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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981

Publicity - A Second Year

The year 1980 got off to a fair start. The Society, represented by the Public Relations Officer and Publicity Depts. (Chris Tayler and myself), attended Excursions '80 in early January . This one day trade workshop, organised by the local Thames and Chilterns Tourist Board, in conjunction with four other Boards, was held in a London hotel. It was our first visit and we attracted quite a fair bit of attention from the trade, some of whom attracted quite a fair bit of attention from us, but that's another story! The display of small items, which included Alan Vessey's model of Met Railway battery Loco Florence, Sir Thomas's nameplate and an acetylene lamp, was backed up with large photos of Quainton Railway Centre and a location map. The results from this kind of exhibition are often difficult to calculate exactly and may take some years to show. 'The Trade' in this case are travel and coach companies, British Rail, Taxi companies and nationwide tourist board representatives.

In the always hectic run-up to Easter Bank Holiday (the busiest time of year), 24,000 leaflets were printed on grey paper (technically it was pale blue) and the last of the blue posters were sent out. A new item for Quainton was the hanging card, of which 1,000 were printed, and an assortment of post cards were stuck on, by an assortment of people (thanks folks). The glowing wording beneath the card (by yours truly) spoke of the transformation of the old Victorian Station into a Railway Centre of National importance (well, more or less). Printed in three glorious technicolours on white card, by a certain local printer, they were distributed all over the place.

In May a further 9,000 leaflets were printed (total 33,000 and I understand this year's print has been bigger still). All Bank Holiday posters this year have included the Beattie (our Society symbol) and, by coincidence, have all been on yellow paper. A new style was evolved part way through the year, incorporating the Beattie and the words Quainton Railway Centre as one block across the bottom. About this time, as the cash was available, new numbered complimentary tickets were printed as part of my policy of presenting a more professional image - by numbering we should have a better idea of the number used. Our advertisements were hit by the Printing Strike over Easter and May Bank Holidays and, with petrol price rise, etc., this may account for a reduction in our attendance figures about this time.

In early Summer it became obvious to me that I was unable to do justice (in my own mind) to both Carriage and Wagon, which I represented, and Publicity, due to my expansion of the departments activities, and I reluctantly decided to resign from one post. Since then Carriage and Wagon have had no direct personal representation on the Exec. Two other items suffered from my lack of time (I was doing public exams at this time, as well) - one was the 1980 Photographic Competition, which never got off the drawing board, the other was my appeal, which you may recall, regarding Area Publicity Officers. Four or five people did come forward, but I never really had time to co-ordinate them. I am still annoyed at this situation - I should have tried to make a supreme effort.

Towards the end of Summer an article was sent to me by John Healy, a 16 year old member, which I corrected factually before contributing suitable photos from our archives (we always need more). I understand it is now due for publication in the March / April 'Steam Railway: Congratulations John on a well written article and on getting it published at a most effective time of year.

Nine Press Releases were published on the same basis as last year. In pursuit of my policy of taking professional advice, I was very grateful for Nigel Morris's [sic - Harris] comments on one particular release, from which I learned a lot. Hopefully, there was a noticeable change in the releases - Nigel is a reporter on the Westmorland Gazette and a leading member of the Lakeside Railway Society.

The Society now has an Official Photographer - he is Miles Taylor, whom you will have seen on the P Way gang. His photos are of the high standard you would expect of an Industrial Photographer and we are lucky to have his services. Miles will, however, only be able to take photos at Quainton, so don't leave your camera behind when removing our next turntable or wheeldrop. We still desperately want photos of steam at Quainton, so start sending them in - quality is immaterial - don't be shy.

Unfortunately, at the August Bank Holiday, I announced that I was unable to continue as Publicity Officer, due to my expanding career. I am having to research a 10,000 word project each year for three years - so the search was on for a new Officer. I believe we are extremely fortunate in finding Martin Jayson, a friendly family man, who has been frequently seen at Quainton with a varying selection of daughters over the last two or three years, especially behind the shop counter. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who has helped me over the last two years and to wish Martin, and the Society, the very best for the future, BUT beware I shall not vanish.

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.

Publicity - A Second Year - Tony Lyster - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981

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