Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 10 June 2019
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson, Colin Foxton (Chair), Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson (from 19.57), Chris Lawson (via Skype), Roy Marshall and Richard Wheeler.
1. Apologies for Absence –Apologies for absence were received from John Hunt and Richard Pearson.
2. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
3. Election of Officers – The Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary confirmed that they were prepared to continue in the same roles. In view of Chris Lawson’s forthcoming unavailability, Colin Foxton had agreed to act as Vice Chairman. These appointments were agreed.
4. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 8 April meeting were agreed.
5. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
5.1 The proposal for an additional fire exit at Deviation Shed had been agreed by email and the purchase order had been raised. Action: Bryan Orange.
5.2 Colin Foxton’s action plan for the revision of the Articles of Association had also been agreed by email and was already in train.
5.3 The Chairman urged all Board members to respond to business conducted by email, which allowed more time for other business at monthly meetings.
5.4 The Chairman said that he would soon need to return the latest draft of the NYMR Collaboration Agreement to the NYMR, even though he had not received Paul Hutchinson’s comments. Bill Dobson said he had comments to make. Action: Bill Dobson.
6.1 The Monthly Finance Report and Movement in Funds had been circulated by the Treasurer, together with his 5-Year Financial Projections. The following points were discussed:
6.1.1 Nigel Bill asked about the K1 earnings shown as at 31.03.19 and it was realised that this should have shown 31.05.19.
6.1.2 The 5-Year Financial Projections were reviewed. Nigel Hall made the point that “big picture” items of expenditure needed to be identified by the Locomotive Caretakers (J72 requirements would emerge from the boiler inspection being arranged by Neal Woods and would include any associated mechanical needs). Action: Bill Dobson, Paul Hutchinson and Richard Pearson.
6.1.3 The Treasurer proposed the investment of: £30K with the United Trust Bank over 12 months at 1.9%; £85K with Aldermore over the same period at 1.85%; £30K with CCLA over 12 months with somewhat more risk, but a better return. Funds were such that there was no risk of financial embarrassment of the next 12 months. This ought to return interest of about £7K, as compared with £1737 last year. These investments were agreed. Action: Treasurer.
6.1.4 The Allan Toomer legacy had now reached £198K with the potential for a little more (the solicitors are holding £20K back against potential tax demands).
7. Succession Planning
7.1 The paper from Nigel Hall on Hopetown public opening arrangements was discussed, in particular:
7.1.1 Hopetown guides had been depleted with the death of one member and the ill health of another.
7.1.2 Hopetown display boards needed to be refreshed, as they were the last time that the J72 overhaul had been undertaken. Nigel was authorised to commission Ted Parker to produce more boards, if Ted were willing. All Nigel’s suggested actions were agreed. Action: Nigel Hall.
7.2 The Group’s CME role was discussed, recognising that, at some point, we need to find a successor for John Graham. Although a number of potential candidates were suggested, Paul Hutchinson suggested that, if it proved difficult to find a replacement, the Group’s locomotives could be operated under the aegis of NYMR boilersmith Mark O’Brien (Bill Dobson wondered how the mechanical aspects of the locomotives might be covered, however), except when the K1 is working in Scotland, when it could operate under the WCRC Safety Case, as do other locomotives operated by WCRC, such as 61306. The Chairman asked whether this topic needed to be broached in the NYMR Collaboration Agreement discussions, but it was concluded that this was not necessary.
7.3 The recruitment of more active members was also discussed. The Chairman had written a piece for the June News on this subject. He asked whether we were clear and whether we made clear the skills that we need, not least for shadowing Board members, so as to plan succession more effectively. The topic was to be added to a future agenda. Action: Secretary.
8. Communications & Consultation
8.1 The behaviour of one of our members at the last AGM was discussed. Three Board members had independently apologised to the member who had been the target for much of the abuse. Although this had been most apparent during the discussion about the medium for and frequency of News, it became apparent that it had been going on throughout the meeting. Paul Hutchinson observed that the Chairman had done all that was possible to calm things down. The Board agreed that the conduct had been unacceptable and that a letter should be drafted to express this feeling and seek an apology. Action: Secretary.
