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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
held on on 17th May and 25th May 2007

Internal Communication - not for publication

The Committee held a special meeting on 17th May to hear a presentation from Chris White on the purchase of the tip. David Tutt was absent.

The meeting decided unanimously to authorise the company to proceed with the purchase on the terms of the agreement reached with West Sussex County Council. It is hoped that we can exchange contract in June 2007 and we will then have up to two years to complete purchase. This will allow fund raising to commence in earnest. During the period between exchange and completion, WSCC will retain ownership of the tip and be responsible for all liabilities. We will be given access under license to carry out certain tasks, such as fencing and undergrowth clearance. Please note that there is no other right of access and you must not trespass onto the tip.

Post Meeting note: I have been told that we expect to exchange contracts on 29th June.

The meeting on 25th May met from 7:10 to 10:25pm. Chris Saunders was absent as he was away on a trip planned before he was elected. Paul Churchman was welcomed and Sam Bee welcomed in his new role as Vice-Chairman.

Membership: Membership has edged closer to the 10,000 target and is currently 9,960. We have been approached by some other Societies seeking advice on recruitment activities.

Society Finance: Subscription / donation income at £65k for the first four months is still around 6% below that received in the same period in 2006. £64k has been loaned to the plc so far this year.

Review of AGM: It was suggested that the Bluebell Railway Trust report should be given earlier in the evening so that it is not so rushed and questions can be taken after the break. The ballot box for working members will be re-located to the Members' Room next year to avoid staff making unnecessary visits to the Booking Office.

Trustee Responsibilities & Director Nominations:  In accordance with the rules, the Committee nominated those Trustees it wished to serve as Directors for the next year. As David Tutt had stood down as a Trustee, it nominated Paul Churchman as Operations Director in his place. Chris White was re-nominated as Infrastructure Director in the absence of any Trustee wishing to take on this role. Remaining responsibilities were re-defined so as to put more emphasis on the Trustees' obligations to ensure that the company is pursuing policies designed to meet the Society's objectives.

Volunteer Recruitment: The two recruitment days had been very successful with 57 members attending to see what was involved. Interest was shown in the P/Way and C&W Depts and also as RMB Stewards and Visitor Guides. It was evident that those Departments which had provided some-one to 'sell' their department gained the most benefit.   Mike Gibbard had carried out his 100th Volunteer Introductory Tour.

S&T Depot at HK:  The Committee approved a proposal for an S&T depot at HK on land either side of the relay room. This would require two sidings to be shortened slightly but would allow the department to release for disposal two vans and to vacate the temporary stores coach.

Interpretation Strategy:   The Committee gave retrospective approval to the Strategy which had been drawn up by Tim Preston, Bob Bird, Don Phillips and Richard Salmon for the HLF Stage 2 application. Thanks were recorded to them for their time and effort in producing a professional document. The Committee was disappointed that it had not been given the opportunity to see this before it was submitted to the HLF and has sought assurances that it can be reviewed later in the year. It was felt the Strategy should be more reflective of what we are and do as a railway rather than focussing on specific, indirect, activities such as the War Weekend.

Next Meeting:   27th July 2007

Gavin Bennett
General Secretary


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