Thursday, 26 September 2013

Thomas was a great success - now it's time to plan for Santa Specials!

My colleague David Miles sorts out the highly complicated roster for the 10 Santa Special days. He is now starting this process. We need all the help we can get to cope with the 1000 visitors we get each day so if he hasn't already contacted you, could you get in touch with him please? Everyone is more than welcome - if you can afford the time, please help us.
Colin Fewell

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Cornishman Award

This is the plaque Steve Standbridge (the Editor) was presented by the HRA

Where to display it is now the challenge for GWRT

Monday, 23 September 2013

EGM outcome

I am please to report that the three resolutions required to regularise shares management were adopted unanimously at the EGM this evening

The Bridges to Broadway share offer will therefore go ahead on 30th September as planned


Thomas Result

The Thomas results I hope will help make all the efforts and patience of so many justified.

The income budget was £30,000

In the event there were some 3,100 visitors who paid a total of £39,000 of which £22,000 was cash on the days

Another tremendous event result and another important brick in our post "embankments" recovery

The Board's respect to all who organised and delivered


An early indication of the Thomas figures

In June, 50% of our ticket sales were sold on line in advance. On the gate that weekend, we sold tickets to 641 Saturday and 643 Sunday.
This September, we sold on the gate 787 Saturday and 977 Sunday. I am awaiting the on line advance sales information but it looks as though we had a brilliant weekend.
All seemed to go well and all the volunteers I spoke with said they were enjoying it.
I would also add that all the visitors I spoke with as well said how much they were enjoying the day out - very much due to the friendliness and helpfulness of GWR "staff"

Very many thanks to everyone for their support.
More details to follow
Colin Fewell

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A wedding and Thomas

Those of you on duty at Saturday's Thomas event will have seen the strange spectacle of a newly married couple - the bride in a long white dress - being photographed next to "Henry". They had booked two carriages for a one way trip from CRC to Winchcombe where they had drinks and pizza slices before going off to another celebration. All of this took place whilst they were surrounded by young families enjoying all the noise and activities of the Thomas weekend. Certainly a first for the railway!
Colin Fewell  

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Last weekend

The efforts of the Steam and Real Ale weekend and Classic Vehicle Day organisers and  volunteers were well justified in terms of passengers

Saturday saw 526 with fare income of £6,000 and Sunday 733 with £7,500


Monday, 16 September 2013

The Loop

I was also asked why the timetable doesn't feature regular steam to Laverton

Considerable time was spent on this during timetable planning

The problem is that allowing for 20 minutes run round time for the loco, it was just not possible to produce a model that would accommodate three round full line journeys a day. The best was two and a half  and achieving that  would restrict crew rest periods.

If we reduced train frequency there would be long gaps at stations without trains which wouldn't be popular with visitors who are very complimentary about the integrated DMU service

However, if anyone can make a timetable work please lets us have details


Close Season 2014

Talking to a group of volunteers on Saturday,  concern was expressed as to the duration of the coming pause in operations. This was seen as both to achieve essential maintenance and to provide a break for volunteers following the intensive activity this summer.

I am pleased to advise that it is planned to be non operational from immediately following the New Year until broadly the second week in March.

Discussion and evaluation is on going but during that time Property plan major repairs to the bridge at JJ Farms and if we can get the finance sorted, P Way plan a major track replacement at Hailes.

For those concerned over work load may I also remind that other than Race trains, no operations are planned for this coming November


Thursday, 12 September 2013

More TCB

The usual comment "you are quiet on the Blog" hit me several times yesterday so if its of interest...

I spent nearly 10 hours on Monday working to satisfy demands to obtain the Verification Certificate required under Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 before the Bridges to Broadway share offer can proceed. It arrived at 5.50 pm

As a result the Offer will be launched on 30th September on the bridge at Broadway Station. We hope that tv, radio  and press will be in attendance to maximise on publicity. There will be colour adverts in two of the railway magazines to add to this and we hope for a feature article.

All shareholders holding £99+ worth of shares and all GWRT members who are not shareholders will receive a copy of the Offer Document through the post. These will be posted on 30th and this should ensure all volunteers have a copy by the end of the week.

Tuesday was spent on GWR financial matters plus I met with a new volunteer who I think has some special skills that might help us. More as time goes on.

Yesterday I met with Friends of Winchcombe Station to discuss their resources, work needed and to gain their take on potential improvements to a now busy station.

The afternoon wasn't as pleasant since it was the annual meeting with our insurance broker to discuss the insurance renewal due 1st October. Every year we discuss claims in the year. new assets for cover, disposals, risk control  and the level of cover for the various business activities. Not simple.

The news wasn't that good. We have had a poor claims record in recent years and the price of our increased activity feeds into premium levels. Two examples are the building site cover for Broadway and the increased  volume of tickets sales this year which impact on business interruption cover and then onto public liability.

I await the final quote for submission to the Board but it looks as if it will be over £60,000 (for a year) for the first time. This compares with £35,000 four years ago and is another explanation to a regular question "where does the money go?"

Incidentally for those who think I either don't know or don't understand what's happening on the Railway I also met with Peter Muir who updated me on Property issues and the Operations Manager (a minimum weekly discussion) to be advised as to the operational and safety state of the Railway. I learnt for example of the continuing problem with goats on the line at Townsend Farm.

Whilst at Winchcombe I dropped in on the new building. The windows are now in and C&W are doing a magnificent internal painting job - see their Blog for pix

Finally,  I think a word on the Broadway BAG upset might be appropriate. I have kept my head down since I might have to act as referee.

Can I make it clear that there is no criticism whatsoever of what BAG are doing and have achieved at the Station. Its frankly magnificent. The issue is about fund raising etc and who is responsible/approves what. Unfortunately words were exchanged (aren't e mails dangerous) and some deep offence taken. There is to be a meeting next week to hopefully repair the cracks and give BAG clearer guidance for the future.


Monday, 2 September 2013

A General Meeting of the Plc

We have to call a GM (General Meeting) of the shareholders of the Plc

This will be at 7.30pm on Monday 23rd September at Toddington. Agendas are being posted today

The reason is that an error (dating back many years we sense) has been identified in the shares management procedure of the Plc

Whilst shareholders have  authorised a share capital ceiling of £3 million, there has been no  approval for the directors to allot (issue) shares

This is a technicality but an important one that we must clear and demonstrate to the CPA before we can proceed with the new share offer "Bridges to Broadway" planned for launch on 30th September

All will be clear when you see the proposed resolutions in the agenda

This is important but I recognise its short notice and an evening. If you are a shareholder and cant make it, please complete and return the proxy vote paper that will be with the agenda

If you have concerns please contact me one way or another.

The Board looks for your support in this matter


And we are there

100,000th visit was at 10.01 am on Monday 2nd

Was it you?

Thanks for the great messages I've received about this Blog. Its actually great fun to do


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Makes the Point

When I muted setting up this Blog several told me it wasn't worth the effort and there would be little interest.

Nevertheless we set up in March of this year

Tomorrow (Monday) one of you readers will mark  100,000 visits  since that time

I think our Blog Network on the GWR provides a most comprehensive view of what's happening (or not) and I hope it makes all feel involved and informed