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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

Recollections of Quainton Road

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H C Casserley - Quainton Road, Up Yard - (See letter from Mr. Casserley)

The Editor received three very welcome letters in response to his request for recollections of earlier days at Quainton Road and these are so interesting that they are reproduced for all our readers to enjoy. If they remind you of some event or personality please tell the Editor; he will appreciate your letter.

First, here is a letter from Mr E C Ray of Wendover, who is 87 years old: -

Dear Sir,
In response to your appeal perhaps I can help in a small way. I knew quite a number of the staff who worked at Quainton through the years from 1907 until its closure, but I regret to say I do not know their present whereabouts. I started my Railway career on April 25th, 1905 as a Lad Porter at Wotton Station on the Brill Line, in the Metropolitan days, and was transferred to Quainton as a Booking Porter in May 1901, and remained there until March 1909. At that time the staff consisted of 1 Station Master, 2 Signalmen, 2 Porters (who did the shunting, Guards assisting), 1 Booking Porter, and 1 Lamp Boy. Quainton was then regarded as an Exchange Point, Met to GC and G C to Met. Passenger Traffic was fair, Goods and Parcels were light but the Exchange Traffic was often heavy. I hope you will find this just a little interesting, but my memory is not so good at 87. Yours sincerely, E C Ray

Now here is a letter from our member, Mr M J Stapp, who incidentally was one of the original contributors to L44 when it was purchased by the LRPS.

Ruislip, Middlesex
Dear Sir,
Re. your appeal for knowledge of Quainton Rd. Station, I am sorry I did reply before. It has taken some time to discuss the matter with my father, who used to live there before World War 1. Our cousin, a Mr Alf Harris, used to live in Station Road and worked on the Brill Line. His widow, Lou, remained in Quainton after his death, sometime before the last war, and I used to visit her with my father, by steam train to Quainton Road, chiefly to tend family graves in Quainton Churchyard. She had some old railway sleepers still in her back garden, said to originate from the Brill branch, when it was taken up.

Another cousin, a Mr Charlie Shillingford, worked at Quainton, but later went to Pinner, as a station-man and then to Harrow, where I understand he became a station master. He has now retired and is said to be in poor health. I have some memories of Quainton as a going concern after the last war, right up to its closure, after which we visited Quainton by road. I was intrigued by the musical clock in the church tower and the old windmill, of which you wrote in the recent News.

As a flying instructor, I occasionally fly over Quainton, but I have little time to visit it on the ground. Sometimes I have taken photographs of it, but these are not yet very good for publication. I will try again sometime. I hope this information is helpful.

Yours faithfully, M J Stapp

Finally, from our valued member at Berkhamsted, Henry Casserley, here is an account of his visits to Quainton Road 40 years ago. It conjures up memories of a very different station with fascinating motive power!

Berkhamsted, Herts
Dear Sir,
I read in the News that you are asking for recollections of earlier days at Quainton Road. So far as my own experiences go, I can offer the following observations which you might like to include in a future issue.

I made several visits to Quainton Road before it was finally closed to all traffic on 4 July 1966, having already lost its passenger service on 4 March 1963.

Most of these were during the 1930s, when of course the primary attraction was the Brill branch, which involved a change of train here. I covered th is fascinating branch three times, on 15 March 1930, 8 April 1933 and again a few months before its final closure in December 1935, on 22 June of that year.

On the first occasion I find that I travelled from Marylebone behind GCR Atlantic No. 5266 and had Met 41 on the branch, returning to Aylesbury by the Verney Junction motor train with F1 2-4-2T No. 5594. This was not only a former Great Central engine, but one they had inherited from the MS&LR, having been built in 1890.

My return journey to Baker Street was made appropriately behind Met 0-6-4T No. 97 Brill with electric No. 5 John Hampden (the one now preserved), from Harrow.

April 1933 saw me there again, on this occasion with 4-6-0 No. 6164 Earl Beatty, and the second of the remaining pair of 4-4-0T's, No. 23, to Brill and back. On this occasion I also managed to visit the village and photograph the windmill, another interest which I was pursuing at this period. Back again to Aylesbury in the Verney Junction motor train, this time with GER Crystal Palace 2-4-2T No. 8307, thence to Rickmansworth with Met 4-4-4T No. 110, and finally electric 14 to Baker Street.

On 22 June 1935, in view of its impeding closure, I did the Brill line for the last time, but this time only as far as Wood Siding, where I obtained what has become a fairly well known view of No. 23 in the picturesque woodland setting. I had reached Quainton Road again behind a GCR Atlantic No. 5358, and returned by a through Baker Street train from Verney Junction with Met 4-4-4T No. 105.

This was the last time I visited Quainton Road by train, although I did call in there by car on subsequent occasions, prior to its becoming the Headquarters of the Society, such as on June 17 1939, when I found 2-6-4T No. 6163 (late Met 116) shunting in the up yard. (This is the photograph at the beginning of this selection of letters).

These engines were regularly seen at Quainton, mainly working coal trains from the Midlands destined for Neasden Power Station, which were handed over from the LMS at Verney Junction.

The last occasion prior to the inauguration of the Society was on 7 July 1946, when I stopped at our station to photograph an up Manchester to Marylebone express passing through with V2 2-6-2 No. 4888 at its head.

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Courtesy London Transport - Those were the Days!

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1977 and so does not reflect events in the 38+ 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.

Recollections of Quainton Road - Quainton News No. 31 - Spring 1977

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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