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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 102 - October 2009

Chairman's Notes, September 09 - Allan Baker

This season we have been looking back with nostalgia over 40 years to the first days of the Society at Quainton. Our celebration of past achievements culminated in the Grand 40th Anniversary events over August Bank Holiday weekend when we welcomed back to Quainton many of those involved in the early pioneering days. Some of them had not seen the site for many years and their unanimous reaction was one of amazement and pride at what had been achieved. As with all anniversaries, once the celebrations are over and the balloons and bunting taken down, thoughts invariably turn to "where do we go from here" and I've been giving that topic much thought over recent weeks.

Over the past year, the attention of the Executive Committee has by necessity been very much focused on the financial situation. The great financial crash of September last year hit us hard in a number of ways with the value of investments falling, but more particularly in the severe tightening of the lending policy of the banks. Suffice it to say that so far we have weathered the storm thanks to prudent management of our finances. As I write, attendance for the summer period has shown an encouraging upturn together with a good stream of commercial income. Plans for next year are being drawn up and I like to think that having been tested in the "fire" of last year's crash we are better placed to take the Centre forward and bring some of our stalled projects to fruition.

However, money is not our only concern for the future. In fact, people, or human resources, as they are known in business circles, present us with a challenge which is every bit as daunting if we are to build on what has been achieved over the past 40 years.

Volunteer help is needed urgently in almost every department. On open days we are hard pressed to man the site and take the money we so desperately need to fund restoration projects.

If you are a regular helper on open days, thank you for your support. If you are holding back, please come forward even if you can only spare the odd day. The hard fact is that unless we can take full advantage of our events we will not be able to generate the cash to run the Centre and the various projects that are dear to individual members. Our Centre takes a great deal of money to run and maintain. We have major demands on our limited money, including a locomotive pit and further covered accommodation in the Up Yard together with the delayed restoration of No. 66 to mention just a few. Your practical help on open days will bring in the money to fund these projects and enable our team of paid staff to concentrate on the work we employ them to do rather than being side tracked into day to day matters - do please help.

Membership involvement goes a stage beyond this also; as well as helping if we are to move forward we need more members to take on positions of responsibility as Stationmasters, Department Heads, Co-ordinators and Managers and, of course, putting their names forward for election to the Executive Committee. For the Centre to prosper into the future we have to be prepared to show the same vision and determination as the "founding fathers" of 1969.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2009 and so does not reflect events in the 5+ 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.

Chairman's Notes, September 09 - Allan Baker - Quainton News No. 102 - October 2009

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