An open letter from our chairman
You will be aware that the continuing coronavirus situation and the consequent restrictions on movement mean that the Railway faces a severe loss of income. Whilst we have no idea how long the present situation will continue, it is likely that we will lose much if not all of our main season income. To give you an idea of the situation, in the main season for 2019 our overall income from all sources was around £130,000. This consisted of £99,000 from ticket sales, gift aid of £12,000, shop income of £15,000 and income from the cafe of £2,000.
Unlike some heritage railways we do not have salaries to pay, and some of our regular outgoings will be reduced, but some costs such as utility bills, insurance, rent, rates and a host of other items still have to be paid. It is likely that we will have to find about £30,000 to cover these costs.
Whilst, as was stated in the recent newsletter, we can meet such charges from our reserves, to do so will serious deplete these. Therefore in view of recent government advice that the situation may last longer than might have been anticipated, we are making an urgent appeal to our members for assistance in helping to meet these costs. We do of course appreciate that those supporters who are in employment may well have a reduced income at present, and some may be in receipt of pensions and have limited funds but we hope that many will be able to assist.
The restrictions of social contact do of course mean that the sort of excursions and outings that many of us enjoy, be it the sporting event, cinema, visits to another railway or even a drink in the pub cannot be enjoyed so perhaps some of what you might have spent on one of these events could be donated to the railway. We are not specifying an amount, but to use again a well known advertising tag line ‘every little helps’.
If you are able to help, then the simplest way would be to set up a standing order with your bank to pay a set amount, perhaps each month or other suitable interval. Additionally you can make a one off donation direct to the Railway’s bank account and if you want to do this, the account details are below. Alternatively just put some cash aside and bring it along to the railway when we finally re-open. You can also send a cheque or charity voucher direct to the station.
This will give us a regular income which is what is needed to help with the outgoings. Please help if you can.
Chairman on behalf of the Executive Committee
Railway Bank Details
Account name Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society Limited
Sort code 53-70-11
Account number 07615353