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Year ended 31 December 2021                   

Registered Charity Number: 0273829

Contents                                                       Page(s)


Report of the trustees and annual review           2 - 8


Chairman’s Report                                           9 - 12 

Independent Examiner’s Report                        13 - 14

Consolidated Statement of Financial Activities    15


Balance Sheets (Consolidated and Charity)        16 - 17


Statement of Accounting Policies                       18 - 19


Notes to the Financial Statements                     20 - 26 

Friends of the NRM logo_edited.png


The Trustees present their annual report with the financial statements of the Charity for the year ended 31 December 2021.


The Friends of the National Railway Museum was formed by a Trust Deed dated 16 May 1977. It is governed by a supplemental deed dated 21 June 2002 and is Registered Charity Number 273829.


The Registered Office of the Charity is at:

The National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York. YO26 4XJ

Website :





National Westminster Bank Plc

1 Market Street 

York, YO1 1YH


13 Parliament Street

York, YO1 8XS


Grays Solicitors

Duncombe Place

York, YO1 7DY

Independent Examiner:   

Robert J Woolley FCCA, CTA

Chartered Certified Accountant

Crown House

York Road


York, YO43 3PF

01430 873666


The Management of the Friends of the National Railway Museum is delegated to the Council; the Council comprises the Trustees and non-voting, co-opted members. The Trustees are appointed in accordance with the Constitution and Rules. Two Trustees are appointed by the Director of The Science Museum Group; twelve are elected from the Membership at the Annual General Meeting and the Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Legal Advisor are appointed by the Council.


The following were the officers and members of the Council (Trustees) of the Friends of the National Railway Museum during 2021 :-

Chairman:                                P M Benham

Hon Secretary:                        R S Rollings


Hon Treasurer:                        D M B Naylor 

Hon Legal Advisor:                 F A Lawton

Council Members:                  Mrs H M Ashby OBE

P R Batty (to September 2021)

Mrs L Benham

Dr M S Draper CBE

T H Fenwick

P Graham MBE

I Johnson

C P Jones

A McLean*   

Mrs J K McNicol* 

G D Miller OBE

J C H Nettleton

J H Perkin

J D Thomas BEM        *Appointed by the Science Museum Group



The Friends of the National Railway Museum was formed in 1977 to encourage the work and activities of The National Railway Museum at York, by amongst other things:

  1. assisting in the acquisition and/or renovation of any objects relating to the evolution and development of rail transport for presentation or loan to the Museum or other such institution;


  1. publicising the activities of the Museum among the members, extending invitations to openings and private viewings and arranging visits to other transport collections and other functions;


  1. encouraging the study of transport history

As mentioned above, the responsibility for the formulation of policies to attain these aims rests with the Council. The Council is also responsible for the financial position of the Friends of the National Railway Museum, including the securing of membership and other financial support.

Responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of the Council’s policies is delegated to an Executive Committee.

During the year the charity undertook its stated objectives by providing financial support to the National Railway Museum in the form of a further committed contribution to the Station Hall refurbishment programme, a formal commitment to fund the development of the Wonderlab project, an integral part of  the Museum re-development programme entitled Vision 2025  and the continued publication of its enlarged quarterly publication.

Further, the Charity has developed its website infrastructure to be more communicative with its membership and increased its penetration into social media platforms all with the intent of publicising the activities of the Museum and the Charity, especially as they relate to specific projects of research relevant to the transport industry.  Such activities are designed for the public benefit and to promote new membership.  Further detail is provided within the Chairman’s statement.


In complying with its Objectives and carrying out the above activities the Board of Trustees recognises that as a Charity realisation of public benefit must be at the centre of its decision-making processes. Public material emphasises that the FNRM is focussed on Railway conservation and education that is operated by a Board made up wholly of Volunteers, and where all income and trading surpluses are re-invested in the Charity. The Trustees acknowledge that their strategic priorities should be inclusive of the overarching aim of delivering public benefit. The charity is a public benefit charity.

