Minutes of the meeting of the Council of Management of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society at Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1 on Saturday 10 March 2018 at 14:00.
Present: Paul Semple (Chairman), John Anderson, Myra Allen, John Beveridge, Richard Clammer, Iain Dewar, David Haddleton, Angela Johnson, Jon Joliffe, Noel Kemp, Martin Longhurst, John Megoran, Peter Morley, Andrew Munn and Lawrie Sinclair.
In Attendance: Greg Beecroft who took the minutes.
1. Apologies for Absence:
David Green and Gordon Wilson.
The Chairman welcomed new attendees, particularly Andrew Munn. He also reported his recent attendance at the funeral of Mona Moore, the widow of James Moore, and a long-standing supporter.
3. Conflicts of interest:
None declared, other than those relating to directorships of WEL, WSN, PSKCT and LLSC.
4. Minutes of the previous meeting:
4.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2017 were approved as a true record.
4.2 Matter arising from the minutes, not dealt with later in the meeting:
7.3 The website has been update concerning membership classes and fees, but leaflets have yet to be revised.
8.5 Job descriptions for the National Secretary and Company Secretary have yet to be posted on the website.
8.6 Some Trustees have yet to provide profiles for the website.
9.2 The Scottish Branch has taken responsibility for distribution of sample copies of Paddle Wheels.
13.4 A summary of the previous Council meeting has yet to be posted on the website, but will be published in the forthcoming issue of Paddle Wheels.
5. Decisions since the previous meeting:
The following decisions were approved: 5.1 The PSPS mailing list has been passed to WEL to enable circulation of a copy of The Funnel. The Funnel, with a Waverley update and donation appeal, was not sent to those who already receive it as members of Friends of Waverley or to those regarded by WEL as ‘prominent’ members of the Society who would already be aware of the matters reported on.
5.2 The bell from PS Prince had been purchased for £1,200.
5.3 A special membership rate of £10 for the first year had been made available at Model Rail Scotland, resulting in 16 new members being recruited. It is intended to do the same at Ship Ahoy! and on charters of Kingswear Castle and Waverley.
6. Chairman’s Report
6.1 The Chairman’s Report was noted.
7. Treasurer’s Report
7.1 The updated risk register was reviewed. A new risk (No 11) has been added in respect of money laundering. It was agreed to add wording to cover the loss of objects from the archive and, possibly, safeguarding. It was noted that the nature of the company’s normal financial transactions meant that there was a low risk of money laundering. There are well-documented procedures for the acquisition and disposal of archive items.
7.2 The revised Trustees’ Travel Policy was approved.
7.3 The 2018 budget was approved. It was noted that legacies had resulted in an exceptional level of donations in 2017, which could not be expected on a regular basis. It was confirmed that legacies are only used for the benefit of the ships and not to cover Society running costs. The budget reflects the reduced cost of printing and distributing Paddle Wheels, partly offset by an increase in the size of the magazine.
7.4 The Annual Report was approved. Given the length of the report it will be checked whether it is sufficient for it to be published on line only. The summary 2017 financial information for publication in Paddle Wheels was approved.
7.5 It was agreed that the reserves policy would be amended to allow for any donation that might be pledged to LLSC.
8. Members’ Draw
8.1 It was agreed that the Member’s Draw be wound up, effective from the end of March, and that future fund-raising should be for specific purposes. Consequent on this, there would be one final draw with the prizes equating to half of the last three month’s income.
8.2 David Haddleton was thanked for running the draw since 2002.
9.1 It was noted that Iain Dewar was resigning as a trustee, effective from the end of the meeting. He was thanked for his service as a trustee.
9.2 It was noted that the London Branch committee had recently discussed their Branch representative to Council and Chris Larkin was interested. If Chris joined Council then David Green could be co-opted since he leads the archive committee. Chris Larkin would be invited to attend a future Council meeting. It was also noted that David Green’s term runs until the end of the year.
10. Safeguarding and Notifiable Events
10.1 There was a general discussion on concerns by the Charity Commissioners following recent revelations concerning activities at certain charities. The memorandum from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator was considered.
10.2 The need for the Society to have a safeguarding system in place was noted. It was agreed that a safeguarding policy could be derived from the existing complaints policy.
11. Development of the Society
11.1 It was agreed that a summary of the results of the membership survey will be published in Paddle Wheels.
11.2 A draft Development Plan had been circulated recently. Paul Semple said he intended that individual Council members are given responsibility for a key priority in the development plan. This does not necessarily involve taking the required actions themselves, but ensuring that they are done.
