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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 return to steam of Hudswell Clerk 0-4-0ST No. 1742 Millom.
  • Refurbishment of the Tube wagon and open wagon rides re-established.
  • The parallel running of two Beatties at the Centre over Spring BH weekend.
  • Acquisition of a second Travelling Post Office carriage.
  • Acquisition and external repaint of Ex GWR super saloon 9001.
  • Stabilising the finances following the haemorrhage of cash in 2006.
  • Contract signed with South Coast Steam for a major overhaul of pannier tank 7715 at no cost to the Society, in return for 5 years' use by SCS
  • Loan of MET 1 to the Bluebell to launch the completion of the restoration of their rake of four Metropolitan coaches.

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.


Financial Review

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:

  • Gate money, compared to 2006, was up £47k (18%) at £311k, with price increases averaging 4% and visitor numbers up 13% at 41,800.
  • More reliable locomotives. The only significant cost in 2007 was the cost of repairing the bearings of MET 1 following its visit to the Bluebell Railway at a cost of £6.5k. In 2006 cost of repairing the premature failure of Coventry's firebox cost £48k.

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.


Notes:
The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2008 and so does not reflect events in the 6+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Reference:
Extracts from the Trustee's Report - Andrew Bratton - Quainton News No. 99 - April 2008


Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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