BRC Website Home
Quainton Virtual Stockbook
Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 18 - December 1973
Class 120 3-car Cross Country DMU set 502
Dean Forester Comes to Quainton - Reg and Janice Uphill
On the 6th October 1973 the Dean Forest Railway Preservation Society chartered a 3-car 160-seater cross country DMU, Set No. 502, (W50693, 59299, 50738), which travelled from Cardiff via Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction, Bristol Parkway, Gloucester, Long Marston (to Army complex and ride behind a 'J94'), Quainton, Didcot (Great Western Society) and back to Cardiff. The aims of the DFRPS. are basically the same as ours as they are, at present, at a depot (at Parkend, in the heart of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire) attached to a freight only line, on which they would like to get running powers in time to come, or conversely buy the line between Parkend and Lydney should BR close it.
Their special was due to arrive at Quainton at 2 p.m., but it was nearly half an hour late because the crew had problems at Oxford in changing to the automatic train control system from the Western Region type to the Midland. When the train finally "fumed" into Quainton and greeted by whistles from Coventry No. 1, we felt proud to be hosts to another Society with kindred interests.
There were refreshments at the ready, presided over by Anthea Hanscomb and Cynthia Easeman, raffle tickets on sale by Graham Cripps; a train at their disposal crewed by Geoff Fulcher and Les Sherman, assisted by Frank Boait, with our secretary, Roy Miller, as guard; Austin Harland and Peter Hoskings were at the sales stand; Peter Clarke was photographer and general overseer to see that everything went smoothly, while we were hosts because we knew some of the members of the Dean Forest party as we are also members of this Society.
We are apt to think of ourselves as the poor relations of the railway preservation movement, and it was a great morale booster to hear their chairman and others telling us how lucky we are to have such an enormous site which we own freehold. They have only a scrap of land which they rent from BR, and as the land is bounded by roads they cannot expand. Because of their shortage of space they have to house many of their relics at Gloucester, Ashchurch and other places, and they said how much easier it must be for us to be all under one roof as it were.
From the helpers point of view, the general consensus of opinion is that this was one of the nicest occasions when we have had people in from outside, as we so much enjoyed talking to people with the same aims, interests and basic problems as ourselves. We are sure that a planned visit is much more satisfactory for both sides and more rewarding than those occasions when gricers descend on us unexpectedly, pick our brains and in half an hour are off again, leaving us with the feeling that we have been 'used'.
We were only sorry that the Dean Forest people could not stay longer because many of them missed a train ride or hadn't seen all the stock. When they finally did leave, with three gallons of boiling water on board brewed up in Quainton's "kitchen", Coventry was whistling farewell, the DMU was honking and 160 arms seemed to be waving out of the windows.
We have heard since from Roger Phelps, their tours organizer, that they considered the facilities we offered were first class with everyone being cooperative and answering questions, so that they felt they had learnt a lot from us. The final judge of their visit is that if any Quainton members would like to visit Parkend they have been given a very welcoming invitation by DFRPS to do so. We can recommend Parkend and the Forest of Dean as a delightful place for a holiday, particularly for those interested in railways, so let us hope that some members take up this kind offer - a reciprocal visit perhaps?
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 21 October 2017