Monthly Archives: August 2017

What went wrong with the weather at the weekend?

Last weekend saw another of those great institutions that we British like, we had a Bank Holiday.

Now for my overseas readers, and you both know who you are, a bank holiday is where we make the weekend last three days and have a lousy bus service on the Sunday and the Monday.

Normally bank holidays are also spent dodging howling winds, driving rain and the occasional bit of sleet.

But last weekend it all went wrong, we had warm weather and sunshine all three days. Now to be fair we did have a few spots of rain very early on Sunday morning, we saw the spots on the platform, but  in all fairness that could have been one of the local kids having a pee off the road bridge that runs over the top of the station.

Now ever keen to make the most of the visitors who were wandering round in a daze and unsure of what the round bright thing in the sky was the railway managed to run some services late, officially it was due to the cream teas on the later trains. But personally I did hear that on all three days there were reports of deck chairs at the end of platform two especially for the crews to recover in and to calm down after passing Orton Mere and not being mugged for money.

Other highlights over the three days were Paddy on Saturday going round like a terrier on speed, on the Sunday we had Jason refusing to discuss the fetish he had for photographing elephants whilst he was recently in Africa. With the main highlight being on Monday when Tom said his diet was going well as he munched through a bag of crisps.

Personally my highlight was on the Sunday when a visitor stood in the cafe and uttered the immortal words…. I never knew this cafe was here. Immortal in as much as he had said the exact same thing the week previously.

We had a good number of entrants in the I am wearing the stupidest pair of shorts competition. With a few women of advanced years wearing short shorts, proving the fact that they should have ironed their legs before they left home.

As always we had several examples of the fact that most of the dogs we get are a darn sight better behaved than many of the children. Perhaps to correct this I should sell the dogs an ice cream and give the children a Bonio.

So here we are with rain forecast for tomorrow, serve the railway right for running a Wednesday service! With colder weather forecast at the weekend.

Soon have to sort out the heating at Orton Mere ready for the winter, if I could only remember where I put the candles we group together and the box of matches. There is no truth in the rumour that we keep the change in warm water in the winter so we do not suffer frost bite handing it out. But the rumour that you can, during November have a cold drink off the side or a warm one out of the chiller is true. Ah the happy days of ice floating in the top of the bottled water.



Stamp cover on sale

This saturday sees a stamp cover on sale only at Orton Mere.

The object is to encourage visitors to the station.

Cost is £5 each and there are just 100

Here is what it looks like.

Click on it for a larger image

Tootling through August

Well here we are working our way through August. So far it’s been a mediocre month weather wise.

This weekend is yet another bank holiday so three days of no doubt cloudy skies. The only good thing is that at least the rain is warm this time of year!

We are still missing a lot of the locals from previous years, I have no idea where they have gone, we always loose a few each year but this year we have lost a fair number.

One thing we have had this year is a number of nice visitors on holiday visit the railway, it’s always nice to chat to people from outside the area, their impression of the city and what it offers is interesting to hear about. Favourite things seem to be the river walks, the cycle paths and places to visit. The one thing most people seem to have in common is that they are not impressed with the city centre and what it has to offer.

It’s also interesting to hear what they have to say about the railway when they are ending their visit, generally their remarks are very positive about the experience with good comments being received about the cafe and the shop as well as the staff on the trains. There is no one thing that lots of people mention as not being enjoyable so we must be doing things right, or as right as we can.

Now we can get ready for the bank holiday, safe in the knowledge that the rain will be warm and the clouds will stop us getting too hot..

You can lead a horse to water, but to do so you first need a horse.

Last weekend was interesting, it was the first weekend of August and looking back at figures for the last ten years or so it was not going to be busy at the station. It’s the weekend where the locals are coming back off holiday having gone as soon as school broke up for the summer.

Actually having said that ticket sales were not bad both Saturday and Sunday but there was hardly anybody about to avail themselves of what was on offer in the shop.

The locals were either still away or in hiding, the weather did not help with rain on both days at some stage. Almost all those we spoke to were visiting the area and staying locally, I think in most cases they visited the railway purely for something to do for either the day or the afternoon.

There were highlights however, the best being a swan in the middle of the track when one of the services was approaching from Wansford. The driver I think it was got off and chased the swan away. It was observed from the station platform with some amusement as the swan was far fitter and faster than the driver. To paraphrase a saying, the sights you see when you don’t have a camera!

The weather is not on our side this summer, certainly I hope we will be busier through the rest of August and into September, we have some good events planned but it is as always in the lap of the weather gods. I don’t look at the long term weather forecast simply because it changes so often. But hopefully the sun will make more appearances than it has been, we shall wait and see with interest.