Saturday - the big day at Glossop Station!! All day Friday final preparations were being made. Bunty and Neil were down at 8.30 - Bunty setting out the kitchen and decorating in true holly and ivy style the mirror in the waiting room. Neil bagging up the goody bags 100+ in the end thanks to Northern's generosity. In the afternoon Eric and Neil put up and decorated the Christmas tree - kindly donated and delivered by Glossop Garden Centre - a huge difference to Eric and Neil dragging last year's tree a mile and a half through a blizzard to the station. early evening Eve came to clean, Jacqueline to do more work in the kitchen whilst John K. and Neil put up the garlands - this year attached to Network Rail's safety netting!!
Saturday - the FoGS' team swung into action early in the old booking office - tables set out in the concourse mopping and cleaning going on. A grey wet chilly day. By 10.00 all is looking good - cabling in place. Martin arrives to set up the model railway - always a star feature! The first of our guests arrives PETE MYERS Head of Service Quality at Northern - Pete had left his East Yorkshire home at 06.00 by train to reach us - determined to reach us this year after being prevented last year by snow!! He switched on the lights in style at 11.20 using Eric's magic zapper - he was impressed by this technology! A nice speech to us all!
Manning the decks.
Captains of the kitchen Bunty and Jacqueline turning out leek and potato soup or broccoli and stilton - no Heinz 57 soups here!! Quartermastering the raffle John LeGrove hovering over a table of goodies - chocolates, whisky, wine and a Northern Rail ticket for 4!! And only 50p a ticket!! Out on the deck Andea Strogen and Lesley Nixon making Christmas bauble decorations for the tree with children - I did let one or two adults have a go too confessed Lesley later! Chris Strogen not letting a photo opportunity pass as he cast his eyes over the various scenes. Music from SPINDRIFT wafting seasonally down the concourse as feet set atapping! More guests - Whaley Bridge friends from over the hill on the 61 Bowers bus, Keith from Chapel - Peter and Paul from Dronfield making their debut at Glossop! And Preva, yes Preva from Hindley yet again coming to see us. Neil promising he will come to see first hand the magic of Hindley's award winning garden soon! Mark Barker Client and Stakeholder Manager for Northern arrives one of our staunchest Northern Rail supporters currently starring in the latest edition of RAIL magazine A day in the life of...... feature. And Mark kindly gives Glossop a mention too! Joining them our own Theo and son to sample Christmas at the station.
Our new Santa arrives bang on time at 11.49 accompanied by 3 stars from GODS' Pantomime Dick Whittington Matthew, Sam and Beth - Chief Fairy!! Ringing his bell Santa cuts a swathe through the waiting parents and children on the platform under repair to head for the new waiting room where he sits in Jacqueline's regal chair against the 1847 fireplace looking splendid in red!! Over 100 children plus parents then visit in an orderly queue being given presents. The side shows carry on on the main deck!
Santa confesses to Neil that he cannot see out of his pince nez glasses as Neil hurries him to get the 13.09 train. Clutching a bottle of wine - in a gift bag!! - Santa strides down the platfrorm following Neil shouting What am I walking on? Actually squidgy rubber mats on rubble but no time to admire this!! Sleigh sorry train awaits. Red jacket billowing in the wind Santa finally reaches the train 30 secongs to its departure. Neil waves goodbye and passengers smile in that kindly good humoured but totally bewildered British way!
A good and happy day!! Washing up to do, clearing all hands on deck and to the pumps!!
Thanks to Northern and Network Rail's Karen Davidson and Chris Stirling from Story Rail for letting us run the event whilst station under major repair and to Jeff/Geoff from Story Rail who joined us on the day. Photos soon! And thanks too to Dave and Graham in the new booking office for striving to do their job in the midst of Christmas!! And to Keith for promoting the fun!