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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 66 - Winter 1989 / 90
VAMES - by John Clarke
1989 has been a watershed year for the Vale of Aylesbury model engineers, apart from being the most successful operating season yet for our miniature railway it has also seen the entry of the society into the national model engineering scene. Our miniature traction engine rally held on the weekend of 10th and 11th June although not very heavily attended was very much enjoyed by the participants and was perhaps unique in model engineering terms as the participants ranged from a very small ⅝" scale engine made only with hand tools by Dick Martino when he was on the road with full sized engines. At the other end of the spectrum Ralph Turner's Fowler roller took part in the rally after spending the morning standing in for a vibro roller which failed to turn up to help us flatten the up yard car park so that the smaller models could run easily. The rally concours 'd elegance was won by Mr Vic Hodge with his recently completed 4½" scale Burrell in fact this was the second visit this engine made to Quainton this year as Mr Hodge first brought it to our Easter open days and was hijacked into competing in the rally. The weekend was complimented by the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers who put on a small exhibition together with some of our own society models in the down yard exhibition hall. The S.M.E.E. also brought along some of their locomotives which were operated on our track included amongst which was a 5 inch gauge Beyer Garratt. The whole weekend was a great success and we are looking forward to this becoming a regular annual event; the next one will be on the 3rd and 4th of June 1990.
Our other entry into the national model engineering scene is that we have been allocated a stand at the 1990 Model Engineering Exhibition at the Alexander Palace, this is quite a feather in our cap as a very limited number of societies are offered this opportunity. As previously mentioned the 1989 season has been our most successful to date with a final total of close to 20,000 passengers carried on the Golding Spring Miniature Railway.
A number of other model engineering societies visited our track including; Cheltenham, Reading, St. Albans and individual members with their locomotives from Oxford and Ascot.
The track facilities have been improved our signal box is now fully operational, the engine shed now sports a genuine slate roof and is near completion. We are now starting a programme of track renewal the original aluminium track is slowly wearing out, it is to be replaced with purpose built prefabricated panels of steel rail at the same time we will be utilising the old rail in the sidings which we are extending into a marshalling yard and demonstration area.
The society membership has continued to grow and our Friday evening / meetings - at the Southcourt community centre have included many interesting talks on mainly railway orientated subjects including 'The W.S. Norris 0 gauge railway' by Jim Stevens; 'American Miniature Railways' by Don Coventry; 'The Chesham Branch' by Roy Miller and also a Colin Garrett Audio Visual programme on the Sugar railways of Cuba.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 26 November 2017