The Trustees have had regard to the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit in managing the activities of the charity.


Our Charity depends on funds raised from members and the public to ensure the continued viability of the Charity. We strive to comply fully with Charity Commission guidance CC 20 on the duty of Trustees to have oversight of fundraising practices.  We will endeavour to fully comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice.

We do not use professional fundraisers nor commercial participators, other than fundraising support by our own controlled subsidiary company. It does not receive any commissions and covenants the whole of its annual surpluses to the Charity.  Our fundraising spend is small comprising almost entirely the cost of web-site maintenance.  Our fundraising is managed and collated by staff and volunteers of the Charity. We do not share personal data with other organisations for any purpose nor do we fundraise by telephone.

Subscription Renewals and periodic Specific Appeals are directed to members of the Charity by mail, via invitations on our own web site and opt into e- mail communication. In accordance with applicable regulations members of the public can, by simple notification, opt out of receiving any fundraising material.  This enables us to respond promptly to any notifications received pursuant to the Fundraising Preference Service.

We do not cold call or make public or static collections off our own premises.  Our onsite fundraising is confined to cash collection boxes located within the National Railway Museum which do not invoke pressure to donate.   All funds raised are used exclusively for the furtherance of the Charity and, where given for a restricted purpose, only for that purpose.


Volunteers are crucial to the operation of the Charity as all the trustees are volunteers. Our volunteers have remained incredibly supportive during the pandemic and continue to help us operate. We are truly grateful that our volunteers continue to support us in such an unsettled time.


Volunteer Boilersmith Gordon Reed  on board City of Truro preparing it for the opening of Railfest.


Funds that The Charity temporarily hosts from whatever source, and which are not deemed to be immediately required by the National Railway Museum to assist with projects which otherwise might not be undertaken are invested with a Trusted Source CCLA Investment Management Limited, with the (hoped for) intention of providing a supplemental source of future financial support to NRM.  In recent years such investment decisions have provided a positive response to that objective.
The Financial Statements reflect realised and unrealised valuation movements at mid-market price at the yearend date.


The Trustees regularly monitor the level of reserves held in the Charity.  They are mindful that the individual projects requiring support from the Friends are often large and as such take time to complete. In their opinion the level of reserves, both Restricted and Unrestricted is in keeping with these factors. The Charitable Trust holds funds to cover twelve months routine expenditures, including costs of the quarterly magazine in support of the National Railway Museum (NRM), none of which are contentious.  These amount to approximately £53,500 per annum. The Funds in excess of such threshold are generally regarded as freely available to support initiatives of the NRM on a ‘free to request’ basis compatible with the Objects of the Charity and the Public Interest and committed at the discretion of the Charity Executive and in a timely manner.  Surplus funds so arising are generally managed in accord with the Charity Investment Policy -intended to be on a temporary basis.

Funds identified as Restricted are retained as specific reserves applied only for such approved activities.


We have well defined risk management arrangements.  These include consideration at Trustees’ meetings of the level of risks which might endanger the activity of the charity. The Trustees are of the opinion that these are minimal.    

Fundraising - The Trustees oversee compliance with fund raising regulation and ensure that fundraising is conducted in accordance with current regulations.  The Charity had not at the yearend elected to register voluntarily with the Office of the Fundraising Regulator.

IT Security

We recognise the risks associated with information security and the importance of protecting our IT systems from malicious attack and unauthorised access and misuse.  Security measures are in place to protect from unauthorised access to IT systems and to test vulnerabilities in the network. We hold a limited level of personal information about our employees, volunteers, members and supporters. We have a data protection policy in place designed to ensure that only authorised access takes place to personal details.


Requests for financial support come from the senior management of the National Railway Museum or the Membership of the Friends. Such requests are considered firstly by the Executive Committee and then, if supported, referred to the Council for approval.


As required by Charity law, the Council members, as Trustees, prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Charity and of the excess or deficiency of income over expenditure for that period.  In preparing those financial statements the Council members: -

      - select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;

      - make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;     

      - prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Charity will continue in operation.

