We are up to our eyes in mud and grease!

We are up to our eyes in mud and grease!

When we reach a certain age, we are gently pushed sideways and become invisible; we ‘retire’.

To many this is looked forward too as a time to slow down, to relax, put our feet up and sip Pimms in the sun. But many of us know this is utter rubbish, we are working harder now than we ever did when ’employed’ making the most of our time doing things WE want to do.

I am in my twelfth year of retirement and have never stopped, the years have flown by. The attached photo is of John Clare and myself, both the same age and both of us attended the same school, Bletchley Road County Secondary, Bletchley.

Here we are, on our knees up to our elbows in mud and grease, fitting and adjusting a set of ‘Spring-Points’ on the Leighton Buzzard Railway (www.buzzrail.co.uk) as part of their volunteer Permanent Way Gang.

All such maintenance and repair is done in the winter months of January to March, when the trains are not running.

Then we become the train guard, ticket office, shop assistant, etc. A huge number of similar preserved railways, museums, NT houses and charities rely totally on we ‘unpaid, retired volunteers’ to survive.

It is our free expertise that keeps such organisations up and running, and we love it!

Neil Cairns
Leighton Buzzard