Three plus One

On my best behaviour today, had the wife with me and also Paddy.

Nice to be back at Orton Mere after last weeks expedition to Ferry Meadows.

Quite on the trains and in the station, not really a day to be out and about.

One of the gates off the crossing by the station had been ripped off and thrown in the river by the Mere.

It was rescued by members of the canoe club and put back into place with the able assistance of Paddy & Harry, it’s removal was another act of senseless vandalism that seems to take place from time to time irrespective of where you are.

Harry has started his years work on the garden and he has put in some hours this weekend and it’s already looking nice.

But the highlight of the day was the thank you train for the volunteers after the last service. Really nice to see people who I don’t often see and an excellent buffet as well. Plus a ride behind the 4f steam locomotive.

All in all a super day irrespective of the lack of customers and the gate problem.

I know the person I am named after

Well I have just done the Arkwright Quiz on the UKTV web site and I scored 20/20 100%

Arkwright by name Arkwright by nature!!!

Arkwright on holiday day two

Well  second day at Ferry Meadows and second day of the diesel gala today.

I have found this gala a bit unusual, not one miserable passenger, not one moan or groan. For a diesel gala it is not natural!!

Had Peter C with me today and have not seen Peter since before Christmas so really nice to work with him again, and hopefully  will do again many more times this year. He is one of the people who helps make the day just flow and be enjoyable.

Trains started late and ended up on time today, which is something else unusual, but not to be moaned at. Matt one of the guards has his normal big smile, looked like an extra white light on the train! He is always happy, must be something in the Ely water supply.

Talking of always happy Harry popped in for a chat both days, and he is always happy as well, quite tires me out it does all this happiness!!

Enjoyed my two days at Ferry Meadows but will be pleased to get back to my own station next Sunday.

Quotes from the weekend:-

1 Could you turn the sound off on the crossing as I want to film the train over the crossing and the warning sound will ruin the film.

2 Do you do tea? Yes… Excellent, one coffee please!

3 Is this one day ticket good for both days? (This was when it was purchased on the second day!!)

4 Do trains pass at this station? (For those who don’t know we have at FM one track and one platform).

Had some good reports from some of my regulars about Sally and Nigel who were babysitting Orton Mere for the weekend, which were nice to hear, as people will more often moan than they will praise. One woman commented about Peter at PNVR saying she would have liked to have popped him in her pocket, Can’t really comment as I did not see the size of the pocket!

No more services now until next Sunday but a busy week ahead work wise.

Arkwright on holiday day one

This weekend sees the first day of the two day spring diesel gala and old Arkwright is looking after Ferry Meadows.

Now this is the station where it all began for me on the railway when I spent my first year there, it was nice be back there looking after it, I got there at 7.30am and got myself sorted out ready for the rush.

Paddy was my co-pilot and we had a really good day, nice passengers especially those off the caravan site.

The sun even shone as well which was a bonus.

But in all honesty I really missed Orton Mere and look forward to being back there next week, I miss the banter with the regulars and not least knowing where everything is! I don’t think I would like to be back as Ferry Meadows on a permanent basis.

So tomorrow is the second day of the holiday, but as is often the case on a holiday I can’t wait to get back home to Orton Mere again!!!

A run on tea

Funny old day today, not a single ticket sold but a nice run on tea and coffee.

A flood in the car park did not help, but early on we had a visit by a visit from Sky, no Arkwright is not destined to be a TV star, he was looking to film as they had received reports of possibly people drowning in the flooded river. He was redirected to a place with even more water further down the river. This was because many of the people who I would given the chance happily chuck in the river were not in sight.

Trains all ran slightly late as per normal and the normal photography lookers and not spenders out in force down at the foot crossing.

Not as cold as it has been I am pleased to say but dull damp and dismal.

Day passed quickly with Nigel and Sally helping and highlight of the day was shelves falling out of an old dilapidated display stand as it was being taken out to go to PNVR for appraisal, in the end it went via PNVR to mission control at Wansford for disposal. Good job it was not mirrored glass or poor Nigel would have had 21 years bad luck!

