Report from the Bluebell Railway Trust: Robin Elliott updated the Committee with the Trust's activities over the past year. Following the sad demise of David Ratcliffe, a new Chairman has to be elected from within their ranks and then a new Trustee found. The Trust had received two large legacies and were aiming to support fewer but larger projects. The Committee was reminded that all requests for funding require the explicit approval of the Society. The Museum Project was getting underway and a site meeting would be held at HK in the near future. The Trust had also agreed to replace the overhead crane in the loco workshop.
Gas lighting at Sheffield Park: One contractor had inspected the installation and another was due to do so shortly. Suggs Lighting had provided some very helpful advice and guidance. It was hoped (but at this stage by no means certain) that we would be able to retain gas lights on the station but not down the drive.
Kingscote: Discussions about the future of the Station Staff mess room are continuing and a full report will be provided at the next meeting.
Finance: A very successful Santa season - congratulations and thanks to everyone who helped serve on the trains and especially the Booking Clerks for their efforts - resulted in the railway finishing above budget for the year but this had all been spent, though some of this was extension related. The loans for the Shop and Property refurbishment would be drawn down in the near future now that we were entering the low season.
Extension: Chris White congratulated on the detailed report in the latest Bluebell News. Since then MSDC had accepted our proposals for odour emission tests on the tip : these would be carried out by a group of qualified "sniffers" supervised by a professor. (True!!)
Report from HRA Representative: In Roger Price's absence, his written report was noted. In particular it was stressed how important it is to belong to the HRA which does a lot of political and technical work behind the scenes. HRA had lobbied hard for exemptions in its response to the latest consultation document from HSE proposing a new raft of onerous railway safety regulations, most of which are focussed on National Rail operations.
Museum: Pleased to note that the Museum Group had made an excellent start in listing all the artefacts and that work is in hand to enter this into a database. The Committee agreed the initial list of non-relevant items which would be disposed of by auction. It was agreed that secure storage would be made available to house the Railway's archives, currently stored in the London area. Regretted that we were unable to meet the Group's demands for use of the White House portakabins once they are vacated as the planning permission for this expires this year.
Society sub-Committees: Trustees agreed to establish a Traction & Rolling Stock sub-committee under Rule 15(b) and to amend the Infrastructure Committee so as to include a volunteer P-Way gang representative.
Operation Undercover: A small team is working on finalising the HLF application which must be in by 26th March. Informal meeting with HLF to be held within next 2 weeks to make sure we have everything they need for Stage 1 of the application. More detailed information has to be provided if we go forward to Stage 2. It was noted that we did not yet have an agreed solution for either the Golden Arrow train or the new washout pit. These would have to be resolved before Stage 2.
Repainting of 'Birch Grove': It was agreed that the loco would be repainted into its early SR guise as 2473 during the winter period 2004/5.
A Craven coach body currently stored at Preston Park had been offered to us by Network Rail. This was accepted provided that it was stored in 'flat-pack' form.
Hon Gen Secretary
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