Planning is in the final stages for a Volunteers Weekend to be held during the period Saturday 8th– Monday 10thSeptember. The idea behind the event is to attract new volunteers to assist on the railway at Midsomer Norton. The intention is to hold two introductory sessions on both the Saturday and Sunday with a fifth session on the Monday.
Each of the sessions will last approx. 2.5 hours and consist of an overview and background to the Trusts aims and objectives at Midsomer Norton and an introduction to the many and varied opportunities on offer. There are many roles from assisting in the running and maintenance of the trains, to working in the shop or buffet, gardeners, painters and a whole range of jobs in between.
Each session will include a tour of the museum, station, signal box and facilities at Midsomer Norton, a train ride to the end of the current rail head and a short walk along the trackbed of the current extension.
If you have an interest in railways, or just fancy meeting up with some likeminded people and assisting this major attraction in the local community. Then please contact Stephen Lacey or Brian Litherland for more details.
The railway now has ambitious plans to expand in a number of key areas as stated in the Strategic Plan & New Projects article. To deliver these projects a project management team has been set up – reporting to the Trust – and this small team will be coordinating and planning the many tasks required to successfully deliver the work.
The railway does currently does have a range of skills and experience in-house, however with the increased demands that the two main projects will put on our volunteer workforce, we are keen to attract both new volunteers and also obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the skills that we have amongst our current volunteers.
The railway therefore is asking that all working volunteers, together with those members who would like to get involved at this exciting time in the railways growth contact any of the following people below with details of your skills, experience and contact details which will be added to our skills database.
The Project team are especially interested to hear from people with administrative skills, engineering and mechanical experience, together with various trades.
Please send your information to Brian or Stephen.
Trust and Company Directors have been working for a period of time to agree on a number of new projects and update the Strategic Plan with details of these. More information will be announced at the September AGM. Planning for two major new projects will commence very shortly to provide a new engineering facility for the railway and improved and expanded catering and retail facilities on the Midsomer Norton station site whilst not detracting from the overall appearance.
To manage the two new projects, a project team has been set up to manage and oversee the delivery of these two projects. At this initial planning state, a management consultant will be assisting with the preparation of a planning document. Engineering experts from Mott MacDonald Consultants will be advising on the optimal location for the engineering facility
Where possible internal skills and expertise will be used, however where the required skills are not available in-house, then management consultants and professional experts will be brought in to assist. In order to identify what skills and expertise are available amongst our volunteers, a skills audit will conducted.
We need 109 or 113lb flat bottomed rail in 60'(or near) lengths to complete our extension and to improve our existing running line, and a number of FB turnouts - B,C or D switches - with or without crossing timbers. We are prepared to pay a reasonable price for these or would welcome information on where these may be found other than on NR property.
It’s a busy time of year for gardeners at Midsomer Norton Station. They have been doing their usual Monday work of weeding and mulching as well as planting new seeds and hanging baskets. The bank border of Perennials by the buffet coach is being trimmed, weeded and mulched and that will continue during spring flowering time.
The front border needs light weeding at the station building end as spring weather encourages the seeds lying dormant. A strong team of students is helping to extend the front border down to the traffic lights by carting composted material down to fill in the gap. The hedge plants are already in position ready to be planted when they are finished.
One of the early spring tasks was to plant young hedge plants along the field boundary of the railway line. The hedge plants have all been donated by members of the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Trust and are all native ranging from Hollies Hawthorns and Field Maples to Dogwood and Beeches.
Volunteer Gardener and Trustee Gail Coleshill would like to welcome more volunteers for the gardens.
“Midsomer Norton Station was always known for its gardening skills when the Somerset and Dorset Railway was running. We are keeping up the tradition and have also extended the garden area – and we sell plants. Anyone who would like to help come up on a Sunday and Monday and you will be very welcome."
The station on Silver Street is open on a Sunday and Monday from 10 till 4 for volunteers and visitors. The next Open Day event will be the May Day Bank holiday when trains will be running on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th.
The photos shows Doug Auckland, David Lacey - Goodman, Tony White and John Bridges, volunteer gardeners on their way to plant the boundary fence through the nature reserve.