Monthly Archives: February 2016

It’s not a good weekend for taking pictures. Is it?

One of the most common things I hear especially in the winter from visitors is that it’s not a good weekend or day for taking pictures.

Well I don’t think there is any such thing as a bad day. You can often get nicer pictures in my opinion on a dull day than you can on a bright one.

Here are some examples from the weekend.

The first was taken by Nathan.

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Some quite nice colours in that, as always click on the image for a bigger version.

The following two were taken by Jason, who knows how to take some really nice images.

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Both of these are in my opinion excellent images.

So you can take some nice pictures even on dull days.

My thanks to both Nathan and Jason for permission to use the above pictures.

The invasion of the cooker snatchers.

It was a dull dismal winters morning down by the river.

When a group was spotted approaching, clad in orange it was like watching the arrival out of the gloom of the Oompa-Loompas.

Whilst some distracted the stationmaster with the promise of possible money in the till and the expectation of them ordering beverages two of them went to work and quickly removed the cooker from the kitchen area, chattering amongst themselves as to the value. Then they found for some strange reason they had the need to vent. So they also quickly sneaked out the cooker hood which was the only vent to hand.

This was finished off by hot drinks all round, no money was seen to exchange hands.

The moral of the above story is that the rumour that S&T need to have a hot drink inside them before starting anything is a myth. The truth is that only half of them do. The partaking of the drinks is often done whilst a few marvel over a signalling component that from the words detected is the best thing since sliced bread but it was a bit on the pricey side. It will also prove essential and can’t be lived without as it spends the next few months put somewhere until it’s fitted

The cooker and hood were both transported to the backwoods of Stibbington in a procession of vehicles not unlike a funeral cortège winding it’s way slowly out of the Mere. The passers by who had paid homage to the cooker in a previous life and risked a dickie tum by sampling it’s contents, stood silent as the vehicles passed. A dog stood to attention on three legs, the fourth cocked well out of the way as it aimed and put out an imagined fire at the bottom of it’s owners trousers.

Back at the station a lone Japanese sniper cackled quietly to herself as she prepared her weapon so she could wage war on the wet grass. Inside the station building itself the two staff sat drinking their first hot drink of the day, with a mug in one hand and an iPad in the other. Wondering to themselves where hell the Oompa-Loompas had disappeared to.

A model visitor

Today at the station we had a model visitor, actually we had a few of them!!

Here are a couple of shots a model of a Class 66 locomotive, a smaller gauge version of this will at times run on the layout some members are building at the station.


There was much discussion between Ben, Jason and myself today on how the finished layout will look.

The building when it starts will of course be fully covered on this blog.

Other than that it was a pretty non-descript kind of day. But the visitors we did have more than made up for it and we had some really nice chats and hopefully some will come back when the weather is better and travel on the railway.


The Probationary Pensioner.

Now I am a probationary pensioner I take more interest in the attitude of people who are in the same position.

Thinking about it I am reminded of the times at the railway that people have asked me if something is cheaper simply because they are over 60!

Now tickets I can understand, the day you become an old codger then you get cheap or free transport, except buses these days, I won’t get my bus pass until I am 66 years old due to government changes.

But at the railway you get reduced tickets when you reach 60. However, I must have had almost a dozen people in the last twelve months who tried to argue the toss that at 60 they get free travel. They could not get their mind round the fact that we are not public transport, we are not a train operating company, we are actually A MUSEUM!!! And a private one at that.

But this conception of getting stuff cheaper or free does not stop there, I have had the joyous experience of people expecting half price refreshments because of their age. Being an older person does not automatically mean cheaper prices as the article on the BBC web site today about Age UK selling expensive cheaper product (For want of a better description) shows.

Price is only one part of deciding wether a product is good value or not, a broom you buy for £5 and lasts ten years is better value than a broom you can buy for £1 but it needs to be replaced yearly. But I wonder how many would take the £1 broom because it’s cheaper short term.

In my humble mind discounts are often not what they seem, and they can lead to waste. Buy one get one free is an example. How often do people when the offer relates to food for example throw the second one away because it goes off before they want to eat it?

The railway is a business that sell memories if you take things down to their most basic level, we don’t sell an overall product you can stick on the wall and look at. Yes I know you could do that with buying something for the wall from the gift shop, but at basic level we sell memories, and that’s a product where it’s hard or even impossible to attach a value.

Two people could visit the railway the same day, do the same trip on the same train and at the end of it one would say what a waste of money and the other could say I enjoyed that I must come back again.

So here is a thought, and I stress it’s just a thought, and mine at that…. If as somebody once said you can’t put a price on memories, why do we offer a discount in the first place?

It has been proven many times in many types of business the cheaper something is the less it is appreciated. Something for nothing is never appreciated as much as something you saved the money for and bought.

Now I appreciate this is perhaps a bit deep and thought provoking for a Friday morning, but at least I hope it has given you food for thought, and remember there is no discount on the food!!!