The Council members are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Charity and to enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the requirements of the Charity Acts.  They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.


The Charity conducts its business with the use of an accounting system using both manual and computerised records and a computerised membership database.

Whilst it is not mandatory for The Charity to prepare consolidated accounts, the Trustees have requested them as it provides a more detailed financial picture of The Charity. There is no material additional cost incurred in the production of a consolidated report.     

The Trustees consider the financial performance of the charity during the year to have been satisfactory.

Credit: Charlotte Graham

The total income for the year was £376,484 (2020: £162,093) of which £3,050 (2020: £12,260) was from restricted sources. The expenditure for the year amounted to £172,142 (2020: £172,525). There was a £285,426 surplus (2020:  £34,413).

The total net assets of the FNRM amounted to £943,320 (2020: £657,894). These were split as to restricted funds of £119,929 (2020:  £121,477) and unrestricted (including designated) funds £823,391 (2020: £536,417).


The real impact of Covid 19 to the Charity’s operations was its impact upon the National Railway Museum, with enforced closure from March 2020 and limited/ no access since then. Whilst enforcing a ‘working from home’ environment for our small team of staff and volunteers with consequent disruption to essential office functions, the real impact was on loss of ‘incidental’ income from Collection sites within the Museum and more importantly the complete closure of Outreach opportunities for a sustained period (e.g., Flying Scotsman activities). This resulted in the Trading Subsidiary reporting for the second year, a small loss on operations, absorbed by the Trust, which in turn has been protected financially by positive returns from its Invested Funds and legacy receipts.

The Charity finances have also been sustained by Government grants in support of employee costs (Furlough) but the Charity has not sought other sources of Government financial relief.

The Charity’s operating position in 2022 is not without concern given that regular outgoings exceed current levels of member subscriptions. This concern will be ameliorated now that lockdown positions are relaxed and Outreach activities can re-create a flow of supportive funds towards these basic activities of the Charitable Trust. That said, The Trustees have full confidence that the Charity remains a Going Concern and will continue so for at least the next twelve months from the date of this report.

Further detail of the Covid impact is afforded within the Chairman’s Report.

The impact of a second year of the Covid 19 pandemic has already been referred to, but it needs re-emphasising that, as a result, not only were the two museums closed for long periods, but inevitably much of the Friends’ activity was also curtailed or severely restricted. For the first half of the the year the Friends’ office in York remained closed, and, although it was again possible to maintain most basic functions and services, and to gradually re-introduce others, in no way could this be called a normal year.


Most notably, our popular quarterly magazine Review not only appeared on time, but continued to be in ‘bumper’ format thus providing additional reading material during those long lockdown nights. This

reflects great credit on the editorial team led by Russ Rollings and John Cowles, and also the many

contributors who submitted articles and photographs. Similarly, Helen Ashby has continued to single-handedly produce the young person’s Half Fare newsletter. Thank you to all of you.


From September it became possible to restart the programme of evening talks at the NRM in York. The first two were only available on-line via the inevitable ZOOM, but subsequent meetings were held on a ‘hybrid’ basis allowing those who wished to attend in person, while others could still participate on-line. As a result, attendances have begun to creep up towards the levels seen before the pandemic. This hybrid approach looks to be the way forward, although the technology to display presentations on both a physical screen in a room and at home is not as simple as it might first seem. So, I am particularly grateful to meeting organiser and trustee David Thomas for mastering this, with the invaluable assistance of Andrew Frodsham and May Willsher from the office.









For a second year trading activity through FNRM Enterprises was significantly affected, although the gradual post Covid opening up, including the return of main line steam specials, is leading to an improving situation as we move into 2022. Sales directly through FNRM, including second-hand books, via Review and on-line, also showed an encouraging recovery with income up by a third. Chris Bush, who had been leading this work for some years, decided to retire, and this useful income stream is now being led by Mike Webb. Grateful thanks are due to both for their hard work during difficult circumstances.


