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Quainton Virtual Stockbook - Railway Plant, Structures and Buildings

Buffer Depot

BufferDepot01.jpg (475,740 bytes) BufferDepot02.jpg (399,772 bytes)

Tony Lyster - Brick built Buffer Depot building modified with inserted rail lines
Tony Lyster - The Nissen Huts of the Buffer Depot

Just before the start of World War II the Ministry of Food started erecting a series of nationwide emergency food stores in relatively hidden away locations that consisted of a standard modular steel framed, brick skinned building and a number of Nissen hut style buildings known as Romneys. The Quainton example went up around 1941 or 1942, was numbered 450K and had 7 Romneys and one brick building. Other depots were of a similar size - one at Tring had no Romneys, but two brick buildings and one at Steventon, Oxfordshire still has 100 Romneys and 3 brick buildings. Each has at least 2 transport methods. Tring has road and canal and ours is, like Steventon, rail and road connected. The Quainton depot stored flour, sugar and potatoes and was still in use until after the end of the Cold War. Electricity was installed by the Ministry of Food.

In the concrete base of one of our Romneys are the names of 2 German POWs who, presumably, were involved in its construction. It is unlikely that they were housed at the Quainton POW camp as this did not open until 1942 (closed 13/08/48). It housed Italians until 1945 then Germans for a year followed by Romanians and held only 70 men, but there were other camps in the area with considerable numbers of POWs.

Other local sites of Buffer Depots (noted from seeing the same style of buildings) include Aylesbury and Aston Clinton. Most of the buildings at MOD, Bicester are of this type as well.

Changes made since the Cold War

This was purchased by the Quainton Railway Society in 1997 with a Heritage Lottery Grant. The brick building has had 4 tracks punched in through one end for use as a publicly viewable Reserve Collection store and Museum. The Romneys are used as general stores.

A further grant in 2012 for £34,000 paid for the repointing of some of the poorly laid war time brickwork, repairing of some of the gutters, and repairing leaks in the roof. The adverse weather in summer and winter 2012 meant that the roof repairs could not be completed until 2013. The repointing was completed by B G Richardson and Sons of Bierton and the roof and guttering by Brackley Industrial Buildings Ltd. 90% of the grant came from Waste Recycle Environmental (WREN) and 10% from Aylesbury Vale DC Community Chest. We are most grateful for the support from both organisations.

Wartime Quainton - Gorden Rodwell - 2002
Society Notes - Quainton News - No. 40 - Spring 1980
Quainton Railway Centre from the Air - Quainton News - No. 44 - Summer / Autumn 1981
Museum Building - Quainton News - No. 109 - Autumn 2013

Origin :- Ministry of Food Date Built :- 1941 / 2 Number :- 450K
Type :- Structure Builder :- ????? Owner QRS
Status :- Operational Location :- Down Yard

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 15 October 2017