Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Forward Plan 2015-2018


Name of governing body: Board of Trustees – Quainton Railway Society Limited

Date this Forward Plan was approved: 8th November 2014

Date this Forward Plan will be reviewed: 8th November 2015

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Heritage management

The Collection

BRC has made considerable progress in the last 3-5 years, particularly in its standards of museum collections care and management, with the implementation of full computer documentation and much improved storage and conservation, including expanded and fully accessible displays, archive and library rooms in the ‘Buffer Depot’.

The heritage assets of the museum comprise the 25 acre site, working artefacts, small artefacts, archives and a library. Up to 70% of the collection of small artefacts is displayed and interpreted in a permanent exhibition under cover. The Documents and other paper ephemerals are available by prior arrangement to researchers and other interested parties. This system is satisfactory and workable although it is always under review with the intention of improvement in accessibility for research.

The working artefacts consist of locomotives, carriages and wagons which have been restored and are operated for demonstration and rides to the visiting public; 90% of this category is on display with basic interpretation, under cover and in the open.

Acquisition & Disposal

The Centre currently uses an “Acquisition & Disposal Policy for the Museum Collection” as its governing document with regard to the collection. This document, approved in September 2014, sets out policies and instructions for all activity regarding the Museum’s collection and sets out the strategy for care, management and disposal of the collection.

Since 2013 the entire collection has been catalogued on a database to SPECTRUM Procedure. This catalogue is regularly updated with new items and is available, as a research tool to any interested parties.

However, a combination of too much rolling stock waiting for restoration, piles of disused metal, timber and engineering parts, volunteers’ cars and caravans, make some of the public outdoor areas of the site looked run down and neglected. Our enthusiastic and unplanned approach to large artefact restoration often results in restoration efforts being directed at too wide a variety of projects.

We need to take an objective look at the reserve collection with a view to rationalising it, disposing of stock that is not relevant to the museum’s vision or our restoration capacity.

In due course we aim is to be able to store all our rolling stock under cover, either by erecting a new building or by making better use of our existing buildings.

Directional and Health & Safety signage throughout the museum is often unclear. We need to make a significant effort to improve standards of presentation in the parts of the site on the visitor route. We also need to communicate to everyone in the organisation that the whole Centre is a museum.