Perhaps it was an overdose of Burns Supper haggis, or the inclement weather, or the ‘flu or the fact that it was another day of racing. However, something induced our volunteers to stay away in droves this morning – so that the attendance is easy to list: me and Ben! But Dave T turned up a bit later and we had a small crowd of visitors (4!) and a healthy batch of racegoers flooding down the Evesham Road. So it wasn’t really quiet.
We did manage some work – putting up another section of ‘temporary’ weldmesh fencing (see blogs passim) where the hedge line has been reduced to a few wonky posts and a bit of pig netting.
But since the weather was best described as dreich (a small tribute to the recent anniversary of Robbie Burns) I didn’t worry about working pictures on this occasion – you’ve seen them all before. I thought I would reflect on overall progress and remind us where the Racecourse Station started – many years ago.
Here’s a couple of shots of the ticket office building after many years of neglect and more than a little vandalism:
Not a pretty site. Here’s a couple of more up-to-date shots of the inside of the building this morning:
We are, of course, all wrapped up for the close season (hence the ‘shrouds’) but the warm, well-maintained and (normally) inviting ticket office – plus friendly staff – are a great tribute to the pioneers who worked tirelessly to get the station back in business. I reflected that, during the period of Santa Specials, very few customers needed to go to the Ticket Office since they had bought on-line and received tickets through the post. And I suppose we will eventually allow people to print their own paperwork. Very convenient: no queuing, no cash transactions etc etc – but you’ve missed the magic of the ticket office! We certainly can’t stand in the way of this progress but may need to re-think where we conduct business and how we display our heritage – at least at Cheltenham Racecourse. Food for thought.
Our station visitors arrived to look around and consider what new innovations could be brought in for the next annual GWSR Wartime in the Cotswolds: 28-29 Apr 2018 weekend. Regular readers and visitors to the railway will probably recall that this is becoming ever more popular in the Cheltenham area with pubs, local societies and all sort of people joining. I wont spoil the surprises but suffice to say that our 2018 event looks likely to be bigger an better than ever.
Anyway, to finish a reminder of the past and a trailer for the immediate future:
Keep warm and dry and hopefully I’ll see you in the coming weeks at the Racecourse Station.