1+ 1 = two days

I am pleased to say that Easter Saturday and Sunday have both been most enjoyable. Sue the wife has been with me and keeping me in order, so that makes it even more pleasurable that a normal running day.

Not that warm I must admit but some nice sunshine. Both days we have run a two locomotive service with a 4F steam and a class 14 diesel. For the desperate here are a couple of pictures.

100_0590  100_0588

As always riding behind the steam locomotive was the most popular amongst the passengers.

Customer wise we have had in some really nice people, and lots of sympathy over the closure of the public toilets, though if one more person describes the closure as a “Bog Standard” problem I will throttle them!!

As you will see in the above pictures there has been some sunshine, and that has lead to a good run on ice cream, which is always a good profit earner. As are teas and coffees which have been going out of the door at a steady rate of knots. Bottled Coke and Pepsi has also gone well, but unlike last year bottled water is not exactly a big seller.

Highlights of the two days…..

The chap on Saturday when the class 14 was approaching who asked me if it was a steam diesel!!!

The woman who is a regular who came in for a couple of Magnums, and commented that her partner had come in the previous week and had made the wrong choice, “Come to think of it” she said “the last time he made a good choice was when he chose me!!”

Steam service just pulling out of the station when a chap arrived looked at it and asked if he had missed the steam train!!

A couple of families on the Saturday came in looking for the small narrow gauge train that runs in Ferry Meadows park and they seems genuinely confused that we were running a full sized train. They were pointed in the right direction.

Nigel popped in yesterday with his brother in law and today with Sally his better half, they had been photographing the trains today and called in to say hello and have a drink. Always nice to chat to staff when they pop in.

Right after two days excitement I am off for a lie down to prepare myself for the excitement of Easter Monday with Paddy helping, it will be an interesting day….

On the first day of Easter

Well I was right it rained today, though that did not stop some hardy souls from venturing out and spending some money.

The toilets in the car park have been closed as from 31st March by the council in a cost cutting exercise so they can waste money elsewhere. A few comments from passers by but it will be the first decent day weather wise when we have problems.

Certainly the closure will cause us problems with people wanting to use a toilet.

Nice people in today, caught two young lads track trespassing and read them the riot act.

Peter H was with me today for the first time this year and it was nice to have a  natter with him, and we put the world to rights between us.

In true tradition the train was late on all services but nobody seemed to mind at all.

We will see what Saturday brings with six trains each way and two locomotives in operation.

It’s raining it must almost be Easter

Well sitting here looking at the rain coming down. Should be super for the next ten days as we trundle through Easter and the week beyond.

No doubt at the end of it we will want a bulk purchase of something to calm us down.

It’s a funny time the week after Easter as we will have mothers pushing their children along in buggies or shouting at them to keep up.

Over Easter itself there will be families out with dad looking as though he would rather be sitting in front of the TV watching the endless sport.

Plus of course the rain and the wind, those two ingredients are becoming more of a tradition than Easter eggs.

So here we go ten days of fun and counting……………………………………

STOP PRESS:- Ice cream saves the world. Woman almost wets herself!!!!

Would you believe it, we have ice cream in again and it seems like we have saved the world.

I have never seen people so happy at being able to buy a Cornetto, one women almost wet herself first thing that we had a selection of three different flavours. No mini milks this year at 40p they are a pain in the rear and people always buy their little darlings something more expensive anyway!

Overall it was a good day on Sunday with comic capers transferring stuff via the trains.

It all went like this:- My pouch which is used to send stuff to mission control was dropped off at Ferry Meadows and the TTI tried to give me theirs. That got sorted out second train, when I also received three info sheets, one for each station, they had been put off at FM with the pouch and finally sent to me. Shame one was for FM so that went back on the second train.

Stock to city centre and FM reached it’s destination all OK I am pleased to say. Trade was steady through the day but kept us busy, I had Susan with me from city centre, and I must say she is a good worker, she was on the go all the time, the regulars liked her as well which is always a bonus.

Highlight of the day was just as I was arriving, I got accosted by a jogger who complained that he had to stop as he went over the railway foot crossing and open the gates, I educated him as to why the gates shut behind him and how it was not really a good idea to dispose with the gates all together!

Trains were on time as well which was a bonus, the sun was out and all was well with the world!

All I need to do now is find cover for Good Friday.

Sun, fun and an incident form.

What a super day, the sun shone and it was nice to see trains out without wearing a fleece, certainly the most enjoyable day of the year so far.

Paddy and Harry were in form and helped the day go quickly.

Three services each way and a small rush for tickets on the first service got the day off to a good start. A few regulars appeared out of the woodwork as well which was nice.

Had the pleasure of filling in an incident form when a male complete with child and dog decided to trot up the track after the second service into Peterborough, it never ceases to amaze me that adults would encourage their children through their own actions to trespass on an operational running railway. In my humble opinion they are saying to their child that it is OK to trespass on a railway, well perhaps next time it will be on a main line and the trains will be going a darn sight faster than ours do. This is the one subject I feel most strongly about.

Anyway the nice pleasurable bits of the day offset that incident. Nice to see the trains busy and people enjoying themselves, and most importantly spending money!!

Had a brief chat with Neville and Robert at Ferry meadows on the way home and that always rounds the day off nicely.

All in all an excellent day.

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.