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Quainton Sunday July 12th 2015

On arrival we discovered that the promised area of tarmac had been allocated to another group but the staff at the centre offered us another part of the car park. This was a grass area complete with picnic tables and a private entrance – it was perfect. When the cars were marshalled into position there were 15 MGs lined up including the Farina Magnette of Jeremy Carrington. All other visitors had to pass en-route to the public car park and our cars were the cause of much interest.

Our visit started with a guided tour of the museum by the Bucks. Rail Centre guide Bill Simpson who is extremely knowledgeable on the subject and has written books. He was pleased to find that he only ‘lost’ 2 of the party. The husband had been determined to join in despite a bad back caused by pushing his wife’s MGA two days earlier, but the walking and crossing the bridge proved too strenuous for him.

The main visitor centre was the former Rewley Road Station from Oxford which was moved to Quainton in 1999 when the Oxford site was redeveloped. The original contractors were Fox, Henderson who were completing the Crystal Palace at the time and they used similar pre-fabricated cast iron main structural components.
With such a vast site, the tour only scratched the surface and after lunch everyone returned to see more and take a short ride on a Victorian steam train, included in the entry price. The locomotive was in original condition despite being built in 1891, and we thought our Magnettes had lasted well. The coaches were 3 axle but with no bogie, consequently the ride was not up to modern standards, but to reduce fatigue on a journey the upholstery in the first class carriage can only be described as sumptuous with personal space more than Another attraction was the travelling Post Office, where those of us of a certain age who had helped sort the Christmas Post were able to re-live our youth.

The weather started off dull but the sun came out for the afternoon. One or two spots of rain fell at lunchtime but not enough to make picnickers scurry for cover. The journey home showed how lucky we had been as the roads were very wet and full of puddles as the result
of short heavy showers.

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