All we need now is a moat

Now Wednesday’s are not famous for excitement at Orton Mere, in fact they are often a good day for a kip between trains and running a book on how late each service will be.

But today was different, today we could look at the new barrier across the car park! Now admit it your jealous that we should have something so exciting happen on a Wednesday. But there it was a shiny new barrier cutting off the car park from the rest of civilisation.

Now I can understand why it’s been done to stop travellers using the site as a temporary stopping place and makeshift toilet/rubbish dump. But it will affect business with over 50% of the total car parking at Orton Mere now put out of use.

Still I gather I will be given a key so I can open it when I have need to use the car park for deliveries etc. All that power added to the station set of keys, how will I cope!!!! Mind you looking at the state of the delivery man when he appeared with my ice cream and other stock the key will be needed, despite me sending Nathan to help him with our sack truck. He had a slight gloss finish and was slightly out of breath when he got to the station building and I am sure that was not due to the excitement of being in Arkwright’s then again you never know, I have heard that it affects some members so much that their hearts beat harder and the excitement makes then gasp with pleasure at the thought of being on such hallowed ground as Orton Mere, that could also account for the problem in finding volunteers to cover opening days not to mention the fact that on many maps east of Wansford box is just an expanse of unmarked white paper!!

I have heard a rumour that the three stations are so far away from civilisation that Wansford is planning an expedition on Saturday to discover again these far off places and reward those taking part in the expedition with a train ride and cut price warm fish & chips.

We shall see on Saturday how this great expedition goes and if the secrets of the stations are rediscovered!!!!

mee mah mee mah mee mah

Well what an exciting day, well at the end anyway.

There we were set for a standard day with a busy shop and few passengers when we had a fire!! Now don’t get too excited Arkwright’s has not burnt down! The till and takings are safe!!!!

It was was one of the river side sheds, whoops must be correct, river side chalets!

Burning nicely when the last train came in to us on it’s way to Peterborough. I went to the crossing, somebody had already called the fire brigade so I opened the gates at the crossing so they could get their equipment across quickly. Especially as they thought gas cylinders were in there.

Train was held at city centre and then at my station until they were happy with the gas cylinders and had started to pump water from the river. meaning no hoses crossing the track.

Here is a shot of one of the engines. and also one of the firemen with some equipment in his hands, no sniggering at the back!!

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So all in all an exciting end to an average day. Except I got home just after 7pm

Gems from people at the crossing

Woman to her husband – Love is it me or can you smell smoke?

Is there a fire? As a fireman went past with a hose in his hand.

Man to wife – That’s a bloody big BBQ.

Nobody is going to f’ing well stop me crossing the river, well there are gas cylinders in there she was told, oh she replied I will give it a miss then.

Lets see if Wednesday can beat today for excitement!!

Well that was quite painless

The sun is still shining I am pleased to say.

Interesting day, I got to the station early and had the floor done and all the stuff out quite quickly, so I could sit down with a cuppa and relax before the hoards arrived.

It did not last.

Neville contacted me to say him and Robert would not be at FM as his wife was unwell, not a problem these things happen, but we did not have the staff to open FM and if I closed my station and opened there instead what we got there in turnover we would loose by my station being shut.

As it turned out it was a good decisio0n as we had a decent day in both tickets and shop sales, though because of the weather we did just one hot drink all day.

Stephen was with me today and he is a tall lad so mush get something for my stiff neck from looking upwards when I spoke to him.

The day with a few hiccups flowed quite well and hopefully will flow again on Sunday.

No real noticeable highlights today I am sorry to say.

One happy chappie with the complete set.

Many will have heard me tell customers that it’s never too late for a second childhood.

Well I have just started mine, the wife has bought me 3 DVD’s of Camberwick Green, Trumpton & Chigley.

Most enjoyable especially as I remember them from the first time round. They don’t make kids programmes like that these days. Then animation was by moving figures, taking a frame then moving them again.

All good stuff!!!

Yes I know this has nothing to do with the railway but there is a life away from it!!!!

Hot air, cold ice cream and lot’s of nothing.

Typical Wednesday at Orton Mere, which reminded me why I don’t open unless I need to.

Delivery came early and had Nathan to trundle it up the platform for me to the guards van when it went out to the other stations, all done on the first train each way.

Then that was it, lot’s of nothing customer wise, in other words a typical Wednesday at Orton Mere. Sold a bit in the shop but nothing of note until a nice chap right at the end of the day spent £16 on second hand books, Nathan was beside himself with excitement, me I was just amazed!!

