Friday, 12 January 2018

Wychavon District Council to build car park at Broadway

Wychavon District Council to build car park at Broadway
Dear supporters of the GWSR,

I am delighted to be able to tell you that Wychavon District Council (Wychavon) approved the construction of a car park at Broadway at their executive meeting on Wednesday 10 January 2018. The funds were allocated to the project and the chief executive was given authority to acquire the land from us and build the car park. Privately I have been advised that it should be open by August 2018.
The details of the deal we have done with them are straightforward; we transfer the ownership of the land on the west side of the railway between Broadway Road and Childswickham Road to Wychavon and they build a car park for which they receive the income from parking fees. The board has agreed that part of the cost of parking will be refunded to our passengers who commence their journey at Broadway.
Although I realize that giving up assets, land in this case, can be controversial, the GWSR board felt that, as the railway have neither the funds to build a car park nor the expertise to manage the planning and highways approval processes, it was therefore decided that this was the pragmatic way to proceed with this part of the Broadway extension project – I do hope you all agree.

You may well be interested to view the Wychavon meeting and, in particular, car park decision by clicking on The session relevant to us starts at the 27th minute. What I think you will find remarkable and gratifying is the overwhelming support the various Wychavon council members give to the railway, their recognition of our contribution to tourism and their desire to work with us in the future. To my mind the support of local authorities and communities is vital to our railway’s long term success.

Best wishes for 2018!
Chris Bristow

GWSR Finance Director

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Some figures to make this a Happy new Year

In my November report to the Board,  I said  “Unless things go awry between now and the end of the year, we should at least match  our record final total of passenger numbers in 2016.

Well, we all know what happened weatherwise! The bad news is that things did go awry with a cancelled santa day due to snow (resulting in losing over 1000 passengers and income at £16 per person) and two cancelled days after Christmas due to localised snow and ice and atrocious weather for the remainder of the season. However the good news is  that even allowing for this, the final number of visitors  to the railway during the 2017 season was 100,619 which beats last years total of 100,020.

This is a tremendous result - one every volunteer should be proud of. And if any of us have any doubts, take a look at Tripadvisor.  ok we get occasional negative comments as does every heritage railway and tourist attraction,  but the picture is clearly of a strong well run railway.

Happy new year to everyone - roll on March!

Colin Fewell
Commercial Director

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Thank You from the Chairman and Board of the GWSR

Thank You from the Chairman and Board of the GWSR 

2017 has been another very productive year for the Railway and that is down to efforts of all our supporters, volunteers and staff throughout the year. The Board wish everyone a Happy Christmas and are looking forward to another record year in 2018. You can see Richard's message here:  

Santa Special Messages 
Here's just a couple examples of the messages we are getting about the Santa Specials: 

We had an amazing morning out on The Santa Special. My two little girls had great fun! We love the trains and the chance to admire the beautiful countryside that we live in but to do it whilst singing carols, hearing Christmas jokes and meeting Santa was just fabulous. The mince pies were the best I've ever had, the highlight for me was the team of volunteers who welcomed us, entertained us, gave us refreshments, cracked jokes, made a special effort with the children and beamed with happiness the entire time- it was infectious!! You are all truly fantastic people! Thank you. X

Truly magical day today! The Santa Steam Train was lovely, all the staff were so friendly and talkative it made the day complete. We thought Santa was great, he really engaged with the children and the gifts were the best they've had from any grotto. The complimentary mince pies/biscuits and hot/cold drinks were a nice touch..... Maybe add hot chocolate next year too;  
Well Done all Volunteers and supporters -  have a very Merry Christmas 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Chris Evans to visit the GWSR on Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup Day 16 March 2018

Dear Supporters of the GWSR,

This post is to confirm that our railway is supporting one of the charity auctions recently organized by Chris Evans on his Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.

Each year Chris successfully raises funds for charity, and one of his auctions this year was entitled The Cheltenham Gold Cup Package which raised a whopping £149,549 for Children in Need.

