Monthly Archives: January 2016

What brings Arkwright pleasure?

I sat at the station yesterday between first and second service, thinking various thoughts. It was shall we say not a warm day, it was deserted customer wise and not even the lure of a steam service could entice many out of their warm houses.

Anyway, here is the steam service on the first run of the day heading back towards Wansford.


As you can see there was a rush to catch it.

But back to my thoughts… I was asked recently by a customer what bought me pleasure? I did not think much of the question at the time, as I have said many times I am not a deep thinker of things. Why spend hours thinking about something when often you could spend that time actually doing it.

But yesterday amongst all the excitement of Tom looking at the coming weeks television in the Sunday paper supplement and Ben popping in I sat having a think about the question I had been asked.

What does bring me pleasure? Now do I approach this question as me or as the mythical old Arkwright, who many think is what I am really like?

Now wanting a challenge and also realising I had read all the books on my iPad I decided to approach the question as both me and old Arkwright.

Now undoubtably the simple pleasures to old Arkwright are the sound of a wallet creaking open, that distinctive click of a purse being opened followed by either the clinking of change or the rustle of a crisp five pound note. The Government have, in Arkwright’s eyes a lot to answer for when the one pound note was scrapped, it had a sound all of it’s own. The beauty of the intricate printing on a pound note was a joy to experience. Plus the queen looked a bit younger on them as well. The sound of a till opening brings a jolt to Arkwright’s beating heart as he waits to put money into the depths of it’s cash draw.

So that’s old Arkwright out of the way which just leaves me.

What brings me pleasure? Well I suppose many things, I have never been one for fancy things, I don’t care if somebody has a better computer than me, or if they have a bigger house than me. When push comes to shove they are not really important, not one bit. I have over the years met more miserable people with money than without it.

Personally what brings me pleasure is the knowledge that I am doing what I enjoy and with people I  like. Now Sue my wife often helps me at the station, I am aware that often she would rather be elsewhere. She works five days a week in retail dealing with various, shall we say socially challenged people and is really not keen on doing a day at the station. But due to the ways and temperament of people she is often the only option I have on a Sunday for cover. Now doing a day at the station with Sue brings me pleasure. She knows my peculiarities, or at least she should do after almost thirty years plus the added bonus that she knows how I like my coffee.

Away from the station, which contrary to what some members of the railway might think is not my second home, if it was I would have applied for rehousing long ago. I just enjoy being me. I enjoy the work I do, it will never make me a millionaire but then again that’s not the object. You get to a stage in life I think when you realise that working for other people can be bloody annoying. I spent 17 years in retail and it was always the same, no matter how well you did it was never good enough, there was always more you could have done.

There is more to getting pleasure than having lot’s of money. Yes it helps and I would be stupid if I said it didn’t, and contrary to what many think I am not stupid. But pleasure comes in may forms and as you ease through life avoiding the odd idiot as you trundle along the things that give you pleasure change and you realise that often what you thought you liked you now don’t.

So as we start a new week with me sitting here in my home office, which sounds far grander than saying I am in the back spare bedroom, I will get pleasure from what I do each day if only from doing it to the best of my ability, after all is personal pleasure doing what you like not the best pleasure of all?

Here we go with 2016……………….

Last weekend saw services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday covering the new year weekend.

I must say it was not a bad weekend overall with Saturday the best day, nice to see lot’s of people on the trains all three days, a steam service certainly appeals to visitors this time of year. I know there is always the temptation to run diesel and use cost as an excuse, but New Year is always by tradition a steam service.

Highlights of the weekend… Well none rally it was just an enjoyable three days. Single manned on Friday and busier than expected, then Tom with me on Saturday and Jason on Sunday.

We weren’t rushed, steady would be a good description. But it did give us the opportunity to chat with visitors. The weekend was also a milestone in that we were not asked for a toilet once.

The weekend also proved the theory that behind every rude child there is normally a rude parent. This theory was proved a couple of times. As was the widely held belief by some that only the young are rude, I can assure you that the older generation give the youngsters a run for their money when it comes to being rude!!

So a good start to the year, and although it’s early days and the next couple of months takings will be very dependent on the weather as much as anything, early indications are we could have a very good year.