The FNRM website continued to be developed to improve its functionality and value, including, under the ‘Did You Know?’ banner, a page recording personal reflections about a diverse range of railway matters. Members Mike Peart and John Swanwick have been particularly diligent in submitting stories to this fascinating and expanding series of anecdotes.


The project to catalogue and index the contents of back numbers of the Review magazine got well into its stride in 2021. As a reminder, this aims to deliver a comprehensive record of articles, photographs and other material, accessible on-line for future research work. By the end of 2021, over 25% of issues had been completed – a remarkable achievement, especially given the complexity of the process.

The work continued to be led by trustee Mel Draper with a dedicated band of volunteers, to all of whom I extend my grateful thanks.


Our archival research project, ‘Britain’s Railways All Change’ (BRAC), extended in 2021, drew towards a close by the year end completing a comprehensive record of the late twentieth century rail privatisation process. Run jointly with the Retired Railway Officers Society, the project has relied heavily on support from a team of interviewers. Thanks are due to them, and of course those who agreed to be interviewed, together with the project leader, President Frank Paterson, ably assisted by John Jouques. All told 185 interviews were recorded representing 280 hours of unique personal recollections that are now available for public access through the NRM website. Plans are well advanced for the publication by FNRM of a book under the authorship of Mike Peart based on the interviews. Without Frank’s drive and determination for over five years the project would never have got off the ground, let alone to have achieved all that it has.


As explained last year, the Covid pandemic continued to have an impact on further filming of signal boxes and signalling operations under the ‘The Film Archive of Railway Signalling and People’ (FARSAP) project. However, with the easing of restrictions, it is hoped that more progress can be made in 2022 with the few remaining locations still to be recorded. Meanwhile the scope of the project has been extended to include Electrical Control Rooms, a seldom considered yet vital aspect for the operation of electric railways – which it is worth remembering have been around since the early 1900s. Meanwhile further films of particular signal boxes have been made available on the Signalling Record Society’s (SRS) website and it is still hoped that in due course these will also be available directly on the NRM website. Thanks are due once again to Richard Pulleyn and his team for their continued commitment, John Lacy of SRS, and to Network Rail for providing filming facilities.







It should also be recorded that the second of three payments of £100,000 towards the re-development of York Station Hall was made by FNRM to the Museum during this year. This project continues to make good progress, despite the need to also address major roof repairs to the hall outside the project. Finally, in terms of museum support, discussions were well under way by the year end on a major funding commitment by the Friends to support further work associated with the V2025 programme and beyond over the coming five years.


There were signs that the decline in membership numbers may be easing, possibly due to re-opening of the two museums. At the year-end there were 1563 memberships, almost unchanged from the previous year. However, membership remains an area of concern, and I remain grateful to trustee Graham Miller for his continued work leading a working group examining the problem, the group’s remit now having been extended to include marketing of the Friends. A number of initiatives remain on the starting block for the right time when normal museum life has been fully resumed.


Relationships with the Museum Director, Judith McNicol, Head Curator Andrew McLean and their teams remain excellent, and we were pleased to welcome Katherine Rolland, NRM Philanthropy Manager, as our main point of contact and liaison. Katherine has already been active for us helping to resolve a number of issues.

Our two office staff, Heather Jones and May Willsher, have given excellent support throughout the year, for which I am most grateful. Last, but most certainly not least, once again I wish to thank all my fellow Trustees and officers for the support and help they have given me through the year. Special thanks are due to Russ Rollings, Honorary Secretary, and David Naylor our Honorary Treasurer, to both of whom fall many of the day-to-day tasks required to keep the charity functioning properly.



P M Benham



Dated:  5.5.22

Illustration of what the tinkering area could look like. Credit

Perhaps the year’s most exciting development was the agreement reached with the NRM to apply £250,000, representing the bulk of the legacy left to the Friends by our late Secretary, Michael Wallace, towards the new Wonderlab being created at York as part of Vision 2025, and due to be one of the first elements of the project to open. Specifically, the Friends’ contribution will exclusively fund the Wonderlab Briefing Area where school parties and other groups will not only be briefed on their visit, but be able to observe and participate in demonstrations about engineering and railway topics during the day. As such it will be a highly visible facility that provides recognition of both Michael’s outstanding legacy and the Friends contribution to the Museum. On a lesser scale, but still important to Michael’s memory, it is pleasing to report that a bench named in his name now provides an additional place for visitors to rest during museum visits.

