Volunteering at STEAM

It is a brand new year for STEAM and we are looking back over the past year and everything we have achieved together. We had an exciting 2017! Our volunteers began this blog, started delivering tours and continued to teach members of the public all about engines! We also held our successful biannual World War Two event which couldn’t have happened without our fantastic volunteers!

One of our volunteers, Ted Abear, is looking back even further to his long career as a Locoman and a long standing volunteer at STEAM. He comes in every ‘Meet the Railway Workers’ Saturday and makes a vital contribution to our ‘We’ll Meet Again’ event. He talks to school groups about his experiences in the war and what it was like to be a driver. Below are some thoughts on volunteering for STEAM from Ted.


Volunteering at STEAM – Ted Abear

Photo from Ted

I first started in the old Railway Museum in 1988 as a member of the Friends of Railway Museum. Every Saturday I was on the footplate of 4003 Lode Star and 6000 King George V.  On Thursday evenings the Friends of Railway Museum from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm cleaned the locos.

In 2000  the Friends became Friends of Steam Museum and were involved with preparing of 4073 for grand opening in June 2000 we were known as the Tuesday Gang and every Tuesday we cleaned the locos within the new Museum.

We carried on from opening of Museum on every other Saturday with talks by retired Drivers and Firemen, 8 in number, on what it was like to work on the footplate in steam days.


I have been doing this now for 17 years in the Steam Museum, sadly our numbers have diminished we now have only 2 Locomen now, myself and Eddie Houghton.

I enjoy meeting the public and telling them all about the working life on the footplate showing them my photographs, also about the locomotives explaining the workings and stories of events in my firing days.  If they (the public) are not over 49 years of age they never saw them in every day work.  We get good responses and thanks from everyone.




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