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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 24 - Summer 1975

Mrs Pepys Diary

(Courtesy, Farran Publications)

Hunting for something in the household diary for 1974 an entry caught my eye. Under July 27th I had written "King has boiler out". It made me realise just how much everything has changed domestically since I joined the ranks of steam preservationists. What other memory provoking gems would I find in earlier diaries?

In 1969 the entries began to take on a new, and sometimes curious, language, as members of the family became more involved with Railways, miniature, narrow and standard gauge.

June 9th 1969 "M. measuring Knott's resistance" could cause eyebrows to rise in surprise and surmise. July 3rd, "Joined LRPS. Wormed kittens" is very much to the point. August 31st "Quainton Open Day, signalling" is the start of the slippery slope.

1970 saw the increase of countless curious entries which now seem so common place! "Dutchlands Box"; "To Q. pulling up old wire"; "Working on cabinets"; "Q. to do padlocks"; "QRS 1 year old"; "Became shareholder". All bring back memories!

May 27th, after the Whitsun Open Days, a lovely, happy, carefree day. "Q. to tidy up. Ballast and Brackley". Beautifully warm and sunny, we were going to be out for about two hours but then we went ballast hunting and on to Brackley and the glorious golden sand-stone Station building. We had ice cream for lunch and didn't get home until 6.30!

June, "Look at building," (what for?), and further on, "Sleepers"; "Juno's tubes"; "Clean Pannier smokebox"; "Slewing"; "Juno's bunker"; "Tidied up at home"; (a telling entry!!); "Clean steps of engines for stencils" (How many members remember that the engines were numbered on their steps for the second edition of the duplicated Stock book?). Then on to December, "Ivatt arrives, rained."

The years roll by. "Teleprinter collected"; "KGV, at HW!!"; (Disappointing because her load was so light she didn't have to work). "Tidied up at home" (What! - again?) "Operations meeting"; "SVR Leave Dad at Wolverhampton"; (It has a cruel ring to it). "Duplicator arrived"; "PAINT UNDER SIDE OF OIL TANK"; (in capitals, because we keep putting it off for Quainton!)

"Crofton, 4472, Pendon", (What a day that was!), "4472 Fenny Stratford. Went underneath her." (and what a day that was too!); "Collect Tring GR FR"; "Public Address"; "M. collect tickets"; Finally for April 19th, 1975 two entries with no punctuation! They read, "Ex., Committee Tree Felling".

The mind does boggle!

These are all far removed from the rather prosaic entries for two days in 1966 "Bernina sewing machine arrived" and "To London for dress material". But the best entry has, in fact, nothing to do with Quainton. It simply states "Gas conversion. Chris off."

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1975 and so does not reflect events in the 40+ 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.

Mrs Pepys Diary - Quainton News No. 24 - Summer 1975

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 28 October 2017