Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 8 April 2019
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Chris Lawson (Chair), Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, John Hunt, Paul Hutchinson, Martin Lloyd, Roy Marshall, Richard Pearson and Richard Wheeler.
Bryan Orange was present for the discussion on Health & Safety. Luke Perry and Nigel Bill were also present as observers. All were welcomed to the meeting by the Chairman.
As this was Martin Lloyd’s last meeting as a Trustee, the Chairman expressed thanks for Martin’s long and varied service to the Group. This was heartily endorsed by the Board.
1. Apologies for Absence – Colin Foxton had sent apologies for absence. Nigel Bill, Paul Hutchinson and Roy Marshall tendered apologies in advance for the May meeting.
2. Declarations of Interest – John Hunt declared an interest as an employee of West Coast Railway Company (WCRC) and Richard Pearson as an employee of the A1 Trust.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 11 March meeting were agreed and signed off by the Chairman.
4. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
4.1 Bryan Orange proposed a new name for the Junior Volunteers – to be known in future as the NELPG Youth Development Team, which properly reflected their activities. This was agreed unanimously. It was noted that the North Norfolk Railway and the South Tynedale Railway had also made this change of name. There was significant exchange of ideas between these three groups, in particular, to the advantage of all.
4.2 The Secretary raised the issue of “Lord of the Isles” nameplates for the K1 for the forthcoming Jacobite Season (after an approach from member Neil Smedley). Whilst there was some support for the idea at the meeting, it was pointed out that the motion passed at the 2002 AGM limited the use of the nameplates only up to the 2003 AGM. A motion to a further general meeting would be required to agree any further use. Members views would be sought at the forthcoming AGM. Action: Chairman.
4.3 The Secretary noted that Les Coughtrey was making a significant contribution to progress on the J72 with his NDT testing work – this was much appreciated.
4.4 The Chairman reminded the meeting that Nigel Bill should now be copied into all Board-related material. Action: Webmaster to add Nigel Bill to Board email group.
5.1 The Monthly Finance Report had been circulated by the Treasurer, together with his proposals for the investment of funds. The following points were discussed:
5.1.1 The proposal for the investment of funds across the Group’s bank accounts was agreed in principle, but subject to a review of forecast likely expenditure over the next 5 years at least. The amounts to be invested should be adjusted accordingly. Nigel Hall offered to send the latest 5-year forward look to the Treasurer. Action: Nigel Hall. The (potentially revised) proposals would then be set out in writing for Trustees to reconsider. Action: Treasurer.
5.1.2 Bill Dobson advised that the invoice for the Q6 crossheads should not be paid yet, as the amount was not as agreed. Action: Bill Dobson to pursue with NYMR.
5.1.3 The Treasurer had identified a potential 4-year deal for electricity at Hopetown with Scottish & Southern. It was agreed that this should be taken up. Action: Treasurer.
5.1.4 The planned Accounting Software familiarisation at Ribchesters premises had been postponed because of changes to the recommended package, but would be held as soon as possible.
6.1 The AGM Supplement had been issued with the April News. John Hunt thanked Nigel Hall and the Secretary for their assistance.
6.1.1 Colin Foxton had advised that he would provide a presentation to update members on the review of the Articles of Association.
6.1.2 After the conclusion of the formal AGM business, the meeting would be opened up for general discussion.
6.1.3 The Chairman would, by custom, read out a list of those members who had passed away since the last AGM, or who were known to be seriously ill.
6.1.4 John Midcalf had agreed to provide light refreshments during the interval.
6.1.5 At next year’s AGM, the Chairman and John Hunt would retire by rotation. The Chairman advised that he would not be seeking re-appointment as a Trustee.
7. T2 Centenary Livery
7.1 The Chairman advised that the T2 would move off shed at Grosmont at about 11.30 on 1 May. The unveiling of the new livery would be between 12.00 and 12.30. The 12.30 ex-Grosmont would be a service train with two carriages reserved for the public. Nigel Hall and Peter Whitaker had carried out the painting. There would be refreshments on the train and Nick Stringer was sponsoring a barrel of beer (which was to be charged at £2 per pint), and the Chairman providing an anniversary birthday cake. Attempts continued to be made to trace the living relatives of Sir Vincent Raven – without success thus far. In the light of this experience, and with a view to the P3 centenary in 2023, an attempt would be made to trace the relatives of Wilson Worsdell.
7.2 Nigel Hall explained his investigations into whether lining was applied to the 1918 batch of T2s. The evidence now available indicated that it was not. In the ensuing discussion, concern was expressed that this would be contrary to members expectations at the time of the 2018 AGM vote on the temporary livery change. The Chairman pointed out that he had included an indication that lining might not be appropriate in his article in the latest issue of NELPG News, precisely to lower expectations. When put to the vote, it was carried 5 to 3 in favour of no lining.
7.3 Richard Pearson left the meeting at this point (8.35pm), after interjecting his H&S concerns about Hopetown – i.e. Risk Assessments, COSSH and the need to tidy up and dispose of redundant material.
8. Health & Safety
8.1 Child Protection Policy – Bryan Orange had produced version 2.5 of the policy to take account of the latest HRA model. Nigel Hall observed that an appendix listing NELPG members who had been DBS-checked, and a glossary of terms, would be useful. He had a number of detailed comments which he would send to Bryan. Subject to the resolution of these points, the policy was approved in principle. Action: Nigel Hall and Bryan Orange. The Chairman asked for a list of all H&S related policies to be prepared so the Secretary could ensure that Board reviews were carried out at the correct time. Action: Bryan Orange and Secretary.
