Director Posts – The Board meeting started with one Director retiring and one Director joining the Board.
Alex Walker, Director of Customer Services is retiring after 9 years on the Board. Alex, as a working volunteer of 26 years, has provided invaluable knowledge and experience in helping the ELR develop into the successful organisation it is today. Alex was successful managing regulations and development of good station management and customer facilities.
Alex will continue as a working volunteer.
Director of Traction & Rolling Stock
Following an interview by myself and Tracey Parkinson, the Board unanimously elected Graham Thornton to the post of Director of Traction and Rolling Stock. Graham has been a working ELR member for 33 years with involvement in restoration of steam and diesel and infrastructure. Graham will be working with Heads of Department overseeing the overall development of TR&S.
Re-Sleepering Work – Board received an update on the work being carried out by the P Way Team who are currently working between Ramsbottom sidings and turnout to Paper Works level crossing at the 13¼ to 14 milepost to replace wooden sleepers with concrete one’s.
Everyone is doing a great job, but I have to single out one member of the team and part-time Elf, our very own Mr Dynamo, yes Eric Lancaster (foreground) who at the modest age of 84 is still mixing it with his fellow P Way volunteers. Well done Eric and thanks to you and your mates for the great work you do!!
Flying Scotsman and Union of South Africa – Both locos at currently in Baron Street works for winter maintenance work. Union of South Africa has been confirmed for the Steam Gala 2-4 March.
TR&S Department – A key development for 2018 is to actively encourage working volunteers to become more involved with projects on the third weekend in every month to see how it goes. February to November.
Service Delivery Team – Board agreed to create a new seasonal team to oversee a growing number of activities covering Observation Saloon; Cream Teas; Birthday and Wedding Parties. In the first instance we will try and recruit volunteers to this team and invite students from Bury College to help them get some work experience.
Santas – The 2017 season proved to be very successful with nearly 40,000 visitors over 5 weekends, where they were 233 train journies covering 3,600 miles. This year 10 students studying Tourism and Leisure from Bury College volunteered. My thanks go to all our hard working staff and volunteers in making the 2017 a record breaking Santa Season.
Dining and Catering Manager – Following recent management changes in the pubs, Andy McNamara has taken over the management of the pubs. Arrangements are in hand to put in an additional resource to help Andy with the Diners.
Note: Watch out for my next blog posting covering our performance during 2017.