It's been a little while since we had anything to report so here is an update on the state of play & where we stand today.
It's been just over 10 years since The Class 60 Group was concieved, an idea & a dream hoping to one day become reality. As with all new things, it's tough at the start. The idea is slow to take off the ground, and after a couple of years things started to acceletate slowly. By 2011 we started to make steady gains, a profit, as the original advertising, memberships, newsletters cost money to keep up with.
Then came the overhaul program. great news for the Class 60's, but not so good for us.
When we started, the outlook for the class was bleak. At one time there was only 1 in active service, 60074. Who can remember those days, especially wearing that Teenage Cancer Trust Blue? Stunning!
But as the overhauls kept coming, interest in saving a 60 dwindled. They were not seen as an endangered species anymore. The threat of imminent extinction had vanished.
So we sat down, thought what could we do? In 2014 We decided on a few things. Refresh the memberships & do away with paper newsletters. This cut costs, and to begin with it was fine. But later feedback was that the few members we had at this time, some were either missing the digital email in the inbox, or missing the paper copy landing on the door step. We could understand this, as it's one less perk to the membership, having something land on the door mat.
Items occasionally sold through the 60 shop, embroidered 60 Beanies & Mugs etc, but the outlay for getting these manufactured and then sitting on stock until the odd sale came through, was not a good thing.
So back to the drawing board. Funds are still creeping in, but Memberships had stalled.
In 2016 we refeshed them again, added perks to create interest. More promotional leaflets and a couple of stalls at heritage events. It was a struggle..... Fuel and stall costs then the value of purchased stock put together, we were hardly breaking even. We have never attended one since.
So onto January 2017, we decided to end Memberships. We felt it was unfair to offer something with little return any longer as well as there being little interest. All of the few remaining memberships were allowed to lapse, there have been no active paid members since 2017.
So what now in 2020? We may have been quiet, but we have not gone. We realise the idea and dream we once shared at the start of this journey back in 2009 could not be achieved alone.
Since 2017, all funds raised have been placed into an Interest Accruing bank Account. This is reviewed every 2 years ( 24 months ), last reviewed in August 2019 to earn the greatest interest possible. The next date is August 2021. However big or small, it all adds up and helps.
Moving forward, the only option available appears to be investing the accrued funds into a future Class 60 project as a group / party or with an individual. The funds shall not be used towards any other railway related project other than towards the purchase and / or upkeep of a Class 60 locomotive in the near future.
We shall contact any potential buyers / interested parties as they can also contact us too.
So that's the story of the Class 60 Group.
We do hope this clears things up & look forward to becoming part of something exciting in the coming years!