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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 29 - Autumn 1976
August Bank Holiday - 1976 - Crassus
Weather wise we were very lucky at Quainton. While heavy rain storms fell in districts around about our site we were not rained off, the car park remained passable and we had 300 more visitors this August weekend than in 1975. The total attendance in the three days was a very satisfactory 6500 and all the stalls made excellent sales as did our own shop. David Glennie had a record turnover for the weekend and the refreshment department had sold all the home made cakes and sandwiches by about 4 pm on the Monday.
Yes, there is no doubt, it was a good weekend and in some ways a relief that it wasn't as hot as it had been. At least it wasn't quite so tiring, but we were somewhat under-staffed on the Monday and missed the help of some of our experienced members who were on holiday. Names will not be mentioned, of course, but please try not to do it next year!!
On Saturday, Coventry No. 1 was in steam with Del's engine as the reserve. It was good to see the Peckett in working order; Del has done a good job on her. On Sunday we had only one train working. This was mainly because the wagons are not vacuum fitted and it was felt they should only be used on the Monday when we hoped for large crowds. S & T had plugged in the system but came to the conclusion that, as they were somewhat thin on the ground, it was hardly worthwhile signalling one train and so they got on with some work towards the new system. This was the first time, since two train running began in 1970, that we have worked only one train on a Sunday. Many members felt it was a retrograde step. Coventry began the service at 10am and Beattie took over at 2pm. She was having trouble from time to time by getting stuck in front dead centre.
On Monday, Coventry again began the service and came off at 2pm, her place being taken by Beattie, who disgraced herself an hour later by sticking "good and proper" in the yard. This was right in the middle of the busiest time of two train running, with the platform crammed with visitors. They were loving it and were watching as Colin Blowers struggled to get Beattie to reverse out onto the single line, prior to running into the platform. The passengers were hanging out of the windows watching the clouds of steam pouring from the cylinder cocks as, with regulator open, Beattie remained rooted to the spot. Del's train was held at South's Inner Home Signal and they must have wondered what the delay was! Trevor Page, who was acting as Yard Supervisor while Robin Waywell had his lunch, decided the only thing to do was to give Beattie a push with Coventry from the yard. Ralph Turner had left the engine in the care of the Fireman and had gone for a cup of tea. Luckily he was quickly found and came back to move Coventry up on to Beattie. She was pushed up into the single line section and then pulled back into the platform. For about another 3/4 of an hour Colin struggled with her starting problems and from the footplate of Coventry we watched him juggling with the reversing lever before he could persuade the old girl to propel her train out of the station.
From 2pm to 6pm Del's Peckett was heading the second train. She dealt most efficiently with the two wagons and brake van and looked very smart in her new green paint. These little four coupled Pecketts are most economical engines, as well as being attractive to watch. By now the Vintage Car Rally was well under way and despite the awful weather forecast, 28 cars and motor cycles had arrived. It began to drizzle at about 3.30 so several competitors left as soon as the judging had finished. By 5pm the drizzle had become rain and the wagons were taken out of service, Coventry continuing with the coaches until 6pm.
'Swanscombe' had been lit up in the morning because she was due for a boiler inspection and John Carter wanted to make sure everything was in order. She was kept in light steam during the afternoon and then while Beattie and Coventry were having their fires dropped, she and the Peckett did the shunting. They worked double headed for a bit and sounded marvellous! The left hand road in the Restoration building had to be left clear ready for the second lot of concreting, due to be completed on Saturday, 4th September.
Yes, it was a good weekend, our last for 1976. Thank heavens those Sikhs and their Guru were not successful with their rain dance and we were spared the much needed rain until the close of play.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 11 November 2017