The Society held a well-attended AGM at the Morley Club in Sheringham on July 14.
Members had a detailed printed report mailed to them in advance of the meeting, outlining the features of a highly successful year with strong financial performance and many highlights. These included the B12's visits to the Great Central and Severn Valley railways, the naming of WD 90775 as "The Royal Norfolk Regiment" and Wissington's visits to the Colne Valley and her Summer residence at the Beamish Museum. The Y14 continues to be a great favourite on the NNR and is to be seen at the head of the railway's Vintage Set which runs as an additional train on a number of days in the Summer period. Progress on the Class 31, a major project, proceeds well and it is hoped to be the star attraction at Members' Day on October 6th.
This year has seen the return to traffic of the Society's unique Gresley Quad-Art set following the painstaking task of stripping, varnishing and repainting - very impressive it looks too and popular with passengers during the NNR's Suburban Week in early July.
Membership remains healthy and the Society publication "Norfolk's Railways 1927 - 1966" has been a best seller locally.
The Board of Trustees enjoy the confidence of members with the four trustees standing for re-election being returned.
In opening the meeting and welcoming members, Neil Sharpe, pointed members to the written report for the success of the past year. He said he would restrict his remarks in the meeting to announcing three exciting pieces of news.
The start of 2018 saw the passing of the Society's two presidents, RHN "Dick" Hardy and Sir William McAlpine. The Trustees were delighted to announce that Julian Birley BEM, who steps down as chair of the NNR in September, has accepted an invitation to become the new Society President. It is wonderful to welcome such a "heavyweight" in the world of heritage rail to our ranks, especially someone who knows and loves our railway so much.
Secondly the Society has been able to add a truly East Anglian mainline locomotive to our stable, long term Colchester and Ipswich 08 D3935 / 08767. [See separate press release].
Finally - at least for the present - the Society has added an historically significant piece of rolling stock to its collection. This is LNER Thompson Brake Third dating from 1950. This was once the support coach for 60532 Blue Peter at Dinting Railway Centre, but is currently at Llangollen where its restoration is substantially complete. Once it has come to the NNR and the remaining work has been done, the coach is to be a 'special saloon' with a small bar area decked out with Festival of Britain regalia.
Verdict: a highly successful year, a bright future and a great meeting for the Society.