The Gresley Society AGM on 5th December was interesting. The trustees (pictured without the Membership Secretary, who was on sentry duty at the door) successfully quashed dissent and cheerfully admitted to failing to comply with Company Law in organising various matters – including voting and the nomination/election process for new trustees.
One or two vociferous friends of the committee (‘Council’) greatly added to the sense of hostility felt by the mallard supporters present, shouting down all our attempts at questions. Most of the 40 or so members present were apparently happy with the way the Society is run, and with the mallard-less statue (although it is possible they felt too intimidated to express any concerns). They also seemed happy that they aren’t told anything about what is going on, or asked what they want. So long as they receive the Society’s magazine, the Gresley Observer, it would appear they are content.
Since the Gresley Observer has said very little about the statue debacle (or indeed anything much about the statue at all), some of those members could perhaps be forgiven for not realising that their beloved Society is now something of a laughing stock in the heritage railway world.
Whilst Council members Philip Benham and Graeme Bunker admitted the statue situation had not been handled well, there was no apology from Chairman David McIntosh for his insulting remarks about the mallard supporters, and no sign that Council will change its mind about the statue.
In terms of the campaign to save the Gresley’s mallard then, the AGM changed nothing.