Wonderlab igniting young minds

In March the South of England Group, working with RCTS’s Surrey branch, re-commenced talks via ZOOM when 140 people were treated to presentations by Andrew McLean, NRM Deputy Director: on The High Speed Train’s Impact on Our Railways; and on Vision 2025. During Autumn 2021 the Group began experimenting with ‘hybrid’ meetings - with an audience at their normal venue, St Paul's Church Centre, Marylebone, and a simultaneous broadcast via ZOOM, although the technology for this has proved challenging. Outreach is a key activity for the group in support of fund-raising, so they were very pleased to be able to re-launch their ‘pop-up’ sales stand when Flying Scotsman visited Salisbury in September with record takings for a one-day event. I am grateful to James Baldwin, chairman of the Group, and his team for keeping the flag flying for the Friends and the NRM in the South. I am also grateful to David Wallace, for his leadership as chairman of the North East Branch. After many months of enforced in-activity the branch’s loyal team were able to resume holding live meetings on the last Saturday of each month at Locomotion in Shildon. Highlights were a successful visit of Flying Scotsman to Locomotion, where team members were engaged helping with footplate visits, and the arrival at the Museum of Locomotion No 1. The branch is looking forward to the transfer of the Gaunless bridge to Locomotion, and progress on the second display building under vision 2025.

World’s first iron railway bridge returns to Locomotion

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Philip started work with British Railways in 1968 in the railway town of Derby. His 47-year career was to take him across the country with the 1980s seeing him move east to be in charge of train operations first at York and then at London’s Kings Cross. Later he was responsible for the East Coast Main line stations from London to Scotland. Born in Hillingdon, in the London suburbs, his acquaintance with Yorkshire began at an early age when he would travel by train from King’s Cross up to Yorkshire on visits to his grandparents, his mother coming from Wakefield. From 2004 to 2015 he was General Manager/Managing Director of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and has been Chairman of the Friends of the National Railway Museum since 2012. Photo courtesy 




I report on the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2021 set out on pages 15 to 26.

Respective responsibilities of trustees and examiner

The Charity’s trustees are responsible for the preparation of the accounts. The charity’s trustees consider that an audit is not required for this year under section 144(2) of the Charities Act 2011 (the Charities Act) and that an independent examination is required.

It is my responsibility to:

  • Examine the accounts under Section 145 of The Charities Act,

  • To follow the procedures laid down in the general Directions given by the Charity Commission (under section 145(5)(b) of the Charities Act),

  • Ascertain that the Charity is not to be subject to an audit, and

  • To state whether particular matters have come to my attention.


Basis of the independent examiner’s statement:

My examination was carried out in accordance with the General Directions given by the Charity Commission. An examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the charity and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records. It also includes consideration of any unusual items or disclosures in the accounts and seeking explanations from you as trustees concerning such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently no opinion is given as to whether the accounts present a “true and fair view”, and the report is limited to those matters set out in the statement below.




Independent examiner’s statement

In connection with my examination, no matter has come to my attention:


  1. Which gives me reasonable cause to believe that, in any material respect, the requirements:


  • To keep accounting records in accordance with Section 130 of The Charities Act.

  • To prepare accounts which accord with accounting records and to comply with the accounting requirements of the Charities Act have not been met; or


  1. To which, in my opinion, attention should be drawn in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.


Robert J Woolley FCCA, CTA

Chartered Certified Accountant

Crown House

York Road



YO43 3PF

Consolidated Statement of Financial Activities for the year ended 31 December 2021

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Statement of Accounting Policies


  1. Basis of accounting


These consolidated accounts have been prepared on the accruals basis, under the historical cost convention, and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard 102 (effective 1 January 2016) and FRS 102 SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice for Accounting and Reporting by Charities 2015).


