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Quainton News archive - Quainton News No. 37 - Winter 1978 / 9

More MSC Schemes for Quainton in 1979

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J R Fairman - Manager Dick Scott at the Helm

Two words of explanation before going into details of the very good news. Firstly, Dick is at the controls of the Hitchin turntable which are in the down yard whereas the table proper is in the up yard. (don't ask me why!). Secondly for Merseysiders MSC doesn't stand for Manchester Ship Canal but for Manpower Services Commission. And now to be serious. At the end of last year all the Job Creation Scheme projects were finished and new schemes were submitted to the MSC for approval. Our Executive Committee are pleased to announce that these schemes will be able to go ahead and they fall into two parts.

  1. Project Based Work Experience (PBWE) for one Manager, two Supervisors and eight trainees ages between 16 and 18 years.

  2. Special Temporary Employment Programme (STEP), for four of the existing non-craftsmen previously working under the JCS. This will terminate at the end of April 1979 because there is a limit of 52 weeks per employee.

The primary task is to get the new Catering Vehicle, W64, into useable condition. This will include floor repairs and internal fixtures and fittings comprising partitioning, shelving, cupboards and kitchen fitments, all to improve the amenities for our visitors.

In addition to the internal work on the coach there will be work outside at the former loading dock. A 10ft extension of the platform will be made which will involve excavation work, shuttering for a concrete retaining wall, concreting for the wall and an extension to the timber fencing. Furthermore there will be excavation and construction work for manholes and drains and a water supply for the Catering Vehicle. Another proposal is to make six frame-tables/seats for the Refreshment patio.

In the same programme improvements are to be made to the Station Gents toilet used by visitors and workers alike. A false ceiling will be constructed, new WC's will replace the old unit and there will be new sanitary fittings, wash basins, a shower and hot and cold water and drainage.

Continuing under the Project Based Work Experience programme for which there will be a Bricklaying and General Building Team under one supervisor and a Carpentry and Vehicle Restoration Team under another, there are plans to continue the work on the Wembley building by finishing the external concrete block walls and erecting the asbestos side sheeting above the level of the walls. Some gutter and roof repairs to the station building are scheduled and if there is enough time available some repairs may be carried out on the up yard locomotive pit where the ex Watford water tower is due to be erected. Probably the inclusion of these latter jobs is over ambitious but it is good to aim high and to include them as well as the possibility of the construction of a locomotive inspection pit in the Brill yard.

Vehicle restoration work included in the 1979 plans are firstly the complete renovation of the GNR six-wheeled compartment coach for passenger carrying duties. This will include repanelling of the exterior where necessary repairing the doors and rebuilding the internal partitioning and seating. Secondly, the LCDR carriage will be carefully externally renovated including replacing cracked panels, replacing missing beading and remaking one louvre for a door. Finally, on the LNWR passenger brake, there are plans to repair the flooring and to repanel the exterior where necessary . All this work on buildings and stock will of course require costly materials but we are singularly fortunate in having Dick Scott's services as Manager for these skilled teams as well as the unskilled STEP workers.

The STEP programme for the four months is also planned to include work on the Catering Vehicle but this will be confined to basic renovating, cleaning and exterior painting work needed to make it suitable for adaption as a kitchen and refreshment room. Some of the plumbing and drain laying work associated with the catering vehicle and with the renovating of the toilets will also be done by the STEP labour. Their programme of work embraces cleaning down, sand blasting or wire brushing and painting the Hitchin turntable and general site amenity improvements such as fencing off the up yard 'demonstration' line and yard surfacing in the refreshment patio area.

Altogether, in the PBWE and STEP schemes we have been given the opportunity of supervising nearly £26000 of labour and this has been supported by a materials grant of about 10% of the labour cost. For our part we will have to find the balance of the material costs and this will need a big effort by every member and perhaps some economies in other projects dear to our hearts. Nevertheless we must consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to have this continuing injection of labour into the Quainton Preservation Centre and our thanks are clue to those officers of the Society who have so successfully completed the transactions with the MSC for the 1979 Schemes.

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J R Fairman - Robert. Quainton March 1970 to September '71

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1978 and so does not reflect events in the 36+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

More MSC Schemes for Quainton in 1979 - Quainton News No. 37 - Winter 1978 / 9

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 November 2017