Finance: In December, two short-term loans have been agreed with members.  December was the final month in which accrued compound interest on boiler loans was due to be paid. We intend to give you a more complete picture for 2020 next month.

Our January 2021 Board meeting will review the year-to-date income figures. However, to provide you with a taster on the total income for the quarter ending 31st December, we are hoping that it will be close to £150k. Our provisional result for the quarter is £82k: this excludes any gift aid recoverable, which will be added in the January Board review.

It is very encouraging that we continue to receive the financial support that we do.  A sincere thank you for your continued faith.

Engineering:  With Christmas closures affecting work progress, the main event in December was a first visit to Leaky Finders by our certification body Ricardo. Over five hours of detailed inspection of the tender frames and on-site discussion led to a detailed actions list, but no major issues emerged. Thanks go to Leaky Finders for their professional contribution to the dialogue. 

It is timely to take a look back at the year 2020 which has been, to put it mildly, unpredictable.  The Covid-19 shutdown (nearly five months at PRCLT) was the main impact, but difficulties with moving components and not being able to meet with the team and our supporting contractors have also had a marked impact on progress.  However the heritage railway sector (and many others) suffered far more.

We are fortunate in that our contractors have been very flexible and understanding; as a result progress has been made with all aspects of the build.  PRCLT have carried out sterling work throughout the year and helped us overcome some very challenging problems.

Throughout the year we continued to find major historical issues with the engine-build: but the year ended on a positive note, with the successful recovery of the failed welding on the driving wheels and with progress being made on redesigning the bogie to the correct standard.  

Leaky Finders and HBSS have also worked closely with us and, despite unavoidable interruptions, have made good progress with the Tender Frame and the Boiler build.

Despite the pandemic effect, the Engineering and Project team members have worked in a more cohesive manner than before.  The monthly engineering meetings that focused on managing the budget and prioritising work have proved critical and have had a positive impact on the progress made in 2020.  These meetings had to be virtual during lockdown, but are now held each month (except Christmas) at West Shed, with input from PRCLT.  

Sales: in December sales totalled £1578 which equates to 16% of our target for the financial year; sales were brisk in the run up to Christmas with greetings cards being popular and 2021 calendars selling out.  Face masks also went well and of course are still available from our web shop. 
Our thanks to all for your support and purchases throughout a difficult 2020. 

You will have read, in the latest Warrior, the news of Neil and Karen Kinsey’s decision to step down as leaders of our sales operation.  This is their final Bulletin report and although we know that they will continue to be active supporters, I know that you will share the Board’s appreciation for all their hard work and wish them well.

Here's wishing you health and happiness in 2021!

The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. • The Hub, 17 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ
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