“Welcome to the North Norfolk Railway, Want to be a Volunteer?”
If you have visited the North Norfolk Railway before, you are sure to have seen some of our fantastic volunteers – the Driver, the Fireman, the Guard, the Signalmen, the Booking Office Clerk just to list but a few. In fact you could get involved with any aspect of the North Norfolk Railway. Our volunteers get involved for a multitude of reasons, some are enthusiasts who wish to preserve Railway heritage, some are looking to fill their spare time, some to keep active, while others are looking to learn new skills. When you volunteer on the North Norfolk Railway you are sure have fun whilst meeting new friends and making a big difference.
North Norfolk Railway Volunteering
What skills do I need?
One of the things that you will notice when you join us, is that volunteers on the Railway have such a wide and varied skill set, including engineering, gardening, catering, teaching, carpentry, IT and many, many more. If you choose to take on a role that requires specific knowledge or skills, you will be given the necessary training required, but there is nothing stopping you getting involved with more than one department, so if you have multiple skills you are sure to get the opportunity to put them into practice somewhere on the Railway.
A willingness to smile and to help others do the same are the only essential qualifications!
How old do I have to be?
Our volunteers come in all ages. Some have through our Junior Club, some work full time, some have retired, while others take their holidays working on the railway. Whatever age you will be more than welcome.
How much time do I have to give?
We understand that everybody’s availability differs, some people volunteer almost full time while others travel long distances to volunteer a couple of times a year. While we don’t expect you to be here full time, you may just have so much fun that you want be here with everyone as much as possible.
What’s in it for me?
The North Norfolk Railway is a big community of interesting, knowledgeable, friendly people who come from all manner of walks of life. As a volunteer you will be at the centre of this community. You will make lots of new friends, have the opportunity to learn new and develop existing skills, be part of a team as well as feel part of the wider organisation. You can enjoy travel benefits on the NNR as well as other preservation Railways. You will receive a monthly newsletter keeping you abreast of all the latest news and information, discounts from our catering and retail outlets. Volunteer accommodation is also available for those whom travel to join us. You will be having fun whilst making a big difference.
What’s the next step?
– Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Ring the Office on 01263 820800, or
– Call in at Sheringham Station for full details.
Volunteers can help with the following:
Sell the tickets, answer the enquiries and generally meet the public. There are vacancies at all three of our stations, Holt, Weybourne and Sheringham. A vital job!
Our buffet car runs at various times throughout the year providing alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, sandwiches etc. A chance to meet the public and ride the rails!
These are required for Weybourne and Holt, where the job is combined, and for Sheringham. The Shop at Sheringham is always busy selling anything from postcards to books to children’s railway toys whilst the Buffet is well patronised.
This area maintains and restores our coaches and vans. Skills in carpentry, metalworking, upholstery, plumbing, varnishing, painting, sign writing, trimming, wiring would all be of use.
Although this is normally done by an outside contractor on a daily basis this work is supplemented during the day to keep the carriages clean for the travelling public.
Our dining trains are now operating at more frequent intervals and are always in need of new volunteers, jobs range from waiting on tables right through to the skilled usage of a tea-towel! Our on board stewards are there to ensure dining passengers recieve hospitality to the highest degree and trains range from Evening Dining services, The North Norfolkman, Sunday lunch services as well as chartered trains.
Our education department offers both outreach and in-house facilities to schools and visitors and we would welcome anyone interested in interpretation, including living history and producing resources.
We are regularly complimented on the excellent manner in which our gardens are kept. If you have green fingers you would be welcome to assist the resident gardeners at Weybourne and Sheringham or, if you feel up to a challenge, you could try Holt.
This will require some training. Typically you will spend a period as a TTI checking the tickets, helping to answer passengers questions etc. whilst training to be a Guard. The Guard, contrary to popular belief, is in charge of the train. The Driver thinks he is, but the Guard knows better! Some volunteers, who have no desire to be a Guard, remain as TTI’s and provide a very valuable service. Without money the railway doesn’t run!
Engineering experience is a distinct asset but painters and general helpers are every bit as much in demands as fitters, turners etc. Our permanent staff would welcome your support in this area. The work covers steam and diesel traction.
Newcomers to the steam department will begin as Cleaners and progress to become Fireman and Drivers. To operate our diesels you will progress through being a Diesel Cleaner, Second Man and finally Driver.
We have a large model railway covering 300 square feet at Holt. We are always on the lookout for responsible volunteers to run this exhibit and to answer queries from the onlookers.
Work in our Registered Museum either assisting to catalogue the many artefacts from East Anglian railway history or in the front line helping to show people around and answering their historical queries.
Work behind the scenes in the station office, answering telephone enquiries, taking bookings, sorting out the staff rosters, assisting the booking clerk, covering the shop at lunch time. The unsung heroes and heroines of the railway. It wouldn’t be able to operate without them!
Out and about on the track itself. Fencing, ballasting, walking the line, checking the track, cutting back lineside growth, are all vital jobs. The work is fairly strenuous but can be tailored to suit your specific requirements.
Looks after the installation and maintenance of our signalling equipment and telephone systems.
Training is necessary and some previous experience about the railway is desirable, but not essential.
Platform duties consist of overseeing the safe and punctual departure of trains, answering queries from the passengers, and generally ensuring their safety. Some assistance is always useful to assist wheelchair bound passengers on and off the train and to escort them safely across the railway. Manning the ticket barriers and helping to keep the station tidy also forms a part of the Station staffs’ duties.
Vacancies exist at all our stations for handymen, painters, etc. to do the general upkeep necessary to keep our stations looking neat and tidy.
Please don’t let a perceived lack of skill deter you. Full on the job training is given as necessary. But the main thing is to come and enjoy yourself! In short, if you have the time and enthusiasm we can make use of you!