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Hello

 

To David, the original Poster.

 

Sorry for your experience, from your description I can identify the shop person concerned, unfortunately he was actually an employee not a volunteer.

Not a good ambassador.

 

He since moved on and I would hope you would get a more helpful response from current shop staff.

 

Pete

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Struth, that's a bit like some of the conversations in our household, the feminine side that is, they stop mid sentence and then resume some time later and they wonder why I'm not following the conversation, although agreed not as long as 13 months......

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Was working on a diesel day last year, having just qualified as secondman, we were a bit early into a platform, so had a few minutes wait.

 

You usually get the photo guys want a piccy of a cab, and we ensure they get what they want within the rules. But what gets me are the more weird 'Veg' as we call them, an example, one of our guys was asked this question 'If I tied a horse in the engine room, while you were running, how long would it last?' I kid you not.

Another one, heard on the platform, admittidly a family outing, who just wanted a ride on the steam train, Kiddy 'Whats the number on the side of the cab Dad' Dad 'That the year it was built'

Have also been asked how to bump start a diesel......

 

These are of course a minority, most of the visitors are really nice people, and many (esp the older ones) have many a story to tell of your line in thier younger days.

 

Mind you it works both ways, young lady in the tea room once told a member of public to either pay for the coffee or f*** off, shame it happened to be Pete Waterman she spoke too, and he was a guest of the board that day, thankfully he took it in good spirit, she has never lived it down.....

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Have also been asked how to bump start a diesel……

 

 

Don't tell 'em - it can get very expensive when it doesn't go quite right and the loco has to go off to works in order to replace stripped gear wheels (one place where I worked it was a little technique that had grown up with 350s as we had no battery charging facilities - until we broke one, or rather one of my staff broke onewacko.gif)

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A quick shout for the Tanfield Railway. I hove up one Saturday to find there was no running (apparently they suffer when the football is on in nearby Newcastle) anywho the staff that were about were welcoming and helpful, I was allowe access to the Engine Shed and workshop area for photographic purposes which was rather nice as it was lovely and atmospheric and with no one about I could take my time! Also the chap in the station refreshment area was just doing some cleaning but made me a very nice cup of tea. It remains my favourite preserved railway.

 

On the other side of the photographic lens. I remember photographing a departing train at Levisham on the NYMR. I was trying for a shot of the loco starting the train north bound and there was a chap who appeared to be talking to the footplate staff prior to departure. As the train departed he turned and walked straight into my shot looking right at me he just kept walking whilst I waited to to see if he would step to the side.. nope. I didn't ask him, it's his prerogative to walk where he likes but please, step out of the shot you're not James Dean and I aint no Paparazzi! Oh and to the video recorder chap who frowned at me when the shutter on my DSLR rattled, THAT'S WHAT THEY DO - IT'S A MECHANICAL NOISE.

 

Sheesh, people eh?

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I must admit a couple of times I have been to the Tanfield and they've not been running, the folks up there are always quite happy to have people wander around ask questions and take photos with the rider "don't be a nuisance or do anything daft". It certainly does give a lot of sites something to aspire to in many ways. My only disappointment with the Tanfield was them installing a proper urinal rather than that one where they had diverted a stream to run through the bottom of the trough (many years ago now)! :lol:

 

I remember a conversation at Goathland with a chap who wandered up and said "I'm modelling such and such, can I go and take a photo of it", I think it was quite a way up the siding, and the bobby said "have you bought a train ticket", to which the answer was no, but he did say "in which case, if you go and pop 50p in that donation box, I'll get you an orange vest and you can get under the thing if you like". IIRC the bloke put about £5 in the tin and was up there for nearly half an hour.

 

Mind you, my favourite incident of all time has got to be at York one afternoon when 2 photters start fighting on the platform because one had got into the others shot. It was great fun sitting on one until BTP arrived to take the pair of them away.

 

Personally I hate being photographed so make a concerted effort to stay out the way of camera lenses!

 

Funnily enough over the years I have seen an industrial DM bump started by emptying the shop floor and getting them all to push, and spent a hilarious hour watching some clowns trying the jump start an 08 from the battery of a transit van.

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Guest baldrick25
I remember a conversation at Goathland with a chap who wandered up and said "I'm modelling such and such, can I go and take a photo of it", I think it was quite a way up the siding, and the bobby said "have you bought a train ticket", to which the answer was no, but he did say "in which case, if you go and pop 50p in that donation box, I'll get you an orange vest and you can get under the thing if you like". IIRC the bloke put about £5 in the tin and was up there for nearly half an hour

 

A similar thing happened to me at the Battefield line, I was very early on a gala day, and wanted some shots of the loco's 'up the siding', and saw the signalman filling his skuttle with coal. I asked if it was OK to access, I had a hiVis, which I would put on, and had steel toecap boots on etc, to which he asked if I had a ticket. I said I had been to the ticket office, but they were not open yet - I did intend to buy and travel though. OK he said , you have thirty minutes as we start moving the ECS after that, come and let me know when you have finished... and I had a superb half an hour rare Fots, and a wave from him when I travelled. How friendly , helpful, and considerate.

