Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flag & Whistle

If you are interested in submitting a bid for a 3 year franchise to operate the Flag, the tender document is now available and can be obtained from Max Barton - Hawkins at her Toddington Office.


Monday, 29 July 2013

We Need YOU and your PALS

As a result of our success as a major tourist attraction and the fact that we are a growing organisation we have an on-going need to make sure that we have sufficient volunteers to fill daily operational positions.

There is a pressing need for more volunteers in some departments more than others particularly in OTC and the Shops. To help boost our volunteer numbers urgent action has been taken to get more volunteers interested.

Philip Young the newly appointed Director of Recruitment for the Trust has taken steps to help fill these gaps at a quicker pace than we normally take. This weekend he has appeared in an interview with Radio Winchcombe (being repeated on Tuesday) in order to raise awareness with local people of the vacancies available. In addition to this there will shortly be a leaflet drop in the Cheltenham, Winchcombe/Greet and Toddington areas. The GWRT recruitment stand is now a regular feature at GWR railway events.

However your help is needed to help us identify new volunteers so if you can spare some time and would like to explore a new role or you know of family, friends or neighbours that would be interested, then please do not hesitate to let us know. A very warm welcome awaits.

Please contact Philip Young, via selecting volunteering from the list, to see how you can help us.


Diesel Gala - that was quick

And I have the final takings:

Sales in advance £3.475. On the days £28,430

That's a total of £31,905

Budget was £24,800 so £7,105 or 28% up



Diesel please ya!

First indication of Gala total income shows it at least 15% over the Budget of £24,800

Final info as soon as to hand

Well done to organisers and all those who worked across a busy weekend


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Coming in September

Cover of the new Share Offer document which is presently going through the mandatory FCA approval process


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Can you hear me Mother?

I am advised that the station PA system at Toddington has been renewed

Sound is now audible on both platforms (no escape when on Thomas duty then) but the car park speaker is in need of a little more tlc


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Its happening!

Am back with mince pies at about 80%

Early pic delights me.

John Crawford of the Broadway team on with the first brickwork at CRC Platform 2

The Board very much appreciates what the team are doing


Friday, 19 July 2013

At Home to Safety

On Wednesday 17th the Heritage Railway Association Operations and Safety Committee held their meeting at the GWR.  The committee occasionally hold their meetings on site at a heritage railway to gain experience of what is actually happening out in the field.  I acted as tour guide and GWR representative for the day and attended their meeting.

Ten delegates were given a tour of the Toddington sheds and workshop before taking the bubble car to Winchcombe.  The party then had a brief tour of carriage and wagon and some members of the party had a look at Winchcombe signal box.  Our visitors then returned to Toddington on the steam service (7903), had a look around the shop and then had a trip to Laverton and back on the bubble before taking lunch at the flag and whistle.  The afternoon consisted of the actual meeting, which took place in our boardroom.  Tea and cakes were provided by Val in the F&W.  After the meeting one or two of the delegates took a ride to CRC and back behind 47 376.

All the delegates had a good time, commented on how well the railway was doing and at least one of them has already sent back a completed membership form.  All in all a good bit of public relations for the GWR.

Neil Carr, Operations Manager.

Thursday, 18 July 2013


You may have seen Steve Oddy's note about us reaching the level of 300 groups booked so far this year. This is an incredible achievement. In 2009 - before the landslips - we reached 233 for a whole year which shows just how much we have grown. Many thanks to everyone for this.
Yesterday there were two groups and I managed to talk to all of them. One genuinely remonstrated on us not having air conditioning, another complained that his beer had foam on the top of it - you should have seen how he was pouring it! - and several others just went off to sleep. One of the coach drivers said he had had nothing but complaints on his coach  as some wanted the aircon on and some wanted it off.
This hot weather is obviously having a large effect on our passenger numbers and demonstrates even more clearly how important pre-booked groups are to us.
Cooking bacon baps yesterday was murder - I can't imagine how hot the driver and fireman were!
Colin Fewell

Sunday, 14 July 2013

GWR on Facebook

Colin is right. Its excellent

Link added on this page under "About Me"



