my favourites out of the 10000+ images I have since taken of the NVR

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The keen amongst you will remember the locomotive it is “1306 Mayflower” A lovely locomotive to photograph. The above picture was taken from Castor Bridge.

Another favourite of mine is this one taken facing west on Lynch Bridge.

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It was a darn cold morning and I was walking round the park looking for some images to take. I just love the colours in the above image, ten minutes later the colours had all changed and the picture would have been duller.

You should always carry a camera with you because you never know what might appear right in front of you.

 

A bit of variety

Now the one thing we tend to have at the station during the year is a variety of locomotives, so as this is the first weekend of the period of no public services during November & December stopping at the station. We do of course have the Santa trains but they are non-stop from and to Wansford. Therefore I though I would put up a selection of pictures taken in the last 12 months at the station. Most if not all of these have been posted in the blog before.

So here they are in no particular order.

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That’s another season out of the way

Well that’s another running season out of the way.

No more stopping trains until 28th December, but that does not mean the railway will be dead, for those with a keen eye there is always something going on.

But first before I start waffling on I would like to thank all those who have helped me at Orton Mere this year, irrespective of how many days you have done your help has been very much appreciated.

Right now that’s out of the way, what can I say about this year?

Well…….

I could say it’s been a funny old year and I would be quite accurate.

Some days we have expected to be busy we have been quiet and others where for example the weather was terrible we were busy most of the day.
The railway has tried many special offers this year to encourage people, especially locals to visit the railway and travel, how successful many of these have been is no doubt a matter of debate.
One thing however, we have noticed this year is that a number of the travelling regulars, especially at Gala events have been missing.
Now where they have gone is anybody guess, but it would be interesting to know. Perhaps if they reappear next year I can ask them, who knows?

One other thing we have had less of this year and that’s dog walkers, over the past few years their numbers have dropped by a large amount, again I can only guess as to reasons. We can go days now without somebody demanding a dog bowl without a hint of the words please and thank you. You often tend to miss the ignorant visitors as much as you do the nice ones.

I think it’s fair to say that business for the year lived up to my expectations, we have met lot’s of nice new people from all over the world, only today we had visitors from Australia.

It’s important that visitors enjoy themselves, after all the only thing the railway really sells are memories.

Now I accept of course that some people would never be happy even if they got what they wanted for free plus a tenner for attending and the staff that served them were sacked. But that’s the general public for you, they are a funny bunch. The ones who look wealthy will moan about everything from the lack of toilets to the prices of hot drinks. Whilst those who look like they don’t have two pennies to rub together will buy tickets, refreshments and really enjoy themselves with not a mention of the price.

So we can sit and reflect on the year, after all hindsight is a marvellous thing, but we must also learn from the year and from that knowledge work towards the railway having a better year next year, because no matter how well we think we may have done it all comes down to the profit at the bottom of the page, because without profit there would be no railway. We must remember that every pound given away is not only lost turnover it’s also lost profit.
Giving a customer/visitor/passenger whatever you like to call them a low price does not make them more loyal nor does it make them more likely to return, and if your not careful it can actually underprice and undervalue what’s being offered.
A low price can often lower a persons expectations and perception of a place or attraction. It can also lower their impression of what they see, and instead of seeing for example the results of hard work, long hours and dedication they instead see a lot of old things that seem past their best. In simple terms they see what they expect to see not what is actually in front of them.

I will do occasional blogs through November and December, I can normally find something to rabbit on about, so watch this space as they say……..