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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 42 - Autumn / Winter 1980 / 81

Summer Holiday Open Days 1980 - Anthea Hanscomb

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J R Fairman - Not a Wasps Nest!

The weekend produced 3,650 visitors over two days - 200 up on last year, which was a bit of an improvement, but not nearly as many as we had hoped for. Considering the additional attractions and the extra advertising, we had hoped to have done better than that.

Over the two days, we had three displays - each housed in a marquee. In the up yard we had quite superb collection of photographs - arranged by the Aylesbury Vale Camera Club. They will be along next Easter with a slide show and possibly some films as well - this time situated in the down yard. If their photographic collection was anything to go by, their slides and films will be well worth seeing. Next to them was a marquee housing a collection of beautiful models, belonging to members of VAMES. These were mostly working and running on compressed air. This should become a yearly event and perhaps VAMES and S & T could get together on this sort of display and share a marquee? In the down yard we had the third marquee with Sig Ex '80. They had a good display of signalling equipment (some of it working) and, considering the size of the S & T department, they did very well. It takes a lot of time restoring and rewiring signalling equipment and then connecting it all up.

We also had Mr and Mrs Mackay there with the 'Funbag' (inflatable castle) and candyfloss stall. There had been some panic on my part the weekend before when I found a wasps nest right where the 'Funbag' was to go! John Carter came to the rescue and destroyed the nest during the week. After all that the 'Funbag' was put somewhere else. Still, it did mean fewer wasps to annoy our visitors. There was a smaller market than at Easter and a demonstration beehive, which was a great attraction. Mike Bevis was with us as usual - the organ is always popular. We had a Beer Tent again, but Albert Hobbs did not do as well as he had hoped, though refreshments were run off their feet. Visitors were definitely staying longer, so presumably they were spending more money round the site. Jo said she recognised the same people coming back two or three times into the refreshments coach.

On the Sunday the Rover P4 Drivers Guild held a meeting at Quainton in our up yard. This was organised by one of our members, Colin Blowers, who is their membership secretary. Thirty cars took part and everyone enjoyed themselves. The best car received a Beattie mirror and the runners-up a Quainton duster each. On the Monday we had our well-established Vintage Car Rally, organised by Ted Rogers. This is always a good display and enjoyed by everyone, though I got the impression there were fewer of the old cars. Mind you, as our not very tactful member pointed out, what is young to me is old to other people!

Coventry again provided the motive power - steam leaks still to the fore, but I gather she will have all her glands packed during the winter months ready for Easter. The Pannier is not likely to be ready by Easter, but her boiler, which is at Bridgnorth having work done on it, has been inspected by BR - so, when she is back in service, she will be good for ten years steaming, provided she is treated well. There is a strong possibility that Hornpipe will be ready by Easter, which will take some of the load off Coventry - no bad thing, her motion is very worn.

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J R Fairman - Vintage 14-Seater Chevolet

As the Late Summer Holiday was the last lot of Open Days I shall help to organise, I was naturally disappointed that we did not do much better - 200 more visitors than last year was not what we had aimed for. I still feel we should look at what we have tucked away out of sight that could be on display or fitted up for the public to work for themselves. People love pulling levers and pushing buttons. They can go to any rally, fair or fete and see amusements of every sort and displays of a multitude of things, but where can they pull off a signal or change a point? York Museum? Where can children get on the footplate of an engine and pretend to drive it? They could do all this at Quainton and much more. We don't need to spend hundreds of pounds each year on additional attractions, but I'm sure the Open Days Committee have plenty of ideas for next year on the stocks.

Now I will sign off by wishing everyone a Very Happy Christmas and the Best of Luck to QRS in 1981.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1981 and so does not reflect events in the 33+ 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.

Summer Holiday Open Days 1980 - Anthea Hanscomb - Quainton News No. 42 - Autumn / Winter 1980 / 81

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