Looking for something rewarding to do in your spare time? Fancy meeting new people? Want to learn new skills? Well here is your opportunity, as this forthcoming Sunday (13th March 2016) sees the Churnet Valley Railway open its doors to welcome all visitors to have a peek behind-the-scenes, as the line holds its annual Volunteer Open Day.
The CVR is on the lookout for volunteers to get involved in all aspects of the railway, as passenger numbers are increasing following the line’s recent feature on BBC’s “Great British Railway Journeys”.
With a variety of roles available, ranging from engineering and electrical work, to more simpler tasks such as gardening and maintaining each stations period appearance, the railway would like to encourage more people to get involved with this popular attraction that is hidden away in Staffordshire’s Little Switzerland.
This dedicated open day will allow people to learn how they can get involved, with current volunteers on-hand to answer any questions interested persons may have.
As an added attraction a demonstration Military Goods Train will be in operation, hauled by the recently restored USATC S160 no. 6046. This will give the rare opportunity to see some of the goods vehicles that have been restored by the volunteers in operation, and provide a sight not seen since the days leading up to D-Day in 1944.
The engineering workshops at Cheddleton will be open to visitors, allowing people to see progress on the overhaul of the line’s second S160 no. 5197 as well as the latest project going-on in the Carriage & Wagon department. In the station at Cheddleton you will be able to step inside the cab of one of the diesel locomotives and see what the volunteers have achieved in restoring these locomotives. At Consall the Signal Box will be open where you can speak to the signaler and learn what role he plays in the operation of the railway.
The railway relies on the effort of volunteers to maintain and operate the heritage trains along the 5.5-mile line, with this support being provided by a core of around 100 volunteers.
There is no minimum requirement to be involved, you simply do what you can when you can. The railway has a varied group amongst its dedicated team of volunteers, each bringing their own contribution to the place. With such a diverse range of roles on offer, there really is something to suit everyone no matter age or gender. Current volunteers range from people in their teens to some who are in their 80s, and the line is very grateful to each and everyone of its members who helps, whether they turn up for just a few hours from time to time or help out week-in week-out come rain or shine.
The CVR operates along one of the most scenic areas of the country, through the scenic Churnet Valley between Kingsley & Froghall and Cheddleton stations passing through the hidden hamlet of Consall. The railway also has access to the Cauldon Lowe Branch, which offers a different view showcasing the Staffordshire Moorlands whilst the line climbs some of the steepest gradients on a UK railway towards the site of Ipstones Station.
For anyone interested in getting involved you can either enquire >online< or register your interest at any of our three stations during a visit.
You don’t have to have an interest in railways, many volunteers get involved for all sorts of reasons including completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award, wanting to help in their community or to enhance their CV. Whatever your reason, there’s something available for you so come on down and see for yourself.