But what was your favourite bit?

I received an email this afternoon and the question it asked was simple, it was “What was your favourite bit this year?”

Well that’s easy to answer, but first lets look at some of the bits that were not my favourite bit.

The steam gala was the event of the year, the weekend just flowed the trains were full and people travelled, Tornado, Bittern & City of Peterborough were one hell of a combination for visitors to travel behind especially as Bittern has never pulled services on the NVR before. It was the best weekend I have ever had on the railway.

The visits of Tornado which was with us twice in the year were popular and put the railway even more on the heritage map. If you want a photogenic locomotive then Tornado is the one.

The diesel galas, whilst bringing money in were as usual a slog, what makes the average diesel fan who attends these events generally rude, ignorant and lacking even the most basic of manners? I just don’t know do you?

We had the Olympic torch with both the dummy run and also the event itself, with the lantern being paraded down the platform, I am sorry but I don’t think it was worth the effort and costs involved.

So with that lot out of the way what was my favourite bit? Well that’s easy the best bit of the year occurred many times actually and that was speaking to passengers and visitors who had enjoyed their visit, and left the station happy and smiling. I always try and speak to as many people getting off when they return to my station as I can. Their smiles and comments make the whole thing worth while, nothing makes my day more than people having enjoyed their visit. They make the days when the weather is terrible and you stand seeing a train out with the rain pouring down the back of your neck and the cold wind chilling your bones insignificant.

Some of the volunteers seem to loose sight of the fact that if it was not for the paying public there would be no railway, the keenness of the members alone cannot pay for the coal, diesel and other running costs. Without the visitors we would not have the enjoyable days we do at the railway.

This will be the last blog of 2012 and I would like to thank all those who have helped me at the station in the last twelve months, even if you did just a few days we could not have done it without you, so my sincere thanks to you all and I look forward to working with you all again in 2013. This year has been fun and I hope you all enjoyed it with me.

But my special thanks to my ever suffering wife Sue, I know she has helped me when she would rather be at home than hugging the Urn in the kitchen to keep warm when the temperature was below zero. She may not realise it until she reads this but the days we do together at Orton Mere are very special to me and I thank her for every one of them.

So to the Volunteers, the visiting public and especially the paying passengers who make the whole thing so special.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and please bring your money with you again to the station in 2013!!!!