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Fancy volunteering?

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Woof, May 16, 2007.

  1. Azrall

    Azrall New Member

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    The Swindon and Cricklade Railway are on a recruitment drive! The railway has many positions available for volunteers especially, Diesel Drivers, Firemen, Guards, Crossing keepers, Ground frame operators, Station masters and also canteen staff to help keep us all topped up with cups of tea! :)

    For membership details, please click here
     
  2. Southerner

    Southerner New Member

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    Hello! I'm new to this forum as well as this country.

    I'm from Australia and have just arrived on my working holiday visa and once I find a job my next goal is to find a heritage railway to volunteer with. I have experience volunteering at a railway museum / heritage operation in Australia but as the heritage scene is so extensive and professional over here compared to back home I would love to get some experience working on one of the larger railways with steam as an engine cleaner. I'm 22, fit and would be able to put in at least two days a month.

    Assuming I get a job in London, I would need somewhere I could get to by public transport for presumably an overnight stay to volunteer the next day on my weekend / days off. Not knowing the UK heritage scene well I'm not familiar with which railways are actually easiest to get to and can provide overnight accommodation for early shifts etc. The Bluebell and Mid Hants look to be relatively close but other than that I'm not sure.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  3. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    Assuming you get a job in London, and you will be living in or nearby London, then the Epping and Ongar railway is on your doorstep - no need for an overnighter.
     
  4. Southerner

    Southerner New Member

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    Thanks! What would some other possibilities be that are relatively close?
     
  5. Maximus

    Maximus New Member

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    I'm moving further into Southern territory!

    Where would you volunteer? Im into Diesel more than anything else, I'm tossing up between the Kent & East Sussex and the East Kent Railway. I understand that the KESR is quite advanced and is a smooth running operation but the East Kent sounds like it is undergoing a bit of an improvement drive and could do with the help?

    Any one been to these places recently?
     
  6. Southerner

    Southerner New Member

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    I've just been to a Volunteer info day at the Mid Hants actually. Was very well run and they were very inviting.
     
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  7. Maximus

    Maximus New Member

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    Did think of that one but a little bit too far to drive to from Lenham!
     
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  8. Pmorgan_cym

    Pmorgan_cym Member

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    Is there away that volunteering can be family friendly? I'd like tongue it a go but.. as I spend large amounts of time working away I'd also like to see my family. What sort of roles are compatable with dragging your wife and 4 year old around with or do i dump them on a bench/tea room for a day? Take a TTI role and leave them on the train?
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Part of the furniture

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    Not a lot you can do with a four year old really, I'd suspect he'd get bored just going up and down on the train all day.

    However plenty of people volunteer with their partners, in things like catering, TTIing (or one doing one, and one the other) or volunteer together in workshops. It would be quite impressive if you managed a driver/fireman combo though, as never seen that!
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    We have potentially three different driver / fireman combos from married couples; also driver / fireman from two sisters and driver / fireman from father / daughter.

    Tom
     
  11. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    Plenty of opportunities
     

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  12. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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  13. Ploughman

    Ploughman Part of the furniture

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  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    So how many new members have joined their chosen preserved railway, or like me have returned to an active role after time away?
     
  15. Shrink Proof

    Shrink Proof Member

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    There have been several mentions on this thread of the problems of geography - "can anyone offer me a lift?", that sort of thing. One thing that might help would be a bit more publicity for those lines that provide accommodation for volunteers. For those railways in more remote areas, it has the added bonus of allowing folk to stay for a bit and hence not just volunteer but also to get a break away. The obvious example is the Strathspey Railway, which has the former LMS footplatemens' hostel at Aviemore. Since there's not that many folk who are within easy commuting distance of the line, it helps staffing no end.

    Presumably others do this too and maybe this could be publicised.
     
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  16. lil Bear

    lil Bear Part of the furniture

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  17. Steve1015

    Steve1015 Active Member

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    With us (Swanage) running to Wareham from next month there is an even greater demand on volunteer crews...... if you are up for it and want to get involved PM me...

    Steve.B
     
  18. Charles Parry

    Charles Parry New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a Watford based steam enthusiast who works as a freelancer which mwans I've got a couple of decent gaps in my schedule and would love to spend some of that time volunteering, preferably working with locos either crew or workshops. I work as a sound engineer on large theatre shows so used to a bit of heavy lifting and long days.
    Age old problem of not driving is the kicker, so have to be public transport (though not averse to a taxi etc at one end), but I am able to do several weeks so maybe somewhere with accomdation would work well. Would love it to be somewhere with stuff going on midweek as my job often takes up my weekends. Would I be actually any use given my sporadic schedule (I'd be able to do a couple of weeks in July and a couple of weeks in September and then not much until 2018)?

    Cheers

    Charles
     
  19. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    We have an enthusiast/volunteer that travels 100 miles or so a few times a year. He has a 'deal' with a local B&B and volunteers in the C&W Dept.

    Obviously, with his 'sporadic' attendance, he doesn't get to be involved with any specific project but contributes greatly with the ongoing work that may be pertaining on those day(s) on which he attends.

    The problem, as I see it, for you, is that not all Volunteering opportunities offer 7 day working. We, as a Department, are open 4 days a week, but not continuous. i.e. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, then Saturday.

    Not my sphere of knowledge concerning locos but I believe that requires starting as a Cleaner and commencing work at "silly o'clock" or "ridiculously silly o'clock".:(

    Have a look at the Blog
    http://cwatgwsr.blogspot.co.uk/

    Any questions, PM me.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Charles,

    I think that most heritage railways would snap your hand off if you volunteered with them. Many of the larger (and some smaller) railways have volunteer accommodation which you could use with prior arrangement. This will vary from reasonable to desperate, though! Decide which line you want to get involved with and go for it. The whole kingdom is available to you. I know volunteers who regularly travel 500 miles to do a long weekend and several who regularly hop across from the continent for similar periods. My only comment that you may not wish to hear is that footplate work largely depends on experience and, the less time that you put in, the longer it will take to get to your final goal as a fireman or driver. Having said that 14 days in July and 14 days in September is quite a lot of time to put in if you only have (say) one day off in each period.
     

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