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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 28 - Summer 1976
Easter Report - Crassus
The weeks preceding the Easter weekend are always hectic although we try to avoid this last minute rush every year - but we never seem to succeed! This year we had all the additional work which had arisen from the decision made by the Committee to do all possible to meet the recommendations of the Railway Inspectorate and this subject is covered in a separate article.
Our Locomotive Department did very well in having several members available in the fortnight before the holiday and they made a concentrated onslaught on the Beattie, Coventry No. 1 and the Pannier resulting in the three engines being ready by Good Friday . We had looked forward to seeing the Beattie in service but it was an extra pleasure to see Coventry No. 1 in brilliant new blue livery with No. 1 on the red buffer beams. C & W members had every right to be pleased with the vacuum braked train ready and in operation on the first day of the weekend but it was a near thing!
The PW Department, under Neville Royce's guidance had already put in some hard work on the main line, resleepering and packing and they had to fettle up one of the points before it could be fitted with a facing point lock. On the Saturday morning the train operation began at noon after final attention to the station points.
tn the three days 9050 visitors came to Quainton and we even made a modest profit on the special charter DMU from Aylesbury. The new policy of reducing the number of visiting Sales stands proved very beneficial to the QRS Sales department and to the stands of our affiliated Societies and they had their best-ever-takings. The refreshments section also reported record sales and they had sold half their stock of fizzy drinks on the Saturday! The bottle stall made a handsome £110, the White Elephant stall a valuable £40 and Dave Glennie's bric-a-brac and home produce stall yielded a splendid £56.
Visitors and visiting members were impressed by the great improvements made in the depot arrangements with fencing, repainting and the generally tidy and shipshape appearance of the site. The request to members to park in the field made it much better for picnics to be taken on the grass in the up yard was also enlivened by the VAMES portable miniature railway which was in operation on the Sunday and Monday at the Aylesbury end of the yard. Jim Stevens' little Pannier tank, Pansy, was in steam but it had to be relieved by Alan Vessey's Metropolitan battery electric loco after she developed eccentric trouble. Altogether, 600 children had rides on the narrow gauge and it is clear that the VAMES permanent track will be a very popular innovation.
The weather at Easter 1976 was sun and balmy breezes - a great improvement on Easter 1975 with its snow and biting east winds. On the Sunday a hot air balloon, (G-AZBH, for balloon gricers!), drifted over the depot and exchanged its klaxon greetings with the steam whistles of our locomotives and on Easter Monday a small plane of unknown breed wrote a beautiful Q in the skies over Quainton. Yes, it was an Easter to remember with pleasure in so many ways.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 05 November 2017