Spoke on the phone to Roger when I got home about the new signage for OM and looking forward to that going up, we are throwing caution to the wind and they will be fixed in place and not removable each night as had been planned, time will see if they last but I look forward to seeing them in place.

Photo will follow when they are put up.

Heat hot air and tumbleweed

Well the hottest day of the year today and touched 31c at the station. Like a ghost town for most of the day due to all the sport, the first train back to Wansford has 6 passengers on it when it left us.

Had Nathan with me today and we had time for a doze on the platform between trains sitting in the shade, kept topped up with fluids as well, which bit into Arkwright’s pocket!!

Highlights of the day:- Kicking two east European women off the station for track trespass as they decided the track was the best option for a route to Longueville junction. Amazing how they spoke perfect English when they came in to buy a bottle of pop but understood nothing when challenged about the track trespass.

Then whilst waiting for transport home I got shouted at by a woman because we were closed and there was no toilet, she said that if we had been open she would have barged past us to use the staff one!  Well being minus my tie and signed off I told her in no uncertain terms exactly what I though of her and her attitude and exactly what would happen if she had tried to barge past us. Her husband just stood there and when she walked off amazed that I stood up to her he apologised for her behaviour!

I used to think the local idiots used to sniff the sugar beet but now convinced it’s something in the water!!! Still I got rid of the woman her poor husband had to take her home with him. Personally I would have dumped her in the park, gone home and changed the locks!

More excitement on Wednesday!!!

Heat blame it on the heat!!!

Well today was to put it mildly hot, you may have noticed unless you were in a dark cave watching the tennis!

Steady flow of customers but we also had an unexpected party arrive for the first train who had worked out a price with Wansford, so they did the effort and I got the turnover! Then at the last minute we had a rush for returns on the last train to Peterborough, problem was we did not see them again! So either they continued to Ferry on the return trip as they originally planned and then decided against or they are wandering the platform at PNV.

Now actively chasing platform tickets and sold a couple of them today so that was an extra £4 in the pot that we would not have otherwise had which can’t be a bad thing.

Sue my wife was with me today and it’s fair to say she does not like the heat, mind you she does not like the cold either but there we are who can work out the complex workings of the female of the species.

First three services were on time and the last was only a little late so not bad overall. Funny enough there was some nice light for photography today and my main permanent lookers who is there most weeks was not seen all day.

Sally and Nigel also popped in and it was nice to see them, and hopefully they will be back on the ROTA as staff availability continues to be a problem.

Biggest competition we had today was from of course the Peterborough Festival, Wimbledon tennis and the F1 qualifying, tomorrow will be even worse with the Football on as well.

Still Nathan is with me tomorrow, and he is a keen lad if I keep off the subject of buses I should be fairly safe!!

Well it arrived, too late but it arrived

Today started as dismal as yesterday but at the last minute some sunshine arrived, too late to affect business though I am sorry to say.

Paddy was with me today, as cheerful as ever. How he always manages to be happy never ceases to amaze me.

Some nice customers as well and for the second day running all services were on time, Paddy and I are still recovering from the shock!!!

Had a clutch of our permanent lookers today, those who take photographs on a regular basis, and in one case on a weekly basis but never buy anything and never support the railway. I am now on the prowl for platform tickets and today sold a couple. I expect sales to increase in the next couple of months!!

Busy week ahead so no time to open the station building on Wednesday but no doubt next Saturday will soon appear over the Horizon.

Flaming June!!! Flaming Horrible!!!

Was today really a day in summer? Certainly not at Orton Mere where it was cold, dull, dismal and at times wet, if it had not been for the fact the rain was warm you could have been excused for thinking it was more like October.

The poor weather reflected in the sales and passenger figures, poor would be an accurate description.

Nathan was with me today and even he seemed to be quieter than normal. Tonight is the Steaming Blues event at Wansford and I have the feeling that hot drinks may be in demand.

As for Orton Mere, we will see what tomorrow brings.

There are more than just trains to see.

To those who are desperate enough to read this blog on a regular basis you will recall I spent part of last Saturday at Ferry Meadows station.

One of the things Ferry Meadows has is a nice range of flowers and quite often people will be more interested in photographing some of them rather than just the trains.

So here are a few of the flowers taken last Saturday.

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There is nothing more relaxing than sitting on the platform in the sunshine with the bees buzzing amongst the flowers eating lunch washed down with a bottle of pop!!