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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 32 - Summer 1977
The 8th AGM of the QRS
The meeting this year at the Red Cross Centre at Oxford Road, Aylesbury seemed to create a more lively atmosphere than Stoke Mandeville Hospital last year. It was certainly more crowded and there were 54 shareholders present. Sometimes heated and sometimes vociferous were the contributions from the floor. My job is to record the highlights so that members can know the decisions made and so that we can move forward together with a fuller understanding of the objectives for the year.
1. Catering Building
It wasn't long before we realised the impact of inflation on our affairs. The Brill or down yard building would now cost double what it actually had cost and the cost of the proposed east or up yard building is climbing in a frightening way. The decision to go ahead was needed but the sentiments of the members present came through loud and clear; that the Society should give first priority to money earning amenities like a Catering and Sales building, even at the expense of delay in the speed of progress on restoration projects. Much better toilet facilities were also a priority as an adjunct to a new refreshment complex. Members appreciated that such a building would cost between £4,000 and £5,000 for materials only, would need Planning Permission and would have to be designed to meet all relevant Building Regulations.
The Secretary explained that, in the east yard, we own the land on which Phases 1 and 2 of the proposed depot building will be built and he pointed out the possibility of losing the money promised by two groups of members who were willing to provide a sizeable proportion of the necessary finance. He also expressed his concern at the deterioration of rolling stock which is, at present, exposed to the elements. The Treasurer made it clear that the postponement of the east yard building would not automatically provide the funds for constructing an amenities block in the Brill yard. Ideas of raising money by selling some of the unrestored rolling stock were discussed but discounted and there was much debate. It was the clear wish of those present that an appeal should be launched to establish a Catering / amenities block fund and most members signified their intention of giving their personal financial support to the project. (More about this scheme is given elsewhere in the Quainton News - Ed.)
2. Signalling the Down Yard
Opinions differed as to whether various schemes for providing an acceptable signalling system for the down side had been presented or thought out properly. S & T representation on the Executive Committee, or its lack, gave much concern to a number of members. Trevor Chalmers stated that he would be happy to install a system as approved by the D of E and it was suggested that any proposals should be sent to him forthwith.
3. Executive Committee Report, 1976
The report was accepted unanimously subject to the Executive Committee setting up a Catering / Sales Building Fund with a fund raising committee, that S & T should have a representative on the Executive Committee and that the S & T Chairman, Trevor Chalmers, should receive alternative designs for signalling systems and layouts for Quainton down side.
4. Accounts, 1976
These were adopted with congratulations to the Treasurer on his presentation and explanations. Andrew Bratton said we had done well to retain our level of profit during the year and to keep pace with inflation. He appealed to members to pursue their individual efforts towards money making schemes and he gave the meeting details of the financial arrangements involving the merger of the Wightwick Hall Society with the QRS.
5. Election of Executive Committee, 1977/78
Details of the elected and co-opted members are given on the back page. The meeting voted Chris Tayler onto the Committee for the first time and returned Roy Miller and Frank Boait. Later in the meeting there were expressions of grateful thanks to the work of the Committee in 1976 and especially to Peter Hoskings at the end of his period of service.
6. Society Administration - A Working Party?
Chris Tayler had tabled a resolution for the meeting to consider. It proposed an independent working party to study and make recommendations on the Society's management structure. He spoke to his resolution and pointed out that the present structure dated from the days of the LRPS. He considered it time the matter should be examined and thought any progressive organisation would do this as normal practice.
The Chairman and Secretary both referred to the importance of sustaining the authority of the Executive officers who, by law, represented the Society in many negotiations and representations with outside parties. Other members spoke of the problem of communications between the Executive and the working members. There was general agreement that there was a difficulty in finding suitable members who were willing to serve the Society in an administrative capacity.
After considerable discussion and recognising that he had been elected to the Executive Committee that evening, Chris Tayler withdrew his resolution but agreed to make it his special task to study the Society administration and to exchange views with his fellow Committee members. He also undertook to report to an Extraordinary General Meeting in the autumn his findings and conclusions as a member of the Executive.
7. Publicity and Communications
These twin subjects had a good airing and there was a common wish to see the Society's activities brought more positively to the notice of enthusiasts and the public. It was questioned whether the Society advertised enough in railway journals. The Chairman appealed for more articles and photographs for Quainton News. (Hear, hear - Ed!) Some members felt a need for an improvement in the transmission of Executive Committee decisions to them. They wanted to learn facts and not to have to listen to rumours. The Secretary thought Chris Tayler might consider preparing an edited version of the Minutes for posting on the Society notice boards.
It was quite a day! How our Chairman survived I shall never know. He spent the whole morning at Quainton Road keeping an Executive Committee meeting in order and then conducted the Annual General Meeting with a calm confidence and patience which could only just be ruffled if you tried ever so hard. Well done Peter, say I!
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 12 November 2017