Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 13 August 2018
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Bill Dobson, Colin Foxton, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Chris Lawson, Martin Lloyd, and Roy Marshall. Richard Pearson and Richard Wheeler were present for the first hour – the agenda had been ordered to allow them to contribute to discussion of Finance and the K1 Overhaul.
The Chairman expressed his thanks to Colin Foxton for chairing the July meeting.
1. Apologies for Absence – John Hunt had apologised in advance.
2. Declarations of Interest – Richard Pearson declared an interest as an employee of NRM Locomotion Shildon.
3.1 The Monthly Finance Report had been circulated by the Treasurer. The Chairman confirmed that all had read the report and that there were no questions. The following points were noted:
3.1.1 The NYMR invoice in respect of completion of the J27 came to £24,270 + VAT. Mileage totals approved by Richard Pearson, plus filming charges, gave earnings to date of £20,120.
3.1.2 Bill Dobson asked for the amount of the remaining budget for the Q6, which was £8K. Richard Pearson asked for the figure for the J27, which was an overspend of £600.
3.2 The Treasurer had prepared a set of financial projections to inform the discussion of the K1 overhaul and explained his assumptions. The following points were noted:
3.2.1 Some £350K was available for 2018/19 Winter work on all locomotives, including all available funds.
3.2.2 A number of variations were agreed to the assumptions in the Projection spreadsheet and applied on screen by Nigel Hall. The revised file would be circulated following the meeting and accompanies these minutes. Action: Nigel Hall.
4. K1 Overhaul
4.1 Paul Hutchinson explained that, although it would not be certain without some dismantling, there was an option to extend the boiler ticket by 3 years for the main line. He expected that this would entail lifting the boiler, examining the throat plate washout boss, and taking out some of the small tubes. The flue tubes would be left in situ and some 50 stays would need to be replaced. Paul estimated some £64,200 for the overhaul, rising to £75,000 if all the small tubes had to come out. Although approved by our CME, the VAB and our Insurance Inspector would also have to agree. There would be some of the work that would be “wasted” at the end of the 3 years when the boiler came up for a more extensive repair, but this would be far outweighed by the hire fees earned.
4.2 An option to do nothing was not explored in any detail as it was not viable – the wash out boss and the stay work had to be done before the locomotive could be steamed again, for which a boiler lift was required.
4.3 The option for a more extensive boiler overhaul, including replacement of the lower halves of the outer wrapper and inner firebox, along with any necessary mechanical work, was discussed, estimated to cost some £265,000 (including a heavy contingency).
4.4 However, the Chairman repeated the previous request for the overhaul proposals to be circulated to Trustees in writing to confirm what was requiring approval, and allow proper consideration, as these differed from those discussed at the July meeting. As those had not been circulated by the deadline for discussion at this meeting, the planned 21 September SGM had had to be cancelled and News had gone to the printers. A new date would have to be found. It was recognised that events in Scotland had placed huge demands on Paul’s time, to the exclusion of other tasks, and a vote of thanks to him for his efforts with the K1 was recorded.
4.5 After some debate about what actions and timescales might be achievable, the following agreement was summarised by the Chairman, based on a revised SGM date of 28 September:
4.5.1 Paul would prepare a note identifying the two approaches as soon as possible, setting out what was included, costs, pros and cons, timescales and VAB/Insurance Inspector agreement. This would be circulated to the Committee by email. Action: Paul Hutchinson by 21st August.
4.5.2 This note, once agreed, would be used to support the Motion, as would the revised Financial Projections paper.
4.5.3 At the same time the Motion wording would be drafted and circulated, based on the three-year extension being the preferred approach, but seeking authority to carry out the full overhaul if necessary. Action: Colin Foxton with Paul Hutchinson by 21st August.
4.5.4 A proxy voting form had been drafted and would be revised to reflect the revised date. Action: Secretary by 28th August.
4.5.5 A mailshot to send the papers for the SGM to members would be needed. Colin Foxton offered to take this on. Action: Colin Foxton by 28th August. Colin Smith had a capability to produce labels for the mailshot. Action: Secretary to alert Membership Secretary immediately.
4.5.6 A venue would be booked for an SGM on 28th September. Action: Secretary to contact John Midcalf immediately.
5. Minutes of Last Meeting
5.1 The minutes of the July meeting were agreed and signed off by the Chairman. Action: Secretary to provide to Webmaster for Website publishing.
6. Locomotive Update
6.1 Q6 – Bill Dobson reported that the steam test was likely by the end of August. The planned move to the Severn Valley Railway on 17th September was discussed. A NELPG representative with footplate experience was needed. The planned Winter 2018/19 boiler lift was discussed and it was agreed that this should be deferred for another year. Nigel Hall confirmed this would not impact on its repainting for the centenary year.
6.2 J27 – The broken spring had been replaced. Steve Davies had requested an extension to the hire period, which could be agreed, subject to NYMR agreement and if crews could be found the cover the workings. Action: Richard Pearson.
6.3 J72 – The boiler had been lifted and it was agreed that Adam Dalgleish should be commissioned to take out the longitudinal stays. A plan for the next steps was now needed from Fred Ramshaw. Action: Nigel Hall.
7. Any Other Business.
7.1 Chris Davison had advised that a close friend had died. It had been requested that his ashes be passed through the firebox of the J27 – this was agreed and condolences were expressed. Action: Chairman.
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