2019 VLM Report for Inside Motion by John Fenner
On Saturday 2nd March 2019 62 people from across the F&WHR family gathered at Grappenhall, Warrington for the annual Volunteers’ Liaison Meeting, hosted by the Ffestiniog Railway Society. Keynote speakers were Paul Lewin, Clare Britton, Iain Wilkinson, Alex Spring and Dafydd Thomas.
After welcomes by Howard Wilson, Paul Lewin commenced proceedings with a review of 2018. This was followed by Clare Britton sharing developments in the marketing and commercial side of the railway and the several new digital ways the railway is marketing itself. Iain Wilkinson then opened up a participatory conversation on the theme of volunteering. This continued after lunch.
Alex Spring gave an overview of the Infrastructure Department undertakings in 2018 and plans for 2019, with a focus on the continuing need for focussing on safety. Dafydd Thomas took the meeting on a “tour” of the almost ready new Caernarfon Station. The last presentation saw Paul Lewin at the rostrum again for an overview of the renewal of Boston Lodge, explaining how the first phase had been to get the environmentals better and then begin to build from the sea inwards. Alongside this he spoke of the interest from the HLF (Wales) in supporting the purposeful retention and renewal of the heritage buildings. Alongside the other sea to land renewals the Company was working to prepare a bid to HLF for some major funding to renew heritage and associated parts of the Boston Lodge site, with the aim being a round 1 submission in June 2019.
The day ended with networking over evaluation and refreshments.