8.2 The issues raised by Maurice Burns’ under the Chairman’s Report and resumed during the Open Meeting, together with the reactions provoked were considered. Ted Parker had written to the Chairman subsequently to say that he considered the responses given by several Board members were unacceptable. The Board did not accept this and felt that Maurice cannot have been surprised by the responses – there were personality issues at play which were unlikely to be fully resolved. Action: Chairman to reply to Ted Parker. Nevertheless, the Chairman and Secretary had already met Ian Storey to try to find some sort of resolution. A further meeting with Ian and Maurice was planned. The outcome would be reported back to the Board. Action: Chairman.
8.3 The Chairman thanked Nigel Hall and Peter Whitaker for the repainting of 2238. The relatives of Vincent Raven were still being sought (with interest expressed by the One Show on BBC1). The relatives of TW and Wilson Worsdell had been identified and it had been discovered that they were keen railway enthusiasts. It was agreed to offer honorary life membership to relatives of Sir Vincent Raven (if they can be located), and of TW and Wilson Worsdell. Action: Chairman. The J27 centenary is fast approaching in 2023 and 2020 sees the centenary of Wilson Worsdell’s death. The Chairman suggested that this should be commemorated in an event next Easter – this was agreed. Action: Chairman.
8.4 The Chairman thanked Bill Dobson and Paul Hutchinson for arranging wreaths to mark the passing of Derek Norris. Derek’s family had asked him to arrange for Derek’s ashes to be put through the firebox of one of our locomotives at the NYMR. He had discussed this with Paul Brown and would make the arrangements. Action: Chairman. It was planned to use the Members Diner on 26 October and to offer four complimentary seats on the train for Derek’s family. Action: Chairman. There would be fewer seats this year, because of the introduction of Garnet into the rake, so initial bookings would be limited to two seats per member, with any additional passengers on waiting list. Action: Chairman.
9. Any Essential Locomotive Updates
9.1 J72 – the planned boiler inspection had been postponed until 5 July and there would not be time to prepare a proposal to the Board meeting on 8 July and this put pressure on the chances of having an agreed Motion ready for a September SGM. In addition, a decision was needed in respect of the potential replacement of the cylinder block.
9.2 J72 Procurement path – discussion then turned to the steps needed to confirmation of the requirement for the work needed on the boiler, through the identification of possible contractors, invitation to tender (ITT), make-up of the tender evaluation panel (names suggested included John Graham, Fred Ramshaw, Neal Woods, Paul Hutchinson, Richard Pearson, plus, possibly, Darrin Crone) and evaluation of tenders resulting in the placing of a contract. There was reference to the recent experience of the J21 Group and it was realised that a fixed price offer was unlikely, so a contingency should be applied, to take account of the uncertainty of any estimate for the costs. Nigel Hall reminded the meeting that the Adam Dalgleish quotes could be used as comparisons. The Secretary said that he felt there were 3 important criteria in the selection of a contractor: reputation/track record; location (close enough to allow frequent interaction and monitoring); window of availability (many potential boilersmiths had a full order book). He offered to coordinate initial proposals for identifying prospective contractors, ITT, tender evaluation and evaluation panel for J72 boiler work. Action: Secretary.
10. Any Other Business
10.1 Paul Hutchinson said that there had been an alternative suggestion for the K1 name after discussions between himself and John Hunt. The locomotive could be finished as the class prototype K1/1 61997 MacCailin Mor, including temporary changes to the footplating in front of the cylinders and removal of the generator and electric lights, to take effect for the final Jacobite Season before overhaul (i.e. 2021). John Hunt believed that these changes could be funded by the Photo Charter community. The Board has the authority to approve such a change under the terms of Motion 2 of the SGM held 14 March 2003. Action: Paul Hutchinson - start preparations for this identity change. Action: Secretary - include motion for endorsement at next convenient SGM/AGM.
10.2 The Treasurer suggested that an increase in the Jacobite hire fee should be requested formally from WCRC. It was agreed that this would be pursued next year.
10.3 Nigel Bill advised that he was still looking for a replacement for the Company car. A recent 63 plate candidate had had 300,000 miles on the clock, which had ruled it out.
Date of Next Meeting – 8 July 2019
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