Andrew Bratton 19/02/2017
Andrew Bratton was a local lad from Winslow who photographed the last years of steam through Quainton, later joining the Society and becoming a Trustee where he held the key posts of Treasurer and, later, Chairman for many years. I personally saw Andrew in debates and discussions on the Executive, not always agreeing with him but finding that his heart was at our core. The collection of BR standard wagons were acquired directly as a result of Andrew's efforts and much of it with grants that he applied for. Around 20 years ago Andrew persuaded the authorities that he could run a lottery to win a locomotive nameplate but his disappointment, when it did little more than break even, didn't deter him from chasing new ideas. He was instrumental in our offering the Rewley Road station building a home and could often be seen at our annual Work Week applying another coat of fresh paint to yet another wagon.
Much of the work that Andrew did was unseen by many as it happened behind the scenes where he often used his professional accountancy skills to cost out an idea, to battle with the VAT-man to get us a better deal or to offer advice - and his guiding views..! to the latest batch of Trustees. With others last year he visited the House of Lords a number of times to press our case over HS2. As one of our Vice Presidents he was still advising and chasing new sources of grant late into last year as his illness struck. With Eric 'Dusty' Miller he was instrumental in gaining the substantial 5 figure grant to repair and repaint the Romney buildings last year as well as continuing as a Station Master on our open days.
Andrew was a key figure in guiding the Society through the last 40 odd years and, perhaps, his memorial is best seen by looking around our Centre today.
Andrew was a family man having met his future wife, Pauline, I believe at Quainton whilst living locally in Winslow. They went on to have children who have borne them grandchildren. I recall the day one Work Week when, somewhere on the track outside our Wembley building, Andrew confided in a few of us that he was to become a grandfather in a mixture of pleasure and a little horror that he was old enough!
Andrew liked his beer, not to excess as he had to drive home, but often after a day at Quainton John Hatton and I would meet him in the George & Dragon on the village green for a pint or two of that day's guest real ale to slake our thirsts and to muse over whatever came to mind - usually related to the railway centre and finance or future plans in the way that folk do. But there was another side to Andrew, not just as a family man but also as a minor shepherd. On a field adjacent to his Warwickshire home he kept a few sheep and, occasionally over one of those pints, we would hear of his latest trials and tribulations with his animals.
Eric Miller 30/03/2017
Eric Miller, or Dusty as so many knew him, had a seemingly endless supply of jokes that he tailored to his audience be they child or adult. So often when we met Eric would say Here, did you hear the one about..?
Eric was born locally and spent most of his life in the area. His national service was spent in Britain, although he was on standby for Malaya, and those two years provided him with much fuel for his many jokes. In later years he became a football referee in the Aylesbury Sunday Combination matches, later becoming a football referee assessor only giving this up due to his illness. Eric had a wide range of interests which included shooting where he became Chairman and then President of the Wendover Rifle Club. Professionally, he was an Environmental Health Officer with Bucks County Council, a job which took him out and about meeting all manner of people many of whom became useful contacts and friends. And for many years he enjoyed being a Justice of the Peace sitting on the Aylesbury Bench, a voluntary role, which I found useful when job hunting and needing a character referee.
At Quainton Dusty was an early Trustee holding the positions of Vice Chairman and Fund Raising Officer who ran and promoted the annual raffle - and he was instrumental in halting the proposed sale of GWR 7200 at an EGM, forming the 7200 Trust and becoming its first Hon. Secretary. He acted as a Santa at Christmas for a good many years and was elected as one of our three Vice Presidents. Over the years he applied for a wide range of grants for all sorts of projects, notably assisting the late Andrew Bratton last year in obtaining a substantial amount to repair and repaint our Romney buildings.
Eric was very much a people person who enjoyed his self-appointed role of selling raffle tickets from his satchel as he wandered amongst our visitors every Sunday afternoon wearing his trade mark flat cap. I shall miss Dusty and will always remember him for his long jokes, usually delivered quietly and which frequently concluded with his own, distinctive chuckle. He is survived by his wife and three children to whom we send our sincere condolences.
THE LATE MARGARET NICHOLLS 25/07/2017
Margaret was employed in the Admin Office in the early days when our first Office was in the Mk2 coachbody which was positioned, in pre Rewley Road days, very roughly where the Diner now sits. Roy Miller took Margaret on and she worked for several years first with Roy followed by Chris Tayler and then Allan Baker. When she retired she took an extended trip to see her son in Australia before returning to her cottage in the centre of Quainton village. Margaret was always professional and well presented and had that certain air about her that ensured that those of us who might misbehave just didn't. She will be missed by many of us.