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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

Past Times at Quainton - Austin Harland

A review of past editions of Quainton News and other Society Journals.

25 years ago (Events of 1982)

Two remarkable vehicles arrived at Quainton in 1982. One had been built in 1883 for the West Coast Joint Stock, rebuilt as an Engineers' Saloon by the LNWR in 1903 and the body sold by the LMS in 1945. After serving as her home for 25 years, it was donated to the Society by Mrs Ayleen Brown in memory of her husband. It has since been described as the world's oldest sleeper and of exceptional historical importance.

Cattle trucks taking livestock to market used to be a common sight, in fact the congestion caused by the number of beasts consigned to Smithfield was one of the reasons for building the Metropolitan Railway. By the 1950s this traffic had virtually ceased and most of the withdrawn wagons were burnt to prevent the spread of infection. One of the few survivors was delivered to Quainton in September 1982 becoming unique 14 years later when, following a precedent set by the GWR in 1939, it was converted into an ale wagon.

For a few weeks in the autumn of 1982 the Up-yard became a film set for the Granada TV production of Jewel in the Crown. Two stations were built using sleepers, plywood and scaffold poles, and when fitted with a few posters, paintings and notices and with a few props around they were very realistic. Rolling stock comprised five ex-BSC Corby bogie bolsters fitted with plywood bodies clad, where visible to the camera, with thin sheet metal. Four were painted in Indian Railways brown including a 3rd class with wooden bench seats and a 1st with a single compartment and toilet at one end only. The other two were empty shells. The only vehicle anything like complete was the Maharajah's saloon with a palatial interior in blue and gold with dark wood panelling. All was illusion however and what was not dismantled was distributed over the fields between the Centre and Quainton village by high winds at the end of September.

10 years ago (Events of 1997)

Work expands to exceed the time available so several of the small industrial locomotives that formed the LRPS collection and were the first vehicles at Quainton had been rather neglected. When the North Kent Industrial Locomotive Society offered to restore one of them to working order in return for a twelve year loan it was not long before Aveling & Porter 0-4-0TG No.3567 Sydenham was on the way to Chatham Dockyard, taking in a visit to the site of the old A&P works on the way.

Another loco from this group was Barclay 0-4-0ST Tom Parry. Beyond a picture in qn 80, which is stated to be parts of Tom being loaded for departure and a couple of other brief mentions, I have no other information. According to the HRA list he is still at Quainton, but that was last updated in 1995!! Did he go? Where did he go? And who was Tom Parry anyway? *

We were also given notice of the future move of the Ivatt 2-6-2Ts to the Isle of Wight but it was to be another 9½, years before No.41313 crossed the Solent. (See qn 96)

*Janice Uphill advises in the recent amendment to the Stock Book (available from the shop) that Tom Parry is now at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2007 and so does not reflect events in the 7+ 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.

Past Times at Quainton - Austin Harland - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 01 December 2017