Monthly Archives: July 2019

The Eastenders at the East End!

Last weekend plus Tuesday saw a bit of excitement at Orton Mere.

We played host to the BBC who were shooting some scenes for the soap Eastenders.

Shall we say it was an interesting weekend!

Certainly on any of the three days the weather was not in their favour, but they were a hardy bunch and just got on with what needed to be done.

Saturday was setup day and watching them you realised how much effort is needed and put into shooting what will end up as just a few scenes in a single episode.
Watching them you rapidly realise that they have done the same things thousands of times before, and that they are skilled at their job. Oh that I could get new station signs put up so quickly in real life.

Sunday was the first of two days shooting and it rained for 95% of the time. Now I must admit I think this worked in our favours. It kept the watchers and the none paying public away and let them just get on with it.

Now before you ask me which of the actors and what the story line was I will admit to not having a clue. I am not a soap fan so had no idea who was in what they were filming. But the actors, crew and extras were a pleasure to see at work, and appreciate the professionalism and commitment they put into the whole thing.
Now the cynical amongst you might well be saying that they are well paid for what they do, and whilst this is true it does not in any way detract from their obvious professional attitude.

Monday was a fine day, shame they were filming at Wansford and not at Orton Mere! But, they were back on Tuesday and so was the rain. By late afternoon the filming was finished, the set all dismantled and they were all gone, it was as though they had never been there in the first place.

We were set for a wet quiet boring weekend with few passengers. But we ended up with three interesting days and an insight into a whole new world.

We are all looking forward to more filming at the station, and who know what it will be next time.

You could not make it up.

I know I have not posted for a couple of weeks, but to be honest there has been nothing worth posting about, exciting or otherwise.

Then we come to the past week.

In the last week we have had record temperatures and the hottest July day on record. Then we come to the weekend, and what do we get?

We get two days almost constant rain and a car park that, if it flooded anymore could perhaps qualify as a lake! It’s been cool to say the least and as dismal as hell.

We saw a few customers but nothing worth mentioning. It’s been more like October than late July.

Oh well we will see what next weekend brings, I would say it’s can’t be any worse but I don’t want to tempt fate.

Not normally on a Wednesday.

Some days are better than others.

Now I can already see the start of a glazed look of confusion, so let me explain.

Certain days of the week are, business wise better than others.

In the case of Orton Mere station the best days are normally Saturday and Sunday, assuming of course that the trains are running.

But what about other days? Well we often run services on a Wednesday so what about that day business wise? What indeed.

Wednesday running days are nothing like the weekend, for a start most of the locals are at work. The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that I don’t normally open Orton Mere on a Wednesday. The reason for this is simple. normally it’s dead and it can cost me more to get too and from the station than I take in the till!

For a time we opened every Wednesday that the trains ran, and my worst ever days business wise have all been Wednesdays. The average customers were normally bored mothers with an ankle snapper in tow, we provided a place for them to meet their friend complete with their own ankle snapper and spend an hour or so nursing a single drink and chat to their friend whilst the ankle snappers ran riot screaming round the place.

I wondered more than once why they could hear every word their friends said but could not hear the screams of their off springs. Their conversations were normally loud and covered a variety of subjects ranging from the state of their love life, the chances of getting a baby sitter for the following Friday so they could go to a local club and come home with a few hours entertainment in the horizontal mode, to the chances of their next period arriving on time or even at all.

Trust me it was not worth the one pound they had paid in those days for their tea or coffee It was like a real life agony aunt page from the current favourite womens magazine. So we abandoned Wednesday opening and regained our hope in the younger generation.

But last Wednesday I needed a delivery so we thought what the hell we would open. Tom helped me with cover and Rosemary turned up to do the garden.

By 9.15am the delivery had arrived and was sorted, so we settled down with a good book. In total we had four visitors, two to travel who already had tickets, a third looking for a toilet and the fourth looking for sympathy. The last two were both disapointed.

Wednesdays had not changed. Shame we are there again this week for some electrical work!!