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Volunteering Hints & Tips

Getting the most from your visit...


When To Come

There is always work to do around the railway and, whilst we can be busy and need help during school holidays, we can often be in need of help in term time and even the winter!

When you know what dates you want to come to the railway, give us a ring at the station or drop us an email and let us know. It is also helpful at this stage to give us an indication of the kind of work you would like to be involved in. We can then confirm those dates and ensure you are assigned work to do on those day(s).


What You Need

Suitable clothing and footwear for your work (see separate note below). Overalls or protective clothing may be required. If you are working outdoors, waterproofs are recommended. Packed lunch (tea making facilities are available in the mess hut and basic food can be purchased through the railway shop if open).

Clothing

When working on the railway, it is important to have the right clothing for personal comfort, safety and the image of the railway.

  • If you are working in a customer care / front of house area of the railway (catering, retail, on-train) you will need to look smart and be part of the corporate image of the railway.

Dark trousers or skirt, a white shirt / blouse / top, a plain tie, comfortable shoes.
 

  • If you are not working in a customer care area of the railway (trackside, gardens, workshop, loco crews) you will need appropriate old clothing in which you can work safely.

You may be working outdoors, so waterproof clothing that does not matter if marked or damaged is essential. High visibility clothing is required to work on the track outside station limits, but should not be worn in stations or on trains (HV clothing is provided by the railway when required). Footwear needs to be safe not fashionable.

NB - You will need good sturdy shoes (e.g. in the event of a breakdown you may be required to leave the train and walk along the track to assist etc.) Shoes with fashion heels etc. are not suitable and could affect your personal safety. Trainers etc are not suitable when working on the railway. Comfortable, sensible footwear with a good grip is far better. If involved with heavy objects, proper safety boots with steel toe caps are essential. Remember, whilst you may not drop anything, somebody else could - possibly on your feet.


When You Arrive

In the first instance please report to the General Manager - or if he is not available the Person In Charge of  Work (PICOW). On your first visit you will need to fill in a Volunteer Registration Form before you can start work. This is a prerequisite to being a volunteer.  To save time you can download the form here. Just fill it in and bring it with you.


Around the Area

As we are located in Exmoor National Park we are a stone's throw from many designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beaches with good sand (and surf) can be found at Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton, and nearby Lynmouth and Combe Martin are both attractive historic seaside villages with a selection of shops and eateries. There is a sports centre with a swimming pool in Barnstaple - also a thriving shopping centre featuring many high street names, the famous pannier market and the Museum of North Devon.

If you are into history; in Lynton make sure you visit the Lyn & Exmoor Museum. Parracombe village is home to the Grade One listed St Petrock's Church, which dates to the eleventh century. An excellent example of the remains of a Motte & Bailey Castle can also be seen on the far side of the valley.  Not too far away is also Arlington Court, National Trust house and gardens. The area provides many miles of countryside walks through stunning scenery - recommended walks include Watersmeet, Valley of Rocks, Heddon Valley and the Tarka Trail.

For essentials shopping, Lynton has a Londis, a Costcutter and a Post Office. For larger supermarkets such as Tesco's/Sainsbury's, the nearest are at Ilfracombe and Barnstaple.

If you are looking for entertainment for the children (or those older kids amongst us!), there several attractions across North Devon. Locally we have the Glen Lyn Gorge, Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park and Exmoor Zoo, not forgetting our friends the Milky Way Adventure Park near Clovelly, described as "one of best family days out in North Devon" and home of course to  the Lynbarn Railway.

The local tourist information centres are full of leaflets on things to do with your time in the area - far too many for one visit. The Lynton Tourist Information Centre phone number is 0845 6603232. The Lynton TIC is also happy to help with those trying to seek local accomodation.


Eating Out & Social Life

Being in such a fantastic tourist area, we are very lucky to have an incredible range of places to eat and socialise. Here are some such example to get you started...

  • The Fox & Goose (Parracombe) - Award winning food made from local produce - also the closest pub to the railway!
  • The Hunters Inn (Heddon Valley) - Just down the road from Killington Lane Halt - described as "a truly beautiful place to spend some time'"
  • Old Station Inn (Blackmoor Gate) - L&B Trust members get 20% discount on food at the restaurant - bring your membership card!
  • The Greenhouse (Lynton) - serves great value meals and regularly serves a good range of specials.
  • The Ship Aground (Mortehoe) - Open Mic Sessions Friday Evenings.
  • The Red Barn (Woolacombe) - Live Music Thurs Eve. Good sea view and plenty to eat. Also voted one of the top venues in Britain to meet that someone special...
  • The Crown (Lynton) - Food served in back room - also great to grab a drink.
  • The Reform Inn (Barnstaple) - good home made draught beers.

If you want any more recommendations, just ask any of our volunteers or staff on site and they'll be happy to help!


 

 

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