Covid 19

Coronavirus – A Message from the Chairman

I hope you are all well in these strange times.

With our last members’ meeting taking place on 7 March shortly before the Coronavirus restrictions started to come into force, there has been no significant impact on Gresley Society activities so far.

Up to a few days ago I was concerned that I would be having to announce that publication of the Spring edition of the Gresley Observer (no 180) would have to be put on hold. However, thanks to sterling work by Chris Nettleton, our indomitable editor, most of you will by now have received your copy – or will within the next few days. Unable to get to the post office (a family run affair in Easingwold) from where the GO is normally despatched, Chris found a courier prepared to take the seventeen boxes to Easingwold, only to then find the post office had been forced to close when one of the staff displayed symptoms of Covid-19. Not to be defeated, Chris managed to find an alternative means of despatch with another post office prepared to take what is a sizeable despatch.

I have mentioned all this in some detail, because I know how much members value ‘the GO’ – especially at this time when reading material is particularly prized – and believe Chris’s efforts deserve to be recognised. He was helped by son Andrew, who located the alterative post office near his home in Sedgefield, and post mistress Joanna, who agree to handle the posting despite the size. So many thanks to all three and the courier. I hope you enjoy the read.

The GO went to press before the current lockdown was announced, and includes details of our next planned members’ meeting on Saturday 11 July at Grantham. As the date is still three months away, for now we have not cancelled the meeting, but of course, we will be guided by the directions given by government. If it becomes obvious that the meeting cannot, or it would be imprudent for it, to go ahead we will announce this on the website – so please keep checking.

One of the sad consequences of the lockdown is that our President’s A4 No 60009 Union of South Africa missed her planned final main line curtain call. However, there is some good news since, contrary to my comments in ‘Chairman’s Chatter’, John now plans is for the loco to run on the East Lancashire Railway until at least next year, so there should be a chance to see her in action for a bit longer yet when the current restrictions finally end.

My best wishes to you and your families. Please keep safe, and we look forward to meeting again in due course.

Philip Benham