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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 46 - Spring / Summer 1982

A Busy Easter

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J M Hutchings - Boadicea, a 1919 McLaren 10 hp Road Locomotive

Thanks to some excellent publicity, reasonable weather and an attractive programme, the attendance figures were far better than last year - 7,350 people came this Easter over the two days, 4,505 on the Bank Holiday. Nearly 1,900 visitors reached the site on the Quaintonian and everybody was able to see a fine display of traction engines, road locomotives and road rollers, stationary engines, the new ex-works demonstration goods train, VAMES running on their full circuit for the first time, all the usual Quainton attractions, plus a beer tent, excellent refreshments in the 'restaurant' car and plenty of market stalls.

As I said, credit must be given to Peter Hoskings for some hard work on 'selling' Quainton to the press, thereby gaining valuable publicity. A Press Day was held on 1st April and the choice of All Fools Day led to Philip Colmore of the Birmingham Mail being very sceptical about accepting our invitation! Actually we had twenty 'gentlemen' of the press along to see the depot and volunteer guides were Austin Harland, Chris Tayler, Frank and Jo Boait, Bob Frise, Tony Lyster, John Carter, Ray Horsley, Roger and Sandy Wornham, Dusty Miller and, of course, the maestro himself, Peter Hoskings. Many local papers featured the news about our season's events and picked out those attractions which they thought would be particularly interesting. Focus, the free paper based on Rickmansworth, linked our activities with the coincident visit of the Talyllyn Railway's engine Dolgoch to Marylebone and Watford in an exhibition train called the Mid Wales Experience. Papers published for readers in Bucks. County, Wycombe and Luton all gave news of Quainton . It had been a good idea and we thank the press for coming and for their subsequent reports. Radio Oxford were also interested in what was happening at Quainton and broadcast an item on, I understand, 25th April.

Back to Easter. Thanks to all the hard work of many members, the site looked quite spick and span and it was good it see all the visiting road steamers lined up in the up yard. Here is the full list on the Easter Sunday parade:

1. HC2431 Fowler 7769 / 1897 - 6 hp Convertible
2. BJ 5934 Marshall 61970 / 1913-7 hp Agricultural Tractor
3. WF1864 Mclaren 1652 / 1919 Boadicea 10 hp Road Locomotive
4. NM 74 Fowler 17539 / 1930 Saraben 7 hp Agricultural Tractor
5. RL547 Burrell 4005 / 1928 Santon 5 hp Road Roller
6. BJ 5510 Garrett 33296 / 1918 Pride of Penn 4 hp Agricultural Tractor
7. BH 6791 Fowler 7788 / 1897 Black Jack 8 hp Agricultural Tractor
8. SR 1516 Tasker 1697 / 1916 Wee Tam 4 hp Agricultural Tractor
9. AF7718 Fowler 16044 / 1923 Iron Ada - Road Roller
10. DX3099 Garrett 33284 / 1918 Princess Maud 4 hp Former Showman's Tractor
11. TT7917 Burrell 4040 / 1926 Heather - Road Roller
12. BJ 4483 Garrett 33180 / 1918 The Joker 4 hp Suffolk Punch Ploughing Engine

The last of the engines listed was undoubtedly the most unusual in the line-up, because it is the last surviving example of four such engines built by Garrett's of Leiston, named Agri-motors, and intended for direct steam ploughing. Many thanks to owners Jim Hutchens, T T and J H Boughton, J Beale, P Ruff, Roland Green, A S Heal and joint owners of 1 in the list, S Hatfield and D Hall, for coming along and creating such a beautiful sight and such a nostalgic aroma at our Open Days.

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J R Fairman - A Witte (USA), Stationary Engine

In a compound near the 'steamers' there was a gathering of twenty or more stationary engines, all putt-putting away to the delight of the many enthusiasts who lovingly restore these little gems to pristine condition. I was told that one of the most interesting was the one illustrated, which was built in 1918 by Witte of Kansas City, USA. It is a 2 hp, 60 rpm engine, runs on petrol / paraffin and is one of only ten believed to exist in this country. Witte were apparently taken over by Lister of Dursley in 1921 / 22. There were other examples on show built by Villiers, International Harvester, Gardner (one dating from 1902!) and Bamford - quite a fascinating array and well worth a careful study next year, if you missed this year's display.

One of the improvements to the tidiness of the site was made during a special Working Week held in the first week of March. With a turn out of more than four members a day and the hire of a JCB, the area behind the Restoration Building was cleared and levelled where there used to be a bank and ditch alongside the original access lane. A pipe was laid to take water under the levelled ground and the soil was retained by brick walls built on each side of the area. The new scene is shown below.

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J R Fairman - Behind the Shed - June 1982

Other jobs done in the week included moving the coal dump from by the footbridge to the other side of the shed yard, the removal of sleepers from the restoration building and their replacement by board walkways, the filling of the worst of the potholes in the main entrance roadway to the up yard and the general tidying of the site and preparation for filming. Well done the volunteers who achieved these necessary improvements and thanks to Frank Boait for its organisation.

The completion of the Wembley building to provide weather protection for more of our vintage items of rolling stock led to some visitors being curious about its contents and I hope we will try to ensure that all locomotives are visible for enthusiasts on Open Days. The shed road nearest the main line has had its track laid and was filled with stock placed into the shed by a Track Slew. For those who did not breach our security, the locos in that road were No.3 (at the back). Sir Thomas, the GNR six wheeled coach and, with its cab facing outwards, Sydenham. Yes! That was the Rev. Awdry engine you saw!

Open Days are family occasions and Chris Tayler and his team are not forgetting this. The children love the fun bag, ice creams, lucky dips and, of course, the ride in the train. Mums are always interested in the stalls. At Easter there were plants, bargain books, hand puppets, drawings and prints and brassware. For Dads, satiated by steam, rail and road locomotives and rolling stock, there were tool stalls and, of course, the beer tent.

And last, but not least, congratulations to VAMES on the first public operation of their 7¼in gauge full circuit. Bridget, owned by Ted Goodchild, built in 1981, was doing good business on the Sunday afternoon, when I saw her pulling a loaded train of happy youngsters.

It was a good Easter and looks like being a good season. I'll tell you in the next issue.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1982 and so does not reflect events in the 32+ 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.

A Busy Easter - Quainton News No. 46 - Spring / Summer 1982

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