Nigel's Blog (6) - Volunteering at Tanfield Railway Museum

Great War Event

Nigel's Blog (6) - Volunteering at Tanfield Railway Museum

Nigel’s Sixth Sunday as a volunteer at the Tanfield Railway Museum 18 March 2018.

This weekend was a special Great War weekend at Tanfield with old vehicles and lots of events with the army and volunteers dressed in costumes of the great war period. As the events were on Saturday and Sunday to help Nigel volunteered to work both days.

Sadly, due to the snow and bad weather a lot of the outside events had to be cancelled because it was so very cold and with lots of snow and ice. The museum made the best of it and still put on a very good event.

There were special trains arranged with lots of soldiers and musicians playing local songs and the music of the great war period.

Now Nigel is used to the work at Tanfield Nigel has taken responsibility and part of his job to get all the equipment out of the security lockup containers before his regular jobs of setting up the café and tables.   After setting the tables Nigel also sets up the café counter with soft drinks and sweets.

On Saturday we had a small group of musicians playing in the café singing local Geordie songs. They also played some Skiffle songs the group had homemade instruments a double bass made from an old tea chest with a broom handle and a piece of string tying them both together to make the sound of a double bass they also had an old washboard which one of the musicians played. They were very good and sung lots of train songs, everyone enjoyed their music.

To see what was happening at the other stations Nigel boarded one of the trains and checked out what was happening. There were vintage motorbikes and steam traction engines with lots of other events in the engine sheds. The army had a field kitchen cooking food for the museum volunteers and cadet soldiers on parade.


As things were a bit slow on Sunday some of the events were cancelled and the museum closed early. After the last train left Nigel help to clear all the tables, wash and pack away the utensils. Nigel made a good job of packing all the sweets, Pepsi etc into the storage containers and carrying them and the heater gas bottles to the lockable security containers ready for next time.

Nigel swept up and made sure the café was clean and then checked all the outside security shutters on all the café windows were installed.

Nigel went home very happy after a very good weekend especially with some more homemade cakes for his tea.

A funny thing we just noticed the main door of the café has a small door in the bottom corner just the right size for a mouse.