Historic rail line appealing for help as it opens station

Volunteers Paul Organ and Matt Sexton need more help as the line expands

Volunteers Paul Organ and Matt Sexton need more help as the line expands

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @SwindonAdver007

THE Swindon and Cricklade Railway is expanding and it needs more help.

The popular tourist attraction, based off Tadpole Lane, is continuing to extend both north and south, and finally with the opening of the third station at Taw Valley Halt in sight, the railway is appealing for new volunteers.

A variety of work is available from selling tickets to station masters, train crew, to staffing the souvenir shop.

Currently, the catering department is desperately short of staff at all levels, from management to kitchen staff. The Whistlestop Cafe at Blunsdon station provides a very important service to the railway’s customers, as well as raising funds for the charity.

Adrian Brodie, spokesperson for the railway, has stressed that a railway background is not necessary.

He said: “For anyone who enjoys meeting, and interacting with members of the public, or with a desire to join a voluntary organisation, being a volunteer at the railway provides many opportunities to do exactly this in a friendly environment.

“Virtually anyone could be a volunteer here, whatever skills a person has, they will translate into worthwhile help. We are looking for mostly enthusiasm, with a degree of common sense and a liking to drink tea.

“There are two ways a new helper can approach volunteering at the railway. One is to bring existing skills and experience, and use those in a particular role. The second is to visit the railway, see what is available, and try something new. Any training is gladly provided, when required. And if that does not suit, try something else.

“For those people that like to get their hands dirty, the railway offers plenty of choice. For example, the Building & Works department covers a multitude of constructional jobs, in most areas of the railway. The locomotive and carriage restorations in the shed at Hayes Knoll both have their own dedicated departments, or, there is the Signalling and Telegraph department, for those with a mechanical aptitude.

“For lovers of all things transport there are volunteering opportunities as train crew, including drivers, firemen, guards, and ticket inspectors, as well as station crew, including station masters.

Or, outdoors types into heavy engineering could join the “P-way” gang (permanent way gang), on the track, and associated structures.

Further information about the railway is available on the railway’s website at www.swindon-cricklade-railway.org.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering at the railway should contact Brian Pound on 07500 803245 or brian.pound@hotmail.co.uk, or Pat Scott on 01380 816077 or pat.scott@leadingedgechange.com.

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