As the warm weather looks set to last, we are busy planning all of the fun activities coming to the STEAM museum this summer. Here, ‘Meet the Railway Workers’ volunteer Bernie Workman tells us about his lifelong enthusiasm for trains.
Although I’ve never worked for the railways, it has always been an interest and a hobby of mine. I am a life member of the Western Railway Association and a train enthusiast. My 50th birthday present from my family was a steam train driving experience.
I like to make notes on the train journeys I take, but I would classify myself as a train enthusiast rather than a train spotter. I have notes going back 30 years. I don’t know what it is about trains, I just find them fascinating.
When I was a child, I had model trains, but my interest has grown as I have become older. I prefer the slightly older steam trains, but I do have an interest in the newer ones too. The replica of the North Star at the museum is particularly fascinating to me.
I started volunteering with the STEAM museum about 2 years ago. The local job centre put me in touch with the education officer at the museum at the time, who decided to take me on as a volunteer. I’ve been here ever since.
I do other volunteering as well – I volunteer for the British Heart Foundation testing the electrical goods before they re-sell them in their charity shops.
I enjoy being surrounded by steam engines. I admit my knowledge is limited, but I enjoy being able to talk to the other volunteers and gain more knowledge from them. I get on really well with the other ‘Meet the Railway Workers’ volunteers, which is one of the best things about it.