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Registered Charity 1005211

1. Governance and Administration

The business of the Furness Railway Trust (an unincorporated association) is managed by a Committee in accordance with a constitution approved by the Charity Commission. The Committee is elected at each Annual General Meeting. Three Trustees are elected to stand for a period of three years, one Trustee standing for re-election each year. All other members of the Committee are elected annually. A briefing document is given to new Trustees and Committee Members, which outlines the history of the Trust and its current obligations. The document also details the responsibilities of Trustees as defined by the Charity Commission. The Committee meets on a number of occasions throughout the year in order to manage the Trust's affairs and to agree required courses of action.

The Trust's banker is the Royal Bank of Scotland, Talbot Square, Blackpool, Lancashire. FY1 1LE.

The Trust's Independent Examiner is Mrs. M.L. Shrapnel ACMA, The Nook, Field Broughton, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. LA11 6HR.

2. Trustees and Committee Members

The following were the appointed Trustees and Committee Members of the Furness Railway Trust during 2007:

Trustees: K. Brewer
  A. Middleton
  P. van Zeller
Committee Members: T.D. Owen (Chairman)
  J.H. Dixon (from March 2007)
  D.M. Hewlett
  J.M. Kay Jnr.
  D.A. Rimmer
  E.V. Smith (until March 2007)
  N.R. Smith
  J.E. Tricker
  Mrs. L. Weldon

The above Trustees (excluding Mr E.V. Smith) were responsible for preparing and approving this report.

3. Objectives and Activities

Click here to see the Objects and Powers of the Furness Railway Trust.

The principal activities of the Furness Railway Trust during 2007 were the acquisition, restoration and operation of historic items of rolling stock. The Trust's Committee also continued to work to address the long term objective of the establishment of an independent railway museum, with appropriate facilities for the display, storage and restoration of railway rolling stock and associated equipment.

4. Achievements and Performance

The Trust's former Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643 was much in demand during 2007 and successfully undertook nine different spells of operation at heritage railways around the UK. Its popularity was reflected in the fact that No. 5643 took part in no less than eight Gala events. The locomotive is currently contracted to operate at the Llangollen Railway during 2008 and enquiries are already being received regarding its availability for hire in 2009.

With No. 5643 still in its first full year of operation since returning to operation after restoration, it was important that the performance of the locomotive was monitored closely and any necessary maintenance and repairs undertaken promptly. Trust members responded well to this challenge, and undertook a number of repairs, travelling to other railways as required when the locomotive was away from its Haverthwaite base.

The Trust's historic locomotive, Furness Railway No. 20, again performed satisfactorily during 2007 and was taken out of service for a ten year boiler overhaul at the end of October. The locomotive was then stripped down by members and was ready to have its boiler lifted for inspection in January 2008.

The Trust's other operational locomotive, 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST Cumbria, underwent a major mechanical overhaul during 2007, funded by the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway as part of the operating agreement. The locomotive is expected to return to operation in the spring of 2008.

During 2007, it was necessary to move the Trust's former Great Western Railway 4-6-0 locomotive No. 4979 Wootton Hall from Lytham to the Appleby Training and Heritage Centre. The majority of the expense was funded by the Lytham Motive Power Museum, to which the Furness Railway Trust is extremely grateful. After many years out of sight to the general public, the locomotive is now on display next to the Settle to Carlisle railway line, and Trust members have devoted much time to improving the appearance of the locomotive, giving it a full repaint. Preventative maintenance and assessment of the locomotive in preparation for future restoration continues on a regular basis.

The Trust also moved its newly purchased former rail mounted horsebox from the Keighley and Worth Valley railway to a private site in Ulverston. The vehicle will provide a suitable chassis to enable the restoration of a historic coach body. The Trust was gifted the former signal box from Eskmeals and this was also transported from Loppergarth for storage at nearby Ulverston.

During 2007, the Trust's committee continued to pursue its prime objective of creating a museum and workshop for the Trust. In December, a consultation meeting was held with residents in Haverthwaite to outline proposals for a new development, which would also incorporate sufficient car parking capacity to meet local requirements. The meeting asked the Trust to continue to develop its proposals and to hold a further meeting when more detail was available.

Once again, in November, the Furness Railway Trust took part in Ulverston's Dickensian Festival, providing a display and a working model steam railway layout.

The Trust's folk band, Live Steam, had a quieter year because of illnesses and performed on ten occasions; it also raised funds by providing sound equipment and personnel to Fylde Folk Festival for the tenth consecutive year. The sales stand attended eight events in the north west of England in order to raise funds for the Trust's activities.

All activities of the Furness Railway Trust are undertaken by volunteers. There are no paid staff employed by the Trust.

5. Financial Position

Incoming Resources during 2007 amounted to £35,561 compared with £36,027 for 2006. Donations fell from £29,771 in 2006 to £8,018; this reduction was expected since the 2006 figure was affected by a large one-off donation and a specific appeal to purchase the Great Eastern Railway royal coach. There was, however, a compensating rise in locomotive hire fees which amounted to £20,225 compared with £2,400 in 2006. This increase reflects the full entry into operational service of the Trust's Great Western Railway locomotive No. 5643 during 2007.

Locomotive repair/maintenance costs amounted to £3,641, reflecting ongoing work to improve the operational performance of locomotive No. 5643 during its first year of service. There was a one-off payment of £391 within locomotive promotion to provide educational literature for Furness Railway locomotive No. 20.

Sales Department income fell from £1,959 in 2006 to £1,220 in 2007, reflecting a reduced number of events attended by the sales team. Increased rentals at events have reduced profitability, but the sales team reduced stock levels by a third from £3,337 to £2,234, so releasing over £1,100 to fund other activities.

Having reviewed the fund raising activities for 2007, the Trustees are satisfied that these have been conducted in an effective manner considering the prevailing market conditions.

During 2007 the Committee received advice that it would be financially beneficial to register for VAT and it took the opportunity to back date the registration for three years. This resulted in a one-off refund of £4,621 from HM Revenue and Customs for previous years' activities.

Net Incoming Resources amounted to £25,614 during 2007, which was the main factor in increasing the Trust's cash holding from £13,477 to £39,548 during 2007.

The accounts have been prepared in accordance with the Trust's constitution and to the requirements of the Statement of Recommended Practice for Accounting and Reporting by Charities (2005).

6. Reserves Policy

The Trustees believe that the Furness Railway Trust's current finances are satisfactory , but that there will be a continuing need to accumulate funds to pay for the development costs of a new museum and workshop and to provide for the next overhaul of locomotive No. 5643; fundraising will continue primarily for these purposes and for other restoration projects.

This report was approved by the Trustees on 20th February 2008.

Tim Owen
20th February 2008

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İFurness Railway Trust

Annual Report of the FRT Trustees for 2007