Monthly Archives: June 2019

Changeable but we are not sure what to.

Considering we have no control over it the UK weather is often a topic for discussion on a regular basis.

Having just seen the forecast for the coming weekend, I have come to the conclusion that it’s all hit and miss.

First they say it will get warmer, then it will get hot, then we could have heavy rain and storms on Sunday evening. But this could possibly change.

The above covers an average summer weekend.

In other words we will get what we get and that’s it.

As with any location that relies on visits from the general public the weather is very important to us. Too cold and they will not visit, too hot and they will go to the seaside instead. Speaking from the point of view of my station it can be hot and sunny in the afternoon, but if it was cool and dismal first thing in the morning then we will have a quiet day.

But in all fairness we have had some cracking days money wise when it’s been chucking it down with rain and some poor days when it’s been a really nice day.

I suppose if I am being really honest all we can do is turn up on the day and see what happens.

In other words an average weekend!

Embracing Technology.

Now people who know me know that I love technology. But not everybody is the same.

Take Paddy for instance. Now Paddy as far as technology goes has life membership to the Luddite Society.

Rumour has it that he is not even comfortable with a ball point pen, preferring to use a traditional quill pen wherever possible.

So imagine the shock on Sunday when he produced a mobile phone. He sneaked out to make a call, phone in one hand and instructions in the other.

The temptation was just too much, I gave him a couple of minutes to get sorted and then I sneaked out to get proof that he was using it to actually make a call.

This picture is the proof.

I am still in a state of shock, next we will discover he uses email! Mind you bet he has a dial up modem!

Now that was not too bad.

As I have said several times in the past, some weekends just flow and others are a pain in the proverbial rear.

I am pleased to report that last weekend was the former. Everything fell into place and the weekend just flowed both days.

At Wansford we had a model railway exhibition, and it seemed popular judging from the number of tickets I sold for the trains from people who said they were visiting the exhibition.

The weather was with us which of course helped, and it only rained just as we were locking up on the Sunday evening. It’s always nice when things just go right, and we can go home happy with having had a good weekend.

But of course that’s not always the case and the law of averages says that you will have some shall we say difficult weekends. How difficult depends on the expectations of the person or persons you have to deal with.

Over the forty six odd years I have worked with the general public I have come across some people whose expectations have been shall we say, not in line with other people. Many people have either selective memories, vision or hearing and I have known a few who have suffered from all three. Now it’s fair to say that we learn very little from good weekends but we can earn a great deal from the difficult ones. The most important thing we learn very quickly is to tell the difference between those with genuine problems and those who just want either a refund or a freebie, but don’t actually have a problem.

Now those who know me know that I don’t suffer fools gladly. If somebody has a genuine legitimate problem then I will do my very best to sort it. But if my Bovine Excrement meter kicks in the they will get no sympathy from me at all. Over the fourteen plus years of running Orton Mere I have had to kick out very few people trying to get something for nothing, but kick them out I have. We are all volunteers but we try to do a professional service for the visitors, we are after all often their first impression of the railway.

But these people are thankfully few and far between and will normally disappear when they realise they have been rumbled. Perhaps I should do a mini series on the worst and best visitors of the last fifteen years to Orton Mere, would there be any interest? Answers as a comment to this post please.