Previous Wecome Pages

To Be or Not To Be Legal
Members meeting in Thame

Christmas 2017
Will it all end in tears?

He dreamed a dream

That was the AGM
that wasn't

Last minute advice
concerning the 48th AGM

Happy New Year
& Musing the next AGM

Paintings and being

Chairman's three cheers
and Mail Rail at Quainton

Deep regrets and
Editorial Opinion

Blessed "St" Thomas

Time flies but
Oligarchies don't

That was the AGM
that was?

Whats happening at

Observations about
News from Quainton

Resignations and
running the Society

Original welcome page

Missed the opening presentation on Saurday then click <HERE>
You will need Microsoft PowerPoint or clone to view.



(The views expressed within this web site do not reflect the policies of the QRS "Trustees" unless specifically endorsed.)

Empty tables - empty chairs......

It seems the vast majority of invited Quainton Railway society members are not yet ready to consider the future of their Society and while they may not be manning the barricades of revolution neither are they interested in evolution.

The meeting facilitated at Thame last Saturday was pitifully supported so one has to wonder where the moaners and dissatisfied members who are quite happy to make such murmuring to each other at the Centre were on this day.

Those in attendance were also disappointed perhaps because they hoped to see a candle of hope for the future but instead the conversations lapsed into recollection of past opportunities missed and current woes. There were no suggestions as to how the Centre and the Society can extract itself from the perceived malaise least of all by appeals for donations.

The current Executive can sleep easy in their beds between now and the next self orchestrated Annual General Meeting where the usual charade of reappointments will take place perhaps supplemented with a couple “chosen” makeweights to fill the gaps on the present committee. What was interesting is that two of the members were well aware of the personal financial dangers of being a Trustee that may be found wanting by the Charity Commission if investigated. Under the circumstances there is not much incentive to join as evidence suggest the present incumbents are fairly cavalier in their attitude to rules.

The new season proper will once again kick of with the Society’s high dependence on Thomas the Tank Engine and given good weather over Easter and a reasonable attendance those in the know will sigh a collective breath of relief that they live to present another year of the usual comfortable stuff. No change there then!

Interestingly, Thomas came up for conversation and was recognised as being a good money earner as long as successive generations of children are exposed to the product via television and iPhones. After all, a never ending conveyor of new Thomas enthusiasts are born just as inevitably as former train spotters of yester-year die. The problem is where do they go when the reach their age of reality and put away their childish things.

For that matter what of their parents motivations? Is it just to placate their restless ankle snappers that they visit in droves or do these parents have a nostalgia for steam locomotion? It seems unlikely for this barely middle year generation will have been propelled from place to place by motor car and aeroplane while British Railways languished in the doldrums of state ownership.

Even todays grandparents are less likely to have experienced the excitement of setting off on holiday by the Cornish Riviera Express, the Flying Scotsman or slightly lesser services of the Enid Blyton era. The less prosaic journeys of an Easter trip to Grandma’s from the tropics of West Ruislip to Princes Risborough by DMU where a change of train down the branch to Towersy Halt by Steam locomotion maybe but a distant memory.

One of the attendees stated he could not get excited about “Virgin Voyagers” but perhaps this is to miss the point. In recent years people have been flocking to use these trains and what about he ubiquitous IC125s or even locally, the “Turbos” of Chiltern Railways that saved the local GC line from extinction. No doubt somewhere 125s will be preserved for posterity but will the “Turbos” be consigned to recycling just as, perhaps, it is suggested the Class 115 mouldering in the Society’s representation of Dai Woodham’s legendary scrap yard should .

There are some stories to be related here but will the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre be capable or interested enough to step up and grasp the opportunity to relate these bits of social history or will it be treated with the same disdain as that of Metroland or the Homes fit for Heros built alongside the permanent way of the historic Metropolitan Railway.

As an accredited museum the Quainton Railway Society should be considering these prospects in order to become less dependent upon Thomas the Tank Engine and more aligned with the stated purpose of the museum. The trick is to recognise what is nostalgia for the present generation and the next in order for the museum to become valued by the surrounding expanding population. Here is a thought, we wonder how many of the middle eastern population of Aylesbury remember trains like the Sentinel Railcar back in their home countries? This potential exhibit may be the nostalgia of many immigrants who now reside locally and in the neighbouring counties.

Having said all this it would not be unfair to report the general feeling of those at the meeting is that the Quainton Railway Society is on a downward path. While revenues remain largely static and overheads continue to rise, not least to cover staffing cost that replace previous volunteers, it is difficult to envisage anything but death by somewhat less than a thousand cuts. This may take some time yet while the Society continues to stagger spirally with continued financial embarrassment. There is little donor appeal where the prospect of donations being sucked into a black hole of insolvency remains all too possible. Adding the hastening of this is the spectre of HS2 disrupting visitors numbers or Rail-Track desecrating the Station Road buildings. Whether either or jointly these projects will administer the final Coup de Grâce remains to be seen.

Sorry everyone but that is how it looks from where we were standing on Saturday which was not too close to the trees.