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Christmas 2015
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Andy2857



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 175
Location: Wolverhampton/Sheffield

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Pete and others have said, history suggests the last weekend of November isn't worth it when you combine the reduced public appetite, reduced income and additional strain on a limited workforce who pull up trees as it is to run such a good operation which has gained an excellent reputation. Its exactly this reputation, nevermind staffing requirements, which should prevent us from looking to start a "santa lite" operation from the northern end.

From a few year's involvement with Santa's, i'd say/the only feasible way to expand the operation is to run Heralds/carol/dining trains on more days. They have lower staffing requirements and require fewer locos and stock. They also have the lowest profit margins and create the least interest amongst the public though
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KJEvans



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Kidderminster or Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy2857 wrote:
From a few year's involvement with Santa's, i'd say/the only feasible way to expand the operation is to run Heralds/carol/dining trains on more days. They have lower staffing requirements and require fewer locos and stock. They also have the lowest profit margins and create the least interest amongst the public though

The Heralds seem more popular now than they were when the DMU was used.
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GWR=Gresley Was Right...to learn from the Great Western
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mrmover



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
Posts: 868
Location: Shropshire

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBobby61 wrote:
Can I ask mrmover, do you actually know what the operation at Arley consists of and do you volunteer in any way to it? A couple of our members work every weekend from the beginning of October to Xmas Eve, most of the others volunteers involved with the set up also work most weekends. We are only a small group and there is a lot involved so any other extra workings would probably turn the few volunteers we have got away, certainly I would have to think twice before offering my services again.
So mrmover, please feel free to offer your services to help run this very profitable event, I'm sure you will be welcomed. Kidderminster are always in need of people to set Xmas up, due to the Remembrance Day Service, they have to delay the set up then rush to get it finished.


Yes, I am very aware of what the operation at Arley consists of. I am also aware of what the operations at Kidderminster and Bewdley involve, as well as the demands made of the traffic and signalling department. I have volunteered in the past, and will hope to do so again when my personal circumstances allow.

My comments about increasing the service or running an additional service from the northern end are based on the business opportunities that presents themselves. I did suggest that due to the personnel requirement, this might involve the use of seasonal staff, and from a business perspective this has very clear implications on the profitability of such an operation. That is why it was made as a suggestion, and I am sure that the number crunchers will be able to arrive at their conclusions, if they have not already done so.

I must say that I was disappointed in BigBobbyy61's post. It reads as a criticism of all those who are unable or unwilling to volunteer, and smacks of some of the old "Its my railway, not yours, so unless you do things my way you don't matter" attitude that we are desperately trying to rid ourselves of. For information, not that it makes any difference, it's also my railway, and I have been involved in it one way or another since 1968.
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Doune1965
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mrmover"]
BigBobby61 wrote:
Can I ask mrmover, do you I must say that I was disappointed in BigBobbyy61's post. It reads as a criticism of all those who are unable or unwilling to volunteer, and smacks of some of the old "Its my railway, not yours, so unless you do things my way you don't matter" attitude that we are desperately trying to rid ourselves of. For information, not that it makes any difference, it's also my railway, and I have been involved in it one way or another since 1968.


Similarly Mrmover the posts by you and various others each year at this time who do not help with the set up at the stations which takes two months, who do not help staff it, who work especially hard to ensure all our passengers get to see the man in red as quickly and efficiently as possible and truly understand how difficult and tiring it is. Yes your a member, however please remember those responding are as a rule not high up, or in management, we are just ordinary volunteers who care very dearly as you do for the railway.

If you really want to get rid of the volunteers put on more trains, add another weekend and put those who are already working every weekend in that season to the point of saying stuff it.

We do not have an endless supply of volunteers which if you really did volunteer you would understand. You would also understand just about every volunteer from the north end is helping run operations at Arley.

We used to do the last weekend in November and it was not successful, part filled trains which then put more pressure on the team over the remaining weekends. Our biggest difficulty is getting the man in red - we need 12 per day.


2 operations would cause in my opinion confusion with customers and the potential of disappointment and criticism. You bring up the same every year.

Do you think you could possibly accept what the responders who are working volunteers are saying. As Pete said the last weekend in November will be considered again.
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KJEvans



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Kidderminster or Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today's update give it as 72 full and 3 limited availability (out of 89). 2 Heralds are full with 3 limited availability.
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GWR=Gresley Was Right...to learn from the Great Western
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jackson_p



Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 435
Location: The Midlands, England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cherry_p wrote:
WEEKEND SANTA STEAM SERVICE - Your help is needed!!

