Quainton Volunteers' Attendance Schedule













Notice Board
[Updated> 08:00 28/12/13]


28th Decemeber 2013

Sadly, in these final days of 2013 we have to report the unexpected death of Aubrey Hughes my predecessor as Commercial Roster Clerk for the Quainton Railway Society. Aubrey remained a stalwart supporter of the commercial activities at the Quainton Centre and a continued mentor to me with his never ending advice and experience. I have counted that Aubrey made 24 appearances at the Quainton Gate this year and, indeed Sunday 29th would have marked his 25th. (Four during December alone.) Aubrey's contribution was quite exceptional with never a month passing by without his presence. Aubrey's happy countenance will be sadly missed from the Quainton Gate in future seasons.


Mobile: 07710 164654
Home Phone: 01844 358220
To E-mail click contact me button

Roster Sheets Explained
(See 4th panel below)


The Centre is open from
10.30 a.m. until 5.30 p.m.,
last admissions 4.30.

For more information, visit the Centre’s web site: www.bucksrailcentre.org, or telephone 01296 655720 (weekdays, 9.30 > 4.30)

Volunteering at the Bucks Railway Centre (Commercial Section)

The following text is mainly directed at people who might come across this web page by chance. It could be of equal value to existing volunteers who may not be aware of different activities in which they have been involved and this may lead them to consider other things to do. Some volunteers only come in when it is a big event day like Thomas the Tank Engine but most weekends in the summer other jobs need to be filled and vacancies need to be filled.

Station Masters – This is a key and pivotal role at the Centre during public open days. Without a qualified Station Master for the day the Centre just cannot open. A good deal of experience working in other roles around the Centre really is required along with an established relationship with the many other active members who would not be comfortable with a stranger in their midst directing their activities. Having said this the reality of the situation is Quainton urgently needs extra Station Masters and full training including Track Certification will be provided for the right candidates. Don't be shy if you are interested we can provide a familiarisation path to follow with final training to complete the qualification. Contact either Roster-man Ray or Adrian Ayleward in the office to further your interest.

Reception (Gate) Staff – This is a much misunderstood key position in the Centre where, it appears, rumour has spread that working the entrance till is a black art reserved for retired accountants and bankers. Well if you have ever wondered why checkout staff at supermarkets don't appear to be graduates you may understand it is because the till systems are actually quite simple. It is just a question of familiarity. The only complication is it takes a little time to learn but volunteers who might otherwise be interested in helping visitors get into the Centre will find it a rewarding experience. Visitors constantly return to say thank you for their enjoyable visit and Gate staff carry on their work indoors and at least in the dry if not entirely warm. Learning to do this work generally consists of assisting experienced volunteers starting with the credit card machine operation which takes only a few minutes to understand but take a lot of time when dialling out to the authorisation centre. So helping with this device enables the 1st Gate person to deal with the next customer promptly.

Car Park Attendants - This is a very important role required only on large event days when increased numbers of vehicles are arriving in a constant flow. The Centre has to be aware that many of these event attract families with small children and maintaining control of the car park is crucial to the safety and well being of young ones eager to get in. Too many cars jockeying about in the same area can be dangerous for all concerned. Quite apart from this visitors are impressed if a well organised car park is in operation as they arrive and first impressions count. Brief, on the job, training is available for new attendants as mostly it is common sense and teamwork that wins the day. When mentioning the day actually most event days only require attendants until about 2:30 pm so time is left for volunteers to enjoy the Centre for themselves.

Platform Attendants – This is another role not dissimilar to the Car Parking job as again it is usually only required on bigger event days especially those days when children are likely to be prevalent. Those of us old enough to remember slam door carriages are aware of how to use them but the younger Mums and Dads may have never experienced these type of stock in their everyday commuting routine. Little and even big fingers can easily be in the wrong place when a gust of wind tries to shut a door or even a sibling wants to have a go. Eagle eyes are a great asset when acting as a Platform Attendant but, again, it is quite rewarding when visitors show their appreciation. There are also fun times when Thomas the Tank Engine is in town as we have to help the little ones fill the water tank so you may not be too dry by the time of the last train. Oh! And don't forget to kiss the Teddies at their picnic or when Paddington Bear is about. You might also get a kiss from a grateful Mum or a Dad if you are a lady attendant.

Centre Activities – Apart from Catering and Gift Shop attendants which are covered by details available from the Centre Office the volunteer jobs covered by these rostering web pages also take in some fun jobs which range from children's entertainments like badge making, colouring table supervision story telling etc. which are required on Thomas the Tank Engine days in order to comply with the standards set by the Thomas Franchisors. We also often have other popular “open wagon” rides which require an attendant within the wagon or brake vans as they are operated.

The Centre also benefits if the museum has a Steward to keep an eye on the premises and exhibits held within these large building. Normally the exhibits are treated with great respect by our visitors but the presence of a Steward adds professionalism to activities of the Centre. Quite apart from this visitors often like to be able to ask simple questions or for directions to other parts of the site or even where the toilets are located.

Alongside the Museum is the Second Hand Bookshop where additional volunteers will be most welcome. This is a warm, dry and cosy environment in which to volunteer and may suit a more sedentary individual who likes meeting people and maybe talking about books. This bookshop has a vast range of differing books like any other bookshop with, perhaps, just a little bias towards railway and transport publications. The revenue derived from the bookshop makes an important contribution to the Centre and with a few more volunteers a greater number of opening days could be achieved.

A host of other volunteering jobs are available too numerous to mention on this page ranging from working parties keeping the gardens neat and tidy, painting bits of the buildings and the more specialist jobs like trackwork and crewing the trains that run on steaming days. For details on training to be guard, fireman, driver or any task related to operation of the trains contact the Centre office.

Try me



Those of you presently reading these pages which are tacked onto my business web site will be pleased to know that shortly I should have all of this stuff duplicated onto our very own web site called http://www.qrs.me.uk. This is a precursor to a fully interactive, "unofficial", membership web site where two way communication might be set up and other volunteers encouraged to join our ranks.


Anyone who has checked this little insert before may be wondering why our new web pages have not become active as suggested earlier. Well, apart from the above, I still have to crack the way to set up a password entry for members to use and keep prying eyes away from your intended absences from home. I will let you all know when these new pages are available which should not be too long and these might be a little easier for everyone to find.


Open Steaming Days


Thomas Days


 Special Events 


 Children Events


 MET 1 Days


 Evening Events


 Volunteers not needed


Near the top of this page are the months of the year and by clicking on any one of them will take you to the display for that month. Each page is laid out in monthy grid with weeks shown across the page. You will notice I have started each week on a Wednesday as this allows the Weekend and Bank Holiday days to be grouped together within the displays and so more clearly seen. The commercial task list is displayed on the left of each week with enough spaces for very busy active days.

On the left of this message is the colour key for these web pages. I have tried to follow the same colours as that shown in the Annual Programme Guide and as far as possible only the boxes coloured in on the pages are the critical indicators of volunteers needed. These will show how many tasks still remain Unfilled and those that have volunteers already allocated. This is not to say others in excess of the coloured squares are not welcome. Extra volunteers on a day allow everyone some time away from the tasks to enjoy the centre activities.

These web pages are entirely private and cannot be accessed except by volunteers who receive e-mails from me or other authorised staff at the centre.