Minutes of the meeting of NELPG Ltd
7.30 pm, 17th December 2019
Middlesbrough Motor Club
Present: Nigel Bill, Bill Dobson, Colin Foxton, Nigel Hall, Paul Hutchinson, Chris Lawson, Roy Marshall, Richard Pearson and Richard Wheeler.
Jon Bradley was welcomed to the meeting as an observer.
1. Apologies for Absence –Apologies for absence were received from John Hunt and Ian Storey.
2. Declarations of Interest – The Chairman declared an interest as a Trustee of the NERA and Richard Pearson as an employee of the A1 Trust.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the 11th November meeting were approved.
4. Matters Arising Not Covered Elsewhere
4.1 The Chairman said he had been contacted by Bachmann, whose limited edition of 69023 would be released soon. The Group had assisted by providing a paint sample and livery details. A number of models were expected to be made available to the Group. The Secretary said that engineering samples of the Oxford Rail model of the J27 had been displayed at the Warley Model Railway Exhibition. Oxford Rail had asked for our involvement in a launch event with 65894, when the production models became available.
4.2 The Chairman said a meeting with NYMR to discuss likely locomotive use and availability for hire elsewhere was planned for next week. Action: Chairman.
4.3 Jon Bradley confirmed that he had completed the T2 operating manual.
4.4 Paul Hutchinson confirmed that the details of the K1 hire by the Great Central Railway had been settled and the move was planned for early January. The locomotive was to return to the NYMR in time for its 2020 Autumn Gala. A potential hire by SRPS at the end of the season might be combined with a railtour, possibly involving B1 1264, Paul said. Action: Paul Hutchinson.
4.5 It was confirmed that the consultation with Jacobite support crew for their feedback would be coordinated by John Hunt and Paul Hutchinson. Action: John Hunt and Paul Hutchinson.
4.6 The NYMR payment to NELPG in respect of the T2 cylinder repair had been made.
4.7 Nigel Hall confirmed that William Nutbrown’s offer of help with the website had been accepted and discussions were under way. Action: Nigel Hall.
4.8 Bill Dobson said he was consulting Paul Middleton about the need for new tender tyres for the T2. Paul had suggested that a new RHS cylinder casting should be ordered, in readiness for any further problem. The Board agreed that this should be progressed and arrangements to find a drawing and to produce a pattern should be explored. Action: Richard Pearson.
4.9 The condition of some parts of the NYMR permanent way and spring breakages were discussed. NYMR had ordered 2000 tons of ballast and had a programme of relaying planned. It was agreed to see what improvements resulted, before pressing for speed restrictions, if still necessary, thereafter.
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 still one week outstanding in hire payments from the Wensleydale Railway- payment was due shortly.
5.1.2 The invoice for the T2 rocking grate was outstanding, because the amount was disputed. New steam pipes were being made at an expected cost of £4K. The cost of new tyres for the T2 tender and for the K1 would need to be confirmed and budgeted.
5.1.3 The mileage for the K1 for November had not been confirmed.
5.1.4 The invoice for the J72 axleboxes (an estimated £2,350) had not yet been received, following agreement from Neal Woods for its issue.
6.1 The timeline for the AGM was discussed. The date of 28th February for the posting of February News was an error – it should be January. It should be confirmed that John Hunt had enough time to prepare the AGM Supplement along with the April News Action: Secretary to amend and reissue timeline. The Treasurer confirmed that the draft Accounts should be available by the week beginning 24th February. The Secretary said that he would review the Charity Commission guidance on the Trustees Annual Report, to confirm that the format used last year is still valid. Action: Secretary.
6.2 The venue for the AGM was discussed. Nigel Hall had taken a straw poll of working members at Hopetown, but no consensus had emerged on timing or venue. It was agreed that Darlington Club and Institute should be booked for Friday 1st May, Action: Secretary.
6.3 Chris Lawson and John Hunt were retiring by rotation and Colin Foxton had agreed to stand down and seek reappointment in order to balance the rotation schedule. John had already confirmed that he did not intend to seek re-appointment. The Chairman said he was reconsidering his decision not to seek reappointment as a Trustee in the light of recent events, and would confirm his position in time for the February News copy date. Action: Chairman.
6.4 Colin Foxton planned to consult with those few members who had expressed an interest in the Articles of Association and hoped to have progress to report at the AGM. The Articles would be included on the agenda for the AGM. Action: Secretary.
