Be or Not To Be Legal
meeting in Thame
it all end in tears?
dreamed a dream
was the AGM
the 48th AGM
Musing the next AGM
Mail Rail at Quainton
was the AGM
the opening presentation on Saurday then click <HERE>
will need Microsoft PowerPoint or clone to view.
QUAINTON RAILWAY SOCIETY MEMBERS WEB SITE
views expressed within this web site do not reflect the policies of
the QRS "Trustees" unless specifically endorsed.)
tables - empty chairs......
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.
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.
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
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.
new season proper will once again kick of with the Societys
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!
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
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.
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 Grandmas
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.
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 Societys
representation of Dai Woodhams legendary scrap yard should .
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
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.
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.
everyone but that is how it looks from where we were standing on
Saturday which was not too close to the trees.