Flat packed cardboard box arrived for recycling batteries in, I opened it took one look at the flat pack box which looked like an MFI reject without the unreadable instructions and passed it to Nigel to unfold and sort which he did in double quick time and had a that was easy grin on his face when he showed it me.

Nigels comment made me remember our lost walkers, two who walked down the track because they claimed they got lost and there was water covering the path they were on, Heaven knows how they thought railway ballast was a path but then again it takes all sorts, they were spoken to and left the station.

Next week we have the spring Diesel Gala and Arkwright is off to look after Ferry Meadows for the weekend, I will be babysitting it for Neville and Robert. It will make a change to go back to the station I first started at on the railway and I am looking forward to it, though no doubt I will be happy to get back to my own station the week after.

Care in the community.

A few people have sent me emails asking for more amusing moments from the cutting edge of a station on a preserved railway.

So I am more than happy to oblige.

Things we have been asked or told recently.

1 Do you sell doggie do do bags and shovels?

2 Why don’t you have bus timetables as you have your railway one?

3 Why was that last train on time, it’s normally late and I have missed it

4 My son and I just want a single to Wansford but to save daddy driving to collect us can we use the single both ways?

5 This coffee is hot! I did not expect that (Heaven knows if she likes cold coffee)

6 I dropped 50p outside on the path last week has it been handed in?

7 We don’t have a steam railway by where we live, and we go on it regularly (Don’t ask!!!)

8 I know you can take bikes on the train how about cars?

As you can see care in the community is alive and well. Tomorrow we will be open and running a steam service, I await with interest to see what will drift customer wise through the doors.


Snow stops play

Well yet more snow today anybody would think it was winter!!

All three stations shut,(PNVR later decided to open) I doubt if many will be about at OM but then again we do get the odd crackpot who will think it’s worth trotting out in this weather.

Shame really as a day working with Paddy will always bring amusement, still I can sit in the warm which can’t be a bad alternative to getting cold and soaked on a station.

Cold with intermittent humour

Well three staff today at OM with Nigel and his wife Sally, and a most enjoyable day as well.

Civils down again replacing sleepers, and a bit of shunting thrown in, we were at the cutting edge of excitement today. I am still not sure how we coped with all the excitement.

A few passengers as well to keep us awake between trains, ranging from a chap first thing who said he would be back to get the first train into Peterborough (We are still awaiting his return) to a chap with a cream crackered dog who was past it’s peak after a walk into the city centre.

The non-paying lookers all seemed to be hibernating as well so that was another result!

Highlight of the day was popping off at FM on the way home and having a quick chat with Neville and Robert, always an enjoyable end to the day. But I do wish Stagecoach buses would teach their drivers where the heating on switch is!!

Paddy with me on Sunday so better get my beauty sleep in as he will tire me out as usual.

Feeling Guilty

After opening the station on Tuesday I have been closed yesterday and today as I have lots of work business wise. Mind you looking at the weather for the last couple of days I would be amazed if there have been more than 5 passengers in total travelled from the station for both days.

But I must admit to feeling guilty not opening the station. Even though I am a volunteer the instinct from spending all my working life in a customer service environment makes me feel guilty not being open and getting in the money!

Back to normal on Saturday so weather permitting we will see what we can do money wise over the weekend.

Now back to enjoying the snow!!!!

A cracking day Grommet

Well what an excellent day, busier passenger wise than either Saturday and Sunday. Amazing how a bit of sun brings people out.

There were some nice people as well, Paddy and I put the world to rights between trains so most enjoyable.

Paddy arrived on a new bike he got for Christmas, you can tell it’s the new one because there is less mud on it!!

Class 14 Diesel pulling the main service rather than steam, but all passengers were happy, one bunch even commented it would be nice to travel behind both diesel and steam!!

Gem of the day was two women with a bunch of kids who looked through the door, looked at me and one said to the other “I don’t think this is the type of place we can sit for a few hours and not buy something.”  How right they were!!!!

Although the trains are tuning the next couple of days OM station building will be closed as I have a busy time work wise. So next bit of excitement will be on Saturday.