Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 11 February 2019
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Chris Lawson (Chair), Bill Dobson, Colin Foxton, Nigel Hall, John Hunt, Paul Hutchinson, Martin Lloyd, Roy Marshall, Richard Pearson and Richard Wheeler.
1. Apologies for Absence –there were no apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 14 January meeting were agreed, signed off by the Chairman and authorised for publication on the website.
4. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
4.1 The Board further discussed a personal matter (see also January minutes) which is recorded in a confidential annex.
5.1 The Monthly Finance Report had been circulated by the Treasurer. The following points were noted:
5.1.1 An amount of £4K from Gift Aid had been claimed and would contribute toward a small surplus in the year.
5.1.2 The grant of £600 from the Ken Hoole Trust towards the cost of the Q6 repaint had now been received.
5.1.3 Two of our Patrons had made donations of £500.
5.1.4 Expenditure on the K1 so far totalled £22K. Paul Hutchinson said that he hoped the final cost might be as little as £50K.
5.1.5 The Treasurer had been advised to fix our energy costs for Hopetown for 3 years. This was agreed. Action: Treasurer to arrange 3-year deal with British Gas.
5.1.6 It was agreed that the Barclays account would be used in parallel with the new Co-op account, but all cheques would be paid in to the latter. The Treasurer distributed security tokens for the Co-op account to Chris Lawson, Martin Lloyd, Roy Marshall and held one himself.
5.1.7 The Charity Bank was covered by the FCA compensation scheme up to £85K.
5.1.8 The J27 Appeal Account held with Barclays had been overdrawn because of a number of direct debits not attributable to the Group and wrongly allowed against the account by Barclays. The Treasurer had arranged for remedial action by the bank.
5.1.9 John Hunt asked whether the Treasurer was happy with the financial situation. It was confirmed that the current small surplus contrasted well with a £50K deficit last year.
6. Trustees Annual Report and AGM Supplement
6.1 The Secretary had issued an initial draft of the TAR. It was confirmed that the copy date for the April News was 8 March, so the final version of the TAR and the Officers’ Reports would need to be signed off at the next Board meeting on 11 March. Action: All to provide any comments on the draft TAR by 18 February.
6.2 It was pointed out that, whilst the crewing of the J27 at the Wensleydale Railway had been arranged by the Group, we had not been responsible for operations – the TAR needed to make this clear.
6.3 It was confirmed that Chris Lawson would prepare the Chairman’s report for the AGM supplement and cover the whole of 2018. Action: Chairman.
7. Locomotive Update
7.1 Long Term Strategy – The greater proportion of our active members were over 65, but Nigel observed that this was to be expected, since most volunteers only became active on retirement. A message would be prepared to ask current working members to confirm their year of birth – this would allow an accurate analysis. Action: Secretary.
7.2 K1 – The repair work was behind schedule, because volunteer numbers had been low mid-week. However, WCRC had fitted nearly all of the tubes in the boiler. A price would be confirmed for bending the main steam pipe. Painting of the frames had been problematic because of the weather and volunteer numbers.
7.3 Q6 – The locomotive had been requested for Half-Term workings. The grate had not yet been fitted, but it was confirmed that it would be to the same design as used in the K1 and B1, though without a hopper ashpan. The Centenary livery was discussed. Research as to whether it had been lined out was continuing, but it was likely that no conclusive evidence would be found. There was a discussion about members’ livery expectations, but it was agreed that a decision would be made based on the research results available at the time any lining out needed to be started. It was observed that an account of these deliberations would make a suitable future article for NELPG News. Action: Nigel Hall. Peter Whitaker had researched the colours and fonts for the lettering and numbering on the tender sides and the buffer beam.
7.4 J72 – Access to the boiler was now available to allow internal examination.
7.5 J27 – Prices for replacement Ross Pop safety valves had been confirmed as £580 and £290 for the patterns for the base and valve respectively and £190 and £75 for the castings. Four of each casting would be needed – 2 each for the J27 and the Q6– and machining costs would also need to be included. It was agreed to proceed on this basis. Action: Richard Pearson. The current valves would be used until the next boiler washout.
