August 2013

Vertical thinking


Before we opened Bill built an outdoor seat cum step with some of the timber we rescued from inside the school. It’s regularly used by our younger customers as a vantage point to view the passing steam trains; which is what we’d hoped. We’ve been planning to build a deck alongside it onto which we were going to put our tables and chairs so adults would be able to see the trains without having to stand up each time they passed. Displaying the kind of lateral thinking that gets more elusive as we get older, one of our nieces suggested getting some tall stools and having little tables projecting from the top of the wall to go with them. This is a brilliant idea, much less work than building a deck and less intrusive. It will also avoid creating a trip hazard in the playground. After a quick scan of the internet Bill sourced some outdoor bar stools which are the right height. Once we get to September we’ll use one of our closed days to build the tables and have them ready to go before the upcoming Steam Gala.

The existing seat is also an ideal place for a ‘set-up’. The picture below shows another of our young customers - one who knows to ask for the case of dinosaurs immediately on arrival - busy arranging our collection of extinct animals to his own taxonomic system. A future curator of the collection at the Natural History museum perhaps?


We are enjoying having our summer staff staying with us and getting to grips with the coffee shop business over the school holidays. Below are Amy and Alex. Amy was with us for the first week of the holiday and Alex the second. It’s great seeing the place through their eyes as well as getting to know them better during their time with us.


One of the engines regularly seen hauling trains on the NYM line is one called ‘Eric Treacy’. It was named after a 20th century Anglican bishop who was also a steam railway enthusiast and railway photographer. A parent told us about their daughter who saw the engine’s nameplate and, making sense of the unfamiliar words, confidently called it ‘Erictricity’. Perfect.
Here we record highlights from our day to day activity