11.3 Initial comments from Council members were:
(i) It is necessary to preserve the legal environment within which the ships operate and to ensure that any statutory changes can be managed. To this end it is important to maintain a mutually respectful relationship with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. It was noted that John Megoran is a member of the MCA’s Domestic Passenger Ship Steering Group.
(ii) It may be desirable to have an arrangement under which multiple years’ membership can be purchased.
(iii) The Development Plan will need periodical review. It can be useful to promote the Society and to measure progress towards objectives.
11.4 It was agreed that the Development Plan needs to be completed prior to the 2019 Jubilee Year. Paul Semple will invite feedback from Council members, by a deadline to be specified, in order to allow a more advanced draft to be considered and, it is hoped, approved at the next meeting.
12. Ship Reports
12.1 John Megoran’s report was noted. He confirmed that Kingswear Castle may be out of service at some point in the future to allow for major work. The intention is to provide for a further 25 years of operation.
12.2 John Megoran reported the recent death of Sir William McAlpine Bt, Chairman of the Dart Valley Railway, who had been a good friend of Kingswear Castle and of Waverley.
12.3 The amendments to the PSKCT Memorandum & Articles of Association were still awaiting Charity Commission approval.
12.4 Council approved the appointment of Douglas McGowan and Richard Clammer as the nominated trustees of PSKCT, subject to the revised Articles of Association being agreed. A prospective new chairman for PSKCT has been identified.
12.6 The report was noted. Work is under way to establish the scope of a major refit in 2022, to enable Waverley to continue in service until her centenary. The ship is in much better condition than was the case in 1999, so such a drastic rebuild is not thought to be necessary.
12.7 John Simm has been appointed as captain, but Ross Cochrane will be available to relieve. Iain O’Brian was undergoing training that would allow him to be appointed as Chief Steward and Purser. There is nobody to fill the post of Second Purser yet. The Engineering Department is satisfactorily staffed at the moment.
Maid of the Loch
12.8 John Beveridge was delighted to report that Lord Smith of Kelvin had agreed to be a Patron of LLSC. His considerable contacts and influence would be of great value, particularly with only a few months left to complete fund-raising. The previous find-raiser had left and John Beveridge was meeting and monitoring the two new fund-raisers weekly.
12.9 Scottish Enterprise and LEADER funding of £122,400 was enabling further preparatory work to be undertaken, including appointment of a naval architect. Historic Environment Scotland had funded an under-water survey of the slipway. The outcomes of various other grant applications were awaited.
12.10 It was suggested that LLSC inspected and took advice concerning the passenger lift on MV Lochnevis, which could be helpful in relation to the planned lift on Maid of the Loch.
13. Grant to Loch Lomond Steamship Company
13.1 John Beveridge introduced the application from LLSC for a grant of £50,000 towards renovation of Maid of the Loch. He then left the meeting while the application was discussed.
13.2 It was agreed that the requested grant should be made, noting that it would be good for PSPS to be seen to be involved in operation of another paddle steamer. This would be subject to conditions.
1. The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society pledges to give the sum of £50,000 to the Loch Lomond Steamship Co Ltd (Scottish charity No SC024062) provided that PSPS is satisfied that LLSC’s Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund application is successful.
2. Should PSPS receive evidence that the HLF insists that all funding is in place, and not simply pledged before it agrees Stage 2 funding, the Society agrees to pay the sum pledged to LLSC. It would be a condition of such payment that the entire sum should be returned by LLSC on request if it appears to PSPS in its absolute discretion that the project to restore the Maid of the Loch to active sailing condition will not proceed because HLF Stage 2 Funding has not been received or, having been received, no decision has been made by LLSC to complete the restoration.
3. It is condition of both pledge (para 1 above) and donation if made (para 2 above) that LLSC agrees to appoint a nominee of PSPS Council to its Executive Board and, within a year, takes steps to change its memorandum and articles to incorporate provision for such an appointment within the memorandum and articles.
13.3 John Beveridge returned to the meeting and was informed of the Council’s decision. He thanked the Council and said that the terms would be reported to a meeting of the LLSC trustees on 19 March.
13.4 It was agreed that publicity for the grant would be mutually beneficial. John Beveridge would liaise with Paul Semple concerning a public announcement.
