- Board Members:
I was a founder director of the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership in 2004, and have been its chair since 2015. My area of responsibility is interfaces with external organisations, currently taking in the Gilsland station reopening project, timetable development, consultations on relevant topics and integration with other modes of transport. I represent the wider North East region in liaison with the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and Northern’s Community Rail Executive Group.
Developments during the past year include the Steer Davies Gleave business case study for Gilsland and the evolving May 2018 timetable. We have responded to the West Coast Partnership and accessibility consultations and anticipate consultations on the Cross Country franchise and Community Rail strategy (both DfT) along with the North East Transport Strategy (North East Combined Authority) in 2018.
A Tynedale resident for 15 years and regular user of the Tyne Valley services primarily from Bardon Mill and Haltwhistle, I have been a Director of TVCRP since January 2016. From April 2017 responsibility has been taken for the Partnership’s Finance, Legal and Corporate Governance portfolios with a number of significant changes being implemented.
By way of campaigning I was involved in establishing a local support group to develop the current proposal to reopen Gilsland Station (COGS) and have subsequently represented TVCRP in various related aspects. I was also materially involved in successfully challenging unnecessary and expensive Network Rail proposals to alter Bardon Mill station and its hinterland.
Further to my CRP activities, I have been an active member of the Tyne Valley Rail User Group for over five years and am currently Chairman. I am also providing support to the COGS (Campaign to Open Gilsland Station).
I have been an active member of the Partnership since 2013; one of my initial contributions was co-ordinating the process to secure official Community Rail designation for the line (awarded in October 2014). From 2016, I was appointed to the Board as a Director for Communications, which covers the website, social media and press releases to help promote the variety of activities we’re undertaking.
I have a professional and personal interest in the Tyne Valley line - my day job is transport manager at seven shopping centres across the North, including intu Metrocentre (which has its own station on the line) and intu Eldon Square in Newcastle. This involves forging close links with the different public transport operators in the region, including the Northern franchise teams. Furthermore, having moved to the Hexham area in 2013, I am a regular passenger on the line and am very aware of the good and not-so-good aspects of the Tyne Valley services.
TVCRP would like to extend a warm welcome to Anne Ridley, our new Marketing Director, who joined us in January 2019. Anne comes to TVCRP with extemsive experience from the Settle Carlisle line where she worked as Operations Manager and previously Commercial Manager over a period of nearly 19 years. This after long service in the Police Force.
Anne tells us "I am looking forward to the challenge of increasing passenger numbers on the line and bringing more visitors to the area. I hope my experience of working in the rail industry will be of benefit to the Community Rail Partnership and the Train Operating Company. During the forthcoming weeks and months I want to meet as many of our members, stakeholders and local partners as possible to see how we can jointly work together for our common benefit."
I have been a board member since 2008. Before retirement, I was a railway relief signalman for 34 years and undertook a range of community-orientated activities – I was a former Hexham Town Mayor and a former Town and District councillor and have recently resigned as Vice Chairman of Hexham Community Partnership. In 2010, I was appointed Honorary Steward and Bailiff of Hexham by Hexham Town Council. For 14 years I was a school governor, 10 years of which as chairman, and for 23 years I served as a special constable, retiring as an inspector.
Within the Partnership, my main duties are as Joint Director for Buildings and Infrastructure, which includes overseeing the running and upkeep of the Old Booking Hall at Haltwhistle.
In 2010 I was appointed Honorary Steward and Bailiff of Hexham by Hexham Town Council.
My interest in railways dates back to my early years travelling to college from Bridlington to Hull; following a career in agricultural supply I was fortunate to rekindle my interest in railways when I joined British Rail as a signalman on the Tyne Valley Line, working locations from Blaydon to Brampton. During this time I served as a Parish Councillor in Stocksfield for 16 years, including a period as Chairman. I was recruited to join the Board of the Partnership some nine years ago and took on the role of Finance Officer, subsequently Director, over four years ago until April 2017. Since then I have been appointed as Joint Director for Buildings and Infrastructure, centred on the Haltwhistle Station Project.
Fiona’s background offers connections in community and resource development. She is a qualified librarian whose first job was at the Denny Ship Model Test Tank. She has always enjoyed linking the unexpected, something she says is a critical skill for a librarian as well as being able to find money! Previous projects have included work with the Aycliffe Angels, development work for visually impaired library users, project management with Creative Partnerships and, in the autumn of 2015, audience development work for English Heritage. Growing up in a railway (and non-car owning) family in Glasgow, Fiona can demonstrate a lifelong commitment to public transport.
See the Press Release on Fiona's appointment for more information.
Julie has been TVCRP Company Secretary since January 2017. She has liaised with TVCRP for many years as Secretary of the Tyne Valley Rail Users' group (TVRUG) and Scretary of the Campaign to Open Gilsland Station (COGS). Julie looks after bookings for the old Booking Hall at Haltwhistle station should you wish to use it for meetings, presentations or courses.
Julie has recently retired from a career teaching. Her other volunteer roles include being: a Trustee of the Haltwhistle Partnership; Trail volunteer for Hadrian's Wall National Trail; and a Committee Member and Senior Instructor for Kielder Water Sailing Club.
Introduction to John to follow.
Introduction to Nigel to follow.
Having retired from working life, I can now concentrate on my first love, railways. I was an Area Librarian for 43 years and spent most of my career at Hawick in the Scottish Borders, many miles from a rail head.
Since retiring, I have joined the RCTS, (The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society). I help with their book stall and attend the various events representing the Society and raising funds. Weekends find me at Tanfield Railway, a Heritage Railway near Stanley, County Durham, where I am responsible for stocking the shop, which sells toys, souvenirs, tickets and refreshments.
Introduction to Mariya to follow.
Introduction to Marie to follow.
Introduction to Megan to follow.