THE founder of the Jurby Transport Museum has been ousted from the trust board.
Richard Davis had said he wouldn’t be bullied into standing down in a dispute over the sale of a double decker bus to a sightseeing tour operator.
But at extraordinary meeting of the Manx Transport Trust, directors voted to remove him from the office and the board.
Mr Davis, who was instrumental in setting up the museum which has had 32,000 visitors since in opened in 2010, told iomtoday: ‘I have no regrets over the course of action I have taken.
‘It would have been very easy to step aside and accept the role of president but I preferred to stand by my principles even though I knew in advance what the outcome would be.
‘That I chose the right course has been made clear to me by the many expressions of support I have received by phone, text and email.’
One of those supporters, Andrew Dixon, expressed fears for the future of the museum without Mr Davis at the helm.
He told him: ‘I am totally at a loss to understand the decision, or even a reason to have the vote in the first place. I am extremely sorry at this ridicules outcome, with all the effort time and work you have put in to the museum. You are going to be a huge loss, quite possibly a fatal one for the future of a marvellous attraction for the island.’
An earlier vote by the board on a proposal for Mr Davis to stand down as chairman and take up the honorary title of president had been split with three for and three against with one abstention.
This had following an acrimonious discussion about the sale of an ex-Bus Vannin double decker owned by retired police officer Mr Davis to Mann Sightseeing Tours boss Steve Dugdale, a move which some directors claimed had caused embarrassment to the Department of Community Culture and Leisure.
They said they feared the department would pull the lease to the museum if he did not step down - a claim later denied by the department’s chief executive Nick Black.
The double decker number 65 was one of four redundant Leyland Olympians the museum founder had personally bought from Bus Vannin in 2010.
At the extraordinary meeting, the trust board approved Mr Davis’s removal by four votes to three.
In a statement, the board said it remained totally committed to the museum which continue to be open on Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout the winter.
For his part, Mr Davis said: ‘Having spent the last five years overseeing the successful creation of the museum, I am now going to spend some time catching up on other projects that have been awaiting my attention.
‘I have a book to complete for publication next month (“Those Were The Days”) and a vast quantity of negatives to scan and I might even get time to do some long neglected jobs around the house!’