Monthly Archives: August 2015

Parkinson’s Puzzle

The loyal readership are invited to work out which signalbox this lever badge (description plate) came from.

Not from any line which ran through Wansford
The signalbox was in Cambridgeshire
The shape of the plate
The wording on it.

Good luck to all entrants. I will advise you of the right answer after the challenge has been published.


Parkys puzzle

PLEASE answer as a comment to this post.

A weekend of samples.

More than once Rosemary who maintains the station garden has been heard so say that we don’t have weather we have samples!

Well this weekend was a good example.

Saturday was mostly humid and sticky. Sunday ranged from bright sunshine with a nice breeze to pouring rain.

Still there is nothing we can do about the weather we just have to make the best of it.

Generally it was a funny weekend, we did not really do much though the shop had a couple of average days. Without doubt we are not getting the people passing that we used to, five or six years ago it was busy all day, not these days.

We are not alone with this people are not spending money on days out so much and are staying local rather than having a drive somewhere.

This coming weekend is yet another bank holiday with a special service over the three days. Star of the weekend will be Tornado which is hauling main services on all three days, let’s hope the weather is good for all the three days.

Just a reminder to those blog readers who plan to photograph the locomotives this weekend and not travel. Please remember if everybody did as your planning to do then there would be no locomotives for you the photograph. The railway does not survive and continue because of the non-paying visitors.

Please also remember that the difference between a visitor and a customer is that a visitor is somebody who has bought or paid nothing.

To get you in the mood to spend money this weekend here are a few images of Tornado on previous visits.

CIMG1164_thumb.jpg CIMG1162_thumb.jpg CIMG1165_thumb.jpg 100_1366 100_1362 100_1341_edited-1

A little puzzle for you.

Now I could yet again waffle on about the weekend etc. but I think this week we will have something a little different.

So I have two questions for you about the item below.


The first question is:-

What is this item?

The second question is:-

Where did it come from?

Please submit your answers as comments to this post please do not email me direct. Just click on the picture if you want a larger image.

Before anybody asks, yes I do know the answers.

There will be two prizes…

First prize is a day helping at Orton Mere Station

Second prize is a weekend helping at Orton Mere.

Diamonds are forever, or at least until they fall off.

One thing people often don’t realise is the work that goes on in the background, from painting to infrastructure maintenance and improvements.

Take Sunday for example. Keith from S&T paid a station a visit and fitted two diamonds to signal posts.

He was so proud of his work that he sent me a couple of pictures, and here they are showing the signals at either end of my platform 1 complete with the diamonds.


Their purpose is to make the driver aware if they are bought to a stop at the signal that they are on a track circuit and the signalman knows they are there. Two small but important bits of metal.

We had a visiting loco running this weekend. Here it is first service Saturday arriving from city centre.


The very photogenic little locomotive and was popular with the visitors I spoke to. Plus as an added bonus we had the sunshine as well.

It’s unusual to have a weekend where both days just flow, but that’s what we have just had. All in all a really enjoyable weekend. If we have some more before the end of the running season then I will be a happy chappie.


What a difference a week makes.

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?