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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 66 - Winter 1989 / 90

Catering News by Michael Hazell

By the time you read this it will be a year since I walked into refreshments and offered to help. On the first Sunday I did some washing up and said that I would come and help on a Sunday in November when members lunches were being served. I thought to myself "This is not too bad if I come about once a month."

I had also agreed to help out with the first Saturday of Santa Steamings. By the end of December I had found that I had helped with all but one of the steamings. After Christmas I did lunches on Sunday for the first time on my own. Only 5 people had ordered at eleven and I began to think it would be easy with 5. How wrong I was, by 11.30 the numbers had risen to 27 and I am sorry to those who had under cooked sausages.

At the beginning of the new season the Society were without a head of catering and the Executive decided to employ a full time catering organizer. A candidate was interviewed and accepted the task with a start date after the Mayday Bank Holiday.

The next big event was to be the buffet for the launch of the King. The catering team all enjoyed themselves but you may have wondered why we all had big smiles on our faces while serving in the terrapin. When I lifted the lid of the water boiler to see how much was in there we lost a tea towel inside! We did not feel we could fish this out in front of all the guests so it had to stay there all afternoon. This amused anyone who looked in to check the water level. To blight a great day we discovered that the full time catering manager had withdrawn. So, with a deep breath, we agreed to form ourselves into a team to try and keep the show running. I agreed to do the buying but not become Head of Catering (and don't intend to.)

During the summer Roy Miller has employed the services of a local girl, Rachel Leeming, to run refreshments every day but Sunday. How our members have enjoyed her cakes and food and what an asset she has been.

We've muddled through the season and hope to be able to open from 11.00 to 2.00 on Sundays in the closed season, lunch to be ordered by 11.30. Both the takings and the profit are in line with last year's.

I am sure that everyone in the Society would like me to thank all who have helped in refreshments, but a word of warning - if we don't get more help refreshments may not continue. If you feel able to help why not come along and see us.

With the advent of disposable plates, cups, spoons, etc, there is very little washing up and you don't need to know much about cooking. We have also built up the market for home made cakes and are happy to receive them to sell (we pay for the ingredients).

I hope to see more of you on the other side of the counter at Santa Steamings and during the next season.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1989 and so does not reflect events in the 25+ 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.

Catering News by Michael Hazell - Quainton News No. 66 - Winter 1989 / 90

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 October 2015