AGM 2018 – Chair’s Report

Yet another year passes and thankfully I can report that the building if finally finished it is now up and running I make no apologies for the delay as it was completely out of our hands.

During the last two years, we had many setbacks with the planning plus many clashes of opinions which were detrimental to good progress being made.

However, we have now made excellent progress and the building is ready for us to have our latest AGM in our own premises and those of you who are present at this 2018 AGM can see for yourselves the progress we have made.   

The future of our project is now assured.

All the monies have now been allocated by the IOAHCLP who control the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and all has now been confirmed to all the various projects and we are one of fourteen from an initial list of 40 and the third largest recipient this indicates the value HLF have put on our project. We are now in a fantastic position as our updated needs have been highlighted and our funding has been secured. This fund included the SSE grant of £24.000 fund to pay for the building, this fund was classed as a match fund and therefore we needed no further permission from anybody to order and take delivery of the building which as you can see we owe a dept of gratitude to our local Lincolnshire councillors for additional funding allowing us to create a concrete base for our workshop at further £100,000 from ward coffers. As we progress there will be funding issues such as the value placed on volunteer work which has a monetary value. it is vital that we get volunteers to assist in raising the value of their efforts, the value of the project that is our HLF fund, is £125,000 and we are led to believe that the value of volunteering needs to equal or above this amount. Booking in your voluntary work is now very easy and very important and can be done remotely very simply through our website our membership secretary and webmaster Angus Townley has made great strides in organising how we ask and accept offers of assistance from our valued volunteers. your responses of acceptance are logged in turn and you will get a notification of acceptance. This notification means that you have committed your valued time to a particular project and that you are booked into volunteer rota and will be expected to attend. When accepted, Please put it in your diaries and let us know ASAP if you cannot attend after you have been accepted.


You will know what tasks have to be done and a work schedule will be available you will never be asked to do physical work alone as this presents us with a health and safety issue, enough said about that.


Unfortunately we do have a delay in getting power to the building this is due to rights of way delays for the power lines to get access to the building site it is estimated to be October this year before we will be on line. However the electricians under the guidance of Peter will be wiring up the building ready for the mains supply to be connected.

The lottery fund clock is ticking we had a five year project time of which two years have elapsed so we are already behind time. However, I believe we are very able and capable to catch up with the project and with a positive attitude and a little effort from the clear majority of able bodied members, we can be on target for each and all of the phases we have to cover over the next three years.

We have now got a massive cross section of skills amongst our members and if we need to expand on any member’s skills then we can attempt to facilitate that.

Our next major step is to transfer all the equipment into the new building we are going to need all hands on deck and we are open to any methodology you can come up with that will aid us in our efforts. However if it’s your method you need to be there to apply it as well as your physical labour.

Recently we had outside help from Alf Kitchens Ltd  who loaned us a digger and driver for two day without charge, without this we would not have been able to put in the ducting for the electricity cable services we will require, I would like to publicly thank the Kitchen brothers for their support and the driver for his skill. Also in the past and recently we have had lots of help from the Mason family with Will assisting us in the early stages to get nearly all od the equipment from the moors and very recently from Ian Mason with his Teleporter offloading our railway track etc. I am really appreciative of the Mason family, not just for the assistance they have given the Railway but to the constant assistance they give to the Crowle community in general.


By the time you get this report I will have sorted out the delivery with the assistance of Ian Mason of the Rails and sleepers plus other bits and pieces for track laying.

We also have an update on the Simplex loco renovation due to time constraints we needed to get one of the local colleges to help us with this primary project and Martin the head of Engineering who used to have his own railway related business was very please to be able to assist us. A Small group of our members have visited the college to see the progress and were impressed by what they saw, they saw the enthusiasm of the students and staff and how the working relationship with the college has progressed .this together with the knowledge base of the members ha s made the project valued to all sides.

We also have the old wagon underframe situated at another local college (Engineering North Lincolnshire with a view of not renovating that piece of industrial history at the moment but draw up plans to replicate its potential for a variety of uses in model form to show what and how the  final waggon underframe can be utilised for. The model or prototypes will be able to be scaled up and replicated The Engineering Technical College are using a modern 3D printing system which can produce may different ideas for carrying passengers of all abilities and also carrying materials around our railway this is another very valued project undertaken by the youth of Scunthorpe and its dedicated teaching staff.


Finally, I want to continue to thank the Humberhead Levels Partnership (HLP) for putting us forward as part of their Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chace Landscape Partnership (IOAHCLP) Bid. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The SSE windfarm fund for providing the money to purchase the building. Natural England for donating the first Simplex Loco and equipment that got us started and for their full supporting our project. Also, North Lincolnshire Council and our councillors John Briggs and Julie Reed for supporting us. The North Lincolnshire Council environment team led by Mr Tim Allen and his dedicated for all their help and assistance in finding a suitable site for our building and helping along the planning route. I must point out we were assisted by the planning department and building regulation not hindered, without their expert knowledge things would have been very difficult.  

The Landscape Partnership team led by Paul Schofield who have been a tremendous help to us as a group with all the additional parts other than just the loco repairs, such as the display board designs and the oral history this group are assisting us with the Industrial History side of the project which is really what its all about. As you are all aware Peat was used for burning and horse bedding to the latter end of production in the Horticultural trade.

And of course, you the committee and members who without your support and effort we would never have got off the ground in the first instance. Additional thanks must go to Angus Townley for his extensive efforts with the membership and the website development

We are going from strength to strength and hope we will continue to do so  in the coming years.

On a sadder note we are about to lose our Secretary Ron Stewart and our Treasurer Catherine Cooper both have been an intricate part of our progress over the last years. Ron will be returning to his native land but not imminently and I would like to congratulate Catherine and wish her well in her new job in South Wales both will be missed.

I would also like to welcome our new treasurer Mrs Eileen Webster who worked locally as an accountant and is highly respected within her field of expertise. I have worked alongside Eileen for many years and found her very dedicated to previous groups and I am in no doubt that dedication will be welcomed by the Trustees and members of the group.


And I finish with a final thank you to all the trustees, committee members and you the members and volunteers for being very patient during the last few years when it may have felt like you were left out of the circle I can assure you this was never my intension and I have attempted to keep all of you up to date my using the website to relay all the photographs on the progress we have been making. And as we progress we will encourage you to record all the work you within the Railway by photographic means as well as explain how and what you were achieving. All this information will for the history of the railways progress and will be able to be archived for future generations. Please do not be shy when shouting your own praises without names dates and times etc the record becomes uncrackable in historic terms. And just one more thing we now have a lot of historic equipment which can be considered as museum pieces including a vintage tractor from the same period as the Schoma Loco’s.

Mel Bailey