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Bernie Dobson

Name: Bernie Dobson
Age:
53 From: Sussex
Department:
Ops (Trainee Guard)

Railways have always been in my blood, as my late father was a signalman, but narrow gauge has been my favourite. Very early in my life I was captivated by the story of the L&B, and a return to Minehead in 1997 gave me the chance to follow the course of the line in a sort of pilgrimage.

Somehow I had managed to miss the news of the purchase of Woody Bay station, so it was quite a surprise to find people there actually working on the building. I met a very nice chap who stopped what he was doing to explain it all to me. I was hooked! By 2000 I had decided that even living in Eastbourne did not prevent me from giving at least one day a year to the Railway. So it was one hot summer day that year that Frank Daff had me cutting the grass alongside the A39 with a swop. Since then I have helped clear the cutting, burnt tree stumps, helped lay track in the transhipment siding, and mix concrete for the platform edgings.

Since last year I have increased my volunteering to 2 days in the summer and the day after the AGM. My work now? I seem to have fallen into what I do best-PR work. I act as visitor guide giving information and doing tours of the shed when safe to do so, and under Fred Scholes' guidance I am also a trainee guard. This work is very enjoyable and to see the smiles on the visitors' faces is particularly rewarding. I think our visitors enjoy the personal touch.

To the youngsters, Woody Bay is a magic place. There really is nowhere else like it, and I hope we can help them grow up with the desire to come and join us in keeping the magic alive. This cannot be done without volunteers though, and so I would say to all members what I have said before - if you could give just ONE day a year to the railway it really would make a tremendous difference.
Are you shy? So am I by nature, but everyone at the line is so friendly this will never be a problem. I think that's what makes us stand out amongst some others. Long may it be so!!

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