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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Summary of the Committee meeting
held on 30th May 2008

Internal Communication - not for publication

The Committee met from 7:08pm until 9:37pm. Charles Hudson and Roger Kelly were absent (pre-arranged holidays). Jan Kozminski was in attendance.

Membership: Membership numbers continue to hover just above the 10,000 mark. 116 Direct Debits have now been set up on the system for testing. The Committee agreed to supply a complimentary copy of Bluebell News to Saint Hill Manor

Society Finance: Society income for the first four months was a shade under £70k, above the figure for 2007 and on a par with 2006. Land Purchase donations amounted to £4k. The Committee agreed to open a new bank account for Deferred Shares and to change the name of the existing Deferred Shares account to Land Purchase to reflect the actual transactions. Cash transfers to the plc amounted to £71k.

Review of AGM: The AGM had gone well and the two presentations on fund raising and the extension were well received. The sale of refreshments and the retiring collection raised £361 towards Operation Undercover.

Trustee Assignments & Director Nominations: It was agreed that responsibilities would stay the same with Roger Kelly nominated as Funding Director elect. Nicholas Pryor would continue as Funding Director up until the Company AGM in July. Neil Glaskin picks up responsibility for Bluebell 50th anniversary celebrations and Bluebell Future, a steering group to look at succession planning. A new sub-committee to review the use of the Horsted Keynes site would be set up with Chris Saunders as Chairman.

Heritage Wagon Strategy: Following clarification from the C&W, the Wagon Strategy was adopted by the Society. The Strategy will be published on the web in due course. [Available here - as a pdf]

C&W Components Store: The Committee felt that a plan showing how this would fit in to the existing site was needed. It was agreed that the new HK sub-committee would look at this.

Volunteer Recruitment:  A draft of the new Volunteer Recruitment pack was circulated and agreed. Thanks were recorded to Liz Groome for her efforts on this.

Railway advisers: An issue has arisen over public indemnity insurance for our unpaid advisers, eg Health & Safety, Bridges/Permanent Way. The company's insurance company cannot provide insurance for them unless they are members of the Society. Obtaining their own cover is either prohibitively expensive or unavailable and the Committee was asked to consider granting them Honorary Membership of the Society whilst they are advising us. However, the rules only provide for Honorary Life Membership and so it was agreed that the company would pay their subscriptions for them.

Rolling Stock Committee: The Committee members had decided that they did not want to be a formal Rule 15(b) sub-committee as they wished to appoint their own Chairman. As the RSC did not cover the full remit of the Locomotive & Rolling Stock Director, it was agreed that they could be independent.

Bluebell Future: A small group has been set up led by Neil Glaskin to look at how the Society will survive in the future. The group will look at membership, volunteers and succession planning for Society Officers and Trustees. As was said at the meeting, it's not the future of those around the table, it's YOUR future.

Bluebell 50th Anniversary: The Society celebrates its 50th anniversary next year and the railway the year after that. Neil Glaskin is leading a team to look at ways of marking these events and to ensure they don't pass us by.

GWR Wagon 87782: This 10 ton 5 plank wagon was built for the GWR circa 1912 and was amongst those acquired from the Port of Bristol Authority. It has already been accepted that most goods trains on the Southern were not formed entirely of SR vehicles and thus inclusion of a 'foreign' wagon would add an authentic balance to our good trains. The Committee agreed that the Trust could be asked to hold funds for the restoration of this wagon.

Bluebell Railway Trust Report: A report of Trust activities was given at the AGM so there was little to add to that report. The Committee was pleased to hear that a substantial legacy had been left to the Trust for the extension.

Next meeting: The next meeting will be held on 25th July

Gavin Bennett
General Secretary


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