WORKERS had a change from their daily routine by helping restore Blunsdon railway station.

Staff from the North Star-based Biotechnology and Biology Research Council (BBSRC) chose to spend a day out of the office helping the Swindon and Cricklade Railway Projects.

The 54 workers, who usually spend their days granting Government funding for some of the country's most important research projects, took time out from splashing the cash to splash water and paint, as they restored old engines, cleaned coaches and painted fences to spruce up the station.

BBSRC spokeswoman Michelle Kilfoyle said: "Staff wanted to do some voluntary work for the local community on their team away day. They decided on the restoration project themselves.

"The day was organised with the help of the Swindon Volunteer Centre, who said it was the largest group of volunteers that they have known to work at the station.

"We all had a really good time. It was a bit of a change from our usual work, but it was nice to be helping a worthwhile project as well as having a fun day out. There was a lot of scrubbing and cleaning the steam engines inside and out, cleaning the coaches, clearing grass verges around the tracks and cleaning out ditches.

"It was quite hard physical work but great fun being out in the fresh air. It didn't rain and no one complained."

In the past the BBSRCa has funded scientific research into how parasites evolve, green fuels and ways to defeat salmonella.

"Everyone was really pleased to see the difference after a hard day's work, and we're hoping to do another similar project next year," added Michelle.