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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 FY1 1LE.

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

2. Trustees and Committee Members

The following were the appointed Trustees and Committee Members of the Furness Railway Trust during 2008:

Trustees: K. Brewer
  A. Middleton
  P. van Zeller
Committee Members: T.D. Owen (Chairman)
  J.H. Dixon
  D.M. Hewlett (until 24th October 2008)
  J.M. Kay Jnr.
  D.A. Rimmer
  N.R. Smith
  J.E. Tricker
  Mrs. L. Weldon

The above Trustees (excluding Mr D.M. Hewlett) 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 2008 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

Members successfully undertook the obligatory ten year overhaul of the Trust's former Furness Railway locomotive, No. 20, during the first seven months of the year, ensuring that completion was achieved in time for the timetabled Victorian Evening Specials on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway in August. Passenger loadings showed an increase on those for 2007, reflecting the continuing public interest in Britain's oldest working standard gauge steam locomotive, built in 1863.

In September, No. 20 undertook an ambitious tour of three railway sites in the north east of England, attracting record attendances at the Tanfield Railway, Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, and Beamish Open Air Museum.

The Trust's former Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643 was again very active, being used in service on 84 days, mainly at the Llangollen Railway in Wales, but also including a three week visit to the North Norfolk Railway in August and September. The locomotive has been maintained by a dedicated team of travelling Trust volunteers, and remedial works have been undertaken where necessary to keep the locomotive in good operating condition. The locomotive is currently contracted to operate at the Llangollen Railway until the end of 2009.

The Trust's other operational locomotive, 'Austerity' 0-6-0ST "Cumbria", returned to active service in 2008 on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway after undergoing a full mechanical overhaul, funded by the Railway under the terms of the agreement for use.

In May the Trust was gifted another 2nd class North London Railway coach body, which was moved from East Wittering in Sussex and is now in store in Blackpool. The coach body is in excellent condition for its age and it is hoped that it will be possible to restore it to operational condition when funding, resources and availability of facilities permit.

The Committee has continued to work on its objective of creating a museum and workshop for the Trust. Successful applications were made to the Ulverston and Low Furness Market Town Initiative and the North West Regional Development Agency for grants of £10,000 and £30,000 respectively. Matched funding of £10,000 from the Trust enabled it to go out to tender in July for a Feasibility Study for the new museum and workshop. A contract was subsequently awarded in August to Kate Willard Ltd. to undertake consultation work, produce a technical assessment and to provide business planning assistance. Unfortunately, the preferred site in the Haverthwaite area did not receive public support and the decision was taken to search for another site.

In conducting its annual Risks and Vulnerabilities Review in recent years, the Trust's Committee had previously identified the priority of obtaining some suitable premises for the Trust. This wisdom was borne out when, in September, the Trust received notice from the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Co. Ltd, to remove its rolling stock from the railway, its current base, by 30th November 2009. An open meeting with members was held on 22nd November to inform and to discuss the issues associated with this situation. Following on from the meeting, the Trust's Committee has commenced the preparation of a dispersal plan for the rolling stock and, working with Kate Willard Ltd., has assessed a number of sites for suitability as a future home for the Furness Railway Trust. This work is ongoing at the year end and the Committee hopes to be able to make a recommendation to the membership at its Annual General Meeting on 7th March 2009.

The Trust once again contributed to Ulverston's annual Dickensian Festival, arranging a display and a working model steam railway layout. The whole event was declared a success and was another opportunity for the Trust to demonstrate the range of its activities to the local community.

The Trust's folk band, Live Steam, was again in demand, performing on eleven occasions, including at the National Railway Museum at York, the West Lakes Academy in Egremont, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, and a number of locations in the South Lakes area. The Trust once again raised funds by providing sound equipment and personnel to Fylde Folk Festival.

The sales team again attended eight events in the north west of England in order to raise funds for the Trust's activities and to raise awareness of the Trust's work.

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

5. Financial Position

Both the total unrestricted funds of the Trust, and its net current assets, increased by £16,656 during 2008. This progress will place the Trust in an excellent financial position from which it will be able to develop its plans for a new museum and workshop.

Incoming Resources during 2008 amounted to ££63,404, of which £24,889 was in respect of grants (treated as restricted funds) for the Trust's museum and workshop Feasibility Study.

Income from Charitable activities (excluding grants) rose from £20,373 in 2007 to £28,797 in 2008. This was mainly a result of increased locomotive hire activity, including the income from Furness Railway No. 20's north east tour.

Locomotive restoration costs increased from £389 in 2007 to £3,739 in 2008, reflecting the purchase of a number of components which had become available for the Trust's former Great Western Railway 4-6-0 'Hall' class locomotive, Wootton Hall. The ten year overhaul of Furness Railway No. 20's boiler was the main reason for the increase to £5,994 in locomotive maintenance costs.

Insurance costs rose to £700 following the responsibility for locomotive 5643's boiler insurance being passed to the Trust from the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.

Sales Department income fell to £960, with sales at the end of the year evidently being affected by external economic conditions. Sales activities in 2009 are likely to be similarly affected and market conditions will be borne in mind when making bookings for future events. Overall, the Trustees are satisfied that fund raising activities have been effective, bearing in mind the limited resources available.

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 28th February 2009.

Tim Owen
28th February 2009


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İFurness Railway Trust

Annual Report of the FRT Trustees for 2008