7.6 Locomotive Hire –the Wensleydale Railway wanted to hire the J27 in Summer 2019, as last year. However, there would be no running on Mondays and Wednesdays. It was likely that the crewing could be resourced, because we had more notice and because of the revised timetable, so the Board gave agreement in principle. It would now need to be discussed and agreed with the NYMR. Action: Chairman. In the meantime, arrangements for crewing on the Wensleydale Railway could be put in hand. Action: Richard Pearson. Other offers of hire had been received from the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway and from the Mid-Norfolk Railway – these would be considered if they could be resourced and if the offers were for periods when not required by NYMR or WR.
7.7 Locomotive Engineering Managers and Nigel Hall (for the J72) were requested to submit reports to the Newsletter Editor by 8 March. Action: Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson and Richard Pearson.
8. Health and Safety
8.1 Martin Lloyd reported on the meeting between Bryan Orange, Richard Jackson and himself. It was regretted that Bryan had reportedly resigned his role in respect of H&S after discussions about access to the LMP. Richard Jackson had said he would take no further action unless the situation was resolved by the end of February and the Chairman agreed to discuss the matter with Bryan Orange. Action: Chairman.
8.2 Richard Pearson reported on the visit of HSE to M-Machine. He expressed concern that the machines at Hopetown were not fitted with guards, that the fire doors were usually bolted and locked (this was disputed by the Secretary), that there was redundant equipment and materials causing clutter and that the scaffolding erected around the J72 boiler was unsafe. The Secretary undertook to review machine guarding and fire safety at Hopetown and was given authority to close down anything he felt was unsafe and to make purchases in these areas of concern without coming back to the Board. Action: Secretary.
Richard Pearson left the meeting at this point (9.30pm).
9. Any Other Business
9.1 The Treasurer had received a notice of the AGM of the MSLOA, who had apparently not noticed that our membership of that organisation had been (deliberately) lapsed. Action: Secretary to inform MSLOA that the Group has terminated its membership.
9.2 The Treasurer proposed a review of Group membership rates, which were last increased 2 years ago. Action: Treasurer to make proposals for new rates for approval at the AGM.
9.3 An invitation to the Locomotion Shildon Gala on 21/22 September had been received by the Secretary. Action: Secretary to respond after speaking to Arthur Jenkins to confirm that the Sales Stand could be manned both days.
9.4 The Chairman had consolidated comments on the draft NYMR Collaboration and Hire Agreement. The annual preliminary insurance review meeting with Matthew Whitehurst of Jelf would be held on 15 February and the opportunity would be taken to consider the insurance issues in the draft agreement, including the potential overlap in cover. Following this, the draft, with comments, would be circulated again with a suitable period for comment. Action: Chairman. The issue of the ownership of and peppercorn rent for Deviation Shed was noted.
9.5 The locomotive head and tail lamps from the Allan Toomer legacy were discussed. Fred Ramshaw had bid for the LNER pattern locomotive head lamp for the J72, given Allan’s close association with that locomotive. It had been proposed that the tail lamp be donated to the NYMR, because there were already a number of these in store at Hopetown. Both lamps would be suitably inscribed on brass plates to record the legacy.
9.6 Paul Hutchinson had made his report to the Loss Adjustor regarding K1 loss of earnings and this had resulted in further questions. It was noted that there was no indication of a positive outcome at this point. A further update would be provided at the March meeting.
9.7 Paul Hutchinson reported that WCRC had indicated that they did not support the idea for a rail tour hauled by the K1. Further consideration would be given to the idea of a rail tour, however.
9.8 The Secretary reminded the meeting that 2 Trustees would stand down by rotation at the AGM. Neither had yet confirmed whether they wished to stand for re-election. Paragraph 45 of the Articles, setting out the arrangements for the appointment of Trustees over the age of 75, would need to be considered.
Date of Next Meeting – 11 March 2019
The meeting closed at 9.40pm.
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