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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 71 - September 1992

Open Days - Thomas says - "We Had a Great Day" - Keith and Sheila Lobley


Or rather - two days!

The weather decided to be kind to us, and was fantastic for both days of the Friends of Thomas the Tank Engine Event over the early May Bank Holiday.

Almost 7,000 visitors invaded the Railway Centre over the two days, and judging by the parents' happy smiles and the children's reluctance to leave at the end of the day, they all enjoyed a superb event put on by QRS.

Thomas steamed well - Bruce and his team put together a very realistic series of Thomas story enactments, commentated upon very humorously by Phil Who?.

Resplendent in his morning suit and top hat, the Fat Controller was a great hit with all the children - his photograph will be in many a family album and video film!

The Thomas Souvenirs stalls reported record sales, as did the 6989 Hot Dog Stall, which raised over £400 towards the Wightwick Hall Restoration Fund. The Refreshment Coach was busy all day long, as were the ice-cream vans and hot doughnut stall. The free Bouncy Castle and Magic Show / Punch and Judy all proved a great hit with the children. VAMES was packed from morning until evening, both with people queueing for rides on Thomas's small cousins, and eating their picnics!


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Photos:
Janice Uphill - The Diminutive Flying Buffer Beam
Janice Uphill - 9466 is wearing a distinctive hat - something to do with owner Dennis Howells


Everyone was delighted at the number of visitors - the sudden, wonderful weather surely helped. A brief survey carried out on the Free Thomas Draw entry forms showed that many visitors heard about the event through their local newspapers. We must exploit this and other "free" media reporting if we are to continue this success.

Most people missed a unique event on the Monday evening - "Thomas's last Steam?!" was staged - with Thomas pulling about 16 items of rolling stock out of the station and down the line. Several passes were made, and the few members still around took photos and video.

You will have heard by now that Thomas's boiler certificate ran out at the end of May, and 'He' will not be available for our September Event - however, the good news is that Coventry No. 1 is going away for a refit and overhaul, and is scheduled to be back on site, as good as new, early in the 1993 season.

We are launching the £65,000 "Get Thomas Back in Steam" Appeal. If you have any brilliant fund-raising ideas, or know of any companies who may be willing to give a certain amount of sponsorship, please contact Roy Miller in the first instance. We are very proud of our own Thomas - Britt Allcroft say ours is the most authentic copy of Thomas there is, and are very supportive in our Appeal - it would be a pity if we didn't raise the funds - please give it thought!


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Photos:
Janice Uphill - Publicity Officer Phil Marsh on his way to an early bath
Janice Uphill - Curator Roy Miller looks imposing as the The Fat Controller


Notes:
The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1992 and so does not reflect events in the 20+ 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.

Reference:
Open Days - Thomas says - "We Had a Great Day" - Keith and Sheila Lobley - Quainton News No. 71 - September 1992


Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 01 December 2017