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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 40 - Spring 1980

1980 - Steaming Ahead

We have come to the end of our first ten years at Quainton - what will the next ten years bring us? One thing is very certain, we must see to it that we get a bigger share in the entertainment market.

1979 was a disappointing year for the QRS We began the year badly and continued in that vein throughout the rest of the season. Despite the fact that we were steaming for seven extra Sundays, by the end of October we were well over 3,000 visitors down on 1978. We were running twice as hard and not even staying in the same place, at least Alice and the Red Queen managed to do that!!

There are probably several reasons for the decline: dearer petrol and the closing of filling stations on Sundays has tended to make families not so keen to go far from home; we face far more competition from other attractions; perhaps we have become a bit dull and stale, with a shortage of motive power and nothing new for our visitors. How can we attract them? Members differ strongly over this.

There are those who feel that more big engines would be the answer and cite Didcot as an example. There are those who would like to see us doing far more with what we have already got on the site, to turn ourselves into a really comprehensive railway museum. And there are those who would like to see us out on the line running between Aylesbury and Calvert. All these are long term projects and soon the Society will have to choose which way it will go - but, meanwhile, we need to earn more money, and quickly too, if we intend maintaining what we own now.

To that end the additional attractions for 1980 have been augmented, in the hopes that we can win back the visitors we have lost. In January all members should have received a letter from the Open Days Sub-Committee enlarging on the remarks in the Editorial and we hope you will agree with our gamble to reverse the downward trend of 1979.

With reference to our supporting attractions, VAMES are hoping to have more engines in steam on their track on our Open Days. Also they have now got plans drawn up for the 'VAMES STATION' which is going to look very good. The drainage on the site still has to be finished, but the part that has been completed is working most successfully.

The last two Steaming Sundays are as yet an unknown quantity, but we hope to make one of them a special event.

The Schools Steamings this year will cover five days from Monday 30th June to Friday 4th July - and members are asked particularly to come and help, because the Schools that have visited us are most impressed with the way we treat them and they reckon we are one of the best sites to visit. This is very heartening because a lot of work goes into these special steamings and more helpers would ease the load considerably. The children thoroughly enjoy their visits and it is excellent publicity for us.

We shall try the Christmas steamings again to see if we can do any better, and let us hope that by this time next year we are looking back on 1980 with a feeling of satisfaction!

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.

1980 - Steaming Ahead - Quainton News No. 40 - Spring 1980

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