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Last time I visited Peak Rail a few years ago, I went into the book shop at Darley Dale station to browse what was there and the man behind the counter was a right miserable so and so who took my cash with an unpleasant snarl! :huh: I'm not going into that shop again if that man is still there! By contrast, the tea room in the same building was staffed by two very pleasant ladies.

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When I've been to preserved railways to photograph and measure locos I've always tried to go when there's not been much happening, midweek if possible, and, after asking, have always been allowed to wander at will. I do make a point of putting money in the tin afterwards.

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I remember a conversation at Goathland with a chap who wandered up and said "I'm modelling such and such, can I go and take a photo of it", I think it was quite a way up the siding, and the bobby said "have you bought a train ticket", to which the answer was no, but he did say "in which case, if you go and pop 50p in that donation box, I'll get you an orange vest and you can get under the thing if you like". IIRC the bloke put about £5 in the tin and was up there for nearly half an hour.

The Bluebell let me crawl under some tank wagons they had even though t was during a gala weekend. Station staff couldn't be more helpful there.

 

Chasewater was also great for wandering around the stock after the members day's held there.

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It is perhaps good manners to point out that if someone on a preserved railway says 'you can't go there' or 'you mustn't do that ' they are not being officious (except possibly in tone of voice or exact wording?) but are applying the Railway's safety and insurance requirements. And equally, or perhaps more so, if they allow you unescorted into an area which is closed to public access they are placing a lot of trust in you and your behaviour to the extent that if you get it wrong your action could lead to them being prosecuted, possibly heavily fined or even closed down (and you arriving very early at the terminus of life).

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It is perhaps good manners to point out that if someone on a preserved railway says 'you can't go there' or 'you mustn't do that ' they are not being officious (except possibly in tone of voice or exact wording?) but are applying the Railway's safety and insurance requirements. And equally, or perhaps more so, if they allow you unescorted into an area which is closed to public access they are placing a lot of trust in you and your behaviour to the extent that if you get it wrong your action could lead to them being prosecuted, possibly heavily fined or even closed down (and you arriving very early at the terminus of life).

 

Absolutely right, and nothing is more likely to get you put the right/wrong side of the fence again than just hopping over a fence and wandering around where you shouldn't be. Experience shows that asking to have a look, or if something is particularly out of reach asking someone to take some photos on your behalf is far better than just jumping straight in and helping yourself. I can think of one preserved railway that had been the victim of a large number of thefts, where one individual had wandered into a workshop/store and was looking rather intently at something when he was collared and told to wait for the police to arrive because they though he had been stealing something, it is a bit of an extreme example, but some places are getting paranoid at the moment. I can also think of one person who was wandering round a station at 11 o'clock at night trying door handles and when challenged said "It's ok, I'm an enthusiast"!

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A quick shout for the Tanfield Railway. I hove up one Saturday to find there was no running (apparently they suffer when the football is on in nearby Newcastle) anywho the staff that were about were welcoming and helpful, I was allowe access to the Engine Shed and workshop area for photographic purposes which was rather nice as it was lovely and atmospheric and with no one about I could take my time! Also the chap in the station refreshment area was just doing some cleaning but made me a very nice cup of tea. It remains my favourite preserved railway.

 

On the other side of the photographic lens. I remember photographing a departing train at Levisham on the NYMR. I was trying for a shot of the loco starting the train north bound and there was a chap who appeared to be talking to the footplate staff prior to departure. As the train departed he turned and walked straight into my shot looking right at me he just kept walking whilst I waited to to see if he would step to the side.. nope. I didn't ask him, it's his prerogative to walk where he likes but please, step out of the shot you're not James Dean and I aint no Paparazzi! Oh and to the video recorder chap who frowned at me when the shutter on my DSLR rattled, THAT'S WHAT THEY DO - IT'S A MECHANICAL NOISE.

 

Sheesh, people eh?

Agree the lads at Tanfield are a very welcoming bunch of people went round sheds had all questions answered good train ride. LMSFOREVER
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Funnily enough over the years I have seen an industrial DM bump started by emptying the shop floor and getting them all to push,

 

The Oakwood book on the Isle of Axholme Joint line recounts an instance of a BR Hunslet 204 (cl. 05) being restarted by a gang of nearby farm labourers being asked to helpcool.gif

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Good manners are essential when dealinng with the public when people turn up on a Tuesday at our railway although its maintainence day we always talk to them answer questions and make certain they know what we are up to.Bad manners cannot be tolerated and I hope that the good people on our railways carry on helping the public.