8.2 Safety Review – Update on Progress – Bryan Orange had circulated a paper ahead of the meeting. Setting the scene, Bryan explained that the Office of Rail and Road had recently increased its team of inspectors for the heritage railway sector to 4 – their purpose was to assist, not to close down railway operations. Visits from the inspectors would be targeted according to size and complexity and little notice could be expected. Areas of interest for ORR would include competency, training records, vehicle maintenance records and compliance with legislation (e.g. PAT testing).
8.3 Bryan had prepared a spreadsheet showing the extent of the Group’s H&S responsibilities and had populated it, as far as possible, with an indication of the level of compliance. All the indications were that, in some areas, the level of compliance needed considerable improvement. Nigel Hall observed that, in particular, guidance was needed to define the responsibility of the RO at Hopetown. It was noted that members of the public visit both Hopetown and Deviation Shed, thus requiring a wider view of risks to include these visitors. Martin Lloyd urged use of NYMR Risk Assessments, wherever possible – Bryan agreed and had a visit planned to the Carriage and Wagon workshop, to draw on their methods.
8.4 Nigel Bill raised the issue of the signing on process at Grosmont (although NYMR has insurance for the whole MPD site, the Group maintains its own insurance for Deviation Shed). After discussion, it was agreed that, whilst NELPG volunteers must continue to sign on and off on at the MPD, for the purposes of our own insurance, a separate signing on sheet (using the Hopetown version – Action: Secretary) would be maintained in Deviation Shed, so that there was local visibility of who was present in the building. Action: Bryan Orange.
8.5 Bryan Orange suggested the replacement of the lighting at Deviation Shed with LED fittings, using a contractor. It was also suggested that Hopetown would benefit from such replacement – improving the lighting and reducing energy costs. It was agreed that this should be pursued. Action: Bryan Orange and Secretary.
9. Any Other Business9.1 Martin Lloyd offered to arrange a 1-day PTS course with Mick Rawling for Andrew Jeffery, who had volunteered for Jacobite support duties. This was agreed. Action: Martin Lloyd.
9.2 John Hunt asked about progress with the possible conversion of our locomotive lamps to LED operation. Barney Casey had arranged for a sample lamp to be successfully converted at the SVR at a significantly reduced cost than for No 29. It was now being assessed to see if it met Network Rail required standards.
9.3 John Hunt suggested that the Group contribution to Jacobite support crew expenses should remain at the current level – this was agreed.
9.4 The Chairman advised that he had been approached to provide a locomotive in steam for the formal reopening of the refurbished Morpeth Railway Station, scheduled for September/October this year. This might coincide with the return of the K1 from Scotland and might even allow a railtour over the Blyth and Tyne route. Establishing the likely date was critical. Action: Chairman.
9.5 Bill Dobson reported that he continued to investigate the need for replacement Q6 tender tyres.
9.6 John Hunt said that he was in dialogue with Chris Gee at Network Rail, about the possibility of moving the J27 (in light steam) by rail to the Wensleydale Railway. This would avoid the uncoupling of locomotive and tender and the stresses of loading/unloading and road movement. Costs for a rail move would have to be taken into account, as compared with road haulage costs.
9.7 The Secretary said that, by his reading, the latest email from WCRC about gauging the K1 suggested that it would not be necessary before this year’s Jacobite. This was confirmed, but it was agreed that gauging needed to be pursued as soon as possible. Action: Secretary. ICE holders for Jacobite support crews were being ordered. A paper copy of the revised Jacobite document set was given to Paul Hutchinson for review – manuscript comments would be returned as soon as possible. DB Cargo had demolished the shed at Fort William without the agreement of WCRC. Paul Hutchinson and John Hunt were trying to confirm that the pit would be retained and that power and other facilities would be in place for this year’s operations. Once the position was clarified, working members would be notified. Action: Paul Hutchinson.
9.8 The Chairman pressed Paul Hutchinson for his comments on the draft NYMR Collaboration Agreement. The delay was now becoming embarrassing. Paul asked for a paper copy to be sent to him which would allow him to review the document off-line at Carnforth. Action: Chairman and Paul Hutchinson. The Secretary had been approached by one of our Vice Presidents with an offer to review all our hire agreements, including the draft NYMR Collaboration Agreement, currently under discussion. The Board concluded that the offer should be deferred until the Collaboration agreement was fit for wider dissemination.
9.9 Nigel Hall had reviewed and purged the working members list to remove those who were no longer active. This had resulted in a list of about 80 people.
9.10 The Chairman had recently met a consultant working for the Tees Valley Combined Authority, to discuss the possible options for the development of the railway heritage quarter at Hopetown/North Road. We would need to consider our future accommodation requirements on the site. Action: Secretary for a future Board agenda.
9.11 Paul Hutchinson reported that Richard De Sadeleer was not receiving email via the workers list. Action: Nigel Hall to investigate.
9.12 The company car now had 230,000 miles on the clock. Although it had just passed its latest MoT, Paul Hutchinson felt it was time for replacement, and a low roof, short wheelbase Transit van would be ideal. Nigel Bill volunteered to look for a suitable vehicle. Action Nigel Bill.
9.13 Paul Hutchinson asked whether anyone had evidence that the cylinder covers were lined on Class K1 in BR days. The Secretary volunteered to look through his BR period images. Action Secretary.
9.14 The K1 replacement tender tank would now be pursued in collaboration with the A1 Trust and possibly in association with the owners of B1 No 1264 and the B17 Group.
Date of Next Meeting – 13 May 2019
The meeting closed at 9.58pm.
Signed (Chairman) Date
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