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Selkent

Would you ever work on a real full size steam railway

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On 20/07/2019 at 09:16, brack said:

Produced by the aforementioned breeding program?

 

Some yes. My in-laws met whilst volunteering on the Talyllyn in the 70’s.

 

Volunteering is up to personal choice. I find I get pleasure from seeing steam railways continue on into the future. As well as carrying out my roles, it’s also rewarding to train others up to perform the same role like others did to me. After 28 years, I’ve not grown bored of the TR and doubt I ever will, plus I’ve made some very good friends along the way.

 

These railways closed down because they were unprofitable, without me and others giving our time, they would  die out. But you’ve got to gain a sense of enjoyment from volunteering to do so.

 

Andrew

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If I lived fairly close to one, I'd probably ask em if they wanted anyone to do a bit of welding / general engineering, ...tho if it turned out there were little bitchy cliques forming up for handbag fights, I couldn't be arsed with all that...!

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14 hours ago, Porkscratching said:

If I lived fairly close to one, I'd probably ask em if they wanted anyone to do a bit of welding / general engineering, ...tho if it turned out there were little bitchy cliques forming up for handbag fights, I couldn't be arsed with all that...!

 

Strange..the people who think there are bitchy little cliques are usually those who either haven't volunteered or haven't given it a fair chance / been put off by first impressions. That's a pity..I've made lifelong friends, have picked up skills passed on to me willingly and cheerfully by some of the best exponents of those skills there are. I have been given opportunities which once I could only dream about in a community which looks out for each other.

 

Perhaps you have to go in with the attitude that you want to give rather than take, accept that there are some weird characters there (as there undoubtedly are up your street) and above all a determination not to show that you are better than those already there (quite a few go in with that attitude, mainly from a particular group who I won't name here) but to enjoy the environment that is presented to you.

 

So many reasons not to volunteer apparently...I firmly believe that those who do, in whatever sphere they do volunteer, without actually trying to get a darn sight more out of it than they ever put in.

 

Edited by PhilH
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Don't get me wrong, like I said.. if there was one near enough to be feasible, I would certainly offer my services, particularly to such a worthwhile cause like preserving a railway..I'm always happy to share the stuff I can do, both in actual work done and showing others how to...

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To be a volunteer it does help if you have a sense of humour, outgoing, and chatty. You normally find that those that complain about 'cliques' are those that are timid, and are frightened about being left out. There is always a chance of a clash of personalities, but if you can handle it without getting wound up, and being able to laugh it off, all well and good. But remember the main thing - enjoy!!:sungum: 

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I used to travel down to Didcot to assist with restoration (C&W Dept.) when I was 15.

That meant earning the train-fare, I cut grass and washed cars for my neighbours, 

and had a paper round, all so I could get there every weekend during the summer

holidays, for 3 years.

Then, I learnt to drive, unfortunately I also discovered girls and booze at the same

time and the GWS fell by the wayside. Since then life has got in the way, marriage,

mortgage, family and work. So it's going to be a while before I have any time again!

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On 19/07/2019 at 16:50, russ p said:

But sadly now I have no time for the place, it seems to be a thing on a lot of preserved railways where people only seem to volunteer to make themselves important or rather feel it.

Someone mentioned earlier in this post the volunteered as a porter...... not anymore to people do that , no you have to be a stationmaster at the very least and covered in gold braid and name badges,  blowing whistles at all times especially in peoples ears!

 

This seems to be the case in most walks of life these days - no-one wants to work their way up the ranks, kids are taught that they 'deserve' to be management right from the start, instead of taking the time to learn their trade properly - and then we wonder why so many projects collapse from mismanagement, when the project manager is a twenty-something straight out of university with their degree in management, and absolutely no idea of what it is they're supposed to be managing!

 

With regards to the cliques and politics, I think a lot of it seems to be down to luck - it can vary widly not just from one railway to another, but even one department to another within a railway. I've certainly found the operations department at the Mid-Hants very friendly and welcoming, and I know that quite a lot of our volunteers came to us with no prior railway experience at all (I personally work in the IT industry, but I come from a railway family, so have plenty of prior knowledge)

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No, I wouldn't volunteer on a preserved line - I'm not that interested in UK railways, I have a fairly physical outside job and other hobbies or interests which would always come first

 

Plus, unfortunately, on one particular occasion I witnessed how volunteers were treated by some members of the public during an excellent day on the diner on the ELR - a 50th anniversary for my mum & dad - top notch. Some of the remarks and attitude shown by a number of the punters that day towards the hard working staff was disgraceful. This would put me off voluntering in a heart beat - in fact it was a credit to the train staff that they all stayed professional and did a great job - all for the love of it... I'm afraid I couldn't bite my lip for that long.

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I volunteer in a very menial role at the KESR  a couple of days a month

 

nice people,  99% public nice I would recommend it 

 

Nick

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On 21/07/2019 at 09:34, Quarryscapes said:

 

Phil, 

This comes off rather like an unwarranted personal attack, which out of politeness I'm going to put down to a bad day on your part and make no comment on.

 

If you really do feel so strongly that you wish to discuss  further on the subject of unpaid labour in business (for that is exactly what volunteering on a heritage railway is) then start a new thread by all means and I will be happy to elaborate on my viewpoint, as that does seem like a topic worth discussing, but is perhaps a bit too specific to derail this thread with.  

 

You're right it was not one of my best days! It was not supposed to be an attack on you, and I apologise if it appeared that way.  

 

It did appear from your wording that it was  easier to be allowed to drive a steam loco than it actually is though. 

As for the volunteering bit, I think we are poles apart in our opinions on that and think we had better just to agree to differ on that rather than fall out over it. I can see your point of view even if I don't agree with it.

 

On a brighter note, as you only live "down the road" are you likely to be at the "Little ByG show" at Borth y Gest on the 17th/18th of August, seems it will be a gathering of local modellers and I will be there with my Port Wynnstay Quayside layout, which strangely doesn't feature many of my kits so I will have my modellers head on rather than my business one. If so hope to see you there.

 

Phil T.  

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I meant to reply to the unpaid labour in business bit too but forgot...of course volunteering is 'unpaid labour in business', the difference perhaps being that the success of the business in question that one is volunteering at usually benefits the volunteer and not a privileged few at the very top or a shareholder.. 

 

I volunteer, the business benefits, is perhaps successful, gets bigger and maybe better, everything gets put back into the business (no dividend to worry about), I get bigger and better toys to play with.

 

All round win I'd say.

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31 minutes ago, PhilH said:

I meant to reply to the unpaid labour in business bit too but forgot...of course volunteering is 'unpaid labour in business', the difference perhaps being that the success of the business in question that one is volunteering at usually benefits the volunteer and not a privileged few at the very top or a shareholder.. 

 

I volunteer, the business benefits, is perhaps successful, gets bigger and maybe better, everything gets put back into the business (no dividend to worry about), I get bigger and better toys to play with.

 

All round win I'd say.

 

Sums it all up. The words I was looking for and couldn't put together, well said.

 

Phil T. 

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