 

 

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From my own experiences and reading this thread I actually think that although you can't knock someone who gives up their time for free, there are some heritage railways who'd probably better off being a man short than having someone who could put people off a return visit!

 

Knowing David I'm not suggesting that he falls into the category which I'm describing but boy you get some real knobs visiting the railway. I've volunteered on the MHR for over 20 years and have encountered more oddballs, misfits, people that only their mother could have loved, downright rude and objectionable tw*ts and certifiable lunatics amongst our visitors than I could ever have hoped for anywhere else. They can be at times entertaining, annoying, objectionable and loathsome. Some seem to think that because they pay their tenner or whatever then they own the railway and everything and everybody on it. I've been verbally abused and threatened with physical violence because punters can't get their own way, especially when they want to wander over running tracks to get a photo.

You get idiots everywhere in life sadly.

 

Plenty of people feel they can abuse members of staff in shops, on the 'real' railway, in the street and on the phone. So I'm not surprised heritage railways get this. The thing is most people don't see them as preservation projects but they're there to provide a day out plain and simple.

 

As long as volunteers act professionally in whatever role they are undertaking that's the main thing.

 

I can understand peoples' frustrations when it comes to uncooperative volunteers, but is it ever a two way street!

One example I'll recount isn't exactly uncooperative volunteers, but more a problem in attitude.

 

Over summer, one lovely hot and sunny day, we had a full Wells family outing to Pickering, we didn't travel as with a seven month old we felt he was a bit too young to get so much benefit out of it that day. We wandered round Pickering and we were going to have a drink on the station. Now once on the station we noticed that the two/three tables outside the buffet were completely taken up by the railway's staff/volunteers. Seeing this, we just didn't bother. We could have sat inside but it was the attitude and the very non customer-friendly approach which put us off. Some railways' volunteers give the impression that the public just get in the way of the their hobby.

 

Sadly it's these who do untold damage to the 'heritage railway industry' as a whole.

 

Incidently I spoke to one of the railway's trustees about this!

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So what did he say then? There seems little point mentioning that unless it adds to the discussion.

I added that so no one responded pointing out I should have told them and not just complained on here!

 

Anyway, he wasn't impressed but wasn't surprised either. He's very understanding of the industry which they work, 'tourism', and realises the implications that behaviour like this (and the sorts of examples others have given on this thread) has on not only this particular line but railway preservation as a whole.

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  • 2 months later...

I make a living from preserved railways, and have come across some absolute extremes of attitude over the years. My absolute favourite of all time has got to be the Severn Valley, turning up at Bridgenorth one day with the wife, not knowing it was a gala, just wanting a ride on the train, I went to the BO and asked if, as a working railwayman with a PT card, would I get a discount (some railways do, others don't - being quite happy to pay full fare though). The chap in the BO turned to me and said, "it's a gala, if you think you are getting a discount you can f*** off. So I duly F****ed off and spent the money treating the wife to a very pleasant pub lunch and vowing never to return to such an ill mannered railway again.

 

On the other hand, a recent trip to Keighley netted an tour of the new carriage shed, a look at the VCT workshop (the bit behind barriers) and generally a good day out overall. I must say I've been to the KWVR several times and have never found a grumpy or less than cheerful member of staff, and have always really enjoyed myself - same at Embsay.

 

I must say though, having seen/talked to some folks on preserved railways, there are a strange number who don't grasp the basic principle behind their operation: No customers=No railway

 

And then of course there is the wonderful incident where I dared to stop one photographer beating seven bells out of another with a monopod within a couple of feet of a running line, and being reported to the police by this individual because I dared to catch the monopod and disarm him when said item was swung at me when I politely asked him to desist what he was doing.

 

I think it's something about wheels - if it's got wheels it seems to attract a small number of people who probably shouldn't be outside without a responsible adult.

I really do feel that the booking clerk on the SVR would not have and i say again would not have used such foul mouthed talk to a member of the public. If he did then did you report it.
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I really do feel that the booking clerk on the SVR would not have and i say again would not have used such foul mouthed talk to a member of the public. If he did then did you report it.

 

Hi

 

It's probably best that a matter that was posted well over a year ago doesn't now get turned into an exercise in gainsaying, especially just on the basis of a 'feeling'.

 

Thanks.

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Boris, how many railways have offered a discount to you as a railwayman?!

 

Most offer a dicount on production of an RST pass, or a card identifying you as a working member of another preserved railway. Mind you I always end up spending far more in the shops (or the real ale bar) than the train fare would amount to so I reckon they tend to be better of from it!

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