article by: SJO
In 2011, following its comparative isolation due to engineering work, Toddington Station had become rather the poor relation, despite still being the Railway's Head Office. So in May that year a small dedicated team of volunteers got together to look after the place, styling themselves the 'Friends of Toddington' (FOT). However the ‘Friends’ have now become a ‘Department’ within the Railway structure and will be referred to as such for the future.
Being a Volunteer is like being a domestic house-holder but on a slightly larger scale. The station buildings and land all need a lot of work to present an attractive environment for visitors.
The tasks involved fall into roughly three areas:
- Basic maintenance such as mending and painting fences, minor building repairs
- General cleaning/tidying for example window cleaning, platform sweeping
- Gardening including the entrance drive, Platform 1 and 2 embankments, picnic areas
If available, members of FOT are also encouraged to do a small amount of additional duties during GWR special events, many of which are held at Toddington: helping with car parking, acting as crossing monitors and so on.
The skills needed for FOT are basic DIY, gardening and taking pride in 'your' station.
The group meets regularly on Fridays. Some members pop in on other days when they have time to spare. There is no need to make a regular weekly commitment. Just a few hours a month whenever you can fit it in all help to keep the station looking neat.
A few DIY tools and garden implements are available. Some volunteers prefer to bring their own. Depending on the job in hand, sturdy gloves and boots are advisable, as is an orange hi-viz vest if you have one.
There is no additional membership fee for FOT, apart from a few hours of your time!
Note that to work at Toddington in an operational role such as in the Shop or Booking Office you need to join the appropriate department, not FOT.
For further information and to apply:
If you would like to get involved with as a 'Friend of Toddington' please see here to learn how to become a volunteer.