We are just about to embark upon our busiest season of the year and it takes a lot of volunteers, to run it properly, on each day. Dates of operation are 5/6, 12/13, 19/20 and 24th December.
There are 13 trains per day with 350 passengers per train. There is a 45 minute gap in the middle of the day, with a lighter loaded train of 275 passengers, so that we can change over Santas. Santa changeover takes an hour as there are 6 grottos (but only one Santa!!!).
We have some volunteer vacancies that we really would like to fill. Thank you to the people who have already put their names on various lists.
Kidderminster
Working to the direction of the Stationmaster/Assistant Stationmaster
 Attaching numbered tickets to buggies and passengers. This is time consuming and very necessary as passengers have to put their buggies in the brake van in the train, and in the “buggy park” on arrival at Arley. We don’t like misplaced buggies!
Arley
Working to the direction of Jerry Beddows – maintenance foreman.
 Getting buggies off the train on Platform 2
 Emptying rubbish bins (it’s amazing how full they get after a couple of hours)
 Making sure the tardis toilets are fit for use
 Spreading salt on icy mornings
Working to the direction of Di Malyon
 Manning the buggy park
 Present moving – from the “warehouse” to Santa’s grotto
 People moving – standing talking to families before they go into Santa’s grotto (loosely called Elf duty)
 Santa – most turns are covered, but we always need spares to cover man flu, and we do need all turns covered to avoid a massive queue building up and the train service running late.
There may also be a need for extra assistance in the station shop.

A day of Santa steam is challenging but very, very rewarding. If you think that you would like to join our team, please contact me at diane.malyon@svrlive.com or phone 01746
766130.
Thankyou
Di Malyon
Santa Event Organiser

[notice board issue today 17/11/15 NBI-H-280]
Pete, would this request for volunteers be better placed as a standalone post in the General forum (public domain)?
Original post now moved to the General forum
http://forum.svra.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=3540
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KJEvans



Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 1238
Location: Kidderminster or Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So today's update is 74 full and 3 limited availability. The heralds are now 4 full and one limited availability.
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GWR=Gresley Was Right...to learn from the Great Western
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cherry_p



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 1869
Location: Solihull

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sales figures this afternoon for Herald + Santa Special now at 30,257, compared to last year’s 28,387. This is out of 32425 in each case.
Sales have slowed down a bit this week, but still on course for 100% sales.
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With over a week to go FB says just 968 tickets (2%) remain

Tickets are available on the 4.00 services on the first weekend and on Christmas Eve afternoon services. Santa Heralds are sold out

Patrick
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boldford



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 2729
Location: Glad to be no longer stuck on that linear parking lot known better as the M6

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cherry_p wrote:
Sales figures this afternoon for Herald + Santa Special now at 30,257, compared to last year’s 28,387. This is out of 32425 in each case.
Sales have slowed down a bit this week, but still on course for 100% sales.

hearn_p wrote:
With over a week to go FB says just 968 tickets (2%) remain

Tickets are available on the 4.00 services on the first weekend and on Christmas Eve afternoon services. Santa Heralds are sold out

Perhaps this is an area we should consider more selective pricing for the most popular trains?
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's going over old ground, but I agree

Patrick
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cherry_p



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 1869
Location: Solihull

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cherry_p wrote:
Sales figures this afternoon for Herald + Santa Special now at 30,257, compared to last year’s 28,387. This is out of 32425 in each case.
Sales have slowed down a bit this week, but still on course for 100% sales.
now 31677 sold, so 748 to go.
In particular 166 on the 4pm on the 5th, and 142 on the 4pm on the 6th.
Plenty of time to sell for the other days.
Every chance we'll sell out Santa Specials; Heralds already sold out.
And as was said in this afternoon's email with the latest figures, "And add to that 4000 school-children on the Crackers, two sold out Carol Trains and 74% of Christmas Carvery tickets sold…"
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michaelh



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 919
Location: Droitwich Spa

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cherry_p wrote:
cherry_p wrote:
Sales figures this afternoon for Herald + Santa Special now at 30,257, compared to last year’s 28,387. This is out of 32425 in each case.
Sales have slowed down a bit this week, but still on course for 100% sales.
now 31677 sold, so 748 to go.
In particular 166 on the 4pm on the 5th, and 142 on the 4pm on the 6th.
Plenty of time to sell for the other days.
Every chance we'll sell out Santa Specials; Heralds already sold out.
And as was said in this afternoon's email with the latest figures, "And add to that 4000 school-children on the Crackers, two sold out Carol Trains and 74% of Christmas Carvery tickets sold…"


All good news on top of the weekends with Tornado & Royal Scot as well as the Manor 50 Weekend. Should be a boost to the cash figures.
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hearn_p



Joined: 15 Nov 2003
Posts: 5713
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Santa Steam Specials: December 5th at 4.00pm only.

There will be NO tickets available on the day for Santa services this weekend.

Online booking has now ceased. Any remaining seats, including any late cancellations, are being dealt with by our Comberton Place offices at Kidderminster on 01562 757900 (option 1).


EDIT 5PM - 15 seats left, says Facebook

EDIT 6PM - sold out
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sharpo



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 3225
Location: Dark Side

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's Saturday. For those of you who can't get here to see them, I've been watching the trains climb towards the tunnel and all seems to be going well so far. No sun and very windy, but at least it's dry.

No doubt some videos to upload later.
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Probably better to check youtube videos:-
https://www.youtube.com/user/SharposWorld
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