Election to the Board
I am pleased to announce the election of a Joshua Bowmaker to the Director portfolio of Traction and Rolling Stock. Joshua, a Chartered Engineer, has recently retired from a long and distinguished career both in railways and heavy engineering (pressure vessels).
Joshua began his career as an Engineering Apprentice at Eastleigh Locomotive Works, which at that time was engaged in the West Country and Battle of Britain Class steam loco rebuilds and Type 73 and DEMU diesel- electric construction. In addition 150 major overhauls a year were undertaken involving over twenty classes of steam and diesel locomotives. His final position at Eastleigh was in diesel locomotive testing.
Visitors – Numbers continue to increase. The year to date has attracted over 38,000 visitors compared with over 22,000 for the same period in 2015. These figures do not take into account figures for Bury Transport Museum; Groups; Education; Diners; Real Ale, Charters and the record breaking 40’s weekend.
Our Dining with Distinction services have seen a 25% increase in bookings compared to 2015.
Earlier, we ran two pilot events ‘The Princess Adventure’ which was quickly sold out and the other being ‘Sci-fi on the sidings’ attracted over 2,000 with a lot of good free publicity.
The small engines week-end attracted fewer visitors, down by 11% on the 2015 event.
Bunco Booth – The Board were advised about the deteriorating condition of the Bunco Booth. As a result, Board agreed to replace the building at Bolton Street to improve facilities for FXP customers.
In addition, this multi-use building will be made available more widely as an activity centre; overflow buffet facility; waiting room for Diner customers; children’s events and so on.
Dining with Distinction – Board also agreed to create a Dining with Distinction website to improve brand promotion; customer booking experience; increase occupancy and increase revenues.
Review of Services/Events
I have mentioned in previous blog postings that one of the challenges for the ELR going forward is to ensure we have a resilient infrastructure to support our service timetables and planned events. I reported to Board that I have asked the General Manager to sit down with the Heads of Departments to critically review the performance, resource demands; cost and profitability of all of the ELR’s services and events. In this way we can identify the pinch points and help shape the 2017 programme.
Horncliffe Land Slip
A funding agreement has been reached with Lancashire County Council and the ELR Trust Board to reinstate the embankment (at nil cost to the ELR), which was severely impacted in the Boxing day flood. The Environmental Protection Agency will carry out the works overseen by Richard Law.
DFT Grant Application
Unfortunately we were unsuccessful with our application. Feedback is awaited.