Our Station Staff volunteers fill the role of either Station Assistant or Booking Office Clerk. A volunteer new to the Railway will normally start their service in the Station Staff Department as a Station Assistant although it is now possible to join as a Booking Office Clerk which entails an enhanced period of training. Those who start as a Station Assistant may, following a period of service after qualifying and if they are considered suitable, train as a Booking Office Clerk.
Both Station Assistant and Booking Office Clerk are public contact roles and either is likely to be the first member of the Station Staff to meet and greet our visitors. A cheerful disposition and the ability to give a smiling friendly welcome is thus considered mandatory as it is important that our visitors first impression of the Railway is a positive one.
Volunteers work as part of small teams so we expect them to act responsibly and use their initiative where necessary. Training is given and new volunteers are teamed with experienced staff until they are fully conversant with the procedures. There is a requirement to train at all four stations as doing so gives you more variety and our Roster Clerk more flexibility. Following a formal Assessment, newly qualified staff enter a period of probation, the length of which is determined by the number of duties performed.
Both Station Assistant and Booking Office Clerk are rostered positions based on an individual’s availability. It is important therefore to fulfil the duties as rostered. Rostering is achieved via the Heritage Operating Processing (HOPS) website and communication is normally by e-mail.
Normal duty start and finish times are shown on the department rosters published on HOPS but in exceptional circumstances these may alter. Accordingly therefore at all stations you will stay until the Station Master has finished his duties at the end of the day, or unless otherwise instructed.
The Company does not provide a uniform, but a dress code operates for those in direct contact with members of the public. It is expected that station staff will wear black trousers/skirt, white shirt/blouse, Railway’s Volunteer blue tie (compulsory with shirt) [ladies may wear a Volunteer’s scarf with a blouse], and black shoes not trainers. A Station Assistant may find it useful to wear a black pullover with the embroidered GWR logo so that they can be more easily identified as a member of the Railway staff. A name badge can be provided.
Station Assistants work mornings at Cheltenham Race Course station and full days at Broadway, Winchcombe and Toddington stations, with the latter being the priority location. Their role is to meet visitors as they arrive and answer their questions about the Railway, telling them where everything is, directing them accordingly, and answering questions about the timetable. It is not expected that a Station Assistant should know everything about the Railway initially! This is a public contact role that would suit volunteers who enjoy meeting people.
Station Assistants operate under the direction of the Duty Station Master. Duties include:-
- Helping the Train Guard and / or Travelling Ticket Inspectors with loading/unloading of wheelchairs on request, using the access ramps provided.
- Helping to keep the station and environs clean and tidy.
- Keeping the train time departure boards up to date.
- Working with the Railway’s Meet and Greet volunteers and/or Group Leaders in directing their groups to their reserved carriages.
No medical is required although you will need to be reasonably fit, as the role is platform based and will involve the use of the footbridge to cross the line if the Barrow Crossing is not accessible.
No experience is necessary, and the job may well be ideal for someone who perhaps is unsure what role to take on at the Railway, or who does not want to take on a Role with specific responsibilities.
Booking Office Clerk
If you are numerate, of a calm nature, enjoy meeting and dealing with the public, with a sense of humour and with a willingness to help then this could be a position for you. It is varied and interesting and opportunities are given to work at any or all of our stations.
Booking Office Clerks report to the Duty Stationmaster. Duties include:
- Manning one of our Booking Offices at Broadway, Toddington, Winchcombe or Cheltenham Race Course (CRC). In 2019, the last year when all stations were fully operational, CRC was our busiest station with 34.4% of tickets sold there, 33.5% at Toddington, 24.1% at Broadway and 8% at Winchcombe.
- Greeting our visitors when they present themselves at the Booking Office window.
- Ascertaining visitors’ travel intentions, the number and ages in their party and selling them the appropriate ticket(s) for their journey.
- Selling tickets, handling cash and credit / debit card readers.
- Making our visitors aware of any specific travel opportunities or restrictions that accompany their tickets.
- Following any security requirements in respect of cash
- Cashing up and recording tickets sold at the end of the day.
- Assisting the Stationmaster as required in other aspects of running the station.
No specific fitness levels are required. For most of the time you can be seated.
On special event days additional staff will be rostered to spread the workload. On these days you may be required to work in a temporary location provided for the purpose.
Station Staff volunteers are friendly, caring people, who will welcome you in their team. After serving as a Booking Office Clerk there is an opportunity to progress to the role of Stationmaster. This depends on having been trained as a Booking Office Clerk for at least 2 years, the number of duties already performed and the suitability of the volunteer.