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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981
Our Forward Policy - Hon Secretary
A number of years ago the Executive Committee, after consideration of our declared aims as a Society and discussions among our members, decided upon a forward policy for the overall development of our Railway Preservation Centre. An article giving these objectives was published in the Quainton News of Spring 1976, No. 27. At the end of each year and when attempting to set the priorities for the following year's budget, we review this policy and, within the framework of the original guidelines, amend and update it for the forthcoming year's operations. The Executive Committee met on 6th December 1980 and the following notes are a synopsis of the current agreed policy.
1. Down Yard
The down yard should continue to be developed as a working example of the vintage railway scene going back to the Victorian era. The operation of our smaller locomotives and vintage train will continue, although the oldest coaches would be withdrawn and replaced for a time by our two more modern (but still vintage by modern standards) Gresley coaches, so that further restoration can take place on the older vehicles.
The proposed mechanical signalling system and newly acquired signal box, besides meeting the requirements of the Department of Transport, will be developed as an important part of our vintage railway operations.
2. Up Yard
The up yard should present a more modern image of steam railway operation. The buildings and facilities will be developed in such a way as to provide restoration and servicing facilities for larger locomotives and rolling stock, this to include facilities for servicing visiting locomotives and those of our own that may be, in future years, employed from time to time in working on BR and possibly other railway systems.
It is our intention to have reinstated the connection from the BR line to our reception siding as soon as is economically practical. (There is no point in spending a lot of money on this until we are in a position to use it!) It has always been our intention to operate 'outside the confines of Quainton'; this can only mean one thing and that is a steam passenger service to Aylesbury on selected days of the summer weekends when the BR line is unlikely to be used. A more enlightened attitude by BR, plus the hard economical facts that such co-operation should be very beneficial to BR and to ourselves, makes this day, we trust, within the foreseeable future. It is, however, no use entering into negotiations with BR until we are ready, because our approach must be responsible and be seen to be viable. For this we must have the locomotives and rolling stock restored to BR standards and the facilities to keep them this way.
In the short term we intend to relay and fence off a demonstration line for the operation of our larger locomotives, making use of our own land. This is to encourage those of our members and other societies who are busy in restoring locomotives, so that they have somewhere to 'operate' and to enable the Society to raise more funds by limited passenger carrying on public open days.
Besides the acquisition of items of purely historical interest, which must always be our aim as a railway preservation society, we intend to purchase, as funds permit, motive power and rolling stock suitable for operation on BR. We want to be ready for the day when we do make approaches to BR for their co-operation in 'spreading our wings'. We have recently purchased our second Gresley coach, so that our vintage train can be temporarily withdrawn for further restoration. These two coaches, plus another if we can get it, will be restored to BR running condition.
We will continue to develop our site as funds and opportunity allow. It has always been our policy to provide covered accommodation for our relics and this will continue. We will continue to press BR for the purchase of the main station building and surrounding land that may become available. Plans are being prepared for the siting of the Lewisham footbridge at the southern end of our site. This will provide a link between our two yards and must improve the 'traffic flow' during our major open days. This will be especially important once the Wembley Building is open to the public.
For financial reasons for erection of our larger permanent Sales and First Aid facility must be postponed, but the possibility of a suitable temporary building that will be acceptable to the local planning authorities will be actively pursued.
4. 1981 Season
Our immediate need is to raise more money without being seen to do so, by an increase in our admission charges, train rides and refreshments. We presently have a reputation for giving good value for money, which is why, in our opinion, our attendance figures have been generally maintained. So we must provide more fund raising entertainments for our visitors, which, at first sight, may not be exactly in keeping with a railway preservation centre, but must be considered as a means to an end. Two train running, possibly with brake van rides in the short siding, will be reintroduced as soon as PW and signalling works allow, in order to raise more money and to provide an added attraction.
In connection with the above, we must make our site more attractive with what we have got. We intend to restore externally more of our static exhibits and to generally tidy up our site, which, in recent months, due to pressures of other work, has been allowed to become less attractive than it might be. Additional ladies toilets will be hired for our major open days.
Work will continue on the station building and platforms and restoration will eventually be to the original Metropolitan Railway condition.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 18 November 2017