Are you looking for the chance to learn a new skill, or to put to good use one you already have?
Would you like the satisfaction of helping to preserve an important part of Britain's industrial history, while providing a train ride enjoyed by thousands of people every year?
If so, then come and join us! We now have the Buzzrail Juniors section, so that the under-16s can get involved more fully as well.
DOWNLOAD a membership application form, and send it, with your membership fee, to Membership Secretary, Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society, Page's Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 4TG.
Or contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 01525 373888 (international +44 1525 373 888).
The Leighton Buzzard Railway is operated by the members of the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society. This is a non-profit organisation, with Exempt Charity status (No XN31863), dedicated to preserving and operating the railway as part of our industrial and social heritage. The entire railway, as well as its collection of locomotives and rolling stock, is an Accredited Museum (No 1631). This status was renewed by Arts Council England in 2015, following a successful review of processes and procedures.
Almost all of the work involved in operating and managing the railway is carried out by Society members on a voluntary basis. Training is provided where needed, and qualification by examination is required for safety-critical operational duties. There are also age and health restrictions for some tasks. Here is an A to Z (almost!) of some of the areas where we would welcome new volunteers:
ADMINISTRATION: Not all jobs on the railway are for the fit and healthy, and they certainly don't all involve getting dirty! We need more help "behind the scenes", especially on non-operating days.
BOOKING OFFICE: A vital job that will suit people who enjoy customer contact, and are good with numbers. Full training given.
BUILDINGS MAINTENANCE: We need people to help looking after our buildings and other structures, and planning new ones--including the new station building at Page's Park.
COACHES: People with carpentry, painting or mechanical skills will find lots of enjoyment keeping our passenger coaches in good shape, as well as building some new ones in coming years.
FOOTPLATE CREW: If you would like to train to become a steam locomotive Fireman, and perhaps later a Driver, we have occasional vacancies. Be warned that this is physical, dirty work, with an early start. So it is not for everyone, but it can be very satisfying.
GUARDS: For those who prefer the "clean" end of the train, enjoy customer contact, and are comfortable with responsibility for the safety and punctuality of the train, becoming a Guard or Assistant Guard is a great way to help the railway.
HEDGE-CUTTING: We have over 5 miles of hedges, which grow very quickly in Summer. Are you the kind of fit, outdoor type who can go out regularly and cut them back?
INTERNAL COMBUSTION: Our railway's history mirrors the story of internal-combustion traction on the railways, and we have a nationally significant collection of petrol and diesel locomotives to restore and maintain, dating from 1917 to 1999.
LOCOMOTIVES-STEAM: Maintaining, repairing and restoring our nationally significant collection of steam locomotives - which dates back to 1877 - is a vital but never-ending task. There are regular working parties at Page's Park shed on Tuesdays.
MARKETING: We are in a very competitive market, and have to work hard to win every customer. So if you have a talent for publicity or event management, what better place to use it?
PARKING: On Bank Holidays and special event days, we need people to manage the car parks at Page's Park, to make sure that everyone can get in and out properly. A nice, light outdoor job, that is essential to our customers' enjoyment.
RADIO SIGNALLER: On days when more than one train is in service, the Radio Signaller has the responsible task of ensuring that only one train is on any stretch of line at the same time. Based in the office at Page's Park - but with some movement to and from the platform - this will suit people who are unable or unwilling to play a more physically active role.
SHOP: The shop at Page's Park enhances our customers' enjoyment of their visit, and makes a valuable contribution to the railway's finances. It needs to be staffed whenever the station is open. Another clean, indoor job, with lots of customer contact.
TRACK: Totally relayed since the late 1980s, our track is now in better shape than it has ever been - but we need to keep it that way! If you like physical work in the open air, and the satisfaction of seeing a job well done, then this is for you. There are regular working parties on Mondays, if you want a sample of what goes on.
VANDYKE MOWING: Our award-winning wildflower meadow at Vandyke Curve needs mowing every autumn, to make it bloom again in spring.
WAGONS: We have a nationally significant collection of wagons, representing the wide variety of industries which once used narrow-gauge railways as an integral part of their operations. Some are in regular use, and need maintenance. Others are in need of conservation or restoration. Lots of scope for all levels of skill.
If you would like to support the Leighton Buzzard Railway, whether as an active volunteer or simply by staying in touch, come and join the Society.
Adult membership costs £24 per year, which entitles you to free travel, insurance when working on the railway, a regular newsletter and an award-winning magazine. Not to mention the sense of achievement!