Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 14th October 2019
Middlesbrough Municipal Golf Centre
Present: Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Chris Lawson, Roy Marshall, Richard Pearson, Richard Wheeler and Ian Storey.
The Board held a minute’s silence in memory of Len Clarke. The Chairman thanked Bill Dobson and Paul Hutchinson, who had arranged a wreath to be carried on the K1 and the T2. If necessary, a replacement would be carried on the Diner, in a twofold tribute, as Derek Norris’ ashes would be passed through the K1 firebox.
1. Apologies for Absence –Apologies for absence were received from Colin Foxton and John Hunt. The Chairman observed that News had only just gone to press and apologised for his late contributions.
2. Declarations of Interest – The Secretary declared an interest as a member of the B1 Trust.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 12th August meeting were approved with an amendment to paragraph 9.7, replacing ‘crew competency and accountability’ by ‘familiarisation with individual locomotives’. A number of amendments were proposed to the minutes of the September meeting, which would be recirculated. Action: Secretary. Comments to be returned in one week from reissue. Action: All. Bill Dobson said that Jon Bradley had started to prepare documentation to support crew familiarity with the T2 and offered to get an update on progress. Action: Bill Dobson.
4. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
4.1 The Treasurer had suggested that a review of the actions list was needed, as some were life-expired. Individual Board members would be consulted, as necessary. Action: Chairman and Secretary.
4.2 The Treasurer said that the NYMR had not yet settled the invoice for the T2 cylinder repair.
Richard Pearson joined the meeting at this point (19.43).
4.3 The venue and timing of future Board meetings was discussed. The Secretary had visited a number of options, which had not proved suitable, but a further suggestion (Middlesbrough Motor Club) had been offered by Bryan Orange, through discussion with Dave Humphreys. This sounded very promising and, subject to a visit to confirm suitability, it was agreed to change to this venue. Action: Secretary. In addition, the 3rd Tuesday of every month was agreed as a more convenient meeting date than 2nd Mondays. Absent Board members to be informed of revised arrangements. Action: Secretary.
4.4 The K1 hire by the Great Central Railway was discussed. Paul Hutchinson would pass details to the Chairman. A hire had been requested by SRPS at Bo’ness from 30th October to 1st November 2020 to celebrate their 25th Anniversary. These dates did not fit the return of the K1 from Jacobite duty. An alternative hire might be possible.
5.1 The Monthly Finance Report and Movement in Funds had been circulated by the Treasurer. The following points were discussed:
5.1.1 There was £10,400 outstanding in hire payments from the Wensleydale Railway. Weekly payments had been promised, but nothing had yet arrived. The Treasurer would continue chasing. Action: Treasurer.
5.1.2 Further investment had been recommended by the Finance Strategy Committee and, after discussion, including a review of funds available, it was agreed to invest £20,000 per month over 5 months in COIF. The Treasurer would advise the Board of the progress of the investment each month. Action: Treasurer.
5.1.3 It was also agreed that the Barclays account would be retained, because it meant that Patron and other electronically transferred monies were unaffected. Cheques and cash must be paid into the Co-op account however, to avoid charges.
6. Articles of Association
6.1 The Vice Chairman had apologised that his absence due to his work demands prevented any update.
7. Darlington Railway Heritage Quarter
7.1 The Chairman advised that he had had meetings over the last 3 years, initially with the Tees Valley Combined Authority and latterly with Darlington Borough Council, about the planned development of the Darlington Railway Heritage Quarter. Reports had been published in NELPG News. A number of options had been set out at a meeting in July attended by the Chairman and Secretary. At that time, the plans had been embargoed, but the DBC representatives had requested attendance at an Autumn NELPG Board meeting, when matters were further advanced. It had been emphasised that there was no question of NELPG being evicted from the site around Hopetown, but that there could be options to move elsewhere in the development. Action; Secretary to advise DBC representatives of likely meeting date.
7.2 The Board needed to consider the future of NELPG at Hopetown (or elsewhere in the Heritage Quarter) and it was agreed to meet at Hopetown on 11th November (subsequently amended to 19th November at Middlesbrough Motor Club) to explore our own future intentions for the site, inviting Terry Newman, Neal Woods and Arthur Jenkins to attend. Action: Secretary.
