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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Summary of the Committee meeting
held on 30th January 2009

Internal Communication - not for publication

The Committee met from 7:20pm until 10:45pm. Jan Kozminski was in attendance and Chris White attended for the first part of the meeting.

Infrastructure Issues: A number of items were discussed under this banner and plans presented for Society approval, as follows:

Ashford Weigh Tables: Further investigation of company records had not revealed any agreement to house these and it was agreed that they should be removed from our site.

Membership: Membership numbers at 30 January were 10,139 though there were a lot of renewals outstanding and we could expect a significant drop. 453 Direct Debit subscriptions had now been successfully processed with a further 148 set up for 1st payment and a further 55 awaiting verification. Quite a few members had taken advantage of the option to pay for five years at the old rate before the subscriptions increased. This gave us a cash boost but its effect will be felt over the next few years. A new format for Membership Cards, for those paying by Direct Debit, was approved, allowing these to be produced from the database, thus saving time and effort and at a lower cost.

Society Finance: Subscription income for 2008 amounted to £135k well ahead of that for 2007. In addition receipts into the Land Purchase Fund amount to £10.5k. Cash transfers to the plc in 2008 amounted to £135k with a further £11.6k from the Land Purchase Fund. The Society had converted £500k of its loan to the company into shares. 112 applications had been received for the Deferred Share Scheme with of total commitment of £42k of which £35k will be received in 2009.

After many years of service, Tony Sullivan had retired from the responsibility for the Land Purchase Fund and Deferred Share Scheme and the Society Committee recorded its thanks to Tony for all that he had done.

4 VEP 3417: A very successful event had been held at East Grinstead for the arrival of the 4 VEP with over 700 visitors to the site. Bruce Knights of Knights Rail Services at Eastleigh had that day made a formal offer to give the unit secure and dry accommodation at Eastleigh and the Society Committee had given its approval to this, allowing the unit to leave East Grinstead on Thursday 22nd January.

7F 53809: A letter of thanks had been received from the owners for returning the engine to them in a clean condition, clearly having been well looked after. The assistance they had received from both engineering and operating staff was first rate and Bluebell ranks as one of the best railways they have visited in 28 years.

Applications for Trust Funding: The Committee approved a request for the repair to Brighton Bogie First 7598 to be referred to the Trust as an anonymous offer had been made fund the repair via the Trust. It rejected a proposal for a feasibility enquiry and possible request to the Trust for financial support to acquire an SR Lowmac on the grounds that we did not have sufficient siding space for further wagons.

Diesel Special: The Committee was told that the company had decided to run a one-off passenger special with the Class 73 whilst it was here so as to raise funds for the extension. This was presented as a fait accompli and concern was voiced objecting to this approach.

Youth Protection: Departmental heads had been asked to provide a list of staff who may require an enhanced disclosure from the CRB.

P Class 178 livery: The Committee approved a proposal that this loco should be turned out as 'Bluebell'. It was noted that, contrary to the view that had been provided to the Committee, the proposal did not have the full explicit support of the restoring group.

Award for HK Canopy Team: The Committee were pleased to note that HK Canopy team had received a runner up award in the National Railway Heritage Awards for the reconstruction of the buildings and canopy on Platform 1 & 2. It was noted that the Team had been placed in a category against significantly larger national projects and had done well in the circumstances.

Gavin Bennett
General Secretary


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