Well that’s another weekend out of the way.
It was as I expected, the weekend before Easter is never very exceptional, it’s kind of like a lull before the storm that will arrive next week. The problem being that over a typical British Easter that storm can be anything from customers to hail or even snow.
Yet again Peter & Susan ran the station yesterday and I had Jason with me today.
Talking of a matter of scale as in the title of this posting here is a picture of the trainee guard today, as I say it’s all a matter of scale.
By scale I mean that some people say the line is a nice length at just over seven and a half miles whilst others say the think it’s a bit short. It’s horses for courses really I suppose. Personally I do think that our line is an ideal length for youngsters, any longer and I think they would start to get bored, this is confirmed by parents often saying the same thing to me.
These days children tend to have a shorter attention span than when I was a youngster, they often seem out of their depth if they don’t have a game of some sort in their hands. I have over the years several times seen children on the train with a game or tablet in their hands obviously getting more enjoyment out of that than the visit to the railway.
Perhaps we should look at what we offer youngsters both on the train and at stations. As with anything where the public visit we have to keep up with the times and offer something that appeals. Now I accept this can be difficult when our age range visitor wise is anywhere between three years and ninety three years.
In times like this when we need every penny in that we can get, the visitor experience is more important than ever, perhaps for example we should show more of the lines history right from the start in 1845 and cover important parts up to the current day. There has to be more than buy a ticket, travel on the train then go home, our visitors deserve more. But having said that delivering something that will appeal to people across such a wide age range is a challenge to say the least. I suppose we could look at what other museums and heritage railways offer and then use that as inspiration rather than just copy it. I think I will have to give this some thought from the perspective of Orton Mere. We shall see……