On this day, the following was issued
Joint Company / Society Board Meeting
The Festiniog Railway Company and the Ffestiniog Railway Society are pleased to report they held a joint board meeting at Shrewsbury on 17 August 2002, the first such meeting for two years.The meeting was chaired by Society Vice-chairman Richard Stibbs in place of Society Chairman Andrew Hayward in view of Andrew's role on both boards.
Company Chairman George Nissen stated that he wished to re-establish a closer working relationship between the boards. Responding, Richard Stibbs stated that the Society board welcomed the Company board's request for the meeting as it gave the opportunity for a fresh start after two years when the relationship between the Company and many FR supporters had become increasingly strained. He added that many of the causes are known to both boards, but felt that now was the time to look forward together.
The Company directors were given copies of a written statement by the Society board. This made it clear that many members felt badly let down by the Company board's handling of the recent past and felt that sound advice had been ignored. The statement went on to make a number of suggestions to prevent re-occurrence of a similar situation in the future, the Company board having already implemented some on their own initiative.
The meeting discussed on-going capital projects and the Society confirmed its commitment to fund the boiler of Merddin Emrys. The Society also agreed in principle to fund Merddin's superstructure subject to prior agreement on estimated costs and to further discussions on future projects such as Merddin's bogies and workshop wiring projects.
The meeting remitted the financial directors of Company and Society to resolve mutual outstanding financial issues and to review how the hostels were administered financially so as to obtain the most benefit to the Railway as a whole.
The company explained its outline long-term commercial and operating strategy and will produce a consultation document for more general discussion.
The Society raised the issue of the 50th anniversary of the take-over (2004) and re-opening (2005) of the Railway and it was agreed that these events should be celebrated - plans to be announced.
The boards agreed that they would meet jointly at least once a year and additionally they would set up a Joint Interest Committee that would meet more often to appraise each board of the other's current financial position.
Those attending felt that the meeting was constructive, forward looking and worthwhile.