The Committee met from 7:35pm to 10:05pm. The Committee were delighted to congratulate Nicholas and Lesley Pryor on their marriage last Wednesday, apparently close to some football ground in the Finsbury Park area. Nicholas sent his apologies for the meeting!
Society Membership: The number of members currently stands at 9,017 though this us likely to drop back below 9,000 once we get to the end of the current renewal period. The new membership database will be going 'live' before the end of the year, having had an extended period of parallel running. A working party is looking at the implications of introducing Direct Debits for Society subscriptions in the near future
Society Finance: Subscription income now just over £100k, a 15.6% increase in 2003. Some clarification now received on how the Board wants to separate Society administration costs from Company costs.
'SR' Group visit: The visit on 3rd October by staff and Society officers from Swanage, Isle of Wight and Mid Hants railways had been very successful and they were impressed by our achievements and enthusiasm and useful contacts were made.
Company Finance : Income still holding up above budget and expenditure is being contained but vigilance is still the watchword.
Model Railway (Woodpax site): The Committee agreed that opening this railway to the public (until such time as the building needs to be demolished to make way for Operation Undercover) would enhance the visitor experience. Project to be managed by Sam Bee, reporting to Tim Baker with a target of opening by February 2005.
1. Atlantic Group shed: The Committee noted this request but felt that this needed to be considered by the Sheffield Park Active Review (SPAR) in the context of the overall plan for Sheffield Park and was referred back to them. It was noted that an application for planning permission had already been submitted and it was hoped that this would not prejudice the outcome of SPAR.
2. Sheffield Park driveway: This was discussed at some length and it was recognised that the brick paviors are not in keeping with the era we are trying to create at Sheffield Park. The Committee recognised that the Infrastructure Director had presented them with a fait accompli but accepted that it would be too expensive to start again with another type of surface and had little choice but to agree to the completion of the work in the driveway. However all other proposed changes to Sheffield Park were referred back to SPAR.
3. Hove Building: The costs of re-erecting this listed building are to be met by other organisations and to Committee agreed to its location in the driveway, opposite the entrance to the booking hall but standing further forward than originally planned. This will reduce the need for substantial construction work on the embankment. The proposal to erect it in the station garden was rejected.
4. Station Building: The Committee were pleased to approve a request from SPRAT for them to redecorate the old stock room and for this to be used as a meeting room in the short term. Its final use is to be determined by SPAR. The Committee also agreed that SPRAT could redecorate the Booking Hall in the New Year. The Finance Director was delighted to note that all this work would be done at no expense to the Company.
New Fire Station: The Committee noted the report from the Fire Dept confirming that it had been given planning permission for the new building but reiterated that the railway could not fund the project. David Tutt and David Foale would discuss this with them.
Bluebell Railway Trust - Society Representative: A second Society representative to the Trust is still required to support Richard Salmon. An appeal is to be made for someone to take on this role, preferably someone who is not currently involved in the management of the railway. This is an important role given the increased involvement of the Trust in helping to fund projects around the railway.
Member's Forum: A Member's Forum will be held on Saturday 8th January 2005 at Sheffield Park commencing at 8pm. This is your opportunity to quiz the Trustees! NB: Date subsequently changed to 5th February.
Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held on 19th November. All papers to the General Secretary by 10th November at the latest
Hon Gen Secretary
Postscript: The November meeting has been cancelled. Next meeting will be held on 21st January. All papers to General Secretary by 12th January.
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