14. Membership Report
14.1 It was agreed that the offer of £10 for the first year of membership would be used as a promotion, as appropriate but not continually.
14.2 It was agreed to accept the individuals listed in the Membership Report as Society members.
15. Branch Reports
15.1 Reports from the London, Scottish, Wessex, Bristol Channel and North of England branches were noted.
15.2 Iain Dewar reported that the London Branch intends to hold a lunch at the Civil Service Club to mark forty years of operation on the Thames by Waverley. This will be similar in format to the lunch held in 2016.
15.3 Council approved the Scottish Branch making the following donations:
(i) £6,000 to WSN in respect of fire prevention measures in Waverley’s galley
(ii) £1,850 to LLSC to purchase five Lloyd loom chairs, a buoyancy seat and two paddle floats
The Scottish Branch also proposes to make a donation towards archive costs, but awaits advice from David Green as to what would be appreciated.
15.4 The Bristol Channel Branch’s 2018/19 meeting programme is now settled. It is hoped that meetings can be on Balmoral, but there needs to be a fall-back, depending on where she is berthed at Bristol.
15.5 Advice was provided as to how the North of England Branch can have meeting and other information published on the PSPS website. The branch has received a large donation of books for fund raising, not all of which relate to paddle steamers, and is looking for alternative ways of disposing of them other than at Branch meetings. It was suggested that those not appropriate for the archive are sold on eBay. It was suggested that the Society needed to have a commercial sales operation.
16. PSPS Archive Collection
16.1 Expanding on the papers submitted it was reported that most longstanding archive material was now reconciled against the catalogue, accounted for and appropriately stored, but that much new material remains to be catalogued. To keep up with cataloguing and digitisation of newly-acquired material it will be necessary to look into means of funding some outside or professional help in the future. Richard Clammer is exploring possibilities and an archivist at Dorset County council was offering some initial advice.
16.2 Acid-free pockets filed in boxes have been acquired for slide storage and, once the large collection has been sorted and catalogued, there has been an offer to scan it free of charge. The scanned material should be useful for publicity.
16.3 It is intended to take the recently acquired bell from PS Prince on tour, with a talk explaining the significance of the ship and its link to John Scott Russell. The talk is available to branches and outside organisations and is designed to promote the society and the archive.
16.4 It is important that Council members are familiar and content with the archive arrangements and David Green has stated that members are always welcome to visit Chatham by arrangement.
17. Communication Channels
17.1 Publication of the spring issue of Paddle Wheels is imminent. Council members were asked to assist in promoting sales of Paddle Wheels by outside parties, such as heritage railways and other shipping organisations.
17.2 Paul Semple reported that PSPS had an increasing presence on line. Facebook ‘likes’ had reached 2,000 and the YouTube channel was seeing quite a bit of traffic.
17.3 It was noted that only Paul Semple and Martin Longhurst publish material on the website. The facility has been granted to others, and others could be set up.
17.4 It was agreed that social media policy should be reviewed.
17.5 Following a thorough review of the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation by David Green, it was agreed that PSPS would cease data sharing with any other organisation. Nevertheless, the Policy set out in Appendix 2 of his papers was approved, allowing the possibility of data sharing, if needed, in the future. After May WEL will have no membership data to check, so any members who wish to obtain membership discounts will need to authorise WEL to contact PSPS for confirmation. Alternatively, WEL may decide to accept a membership number in the correct format as evidence of PSPS membership.
18. Any Other Business
18.1 It was noted that, on cost grounds, the 2018 AGM would be held at the Principal Hotel, York (previously the Royal Station Hotel) and not at the National Railway Museum. David Haddleton said that he would be compiling visual material to illustrate reports and would contact those concerned in due course.
18.2 The London Branch needs to encourage their volunteer to assist with preservation of John H Amos.
18.3 Andrew Munn confirmed that PS Ryde remains just a hulk. It was suggested that the engine could be saved. Paul Semple said that he intends to visit the vessel and was advised that it is not easily accessed.
18.4 John Megoran reported that his latest book, British Paddle Steamers – The Twilight Years, was to be published shortly. Paul Semple said he would be pleased to do a review of the book and John Megoran agreed to let him have a copy.
18.5 Paul Semple informed council that he had recently gave an interview to the Clyde River Steamer Club ahead of a talk he was due to give and it should be published on-line over the weekend.
19. 2018 meetings
19.1 Council 23 June in Glasgow and 24 November in London. Annual General Meeting 17 November in York.