Saturday 24th September was the first day of the annual Steam and Traction Engine Rally held at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre near Quainton, north west of Aylesbury. Told that we were playing on the station platform I expected to be in the open air, but instead we were placed in the visitor centre, a building which was once the Rewley Road station in Oxford, the terminus of the railway line to Cambridge. The station closed in 1951 and served a number of functions before falling into disrepair, despite being a listed building, until it was rescued by being transferred to the Railway Centre at Quainton and lovingly restored. Now there are glass screens at the end where the trains used to leave meaning the interior is warm and dry.
However the day was pleasantly warm and dry anyway, and there was no need for the glass doors to be closed. Some chairs had been set out for people to sit and listen, but the Band could be heard throughout the building, adding to the atmosphere of the day. Conductor Claire Lawrence opened the programme with the march Semper Fidelis, and continued with well known music from films, TV programmes and shows, such as Thunderbirds, Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King, music from the James Bond films, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Robert Wicks conducted several pieces, including music from the film The Incredibles. Music from shows included Les Miserables and My Fair Lady, and the afternoon concluded with a selection of classic hits from The Beatles.
The organisers were enthusiastic about the Band’s efforts, and there is talk of inviting us back to do a “Proms” concert. Which I’m sure we would be delighted to do. The building has a nice acoustic, and we enjoyed playing there.