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 Mr Geoffrey Smith FCA, address JL Winder & Co. Chartered Accountants, 125 Ramsden Square, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 IXA.
2. Trustees and Committee Members
The following were the appointed Trustees and Committee Members of the Furness Railway Trust during 2010:
|P. van Zeller|
|Committee Members:||T.D. Owen (Chairman)|
|Mrs K. Bettess (from 13.03.10)|
|Mrs. L. Weldon (until 13.03.10)|
The above Trustees (excluding Mrs. L. Weldon and Mrs. K. Bettess) were responsible for preparing and approving this report. Mrs Bettess sadly passed away before the report was prepared.
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 2010 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 a 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 again been extremely active within the field of railway heritage and its members have responded consistently well to ensure that the programme of restoration, maintenance and operation of the Trust's assets has been achieved.
The Committee continues to seek to ensure that individual items of rolling stock are given maximum exposure to the public whilst having sustainable financial arrangements in place to ensure their continued well being.
Progress, although slow, continued to be made with a joint development with the Ribble Steam Railway (RSR) to construct new maintenance and storage facilities for the FRT at the RSR's Chain Caul Road site in Preston. A planning application has been prepared which will be submitted when land issues have been resolved. In the meantime, the RSR is providing temporary covered facilities to enable the FRT to undertake repairs and maintenance on some of its rolling stock.
The FRT's former Furness Railway locomotive, No. 20, currently the oldest working standard gauge steam locomotive in Britain, continued in its role as resident operational steam locomotive at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum's annexe at Shildon, where entrance is free of charge. However, the locomotive was released from these duties for a period of three months to enable it to attend an acclaimed "Golden Oldies" event at the Great Central Railway at the end of May and to take part in the landmark 50th Anniversary Gala celebrations at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex during August. The latter visit brought the locomotive to a potential vast new audience in the south of England, and the locomotive received much favourable press coverage. In June and July, FR 20 was based at the Beamish Open Air Museum in County Durham where it operated each weekend. During 2010 FR 20 operated on 58 occasions and covered 1,315 miles, its busiest year since restoration to working order in 1998.
Former Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643 operated on 66 occasions during 2010 mainly at the Llangollen Railway in Wales. There were also temporary hires to the Midland Railway Trust, the Severn Valley Railway and the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway,and also a short period of running at its base at the Ribble Steam Railway.
'Austerity' 0-6-0ST locomotive "Cumbria", also ran briefly at the Ribble Steam Railway before being hired to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. After a total of 37 days in operation,the locomotive suffered a serious crack in its firebox and has been withdrawn from service to enable an overhaul of the boiler and firebox to be undertaken.
March 2010 saw the completion of a major project by members to overhaul to operational condition the Trust's former Royal Saloon coach, Great Eastern Railway No. 5. The work, which took place at the Appleby Training & Heritage Centre, cost £4,000 and consumed 366 member days over a period of nine months. The vehicle has since been on hire to the Beamish Open Air Museum, where it operated for the summer season, including two months paired with Furness Railway locomotive No. 20.
At the end of 2010, the Trust accepted the opportunity to purchase the only known remaining Furness Railway freight vehicle in existence. The bogie bolster, built in 1918, is expected to be moved to Preston where it will be both a historic and a useful addition to the FRT's collection of rolling stock.
The Trust's folk band, Live Steam, continues to perform now on just an ad hoc basis owing to the band members' need to focus on other mainstream Trust activities. However, it still contributed a useful £600 to FRT funds. The majority of fundraising sales took place on occasions when the Trust's locomotives were operating, giving the public the opportunity to acquire memorabilia. This was also a useful medium for spreading the word of the FRT's work and activities.
The Committee conducts an annual Risks and Vulnerabilities Review, which again highlights the need for the Trust to acquire some suitable premises for the Trust's assets. The Committee also recognises the current national economic climate and its potential effect on the Trust's income and cash flow.
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 2010 rose to £39,093, a reflection of the Trust's increasing operational activities and the relatively low expenditure on major repairs during the year.
Voluntary Income reduced to £10,348, mainly as a result of a £5,000 one off donation being received in the previous year. Sales of donated goods continued to be strong during the year.
Income from Rolling Stock Hire again rose, to £47,970, with three locomotives and two carriages being hired out for all or part of the year. This increased activity was responsible for a rise in associated travelling costs, now amounting to £2,308, incurred by members. This expenditure was funded specifically by donations and, like many other organisations, the Trust is grateful for the personal contributions made by its members in travelling long distances to support its work. The rising price of fuel will inevitably impact on members in the future, and also on visitors to its collection of rolling stock; this is an increasing cause of concern for the Trust. Locomotive repair and maintenance, £7,709, continued at a similar level to that of the previous year, but this is likely to increase in the near future as significant repairs to both 5643 and "Cumbria" are anticipated in 2011. Insurance for charitable activities reduced to £1,312 due to a one off charge in 2009 associated with a specific locomotive hire.
In the light of current economic conditions, the Trustees consider the financial results for 2010 to be satisfactory. With one locomotive now withdrawn from operational service for repairs, both income and expenditure are likely to be significantly affected in 2011. Despite this, there will continue to be a need to conserve funds in anticipation of the construction of the new maintenance facilities in Preston.
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 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 4th March 2011.
4th March 2011
İFurness Railway Trust