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?
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……..