Phil Bailey – This was Phil’s last meeting as our Board Director and Engineer to the Line. I made a presentation to say thanks with a scale model of the Crab (we thought about a JCB!) ha ha. Phil has been with railway for 37 years and is one of our great pioneers. Phil will still be helping out as part of the P Way team.
Castlecroft Shed– Strategy for Restoration & Care – Restoration of vintage buses are currently being undertaken at a rented unit at Fernhill. To save rent the unit will be vacated by the end of August. However, Bury Transport Museum still needs a restoration facility for both rail and road vehicles. For example, the collection of Scammell light road vehicles are rotting away and are owned by the ELR. Similarly, almost all railway wagon maintenance is done outdoors.
Following consultation with key diesel and BTM staff, a range of opportunities were identified. A report to the Board discussed these opportunities aimed at developing the Castlecroft shed to both improve and share facilities, but open up the building (at some point in the future) for public viewing.
The use of the sidings north of Peel Way to store diesel locos has had to be abandoned because of continual vandalism. As a result, all diesel activity is now based at Baron Street.
Whilst its not possible to look at Castlecroft in isolation (need a development strategy for Buckley Wells). The ultimate solution is to develop more covered space at Buckley Wells. However, good progress can be made in refurbishing the Castlecroft shed to allow the facilities to be shared with the BTM.
Finances – A budget of £14,000 was agreed by Board to sort out the concrete floor; electrics; refurbishment of the paint bay and ancillary works.
ICT Update – in a blog posted late last year I advised that the Board had allocated £20,000 for ICT upgrades and £10,000 for the installation of electronic tills (sPOS). An extensive range of improvements are underway:
- Replacing computers on old Windows systems, plus new software
- New software to assist production planning in Traction & Rolling Stock
- Upgrading and increasing capacity on old servers
- Development of ‘home working’ applications
- Improve network and infrastructure resilience
- Installation of public Wi-Fi, at stations, pubs and café
- Web Cam at Bolton Street
- Electronic tills at two pubs
Sales Assistant – Board agreed to appoint (as a pilot) on a fixed term basis from June to December on a self financing basis. The role will be responsible for acting as a Birthday Party Host; Footplate Experience Host; Sell ELR Guide Books; issuing and collecting Donation Envelopes; sell to the group travel market.
Urgent News – Barry Worthington – It has come to light, that Barry Worthington, who died on the 22 May has no living relatives and one else available to oversee his final resting place or sort out his affairs.
I have spoken at length to Bury Registrars, who advised that Barry died of natural causes. Barry’s body is currently laying in the morgue at Royal Oldham Hospital. If no one claims the body, Bury Council will instruct a local funeral director to cremate the body.
I am sure those who new and worked with Barry, would say he gave so much to the ELR and the railway. He was the guard on the first train from Bury to Ramsbottom on the 25th July 1987. He recently received a long service certificate (40 years) at the Society’s AGM. It is clear that his family now and has been for the past 40 years is the ELR. This is a most distressing situation and one which the ELR family needs to take action.
We are now stepping to manage the burial/cremation and all matters relating to registering his death and appointing a funeral director and paying for the funeral. It is proposed the costs be split 50:50 between the Company and Society. At this stage no one knows what state Barry’s finances are in. Given we are taking on a ‘guardian’ type the role, there is a need to appoint a solicitor to sort out Barry’s financial and other affairs and bring these to a satisfactory conclusion.
John Tate has agreed to take the lead and liaise with our solicitors Butcher and Barlow to sort out the legal stuff. Once we get on top of the paperwork etc. John will advise on a funeral date and arrangements etc.
Heywood Play Area is now complete and was open for use during the 40’s weekend.