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 2009:
|P. van Zeller|
|Committee Members:||T.D. Owen (Chairman)|
|J.E. Tricker (resigned 31.12.2009)|
|Mrs. L. Weldon|
The above Trustees (excluding Mr J.E Tricker) 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 2009 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.
In shaping the Trust's objectives for the year, the Trustees gave due consideration to the Charity Commission's guidance on public benefit with the object of advancing education through its work, both in the short and longer term. The Trustees also took into account the need to maximise public accessibility to its assets, some of which are unique and of major historical importance, including affordability wherever possible.
4. Achievements and Performance
The Furness Railway Trust (FRT) has had one of the busiest years in its history, which has correspondingly seen a large input of voluntary labour from its members.
Following the receipt by the Trust in 2008 of notice to remove all its rolling stock from its base at the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway by the end of November 2009, the Committee prepared a dispersal plan, which was successfully put into effect during the course of the year. The Committee's principal objective was to ensure that individual items of rolling stock were relocated to appropriate sites where, if possible, they would gain maximum exposure to the public whilst having sustainable financial arrangements in place to ensure their continued well being.
The Committee also commenced discussions early in the year with the Ribble Steam Railway (RSR), a registered charity, with a view to constructing new maintenance facilities for the FRT at the RSR's Chain Caul Road site in Preston. This initiative was approved by members at the FRT's Annual General Meeting on 7th March. The Committee has since continued to work with the RSR with a view to establishing a formal agreement and commencing the construction of new facilities in 2010. A number of the FRT's vehicles now reside at the RSR's site.
The Trust's former Furness Railway locomotive, No. 20, currently the oldest working standard gauge steam locomotive in Britain, was invited to be resident operational steam locomotive at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum's annexe at Shildon. During 2009, FR 20 steamed there in public on thirty three occasions, helping to raise visitor numbers at the museum by over 15%. In October, the locomotive was temporarily transferred to the National Railway Museum at York where, together with the FRT's former North London Railway coach, it steamed on nine consecutive days at school half term and carried over six thousand passengers. Entry to both Locomotion and the National Railway Museum at York is free and the charge for rides is nominal, enabling the widest possible access to the locomotive, which had its busiest year since it was restored to working order in 1999.
Former Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643 was again in great demand, being used on eighty eight occasions. Most of its work was at the Llangollen Railway in Wales, although temporary hires were arranged with the Severn Valley Railway for its prestigious Autumn Gala and also the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway where the locomotive operated Santa Specials over the Christmas period.
'Austerity' 0-6-0ST locomotive "Cumbria", passed its annual steam test on 1st July and subsequently appeared at the Ribble Steam Railway's Autumn Steam Gala. It was then hired to the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway where it successfully operated Santa Specials.
As well as duties associated with the servicing and hire of its three operational locomotives, Trust members were actively involved with the overhaul of the FRT's former Royal Saloon coach, Great Eastern Railway No. 5. The vehicle, built in 1898, was transferred from store at Haverthwaite to the Appleby Training & Heritage Centre in June where subsequently over two hundred volunteer days were expended during the year on making it suitable for service once more. The FRT is grateful to the Appleby Training & Heritage Centre for accommodating the coach and for the use of its facilities during the overhaul.
During the year, the Committee accepted donations into the Trust's ownership of a 0-4-0ST steam locomotive and a non passenger coaching vehicle. It is judged that both will be worthy of operation and display once restored.
The Trust's folk band, Live Steam, had a quieter year as a result of illness and the intensity of the FRT's mainstream operations. However, the band performed on six occasions, including an appearance at the National Railway Museum at York.
Whilst the FRT's sales team attended only four external events during the year, advantage was taken by members to sell items at locations where the Trust's locomotives were operating, so increasing overall sales compared with 2008.
The Committee conducts an annual Risks and Vulnerabilities Review, which continues to highlight the need for the Trust to acquire some suitable premises for the Trust's assets. It is all the more important, therefore that the initiative to construct a maintenance building at Preston (see above) is pursued as quickly as possible. Additional public liability insurance was acquired during the year both to reflect the nature of the Trust's activities and also to meet the requirements of some of the Trust's customers.
The Committee wishes to place on record its thanks to Mr J. Tricker for his services as a Committee member over many years.
All activities of the Furness Railway Trust are undertaken by volunteers. There are no paid staff employed by the Trust.
5. Financial Position
The Net Incoming Resources for 2009, at £34,542, are more than double that for 2008 and reflected the increase in the Trust's activities during 2009.
Voluntary Income increased to £14,007 and included a donation of £5,000 from the Lakeside Railway Society. Donations of goods for sale also increased substantially during the year.
Income from Locomotive Hire rose by 46% to £41,245 as a result of the increased demand from other organisations for the use of the Trust's locomotives. There was a consequent increase in Locomotive Repair and Maintenance costs to £7,323. Travelling costs of £1,252 were also incurred by a number of the members whilst accompanying the locomotives during periods of hire.
Transport costs showed a significant one off increase to £6,975 as rolling stock was relocated during the year, and Insurance costs increased from £372 to £2,755 as the Trust took over additional boiler insurance responsibilities and also increased the scope of public liability insurance for its members whilst performing duties on behalf of the FRT.
Overall, the financial results for the Trust are viewed by the Trustees as being satisfactory, given the significant change in the level of activity and the need to accumulate funds in anticipation of the construction of the new workshop in Preston in 2010.
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 planned new facilities at Preston and also to provide for the next overhaul of locomotives "Cumbria" and No. 5643; fundraising will continue primarily for these purposes and for other restoration projects.
This report was approved by the Trustees on 3rd March 2010.
3rd March 2010
İFurness Railway Trust