Watercress Line

Easter 2016 Day Out With Thomas at the Miniature Railway

The event got off to a cracking start for us on Good Friday as we set a new record for the number of passengers carried in a single day, namely 1368. This easily beat our previous best of 1209 set on the last day of the August 2015 DOWT. However, we were brought sharply back down to earth over the next few days as the bad weather took its toll. The lowest ebb was on Easter Sunday which got off to the worst possible start with a hail storm! This curtailed our very first run of the day at our yard where the crew and passengers abandoned the train and sought shelter in our container. We only made 40 runs that day and carried a meagre 230 passengers. Numbers gradually recovered throughout the week, with the sunshine on Saturday and Sunday bringing us a creditable 1071 and 997 passengers respectively. Throughout the entire 10 days of the event we made 871 round trips during which we carried 7131 passengers. 871 round trips equates to approximately 132 miles – not a bad effort for our little train. Now then how many miles did Thomas do?

Our second platform was brought into use and, thanks to some excellent Entry and Exit signs (courtesy of Callum and his Father); the flow of passengers was greatly eased during busy periods. During the quieter periods we did offer passengers the option of a second ride if they wished. I was quite taken aback when one Mother with her young son responded “we have been on it 5 times already!” Heard another Mother say “he’d spend all day on this if I let him!”

The Vicar and PC Plod helped to direct people in our direction and we are very grateful to Karen Butler, not only for her entertaining commentary but, also for ensuring that we got regular plugs! Whilst on the subject of thanking people we must also pass on our thanks to the T-Junction staff for keepings us supplied with hot drinks. Also many thanks are due to all of the following who helped run the Miniature Railway during the event; Dave Hill, Keith Hoddy (both of whom along with myself were present every single day), Martin Pratt, Tony Jarrett, Tony Neal, Adam Kellie, Cameron Palmer, Martin Champion and Ben Skelton.

Special mention needs to be made of three other people namely:

  • Callum Dyer as not only did he supply the splendid station signs but he also spent his 18th Birthday with us. He did get some stick about this!
  • Richard Matthews who spent 8 of the 10 days with us - we excused him the other two as apparently he had some footplate job or other to attend to! He also erected a temporary shelter near the station to keep Patricia dry.
  • Young Jacob Whitelegg (son of the proprietors of the Spoilt4Choice caterers that kept us well stocked with bacon rolls) who stepped into the breach when we were short staffed on the last day and did a sterling job for us.

Apologies to anyone I have missed out but rest assured that the efforts of all who have helped us are greatly appreciated. Now we are back to running our normal Saturday service whilst trying to keep up with the myriad of jobs that always need doing. If anybody feels like getting involved then they would be most welcome, just pop along any Saturday.

Photo gallery