A summary of the principal accounting policies, which have been applied consistently, except where noted, is set out below.


  1. Going Concern


The trustees assess whether the use of going concern is appropriate i.e., whether there are any material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the ability of the charity to continue as a going concern. The trustees make this assessment in respect of a period of one year from the date of approval of the financial statements.


  1. Incoming Resources


The Charity’s income is received from members’ subscriptions, donations, both general and specific. Other income from sales, legacies, bank interest and small surpluses on meetings and social events organised by the members is recognised at time of receipt. Where proven to meet income recognition, legacies due within twelve months of the accounting period are included as debtors.


Ordinary subscriptions income is applied in the year in which it is due for payment. Life members’ subscriptions are credited to the income and expenditure account in nine equal annual instalments and the unexpended portion is carried forward as deferred income.


Grants are included in the Statement of Financial Activities on a receivable basis. The balance of income received for specific purposes but not expended during the period is shown in the relevant funds on the balance sheet. Where income is received in advance of entitlement of receipt its recognition is deferred and included in creditors as deferred income. Where entitlement occurs before income is received, the income is accrued.


  1. Meetings and social events


The income from meetings and social events is relatively small and is intended to cover the cost of such events. Income is offset against the relevant costs.

Statement of Accounting Policies (continued)



  1. Tangible Fixed Assets and depreciation


Assets costing £1,000 or more are capitalised as tangible fixed assets and are carried at cost, net of depreciation and any provision for impairment. This is a change in accounting policy from £500 in previous periods, although as there were no relevant additions in the previous year there is no comparative restatement.


Depreciation, if applicable, is provided on all tangible fixed assets other than freehold land, at rates calculated to write off the cost of each asset on a straight-line or reducing balance basis over its expected useful life, as follows:


  1. Leased Assets


Rents applicable to operating leases where substantially all of the benefits and risks of ownership remain with the lessor are charged to the statement of financial activities on a straight-line basis over the lease term.


  1. Stock


Stocks of goods for resale are valued at the lower of cost or net realisable value.



  1. Liability to taxation


The Trustees consider that the charity satisfies the tests set out in Paragraph 1 Schedule 6 of the Finance Act 2010 for UK corporation tax purposes. Accordingly, the Charity is potentially exempt from taxation in respect of income or capital gains received within categories covered by chapter 3 part 11 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 or Section 256 of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992, to the extent that such income or gains are applied exclusively on the specific charitable objects of the charity and for no other purpose. Value Added Tax is not recoverable by the charity and is therefore included in the relevant costs in the Statement of Financial Activities.


The consolidated report includes any relative corporation tax for the subsidiary trading company.


  1. Government Grants


Government grants relating to revenue expenditure are shown as income in the year of receipt.

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The wholly owned subsidiary company is Friends of the National Railway Museum Enterprises Limited, registered in England and Wales.


The following Trustees of the Friends of the National Railway Museum were also directors of the Friends of the   National Railway Museum Enterprises Limited during 2021:



                                                       Mr R S Rollings and Mr D M B Naylor





The number of employees during the year ended 31 December 2021 was two (all part-time) (2020: three part-time). Total remuneration was £15,110 (2020: £19,536). No pension contributions were paid in the two years ended 31 December 2021.


During the year the Charity received Government Job Retention Grants relating to Covid of £1,014 (2020: £6,067). These grants are shown as restricted income and the gross wages paid shown as above within a corresponding payment from restricted funds for the element relating to the Covid grants.


No remuneration was paid to any of the Trustees during 2021 nor 2020. The Trustees claimed reimbursement of direct expenditure incurred on behalf of the charity amounting to £nil (2020: £nil)






If upon winding up or dissolution of the charity there remains any assets, after the satisfaction of all debts

and liabilities, the assets represented by the accumulated fund shall be transferred to some other charitable

body or bodies having similar objects to the Charity.

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