7. Hopetown Future
7.1 The Chairman had spoken to Mike Crawshaw of Darlington Borough Council (DBC), who was enthusiastic about the potential for apprenticeships to be associated with the development, and had said we were keen to join the A1 Trust in the new shed with main line connection. The Secretary pointed out that some members had expressed a preference for relocation to the A1 Trust side of the current building, because of the superior workshop facilities. The A1 Trust (Graeme Bunker) should be advised of our wishes and their reaction gauged. Action Richard Pearson.
7.2 The DBC Cabinet was to meet on 8th January and would decide whether to grant permission to continue with planning and the preparation of architectural designs, etc. It was emphasised that we needed to stay closely involved to ensure that railway requirements were properly understood. Work on the Goods Shed was expected to start soon, because of its poor state of repair.
7.3 Richard Pearson said that in 2021, 60163 was to be withdrawn for overhaul and the A1 Trust would like to move the P2 into our side of the building. The Board expressed some enthusiasm for this, since the J72 boiler should be elsewhere, at that time. Separately, it had been suggested that the frames for No. 5 could be overhauled by NELPG at Hopetown through a contract with the Lambton Trust, who would supply funds and a project manager. These two possibilities would need to be considered further. Action: All.
7.4 It was agreed that the pilot installation of LEDs at Hopetown should be resumed, because savings would accrue quickly and any move from the workshop was likely to be some years off. Action: Secretary.
8. Health and Safety
8.1 The recommendations resulting from the Steve Hyman accident at the Wensleydale Railway were agreed. It was suggested that they should be issued each day to support crews at any non-NYMR, non-Jacobite location and signed for. Action: Chairman and Secretary. There was still no indication of any approach from the Wensleydale Railway for a hire of any of our locomotives.
8.2 Version 2.9 of the Child Protection Policy had been circulated. It was agreed, except for the method recommended for emailing junior members. Nigel Hall would set out a proposed method, which would avoid the pitfalls inherent in the latest version of the policy. Action: Nigel Hall.
9. Any Essential Locomotive Updates
9.1 Nigel Hall reported that there had been an initial meeting of those interested in the J72 project and a formal note would be circulated. Action: Nigel Hall. Ian Storey would have the overall lead and Neal Woods had agreed to continue with the mechanical work. The members of the Project Team, including the Project Manager responsible for the administrative work, needed to be confirmed. Action: Ian Storey. Richard Pearson would assist with the mechanical work and with the production of a new cylinder block. An estimate for the work would be obtained (to inform the amount of finance required for the AGM motion) and it could be progressed gradually, with staged payments for the work. A further meeting would be held in January. Action: Ian Storey.
9.2 The ITT for the boiler repair had been progressed and was close to being finalised. Dave Pennock would forward his draft in the next few days and it was hoped to agree by email and issue by mid-January. It would be important to agree criteria for evaluation of tenders in advance of tender opening.
9.3 The J72 Project would be added to the agenda as a standing item. Action: Secretary.
9.4 Paul Hutchinson reported that Chris Henwood was willing to take on the J27 Caretaker role. He would consult Ian Storey over the appointment. Action: Paul Hutchinson. The “fish fryer” was not fitted currently – Richard Pearson stressed the importance of this being fitted for Health and Safety reasons. Paul Hutchinson agreed to follow this up with the NYMR. Action: Paul Hutchinson.
10. Crew Van
10.1 Nigel Bill said that the scrap value of the Mondeo was £80 per ton. Mike Bloomfield had offered £150 for the vehicle – this sale was agreed. Action: Chairman.
10.2 The Chairman pointed out that our obligations in respect of the van were different in detail from those of a private car. Licence entitlements needed to include category B1, drivers need to be 25 years or older, and needed to inform our insurers of any licence endorsements. Height restrictions, speed limits and a limit on continuous driving of no more than 3-4 hours needed to be observed. Instructions for drivers would be produced. Action: Chairman.
11. Any Other Business
11.1 The Secretary reported that member Barry Laughton had returned to the topic of distribution of News by electronic means. Barry had been assured that this would be kept under review, but it was noted that having to cater for paper and electronic distribution would be more onerous. In addition, the current requirement to issue notices by post for the AGM and other meetings meant we had to retain our postal capability.
11.2 Paul Hutchinson reported that Steve Roberts, who had looked after RETB matters for the K1, had passed away.
11.3 The Chairman recommended the Channel 4 programme on the West Highland line, in which John Hunt was on camera for a significant time.
Date of Next Meeting – 21st January 2020
The meeting closed at 10.00pm.
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