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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

25NC Class 4-8-4 No. 3405 - 3' 6" gauge

The Amalgamation of NBLS with the QRS - Roy Miller

The amalgamation of the North British Locomotive Society with the Quainton Railway Society, by Roy Miller (ex-NBLS Secretary).

For some years the NBLS has been struggling to survive, although the number of members has remained fairly static, the number of members willing or able to work on their locomotive, or even to run the Society, has steadily declined. Three out of the last four Annual general Meetings have had to deferred for lack of a quorum. Our Chairman, Alan Emmerson, will be moving to the West Country within the foreseeable future, and I only took on the job of Secretary as a "holding operation" until another member was willing to take it on and this did not happen. Working parties on the 25NC continued under the guidance of Alan, and very good work has been done to preserve the loco, but members have steadily declined and there is an obvious need for "new blood".

About the middle of last year, the proposition was put to the members of the NBLS to amalgamate with the QRS if favourable terms could be agreed. The QRS has always been keen to keep 3405 as part of their collection, having played a major pa1t in its repatriation. It has been a major technical and visual part of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre collection, representing the final development of the steam locomotive and a tribute to the once great British industry that built locomotives for the world.

A draft agreement was circulated to all NBLS members and was approved by the QRS Executive. An Extraordinary General Meeting was held on 1st October 2006 and a resolution to amalgamate with the QRS was passed by a vote of 15:1.

As part of the agreement for amalgamation, it has been agreed to form the "3405 Management Committee" (modelled on the lines of the 6989 Restoration Group Committee for "Wightwick Hall"). Although the locomotive and GUV Sales coach have now been fom1ally accessioned as part of the BRC collection, the new Management Committee will be responsible for the day-to-day restoration (or lack of it) of 3405 and for the raising of funds with which to continue the work. As part of the agreement, the new committee will continue to use the GUV for sales and other money raising activities. The Ferry Van (always owned by the QRS) will continue to be used as a workshop.

NBLS members who are already members of the QRS will have their shares in NBLS transferred to QRS shares. Non-members of the QRS who wish to join will be similarly treated once the formalities of membership are completed. The 100 Club will continue with a slightly different name, the income from which will be paid into a separate QRS bank account, as will any other funds raised expressly for 3405.

Another advantage of amalgamation is that the locomotive is now a formal part of the QRS collection and will be able to be included in the plans presently being drawn up for covered accommodation in the Up Yard. This may have been difficult if ownership remained an independent society, especially if lottery money became available.

So the "new blood"; we need you to give a hand on the new working party for 3405 and to serve on the Management Committee. If you feel able to help, contact Alan Emmerson, who has agreed to become chairman of the new committee for so long as he is able, or me who has agreed to do the administration for the time being. Bob Frise, late Treasurer of NBLS, has agreed to be in charge of all the money we hope to raise for our locomotive.


The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2007 and so does not reflect events in the 7+ 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.

The Amalgamation of NBLS with the QRS - Roy Miller - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

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