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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 39 - Autumn / Winter 1980

MSC - JCS - STEP - PBWE - John Fairman

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J R Fairman - Bill Davis - our chippy

In 'Quainton News' No. 37, full details were given of the proposals made and approved by the Executive Committee for work to be carried out through the Manpower Services Commission schemes during 1979. This is a progress report on the excellent work carried out up to the beginning of September. Although the labour force has not been as large as we had hoped, we have been very fortunate in having two excellent craftsmen at Quainton who, this year, have been employed as the supervisors under the Project Based Work Experience scheme. They are Bill Davis of Quainton and Terry Scott of Winslow. Both have been with us since the earlier Job Creation scheme days - Bill joining us in January 1978 and Terry a month later. Bill is a first class carpenter and Terry is a most valuable all-rounder who is able to carry out bricklaying, roofing, drain-laying, concreting and so on. In fact, Terry had been in business on his own account before coming to Quainton.

At the end of December 1978, the Society were informed that the former JCS had finished, but in its place certain new schemes were available. Firstly there was STEP, the Special Temporary Employment Programme. Under STEP it was possible to continue the employment of the four remaining JCS men for additional periods up to the specified limit of 52 weeks. So, happily, we had Kevin Webb, Mike Gordon, John Carter and Barry Randall with us, the first two to the end of April 1979, John to the end of June and Barry to September.

Secondly there was the PBWE scheme, which enabled us to continue with Dick Scott as manager and our two craftsmen, Bill and Terry, as the Carpentry and Bricklaying / Building supervisors - to look after up to eight trainees aged from 16 to 18 years. Under the PBWE scheme the supervising craftsmen were required to educate applicants technically and, to some extent, socially and to give them advice on their role in society as employees. Recruitment was from the Youth Employment Office from the ranks of lads who had been unemployed for more than six weeks. Each youth was entitled to one day release for part-time education, a fixed allowance or payment and, in due time, would have received a good insight into the trade of his choice.

Unfortunately, the number of applicants produced by the Aylesbury Job Centre did not come up to expectations and the two lads who did actually start in January each lasted only a few days. Perhaps the employment situation in the district has not been sufficiently poor to encourage youngsters to do some real work; whatever the reason it cannot be said that the PBWE scheme at Quainton has been a great success in terms of training lads for industry. However, for the Society and for future generations of visitors to our Live Museum, the continuing employment of Bill and Terry has been a wonderful asset. By working with the assistance of the STEP chaps, they have wrought many changes to our depot and have done very well indeed to complete many of the tasks determined last year by the Executive. There is no doubt at all that our premises have been very much improved by their labours. Thank you all.

Let us have a look around the site at some of the jobs done since the beginning of the year, but please don't forget the many other jobs done by members too.

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J R Fairman - Two Gents! Terry Scott and Barry Randall

First, the station building, where the modernisation of the interior of the Gents has been carried out. Four new hand-basins, two new toilets and a shower are nearly finished. The shower unit and the WCs have been built to a most ingenious layout in the station lamp-room, which formerly had its door straight onto the platform. This access has not been retained for the shower(!), but to avoid spoiling the original appearance of the building the door and frame, now labelled 'Cycles', has been left in position. Inside the Gents the old whitewashed rafters and boarding have been covered with smartly varnished match boarding, a new concrete floor has been laid, a new urinal channel fitted and, on the opposite side of the room, the new hand-basins have cupboards underneath and mirror tiles above. It really does look very tidy. The old temporary door to the Gents has been replaced with a new permanent door. Norman Dicker, a local man, is doing the plumbing professionally and, when it is all finished, with running hot and cold water, we will have first rate facilities for members and public alike.

On the station building there has also been a lot of repair work carried out to window and door frames and estimates are being obtained for a new moulded frame for the main double doors to the booking office and to the kitchen. The renewal of two of the canopy timbers may also be put in hand. Once all the woodwork has been repaired or replaced the complete repainting of the station in green will be done before, we hope, the end of the scheme. Other jobs on the station which have been completed include the renewal of the top part of the skylight in the Gents, the pointing of a good deal of the brickwork on the south end and on the yard side, the stripping, re-felting and re-slating of large areas of the roof on the 'railway' side, the repair of leaks on the canopy sheeting, the clearing and replacement where necessary of defective drains and downpipes and repairs to guttering on both sides. Quite a shopping list, you'll agree!

In the former cattle dock stands our Catering Coach, W64, and what an asset it is proving to be. The dock has been extended by about 15 ft to accommodate the bogie vehicle and this work has been done by Terry and the lads, including the paving. The Coach has been completely refurbished inside to designs worked out to give the very best service for staff and customers. The principle of a self-service counter was adopted with a seating area at the south end for 20 persons at tables of four. Following necessary floor repairs and the installation of the kitchen partition, cupboards, the counter, internal shelving, fixtures and fittings, Bill Davis has made the timber benches and tables which look very workmanlike. Outside the coach the yard, formerly the cattle dock platform, has been made available as an open air cafe where visitors can sit at tables in the sun (we hope!).

Another major job which has been progressed this year is the Wembley building. The picture shows the new block walls up to the height of nearly 7 ft and ready for the roof and side sheeting, which we hope will be able to be afforded very soon.

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J R Fairman - The Wembley Building - 29th August 1979

I think all members will be very pleased with the results achieved by the MSC men at Quainton, not only in 1979 but in previous years. There is no doubt in my mind that the progress has been much greater than we could possibly have made by volunteer labour and, furthermore, the skills of the craftsmen were probably not available within our membership. So I would like to express our gratitude to the lads for the worthwhile tasks they successfully completed for Quainton. Thank you and well done. (I would like to hold referring to Mike Gordon's marvellous work on No 77 which is so much admired.)

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1980 and so does not reflect events in the 34+ 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.

MSC - JCS - STEP - PBWE - John Fairman - Quainton News No. 39 - Autumn / Winter 1980

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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