Gold Cup Day at the Cheltenham Festival is on 16 March next year (2 weeks before the Broadway opening!) and the 8 lucky winners will board train 2 at Toddington with Chris and his team for an all expenses paid day at the races.

Classic Hospitality has graciously agreed to provide the necessary seats although the trains on Gold Cup Day are almost fully booked already. Our own GWSR staff will be on hand to ensure Chris and his guests get the very best of service on this very special day.

Briefly the 8 winners start of by attending Chris's show live on Thursday in London before transfer by helicopter to the Lygon Arms, Broadway for dinner and over-night stay. In the morning it's breakfast at Jackdaws Castle, the racing stable of JonJo O'Neil, before transfer to Toddington and our own steam train to the races. After a day at the sport of kings there is a helicopter ride back to London. Let's hope the generosity of the lucky participants is rewarded by good luck in choosing winners on the day!

For those who want the full itinerary please click on the link below

All good wishes,


Chris Bristow
GWSR Finance Director

Monday, 27 November 2017

It's November so it must be santa time

As is now becoming a "tradition", we held a special santa special for local charities this past Sunday. Chris Blake from the steam department did a great job in arranging a train full of people of all ages who wanted to see santa. This year we supported Acorns Hospice, Riding for the Disabled and Winston's Wish. Everyone had a great time and I would like to thank the organisers and all the volunteers who came along on the day to ensure everything ran smoothly.
Those who were at Winchcombe will I am sure have been mightily impressed by the transformation of the brand new and bare Tim Mitchell building into the "elf centre". Led by John Appleton, there was a highly dedicated team of volunteers who worked ceaselessly to make this happen - and we shouldn't forget members of carriage and wagon and everything they did including of course the new "sleigh".
Tickets for the santa specials which start next weekend are selling well with most days now sold out. With over 100 volunteers - and that is before you factor in those on operational duties each day - this is the biggest event of our year.
Colin Fewell

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A post from the Chairman

I was very honoured and a little apprehensive to be elected chairman of GWSR Plc last week. For those of you I don’t yet know, I have been a working member on the railway for 35 years since 1982, and have been head of C&W for eighteen years since 1999. In that period, our volunteer railway has grown from modest beginnings to the almost unimaginable size and complexity it is now.

In little more than seventeen short weeks, it is going to grow even more as we open our long anticipated extension to Broadway. A huge effort is going on at the moment to prepare for that opening; both on site itself as the building work progresses, and behind the scenes as all the numerous administrative issues are dealt with. That so much has been achieved to date, and that we remain on course to open on time is to the great credit of every single working volunteer; whichever department you work in.

I am fully aware of all the work that is undertaken on a daily basis, both at numerous sites on our railway and in countless homes as various departments work through all that is necessary to keep the railway functioning. That so much has been able to be achieved over the years with virtually all volunteer labour and support is truly amazing. Thank you all for all your efforts to date.

My job as chairman is to chair and co-ordinate the efforts of your directors, and all those engaged in working upon and continuing to build our railway. I am determined to ensure that we have an established vision for the future which we can all agree with and work towards, and that we deliver upon that vision.

With your help, we will.

Richard G.Johnson
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc

Thursday, 16 November 2017

From the GWRT Chairman

The latest edition of our house magazine, The Cornishman, is out today and GWRT members should receive their copy by early next week, apart from our furthest-flung overseas members who may have to wait a little longer! It's another cracking read so I hope that you will enjoy it. 

If you're not already a member, why not join GWRT? For your subscription, you will receive the quarterly magazine and one voucher per year for a day's free travel on GWR, excluding Santas, Special Events and Dining trains. Go to the GWSR Home page, click on Supporting the Railway, Membership and follow the links. 

A subscription also makes an ideal Christmas present for a friend or family member; if you enter their details online but wish to give them the membership pack yourself, e-mail me via the website with your name and address so that I can send the membership pack to you. Alternatively, you can print the form and send it to me at Toddington with your cheque and your details.

Glyn Cornish

Chairman, GWRT