Internal Communication - not for publication
The Committee met from 7:30pm to 10pm. Gerry Brown and Nicholas Pryor were absent.
Membership Matters: Membership numbers still stand at just over 9,600.
Finance: Society subscription/donation income for the first eight months amounted to just under £99k (£88k in 2005). The Society has loaned the plc around £102k so far this year. Society expenses for the year to date amount to £10k.
Direct debits: The Committee was pleased to hear that the company had now received the legal advice on whether it could act as guarantor for the Society and the way was now clear for a Direct Debit scheme to be put in place. Work will now commence on devising and setting up the necessary safeguards to ensure that all direct debit subscription transactions are legitimate.
Peter Cox Memorial: Two suggestions had been made: a memorial board in the Running Shed to record the names of deceased members of the Loco Dept; and a seat at Kingscote which could be used by loco crews waiting for departure to avoid the heat of the footplate.
Woodpax: In the absence of Nicholas Pryor, there was no further information on the status of project or on the expected visit of an HLF officer in October.
Requests to the Trust: The Committee agreed to support application to the Trust for funding of the new lathe in the Loco Works. The Committee was told that the collection at Dick Riley's funeral had been donated to the Trust for 'Fenchurch'. This was noted with appreciation.
Hiring of Locomotives: The Committee agreed a policy for hiring out of locomotives. This had to take into account our own changing needs through unexpected failures of available locomotives but also the impact that such hiring puts on workshop staff through extra inspections, maintenance and repairs. There were already a number of requests to hire 9017 after the end of the 5 year moratorium and it was agreed that it would be better for the engine to make one trip away from the railway per year, visiting several sites whilst away.
Members Forum: It was agreed to hold a Members Forum in November (now fixed for 18th November at Oathall Community College, Haywards Heath) and to combine it with a showing of extracts from the forthcoming DVD - Bluebell Railway: Lost and Found. It was suggested that it would be better to hold the forum away from the railway and the Secretary was asked to find a suitable location.
Letter from Working Members: The Chairman informed the Committee that he had received a letter signed by around 60 members. This had been discussed at the recent plc meeting. He proposed to publish the letter and the response in the next Points and Crossings.
Sleeping Accommodation Fund: The Committee agreed to set up a Sleeping Accommodation Fund to a) improve existing volunteer sleeping accommodation and b) provide purpose build sleeping accommodation and male and female washing and changing facilities. It was also agreed to arrange a 'deep clean' of the interiors of the green and QoS sleeping cars. The QoS vehicle also required some urgent repair work to the body sides.
West Hoathly Station Site: The Chairman told the Committee that the company had submitted the West Hoathly station site for inclusion as a boundary change in the development plan currently being considered for small scale housing allocations and boundary changes. This was to allow us to build a station at West Hoathly in the future. Post meeting note: The Mid Sussex District Council website reveals that the site has been included, not as a boundary change but as site for housing development (33 units). The company claims that this is a mistake by MSDC and that they are not seeking to allocate the site for housing or mislead the Society.
(With apologies for the long delay in producing this - it's all down to time overload.)
To Bluebell Home Page, to the Timetable or to Special Events
© Copyright, credits and disclaimer.