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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 34 - Spring 1978
The Secretary's Page
The Extraordinary General Meeting, reported elsewhere in this issue, provided the opportunity for us all to examine the administrative structure of our Society. What did come through loud and clear was there are still not enough members helping with Society administration, especially at subcommittee level. We must rely on our sub-committees for the day to day running of our Society. Just as we have national and local government; one to attend to matters of policy, legislation, external affairs and budgetary control, and the other to remain much closer to the "grass roots" and to retain detailed local knowledge and expertise. Our Executive cannot hope to have all this "local knowledge" within our Society because of the ever mounting volume of legislation and external matters with which it has to deal. It simply does not have the time to investigate fully many of the minor issues presently thrust upon it. The result can be a decision made with the best knowledge available and in the best interests of members but nevertheless at variance with the views of those most intimately affected. We are then charged with "poor communication" and other phrases used when people are not properly consulted!
Offers of help at Executive level are always acceptable but often difficult to utilize fully except for specific tasks. It is our sub-committees that now need help so that they can attend to the day to day events and relieve the Executive of these matters.
We do not elect the members of our sub-committees and only the Chairmen have to be approved by our Executive Committee. This is intentional as it removes the personal feeling of being too committed that prevents many people from holding more senior office within our Society. An ideal subcommittee is a group of people (we have never defined the exact number) with a common principal interest in one aspect of Society affairs. They should be in close touch with other members and events pertaining to that aspect of our activities. Formal meetings of the group are required only every six weeks when decisions are minuted and formal recommendations made to the Executive.
If you think that you can help, please write to the Chairman of the subcommittee in which you would like to serve, or see him at Quainton. Only by strengthening our sub-committees now can we ensure the continued growth of our Society without losing the personal involvement of our members which we have always considered to be fundamental to our way at Quainton.
1978 will not be an easy year for us and the Executive has already had to do some drastic pruning of our budgets to distribute fairly the disappointments over all the things we would like to do. As it is, our anticipated 1978 income is still short of our 1978 budgeted expenditure. This means we must raise more money by additional attractions during our Open Days and we are in urgent need for members to come forward with new ideas and the enthusiasm to help put them into practice. The Open Days Sub-Committee (yes, sub-committee again) will welcome all suggestions. Special openings at Christmas are a possibility with Santa Claus Specials during our leanest period of the year; again help is needed and not least a volunteer to be Santa himself!
We have had to make another of those agonizing decisions with our purchase of the Hitchin Turntable. Our tender has been accepted and although we hope to obtain a Grant-in-Aid from the Science Museum to help us pay and transport this important piece of railway archaeology, it will mean the inevitable postponement of something else we would like to do. We cannot spend our money twice! However, we believe we are right to give priority to an item such as this, an opportunity to purchase one of the very last vacuum-operated 60ft turntables in the country. We now have a complete wheeldrop and turntable, which are of no immediate use to us but which are a priceless investment for the future.
Don't forget, write or talk to those sub-committee chairmen and help us to make our 1978 season our best financially and most easily run yet. Don't leave it to the next member, it is YOUR help we need NOW.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 17 November 2017