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Quainton News archive - Quainton News No. 36 - Autumn 1978

AGSDTC and Dancing Time!

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C Hanscomb - Through the Flaming Hoop

What's this title all about? If you were at Quainton on the Spring Bank Holiday you should have guessed. Everyone knows we always try to provide our visitors with a wide variety of entertainment on Open Days. Train rides, the museum, refreshments, stalls and lots to see in the sidings are the usual fare which, with an ice cream and a visit to the book shop makes many a family happy. But on a warm, sunny 29th May we have two extra special events and this, briefly, is the story.

Firstly the AGSDTC. This idea started when the Open Day Committee had an inspiration that a Police Dog Demonstration would be an enjoyable feature for our visitors - so Anthea phoned the Police! They suggested we should get in touch with Ken Plaster, who is the Secretary of the Aylesbury German Shepherd Dog Training Club, (AGSDTC - OK?). because Ken and his members are enthusiastically promoting interest in German Shepherd Dogs and regularly go along to fetes, carnivals etc., and give shows.

We soon learnt that this breed of dog, often called Alsatians, was originally used on the Continent to protect sheep from their natural enemies, that they have a high level of intelligence, make ideal companions and, contrary to popular belief, are very trustworthy when properly trained. So we invited the Club to come to Quainton on the Bank Holiday and Roddy arranged with Bill Harris to use his field next to the up yard for the show, (a special access was made from the up yard; many thanks to Mr. Harris for his kindness).

There were 10 dogs with their owners and they gave us a 40 minute demonstration on handling and obedience which was much appreciated and highly entertaining for the 100 or so spectators and it was obviously enjoyed by the dogs! One of the highlights was the superbly trained bitch who was herself blind - quite the reverse of the usual role. She listened to the sound of her leash being gently shaken by her master and had complete confidence in him and his commands. Another marvellous sight was to see a clever dog, the largest in the show, jumping closely through a very small hoop.

It was an excellent display and deserved an even larger audience but when it was finished there was more fun and games - the Morris Dancers!

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C Hanscomb - Merrie Qwenthorn (XIV Century)

John Carter, who had hired a public address system, turned the speakers round the other way and we were soon being entertained by the English Miscellany. The dancers, more than a dozen lasses and fellows had arrived at Quainton in a motor coach at 4 o'clock and they then performed non stop for nearly 40 minutes - what stamina! They had already done two similar shows that day!

This picture shows the Miscellany in full cry with whirling white shirts and stockings, dark trousers and shoes, crossed red bands across their bodies and traditional floral decorations. Music in good aide English style was by the accordion, concertina and drums and everybody enjoyed the Morris Dancing and Country Dancing. In fact they even succeeded in getting some spectators to join in!

Full marks to the Open Day Committee for arranging two very happy hours of non-railway fun.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1978 and so does not reflect events in the 36+ 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.

AGSDTC and Dancing Time! - Quainton News No. 36 - Autumn 1978

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 November 2017