Monthly Archives: August 2016

An interesting Bank Holiday.

Well that’s August Bank Holiday out of the way, and most enjoyable it was too.

Largely all services ran on time and the weather across the three days was shall we say variable!

The main services were hauled by Tornado and a Deltic, so there was something to bring in both the steam and the diesel fans, though certainly at Orton Mere we got the impression that there were more visitors for the Deltic than Tornado.

Saturday was for the station the best of the three days, and by the time the heavy rains arrived the visitors were already with us.

At the time of final service it threw it down with rain, here is a picture of the clouds. Not what we expect in August.

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But looking on the bright side at least the rain was warm. One passenger passing on last service commented that the water was good for the station hanging baskets, their face was a gem when I pointed out they were plastic!!

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This picture of the front of the Deltic shows we were not exactly bathed in sunshine.

Sunday was a tad better weather wise and at least we had the previous days weather to talk about.

Here are a few pictures from Sunday and Tornado grace of Sue my wife.

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As you can see the weather was at least drier!!

Monday was the best of the three days with some really nice sunshine. I even managed to take a picture of the first service with Tornado arriving first service from Wansford.

Tornado 29 Aug 2016

So overall how did the weekend go I hear you asking…

Well the answer is that it was excellent especially for the railway overall, and successful weekends certainly boost the funds of the railway which is what it’s all about after all.

It was also nice to meet almost a dozen users of Railcam, some were seen clutching their phones looking at the streaming action at both Wansford and Orton Mere. It also meant that we could see when the services left Wansford.

Grabbing the staff

Above is a picture from the Railcam showing the exchange of the staff when the Deltic arrived at Wansford last Thursday from the NYMR. Details of Railcam can be found at www.railcam.uk

 

Finally my thanks to Sue, Tom, Paddy and Rosemary for helping at the station over the weekend. Plus of course thanks to the many others across the railway for working together to ensure the weekend was a success for the railway.

 

 

It all depends on the weather.

Now one thing tourism generally always relies on and that’s the weather.

You can organise a super weekend event and if it rains all weekend then you wonder why you bothered. Then on the other hand you can have beautiful sunshine and the visitors come flocking in.

But of course the one thing we can’t control is the weather, and the one thing you can safely say in the UK in the summer and that is it’s a brave person who forecasts the weather a week ahead.

This weekend will be a bit of a lull before the excitement next weekend of August bank holiday. For some strange reason we always remember bank holidays where it’s rained rather than ones where the sun has shone for all three days.

This year we have two guest locomotives pulling the bank holiday services. They are the steam locomotive Tornado and a Deltic which of course is a diesel. So we have something worth looking at for both the steam and the diesel enthusiasts. All we need is the sun to shine. If we do then it will be a cracking three days, if it’s wet then how successful the weekend is will be in the lap of the gods.

Anybody fancy placing a bet on us having sunshine?

The sun is out, lets hope the visitors are as well.

This weekend we have a Thomas holiday event and I am looking forward to it.

Special events always make a change from normal weekends.

Special events bring to the railway both new and returning visitors, it’s nice to chat to as many as possible when they return from a day with us to find out what they think. When you have worked at an organisation for any length of time it’s always nice to hear how people view us with fresh eyes. They often mention things they have really enjoyed that we take for granted and that’s always nice to hear.

One thing the vast majority of visitors mention when asked what they liked is that the staff are so friendly. Now this I would agree with. We are generally a friendly bunch both to visitors and each other, it was the first thing that struck me when I joined over ten years ago, and in the intervening years nothing has changed in that respect. So if you’re visiting this weekend please pop into Orton Mere and say hi, but more importantly enjoy yourselves. That is actually the most important bit.

A typical summer weekend

Last weekend was typical of the first week into the summer holidays for schools.

Most of the regulars seem to be away on holiday.

Had some nice visitors in but quiet overall which is on par for previous years.

This coming weekend should be better and then improve from then on.

One thing summer does bring is a mini invasion of cyclists, many of which can’t read the signs on my platform 2. They ride past the Platform 2 only sign, then they ride past the way out side, pointing back the way they have come convinced the far end of the platform will come complete with an exit. In all cases they are disappointed and give a glare when we tell them not to ride on the platform. It’s the same every year, some in previous years have come into the station moaning that their OS Map or GPS shows a footpath at the far end and every time we shoe them that the ability to read a map is not one of the abilities they have.

Twice over the weekend somebody stood by the ice cream freezer and asked if we sell ice cream.

But 1st prize for idiot of the week is shared between a husband and wife. They were behind a customer who asked for a couple of teas, these were duly produced and he passed between the prize winning couple as he went to add milk, sugar etc. The couple then both asked me at the same time and in perfect sync the immortal words…. “Do you sell tea?” I was so tempted to say no!

Had a group of Canadians in, I think I made their visit by not asking if they were Americans, it is a question that seems to irritate most people from Canada it seems. Good job I spotted the keyring with a small Canadian flag hanging from it!

After this coming weekend we have a few special events culminating in our August Bank Holiday services, hopefully the weather will be on our side, as even at this time of year a small shower can mean the difference between a good and an average weekend.

So to put the weather gods in a good mood here are a few summer pictures at the station from previous years.

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