7.3 Nigel Hall set out some of the problems in maintaining a presence at Hopetown and volunteered to produce a paper as input to the meeting. Action: Nigel Hall.
8. Health and Safety
8.1 The Chairman had circulated the Wensleydale Railway’s (WR) report to ORR of the Steve Hyman accident. Comments were required by 25th October, when the Chairman, Secretary and H&S Officer were meeting to discuss the report. Action: All. Any response from ORR to the WR report was awaited. Notes on the accident had been received from Steve Hyman, Richard Pearson, James Pearcy and Richard Barber. There were wider issues about the support of steam services at the WR, which would be discussed as part of a later planned NELPG review, before taking up matters with WR.
8.2 The issue of droplights on the support coach was discussed. It was agreed that our advice should be that members should not put heads out of windows. A suitable risk assessment would be prepared by the Safety Officer, in the light of advice fromHRA (via Bryan Orange Action: Secretary) and from WCRC (via John Hunt Action: Chairman).
8.3 The concept of contracts for volunteers was apparently emerging in employment law. Again, advice would be sought from HRA, when more was known.
9. Business by Email
9.1 The matters tabled on the agenda, the WBG Collection Agreement (with the Armstrong Trust) and the 2019 AGM minutes, were agreed.
10. Any Essential Locomotive Updates
10.1 J72 –Ian Storey had set out the engineering opinion on the cylinder block in an email to Board members, but the Board felt that, whilst not disregarding the advice, with skilled volunteer input likely to decline over the next 10 years and taking account of the financial impact of any failure during the boiler ticket, , the balance of risk indicated that it should be renewed now. This was unanimously agreed and will form a recommendation to the membership for approval of the necessary expenditure, along with that for the boiler overhaul, which will exceed the Board’s financial delegated authority limit.
10.2 Following Dave Pennock’s comments on the contractual aspects of the draft ITT and the need to have clear lines of responsibility, a proposal to set up a revised project team for the J72 overhaul was discussed and unanimously agreed. The team should consist of Dave Pennock, Ian Storey, Neal Woods, Maurice Burns and Nigel Hall. Nigel advised that a new member, Norman Wells, had offered additional project management input. It was regrettable that this decision and the decision on the cylinder block had not been taken much earlier, it was observed.
Action: Ian Storey to speak to Neal Woods.
Action: Chairman to speak to Fred Ramshaw.
Richard Pearson left the meeting at this point (21.34).
10.3 Track condition and water treatment at the NYMR was discussed. There was concern over the large number of broken springs suffered by our locomotives this season, and the potential for further damage, as a result of dipped joints. The Railway had spent significant sums on replacing/repairing broken springs. Following representations from the Group, a number of new Temporary Speed Restrictions (TSRs) had been imposed (though not at Moorgates, where there appeared to be a particular problem). Separately, Bill Dobson was continuing his dialogue on water treatment with the NYMR. In these circumstances, use of NELPG locomotives was to be agreed by the individual Locomotive Caretakers with MPD Management. It was reaffirmed that all such technical matters should be channelled through Paul Middleton, as Head of Traction and Rolling Stock.
10.4 The Chairman had received a formal proposal from Chris Cubitt to retain the T2 livery beyond the end of this year. This would need to be put to an SGM (together with proposals in respect of the K1 identity and the Articles of Association, potentially). Nigel Hall’s proposal to purchase transfers for a return to BR livery, nevertheless, was agreed. Action: Nigel Hall.
11. Any Other Business
11.1 It was observed that, with an increasing focus on environmental impact in the wider community, the next print of NELPG membership forms should include photographs showing only a light exhaust from Group locomotives. Action: Chairman.
11.2 It was noted that the 2020 AGM venue should be booked soon. Action: Secretary.
11.3 Feedback questionnaires would be issued to 2019 Jacobite and Wensleydale Support Crews to ascertain what went well and what could be improved for next year. Action: Chairman.
11.4 Nigel Bill asked whether any reply had been received to the Board’s letter to Harry Sams and it was confirmed that there had been none. Action: Chairman to consider further action.
Date of Next Meeting – 11th November 2019
The meeting closed at 10.02pm.
Signed (Chairman) Date
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