IT’S 6.30am on a Saturday and the alarm is sounding.

After a week at work this isn't the most welcome start to the weekend, but the prospect of a day on the railway makes it all the easier.

I'm also very mindful that it could be much worse, because I know that there will already be a volunteer at Haworth lighting the steam engine ready for the day’s operation.

After checking my tie is straight, shoes polished and uniform smart, I head off to take up my duty at Oakworth Station.

I arrive and make sure that the station is prepared for the day, with the barrows placed on the platform, the old luggage and the vintage bicycle displayed ‘just so’, and most importantly getting the booking hall fire lit (it's always a bit chilly at Oakworth!).

The first train is due to leave Oxenhope at 9am, so I need to be ready to open the crossing gates just after then. The ‘treddle’ bell rings at 9.05am.

The treddle is a mechanism on the track that is activated as the train passes over, ringing the bell at Oakwoth to let me know that the train has departed Haworth on time and that I need to get the gates closed to road traffic, take the interlocking keys from the mechanism on the gates, which allow me to release the signal on the ‘groundframe’.

The train arrives at the station and clears the level crossing, so I replace the signal and open the gates to the waiting road traffic, then make sure everyone who wants to alight or board is safely on or off-board, then whistle and raise my arm the ‘tip’ to the guard to let them know that the train is ready to depart.

After checking that the train has safely departed, I go back to the booking office and ring the ‘block bell’, which lets the signal box at Damems Junction using a series of bell codes that the train is en route, so they can prepare the points and signals for the train to enter the passing loop.

Then I get to relax until the train returns from Keighley.

When I say relax, I mean get the Brasso out and polish the bells and brasses to make sure all is spic and span, stoke the fires and, when all that's done, make sure the kettle is on!

After all that, it's time for the train to return, so the block bell rings to let me know the train is leaving Damems, alerting me to operate the gates and signal.

And that's the pattern for a day enjoying the tranquillity and ambience of Oakworth Station, showing passengers round the film set for The Railway Children and, I don't mind admitting, spending the day playing one of my childhood idols, Mr Perks.

I was also a great fan of Top Gun, but am still working on that one...

If you would like to train for this or any other volunteer role, please do get in touch!