Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Loss Of A Friend.

Greg Burrows

I have known for the last couple of months that I would have to write this blog at some stage, but that does not make it any easier to do and it is far sooner than I would wish.

Last Saturday December 17th 2016 the Nene Valley Railway lost a Member. Orton Mere Station lost a regular customer and I lost a friend.

Greg is the person who helped me develop an interest in local history regarding the railway, especially the social history and impact the railway had on the area.

I was privileged that he gave me access to his collection of railway memorabilia, much of which is unique. For that I will always be grateful to him. He allowed me to photograph and record it for my personal use, and to enhance my knowledge.

Now I could sit here and write line after line about Greg, but I think to appreciate Greg you had to know him, you had to talk to him and you had to be trusted by him. Those who were privileged to be in that position will know exactly what I mean.

I have lost a friend who was supportive, helpful, kind, generous of his time and his knowledge.

In life you occasionally meet people and you know they are going to enhance your life and your knowledge. For me Greg was such a person.

Thank you Greg, in 2017 and beyond my life will be poorer without your friendship, support and help.



I did something different last Saturday.

Last Saturday I did something different, I did a day in Wansford Office, and I enjoyed it.

Working at Wansford showed me how hard they all work on the Santa trains, they were going round at full speed all day, it was like watching a well oiled machine with the odd small leak.

Answering the telephones proved to me what I have always thought, people don’t read! A good example was a woman who told me what she had read on the website then asked me if it was correct, I informed her it was. I was amazed at how many also thought we would still have first class compartments available. They were genuinely surprised when I sad they were sold out.

I was also witness to the disappearing poly cup of coffee, it decided it liked the stairs and wanted to spread itself all over them rather than make it to the office. You had to be there to witness the casual exchange between the intended recipient of the coffee and the fetcher of the coffee explaining that it did not survive the journey from the cafe. I await more from the Paul and Mark show at some time in the future!!!

Ah well it’s been a fun year and no doubt next year all being well will be more of the same…..



The Santa special and a dog with two trees.

Today Tom and I spent a couple of hours at the station doing some maintenance, tidying up and replacing bits.

Our work was interrupted a couple of times by the Santa Special. Here are a couple of pictures of it.

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As always it had steam on one end and diesel on the other.

It was nice to see it full of happy passengers, the Santa trains provide a good portion of the railways income and profit, so nice to not see an empty seat.

Tom was in a happy mood today, actually like a dog with two trees!!

Recently the microwave the staff use at the station was failed when tested, I am not sure if that was due to old age, dodgy curries that have been heated in it over the years or some other factor.

Anyway Tom who is a regular user was like a child who has just found out the burger they just enjoyed was made from meat off their favourite pony when he found he could not heat his lunch. I should point out at this stage that Tom likes pots of indescribable stuff that looks as bad cold as it does hot.

So he took the bull by the horns, or in this case the microwave by it’s mains lead and bought us a new one. Here is a picture of the said device after Tom had unboxed it, hugged it and switched it on.


Ignore the phone on the top it’s there because we can’t decide where to put it, it’s not there to order a takeaway when whats in the oven gets cremated. The new oven also has a grill so heaven knows what concoctions the staff will cook in it.

Still it’s very kind of Tom to buy it so we would not have to loose sleep over his Saturday concoctions having to be cold.

So there you have it, an exciting couple of hours at Orton Mere, which is not so much the heart of the railway, look on it more as a dodgy leg!

Before anybody asks yes it was a bit cool down there as always in the winter.