The following have been nominated to join the Council of Management. This year there are six vacancies, and as there are nine nominees, a ballot will be held.
- Roger Harrison
- Joe Hedley
- Adam Hogg
- Kev Holden
- Roger Jermy
- Neil Mansfield
- Simon Mills
- Martin Robinson
- William Stafford
If you are unable to attend the AGM in person, you can either vote by proxy, vote by post or vote electronically. Before you vote, the nine individuals were asked to write a short precis about themselves and why they should be elected. Their responses are below.
I am a retired RAF electrical engineering officer with 31years service. Before joining the RAF I was a technician apprentice in the telecommunications industry. After retiring I became an assistant organist at a busy parish church in Lincolnshire. My wife Chris and I moved up to live in Warkworth last November.
A lot of my work in the RAF involved project and team management at various organisational levels. On the technical side, my work with aircraft and their systems gave me a good working knowledge of both electrical and mechanical disciplines.
Chris and I joined the AVR 3 years ago and became regular volunteers and then guards over the last 2 years. Although I do not have a railway background, unlike most of the other trustees, I do have organisational and management skills that I believe will enable me to make a positive contribution to the future development of the Aln Valley Railway.
I joined the then Aln Valley Railway Society in 1996 (member number 365). In those early days my activities were limited to attending the occasional meeting but I was happy to assist in setting up our first Gift Aid scheme. This led me to firstly being co-opted then elected onto the committee. Since then I have been re-elected 3 times to the Society’s committee and again when the Society was dissolved and the managing body of the Railway became the Trust.
As a practical engineer, supervisor and manager I have gained experience in procedure, policy and governance which I hope has helped the Trust develop its collection policy among other things. As an individual I have a passion for the industrial heritage of the North East (particularly in the Railways as you might guess).
For the last ten years I am proud to have actively worked on the Aln Valley Railway, first at Longhoughton Goods Yard and now at Lionheart. Learning new skills and passing on my own knowledge to the younger members has been particularly rewarding.
In the last three years WE have achieved some amazing things and we have had have had the support of some of the most dedicated and charismatic people (and their families and friends) one would care to meet. As we grow and develop, it is encouraging to see many of the new friends we have made since coming to Lionheart bringing their ideas and passions forward and and to see some standing for election as Trustees. Others like myself who are standing for re-election must be grateful for the experience being offered, and irrespective of the outcome of the election, all Trustees must have our support. Being a Trustee is not always an easy task: there are some legal liabilities; as a Trustee you have to act in the best interest of the Trust rather than what you personally might think; on a more personal level, sometimes you may have to keep quiet about sensitive issues you’d love to share; and regrettably, sometimes you might upset some people.
Without question there will be debate and disagreements but we will all keep striving to be on that first train to Alnmouth!
Most of you may know me as I am on site at Lionheart every Saturday and Sunday. But for those who don't, I'm Adam Hogg, I'm 22 years old and have been involved with the Aln Valley Railway since 2012 when we arrived at Lionheart.
What can I bring to the Railway and why should you vote for me?
I have worked with lots of other community groups for many years helping them gain funds, membership and support, I feel my years of experience in this area will be of great use to the Aln Valley Railway.
I also think the heritage of the Railway is also key and would fight to keep all the original features on the Railway as close to as they were when the line was operated by the NER and BR.
I will always support any volunteers who have any problems and if needs be, would bring them to the attention of the committee and get any problems resolved as soon as possible.
I hope to see you all on the 23rd July.
Kevin is our permanent way specialist, having been a Network Rail trackworker for a number of years. He has recently changed tack and has successfully passed out as a signalman; he will be responsible for commissioning the new signal box and training our signalmen to the required standards. He has been on the Board for the last five years.
I am a founder member of the AVR.
I have been actively involved with the AVR since I moved to Alnwick in Spring 2002. I have organised the talks and meetings at ‘Barter Books’ and the annual quiz against Gunnerton Railway Circle since 2003 and 2007 respectively. I have been a committee member and Trustee and lead the Communications Group. I have been AVR PR and Press Officer since the role was created, liaising with the media to promote and publicise the AVR. I take the AVR stall to tourism & vintage shows, also recruitment and other events, on behalf of the railway. I arrange and manage visits to Lionheart for local groups (Beavers, schoolchildren, local history and railway societies) and average about eight talks to such groups every year.
I established the museum at Lionheart and have produced a variety of displays and educational materials on local railways. I have initiated the events schedule for publication in our annual brochures and organised a number of these events. I arrange for the printing of our brochure and its distribution to over 30 heritage railways; I arrange for it to appear at many other regional outlets using a specialist distribution company. I am currently leading the team organising the Model Railway Show to be held in September.
At Lionheart I have be seen carpeting the museum, painting platform lines, giving guided tours, gardening, managing bonfires, acting as Duty Manager, being a Guard on the Wickhams or welcoming visitors at the gate. I am a regular contributor of articles and photographs to ‘The Link’. I have provided information on the AVR for several articles in national railway magazines and have co-authored some of these.
