Well this weekend we just had really nice weather, so different the previous weekend.
People were out and about and some even spent money.
Had a few interesting characters in as well. One chap on Saturday came to me on the platform and just said “You have toilet?” This was despite him already having read the no toilet sign. When I confirmed no we did not have a public toilet he just looked and said “You disappoint me!” I then asked if he was buying anything, when he replied no I said he disappointed me also. Off he went. Through the whole exchange there was no emotion in either his face or his voice, nothing, not a thing. Plus of course in common with the 90% who ask if there is a toilet he never uttered the words please or thank you.
Steam both days which always helps bring the visitors in, I am sure if we had ran diesel one or both of the days then it would not have been such a good weekend.
Over the weekend we also had a few members visit as well for a natter, and I always find it interesting in as much as they love to chat about the old days, you know the ones where it was always sunshine in the summer and it never rained and all was always well with the world. Anyway before I tootle off down some tangent and get lost, what I am saying is it’s rare to have a member talk about the future for the railway, what we are looking at doing, what we should do etc.
Now I appreciate that it’s nice to look back on old successes and even old failures, because after all we normally learn more from the failures than we do the successes. But it’s rare to find a member who is looking forward, and if we are to survive, expand and grow then we need to look at where we are heading and not where we have been. I honestly believe the railway has a great future, but we need to try new things and embrace new ideas and learn from other places that have visitors. We need to appreciate the working members more, to listen to what they have to say and to consider what they suggest irrespective of who they are.
The railways blood and heart are it’s working members, without them there would be no railway. With all due respect to the paid staff of the railway we could kick them into touch on a weekend, (Not that I am remotely suggesting we do) and the railway would still run. But if the working members threw in the towel then there would be no railway.
The above comments of course could and no doubt do apply to the vast number of places where the majority of those who do the work are volunteers. Organisations who run with volunteers have a vast pool of skills that they will never be able to use, simply because those volunteers with the talents often just want to do something different at the weekend to their normal job in the week. Just because a volunteer is doing what many would consider a menial job don’t ever assume that’s what they do in the week, everybody from time to time has a good idea, wether that idea is acted on of course depends on who is listening.
Perhaps it’s time to clean our ears out, what do you think?