Not of this planet.

Now as many of you know, before writing this blog I used to do one of my own based upon my experiences running Orton Mere Station for fourteen years. I also did five short articles covering the first five years at the railway.

These are no longer on-line. However, I have commenced writing a book covering my almost 17 years on Nene Valley Railway. This will be published as an e-book and 50% of the profits will be donated to the railway.

Because of this I have been thinking back to some of the more, shall we say strange visitors I have never mentioned before in my musings and writings.

One which I must admit I had forgotten about came to mind. So here it is, on an average weekend running day.

It was a summer Saturday afternoon, and for once the sun was shining. I was in my normal position behind the counter guarding the till.

In walked this middle aged lady and without saying a word she took two Mars bars out of her pocket and slammed them down on the counter.

Looking at me she uttered a single word. “Refund.”

Looking at her with no doubt a look of disbelief on my face. I pointed out that she had not bought them from us.

She then informed me that she had bought them from a local shop not to far away but did not now want them. Then she also informed me that the shop in question had refused her a refund. Despite her telling me that she had made a scene in the shop in question.

So with distorted logic she decided that she would get a refund elsewhere, and joy of joys she had chosen Orton Mere Station.

She went a lovely shade of red as I informed her she would not see me refunding something I had not sold.

Thankfully I was not subject to a slanging match. Loudly she stated that we were providing lousy customer service. Then when I pointed out that actually she was not a customer she picked up the Mars bars whilst emitting a scream that sounded like dodgy brakes on a diesel and stormed out of the station. As she passed to rubbish bin she slung the Mars bars into it.

Me, I took a deep breath looked at the man standing the other side of the counter with an open mouth and uttered the immortal words.

“Yes what can I do for you?”

With a straight face he said “Got any Mars bars?”

We looked at each other for a few seconds then both burst out laughing.

It was just a normal day at Orton Mere.

When a weekend just flows.

When we look back at previous years we tend to remember the special events, Thomas weekends and galas etc.

We tend to forget for want of a better description “The normal weekends.” Where everything just flows. When the trains run on time, the sun shines and we have some really nice visitors.

See you’re remembering some now. The weekends where you sit down on a Sunday afternoon and think to yourself. I enjoyed that!

You may find when you think back that there are more normal weekends than you thought there were.

These weekends are important to the railway as they bring in revenue and more importantly Profit!

So when you realise it’s just a normal weekend, enjoy it, after all enjoying volunteering at the railway is what it’s all about.

Bahamas on the Nene Valley Railway

This weekend saw the locomotive Bahamas running on the line.

Here are four pictures of the locomotive kindly sent to me by Thomas Woolley.

© Thomas Woolley
© Thomas Woolley
© Thomas Woolley
© Thomas Woolley

Well it’s here!

The locomotive Bahamas arrived yesterday, and is with us over a couple of weeks.

It’s pulling services on 21st & 22nd plus 28th, 29th &30th over August bank Holiday as well as other events and driver experience.

Have a look on the main web site for event details and timetable. If your looking for a good day out then please come, travel behind the locomotive and support the railway.

Should you just be planning to visit and take pictures please remember to buy a platform ticket etc. It’s cost a lot of money to bring the loco in and none paying visitors will do nothing to ensure the weekend is a success and enable us to bring in more locomotives.

Here’s to a great visit by the locomotive.

Just one of those days

Occasionally we have a day where everything aligns and it’s as near a perfect day as you can get.

Yesterday August 4th was such a day.

The weather was just right, not too hot, not too cold.
The trains all ran to within a minute of time and we were busy.

It was a perfect day, and here’s to many more of them as we trundle through summer.

If you were one of the visitors who travelled yesterday, we hope you enjoyed the experience and come and visit us again soon.

It’s big loco time.

One thing that’s always popular with volunteers and visitors alike is the visit of a big loco.

The 15th August sees the arrival of the locomotive “Bahamas.”

Now I could wax lyrical about all the events that it will be doing whilst it’s with us, but instead please look at the main railway web page at www.nvr.org.uk for the latest information.

If you can’t visit the railway and experience a ride behind the locomotive then please remember the cameras we have via Railcam covering Wansford and Orton Mere. The Railcam site is at www.railcam.uk. If you are not a member of Railcam then one of our two Wansford cams can be seen on YouTube.

Here is the YouTube feed of our main Wansford cam.

It will be a super visit so please come along to one of the events and travel behind this superb locomotive. As good as they are cameras are no substitute for a trip behind a locomotive.

I will be on the YouTube cam chat on most of the Bahama running days so if you have any questions or queries then please give “Old Arkwright” a yell. Though please note I can’t deal with ticket or booking enquiries.

Well that was a nice weekend.

Some weekends can, shall we say be a little difficult. Due to things like breakdowns or the weather. But last weekend was not one of those

Saturday saw the main service diesel hauled by the Peak locomotive, which seems to be popular with both normal visitors and enthusiasts. Please note I am not saying that enthusiasts are not normal!!!

There were two cream tea runs as well using the Polish steam locomotive and the continental coaches. Nice to see people on there enjoying themselves. The day was topped off with a Gin evening on the train, again very popular and something we have not done before.

Sunday was tame by comparison with the Polish tank engine pulling the Mk1 coaches. It ran to time all day, which is always a bonus.

Weekends like this are important to the railway, it’s been a far from normal period that we are hopefully coming out of. But we need events that appeal to visitors and are also profitable.

Bahamas arrives on the 7th August and there are some great events planned with that and I look forward to observing them.

It promises to be a good summer and then we have the Santa trains, always popular with both the public and the volunteers alike.

Sitting typing this in the evening where it’s still a bit on the warm side perhaps the Santa trains in cooler weather can’t come quick enough.

Something to cool you down in the hot weather.

All clear!! Or is it?

Well a lot of the restrictions are being lifted on Monday, the railway will not have a restriction on seating numbers and the rover ticket is being reintroduced.

The question is of course is for how long? The number of infections, especially amongst the young is skyrocketing.

So all the railway can do is as much as it can to make visitors enjoy a visit without being restricted or limited.

So we shall see how it goes, we can of course do nothing more, but personally at the moment I feel like I do on a bright summers day.

It won’t last!

Please note these views are mine and do not represent any policies of the railway now or in the future.