The Yorkshire Wolds Railway (YWR), the charity working to establish a new heritage railway tourist attraction in the East Yorkshire Wolds, is holding its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 27 March at 8pm. The meeting will be held at the Driffield Community Centre, Mill Street, Driffield. The meeting is open only to members, but members of the public are welcome to attend and join on the door.
The AGM marks the end of another exciting year in the development of the Yorkshire Wolds Railway, which is seeking to reopen part of the former Malton to Driffield line, which closed in 1958. The first phase of the project is the opening of a Visitor Centre, to be named Fimber Halt, at a site on the B1248 two miles northwest of Wetwang.
Work on developing the railway carriage which is due to become the Visitor Centre’s main exhibition space has advanced a good deal, and the railway has also acquired more track and a diesel locomotive, which will offer visitors the chance to take cab rides along a short demonstration line and even have a try at driving a loco themselves. The Railway has also engaged in a wide range of marketing, publicity and fundraising activity. The AGM will offer members the chance to hear updates about all aspects of the Railway’s work and to ask questions of the Committee.
The Yorkshire Wolds Railway is also taking the opportunity to simplify its management structure and a new Board of Directors will be elected. The Board has overall responsibility for managing all aspects of the Railway’s operations and the new Board will be made up of ten Directors. Eight of these will have specific job titles and areas of responsibility, while two posts of ‘Director without Portfolio’ will be created to encourage new Directors to stand for election.
The first task that the new Board will have to carry out will be to appoint a new Chair. The current Chair, James Russell, has decided to stand down at the AGM due to his involvement in another charitable organisation, the Hull Independent Cinema Project, which has taken up more of his time since the city of Hull was awarded UK City of Culture Status for 2017. James, who is the YWR’s second Chair and who has held the post since November 2012, said in a statement:
“After giving the matter extensive thought and speaking to several of my Committee colleagues, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot successfully divide my time between two big projects and do both justice. The awarding of City of Culture status for Hull has swung the balance and I have reluctantly decided to scale down my involvement in the YWR.
“I will remain a passionate supporter of the YWR, and will continue to volunteer on site and to help out with publicity and fundraising events when I can. I am looking forward to being part of what is sure to be a great year for the YWR, with the planned opening of our Fimber Halt Visitor Centre later in 2014.
“My time as Chair of the Yorkshire Wolds Railway has coincided with our commencing work on Fimber Halt, including the arrival of our first track, rolling stock and locomotive. There are many people whose work has been of far greater importance than mine in getting the YWR to this stage, but I nevertheless will look back on my time as Chair with great pride. My thanks to all Committee Members, volunteers, members and supporters for your much appreciated contributions to our achievements so far, and my best wishes to whoever takes the role of Chair on after the AGM.”
Anyone with any questions about the Yorkshire Wolds Railway, the Annual General Meeting or the election of a new Board of Directors can contact the YWR by visiting the website (www.yorkshirewoldsrailway.org.uk) or by calling 01377 338053.
The Yorkshire Wolds Railway was established as the Yorkshire Wolds Railway Restoration Project in 2008, on the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Malton and Driffield Junction Railway. The Yorkshire Wolds Railway is the operating name of Malton Dodger Ltd, a company limited by guarantee. Malton Dodger Ltd is a Registered Charity (number 1146990).
Details of the Fimber Halt Visitor Centre plans are available on East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning portal. Follow this link, or go to http://www.eastriding.gov.uk/newpublicaccess/ and search for application reference 12/00434/STPLF.
The YWR is part-funded by Coast, Wolds, Wetlands & Waterways LEADER. LEADER is financed by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development and Defra as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. More information can be found using the link above.