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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 99 - April 2008
Extracts from the Trustee's Report - Andrew Bratton
Since the Annual Report and Accounts is now a very voluminous document to comply with the requirements of the Charity Commission, herewith a few highlights:
Achievements and performance
Major achievements in 2007 were:
The main objective continues to be the operation of a variety of steam trains, principally for the benefit of family groups and school children to access, enjoy and learn. The planned expansion of schools visits and senior citizen coach parties has not been achieved due to inexperience in targeting these markets. The railway historian and enthusiast are also catered for with access to an extensive and diverse collection of large exhibits, many of which are restored in appropriate liveries. (28 steam locos, 10 diesels, 35 coaches, 67 vans & wagons), and to the small relics museum. Growth in this area has also not been achieved due to lack of publicity in the enthusiast press caused by late planning of events.
The Network Rail line, which passes through the station, continues to be used by several freight trains each weekday, but rarely at weekends. Privately owned 9466 based at the Centre, obtained main line certification during the year which included the Automatic Train Protection System and the black box. The development of a new Aylesbury Parkway Station two miles north of Aylesbury during 2007/8 offered the opportunity to have a connection installed by the same contractors. (The turnouts acquired in 1996 still meet the current standard for reused track). However, quotations received for the cost of the installation and signalling are beyond the Society's resources without endangering the Collection.
The results for the year were much improved over the previous year, with attendance in line with budget. The Statement of Financial Activities shows outgoing resources exceeding incoming ones by £27k (2006 £106k), and a net cash inflow of £6k before £100k investment (2006 outflow £72k). The costs include the first phase of overhauling austerity locomotive No 66 - £55k and the restoration of the Churchill Coach, which cost £17k.
At the year-end the Society had no free cash, the bank balances being fully committed for restricted funds, the Society making use of a £75k overdraft facility.
The other main causes of the improvements were:
The Statement of Financial Activities (i.e. Income & Expenditure Account) segregates the main categories of income and their related costs:
Voluntary income: This is principally donations, grants received and membership. The net total is £85k (2006: £245k). Since none of this income is guaranteed, it relies heavily on the ingenuity and persuasive abilities of the trustees.
Trading activities: This is all generated on site from catering, shop sales, private events and stand fees. The net surplus, after deducting salaries and direct overheads, is £52.2k (2006: £51.7).
Charitable activities: This is the income less costs of operating the Centre and the maintenance and restoration of exhibits.
Income: Entrance money of £311k (2006 £264k). Thomas events, excluding Santa, account for 35% (2006 33%) of visitor numbers. The Society held its 7th annual traction engine rally, but attendance was down 21% due to fewer attractions (2006 - Chitty-Chitty).
Christmas steamings attracted 7316 visitors, a 2.5% drop on 2006. School visits income was up £0.1k at £5.0k. Driving course income was up £1.6k at £7.4k and income from hiring out locomotives was up £8.0k at £20.8k (Coventry was under repair during first half of 2006).
Expenditure: Publicity costs were down £11k at £27.7k, due to the discontinuance of inappropriate media (Radio & Sign on roundabout) in the previous year and more free publicity. Open day added attractions and other costs were down £10k at £22k; with only one locomotive hired in - 30587 (2006 Rocket and a Thomas at Easter).
Locomotive restoration and maintenance: This totalled £78.6k, compared to £234k in 2006; this includes £15k (2006 £174k) from restricted funds (for 6989 etc). Restoration work on site was mainly concentrated on completing the overhaul of Millom. South Coast Steam did work on Austerity No 66 costing £50k. This locomotive is being restored as the work horse in place of 7715, its large cab and robust construction making it ideal for driver training and experience courses. It is estimated to cost a further £55k to complete and is expected to be available for use at the start of 2009 season. Work on 6989 was resumed following an unsuccessful HLF application. Work continued on the rolling chassis for 7200 following its return from Swindon.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 02 December 2017