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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 71 - September 1992
Roy Miller - Quainton Railway Society Limited Honorary Secretary 1970 - 1992 - Andrew Bratton
Roy stepped down as Honorary Secretary of the Society at the last AGM (succeeded by Dave Potter) after 22 years of service. Although he was anything but retired from active service, for he continues to serve as Curator on the BRC Board of Directors (alias 'The Fat Controller' when 'Thomas' visits!), many members have expressed the wish that his long and outstanding service as Hon. Sec. should not go unrecorded. As the second longest server on the Exec., the pleasure falls upon me to put pen to paper.
Roy's involvement in Society affairs started in the early '60's with the London Railway Preservation Society, which was merged into the QRS in 1971: the two Societies had run in parallel for two years from 1969, with inevitable confusion. The other Executive members at his appointment on 30 May 1970 include some regulars today:- Peter Clarke (Chairman), Arthur Franklin (Treasurer), Austin Harland, Richard Castle, John Hutchings, David Alexander and Ivan Start. Roy was proposed by Jim Stevens, seconded by Anthea Hanscomb, and all voted in favour.
To say that Roy has been a good and faithful servant is very much an understatement. He has put the Society's affairs first and has performed a much wider role than that of Hon. Sec. He has been the backbone of the Society, frequently pulling us out of the mire. Without doubt he has to take much of the credit for our achievements to date. Once Roy takes on a project he will always see it through to the end. His strength of character has ensured that we have not allowed our hearts to rule our heads: the number of 'good ideas' far exceed our abilities in terms of manpower and money. For having the courage to say "No" Roy unjustifiably gets the blame for some of our relatively slow progress. Fortunately Roy has broad shoulders, and we have him to thank for our secure position.
Roy has also performed the unenviable task of disciplining members who misbehave - another role which does little to enhance his popularity but a very necessary one. In addition he is always ready to help anyone out of a predicament: actions which are inclined to go unnoticed.
Roy's devotion to duty has meant that he has only missed two or three meetings during his term of office, despite frequently working overseas for long spells: he even flew back specially from the USA for one.
Executive Meetings in the early years were held in the opulent surroundings of the Caxton Hall, London where the caretaker ensured that meetings finished on time. The change of venue to Quainton Booking Hall turned Executive Meetings into endurance tests. Huddled together around the Board table (a sheet of marine ply on trestles, I believe), everyone wearing overcoats, feet frozen, roasted faces at one end, stifled with paraffin fumes at the other, we worked well into the evenings. We even managed to hold meetings of twelve people in Bob's office on occasions. Then came the lMS emergency control coach with its hot air heating system, relative luxury but cramped; anyone with a weak bladder had to sit nearest the door. Now we have the luxury of the Terrapin and an array of visual presentation aids with on-line graphics from Bob's computer. Sorry Roy, bring me down to earth again!
We all feared we might lose Roy a couple of years ago owing to ill health; thankfully we did not and let's hope that he will continue to support us fully for many years to come.
In recognition of Roy's service the greatest gift we can probably give him is to relieve him of his unpleasant and mundane duties by taking over those responsibilities and performing them proficiently, leaving him to concentrate on the planning and development of the Centre to make it one of the best in the country.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 01 December 2017