If re-elected I will continue to offer much of my time and effort to the progress of the railway.
Hello. I’m Neil Mansfield, who’s standing for election for this term of office. I’m a lifelong rail enthusiast, and have worked as a volunteer on various railways since I was 15 – through work moves I now live in Swarland near Alnwick and am looking to increase my contribution to the railway. I currently volunteer regularly, am a passed out guard and trainee driver. I also have joined the “bodger’s corner team” - restoring Mark 2 windows (!) - and do permanent way work too. I’d like to represent your views and help the railway develop – we have some exciting times ahead. I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer by Profession, having had 15 years project experience at Procter & Gamble, starting up manufacturing plant here & overseas. I have also been electrical start up and then maintenance manager on P&G’s Manchester Paper Machine, responsible for teams on 4 shifts and £1M maintenance budget. Currently, I manage, with 10 reportees , P&G’s Newcastle (Longbenton) R&D site’s supply chain, warehouse, waste and shipping services, responsible for £1M site expenditure and I am the site Process Safety Engineer. I’ve served and currently serve on several committees – including Alnwick Model Railway Society (Secretary), and Felton Scout executive. I’m also a Swarland & Newton on the Moor Parish Councillor. In the latter role, I led the successful grant application (£20k) to rebuild a local footpath.
I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of varied technical and managerial experience in my career, which I hope will benefit the railway, the committee and the wider membership, so I look forward to your support in order to contribute more.
I am a former teacher with some 25 years’ experience and a recent returner to the region. Working in both primary and secondary schools, I have engaged with youngsters from Year 1 to 11 across the curriculum, planned and delivered creative digital projects with students and through community learning projects, as well as playing my part in the development and delivery of bespoke training and professional development programmes for colleagues.
Since returning to Alnwick I have assumed an active role as a volunteer at the AVR. My principle activities have involved working with the Beamish Coach team. Now a waiting room, we are all rightly proud of our achievements in such a short time and the contribution our work has made to the development of the Lionheart Station area. I have worked front of house on operating days, supported off site events promoting our railway project to a wider audience, begun developing trails and materials for younger visitors and made many new friends in the process.
The railway is approaching an exciting point in its development. Amazing progress has been made in such a short time in establishing and developing the Lionheart Site. Key to future developments, challenges revolve around trackwork, sustainability and how we, as an organisation, build on the foundations established to attract, engage and retain visitors, while appealing to as wide an audience as possible. This I believe will rely on looking beyond the railway itself and our current largely tourist target audience, and considering our involvement with and contribution to the local community we serve.
I bring with me to this election a belief that a wider view of the railway, the opportunities it affords, and a clear shared and owned vision for use and development of the facilities and landscape we possess will be key to future developments and progression. I am keen to explore and develop these opportunities. Considering ways;
- To engage local schools through formal and informal curricular opportunities.
- Seeking to promote future developments and opportunities to work with, support and engage community organisations in their use of the site and its environs.
- Developing active learning opportunities for visitors that utilise not only the infrastructure we have, but the landscape and artefacts in our possession.
- To extend use and development of the site beyond current opening and running.
- and identify as a result ways to engage, increase and retain a reliable and sustainable volunteer group
Not only will these I believe encourage and contribute to wider participation, but support future access to funding streams, that will depend, not only on our ability to raise our own funds and match, but also to demonstrate our commitments to wider participation and a key role in our community. I look forward to representing the interests of the project, our volunteer force and contributing to the future development of the Aln Valley Railway should I be elected. Thank you for your consideration.
Former professional environmental planning surveyor [BSc Hons, MRTPI, FRSA]. 17 years professional local government career before running consultancy partnership in Newcastle, Edinburgh & Glasgow for further 16 years, followed by 6 years as senior lecturer in Real Estate Management at Northumbria University. Now semi-retired and partner in environmental consultancy with wife Sue. Shareholder in Class G5 Locomotive Company Ltd and member of Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.
Founder member of AVRS in 1995, and trustee of AVRT since 1997. Principal responsibility for AVR lease negotiations with Northumberland Estates and land purchases from BRRB and SUSTRANS. Prepared, submitted and negotiated all AVR planning permissions to date. Currently leading on the “Let’s Get to Alnmouth” appeal, negotiations with Network Rail on gaining access to Alnmouth Station land, and also with parliamentary agents relating to Transport & Works Order.
Currently chairman of AVRT, but firmly believe in encouraging newer and younger Trustees. If elected priorities would be early completion of the embankment with rail laid to Bridge 6, continuing the push to Alnmouth , and fund-raising.
William is a founder member of the Aln Valley Railway project and has a been a Trustee for many years. He is the railway's Operations Manager and was instrumental in involving the Pottergate Pantry develop the Buffet Stop Cafe alongside the railway.