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The following were the appointed Trustees and Committee Members of the Furness Railway Trust during 1999:
G. Marsh retired from the Committee at the Annual General Meeting on 27 March 1999 and N. Smith was appointed to the Committee on the same date.
The principal activity of the Trust during 1999 was the return to operational service of the newly restored Furness Railway locomotive No. 20. After successful steaming trials in January and February, a launch date with special train was arranged for 20 April. The Guest of Honour was Lady Grania Cavendish, whose husband's family were promoters of the Furness Railway in the nineteenth century, and the whole event was broadcast live on BBC local radio. Now the oldest working standard gauge steam locomotive in Britain, No. 20 appeared twice on local television during the year and was featured heavily in both local and national press. The locomotive performed well during the summer months and invitations for it to take part in special events at the Keighley & Worth Valley and the prestigious Millennium Cavalcade of Steam at Shildon during 2000 were accepted.
Trust members have provided physical support for the operation and maintenance of Furness Railway No. 20 during 1999, and the focus of restoration work has turned to former Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643. This project requires an estimated £30,000 to complete the restoration, although firmer estimates will only be possible once the boiler has been removed for detailed examination. Trust members have, therefore, turned to promoting fund raising activities in order to speed up the restoration timescales. A book, written by the Trust, detailing the history and restoration of Furness Railway No. 20 was published in October in conjunction with the Cumbrian Railways Association. Initial reaction and sales have been very favourable and a reprint of the book has already been authorised.
The completion of Furness Railway No. 20 and the consequent favourable publicity received by the Trust during 1999 led to membership numbers rising by one third to nearly 400 by the end of the year.
All outstanding grant payments due to the Trust, totalling £15,200 at the beginning of the year, were paid upon the satisfactory steaming of Furness Railway locomotive No. 20 in January. A short-term interest free loan from a Trust member was then repaid, and the loan of £2,000 from the Lakeside Railway Society was converted into a permanent donation.
Rising entrance fees to events attended by the Trust's Sales and Publicity stand limited the net contribution from this source to £439, although cash flow was further improved by nearly £1,000 through a reduction in stock held. No income was due from the Cumbrian Railways Association in respect of book sales owing to the need to fund a reprint, but some income can be anticipated in 2000.
Restoration costs, at £4,097 reflect the completion of Furness Railway No. 20 and the purchase of components and materials for former Great Western Railway locomotives Nos. 5643 and 4979. Insurance expenditure was reduced during 1999 as the cost of insuring FR 20 was taken over by the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
İFurness Railway Trust