A reminder that our facebook site is managed by Reuben Grace who used to be one of our young members group. If you haven't looked at it, please do. He does a great job in keeping it up to date on a daily basis.
Colin Fewell

Friday, 12 July 2013

Broadway Application Viewing

Please see the Comments on my recent post below re the Planning Application. These advise how to access the application details online if you are keen to see the detail


2014 timetable

Just a quick note to thank the 75 or so volunteers who have sent me suggestions for the 2014 timetable. There are some very interesting comments and a fair amount of consensus that what we have this year isn't far off the best we can do. Of course with this number of replies there are lots of comments that argue against what other people are saying so not every recommendation can be taken on board.. More information shortly.
Colin Fewell

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

BBC filming

At fairly short notice, Boundless Productions came to the railway today to film an episode for "Escape to the Country" which is likely to be shown towards the end of the year. The presenter was Jonnie Irvin and he rode on the footplate of 2807 and operated the signals at Toddington. The crew of 4 spent about 4 hours at the railway and with such glorious weather I hope they will have some excellent shots. Although they took half a day over the filming, it is likely that the final segment will be just a few minutes. When I know the date of broadcast, I will let everyone know.
Colin Fewell

Monday, 8 July 2013

Good and bad news

The wedding celebration went off well on Saturday evening with about 150 attendees including the Caldicot male voice choir hiring their own steam train.

Less successful was the 60's weekend. Unfortunately we were unable to get enough support to organise the event. Although we downplayed what was on offer, many visitors expected much more.

The Visit England annual assessment report has now been sent to me and is highly encouraging. I will now get this available to volunteers through the website.

Colin Fewell 

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Quiet Time

People keep saying there are few new posts here.

Its a quiet time for action, directors are away and there was no Board meeting at the end of June.

My diary shows that next week the BBC will be with us doing a bit for a TV programme on Tuesday. Neil and I have a meeting with the HSE that day as well and on Thursday we meet with the new Race Course management to discuss renewal of the access and car parking lease they kindly grant.

Progress is good on the Paint Shop and I'm told it should be clad by the end of the month and we will then look to fitting out etc.

Ticket sales continue to do well against Budget and I must say the Railway looks fantastic in this beautiful weather. I had a sublime hour at Winchcombe with a mug of tea on Thursday just sitting watching the trains and chatting.

Richard Summers and I took the chance to chat on OTC equipment needs and I think there will be good news there shortly. We face a dilemma with volunteer availability and OTC for the rest of the season - unless we can get more temporary help,  we will have to turn coach parties wanting cream teas away. From what I see a day with OTC is tiring but wonderful fun in terms of team spirit and meeting people. Can you give some time? Please?

I am delighted with the new Admin office  layout which is good for working and gives such a good impression to visitors.

Work on the new share issue led by Chris Bristow is proceeding. Our Offer document text is now with lawyers for review but has been type set and beautifully illustrated by our graphic design consultant Mike Weaver who does our leaflets, booklets etc.

The following week a meet to decide the format for tendering of the Flag & Whistle franchise and then the first of my well trailed eye ops which I am told will keep me quiet for a while.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Help Feed the Hungry Masses

A significant part of the railway’s income comes from coach and private party bookings.  In many cases the availability of special catering (cream tea, tea and cakes or fish and chips) dictates whether we get this business.  The On Train Catering dept. volunteers are struggling to cover all of these duties and extra help is urgently needed.  If you can spare an hour or two to help serve on these trains it might avoid us having to turn customers away.  You would be working as part of a team laying up the tables, serving the refreshments and then clearing away.  This usually only involves being on the train for one or sometimes two return journeys.  

If you think this might be an area where you can contribute to the railway’s success whilst being part of a friendly team of volunteers or would like to know more about what is involved please give me a ring on 01793 726351 or e mail me on


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Asking the man

I am pleased to advise that the planning application for Broadway station was submitted to Wychavon District Council yesterday.

The application is to the revised concept with toilets in the Platform 1 building.

A separate application for the car park will be submitted in due course.