Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Cornishman magazine wins HRA award

On Sunday morning editor of The Cornishman, Steve Standbridge, accepted the Heritage Railway Association’s (HRA) 2012 award for ‘Best Magazine’, presented by the Association’s president, Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester.
The judges said that the magazine is ‘jam packed with content, well presented and to a very professional standard.”

Lord Faulkner, president of the HRA and also a patron of the GWSR, presented a plaque to Mr Standbridge, saying that the GWR can be justifiably proud of its magazine. 

“It provides what any magazine should aspire to – a good read that leaves the reader wanting more.

“The magazine is in the forefront of promoting any railway; it provides the glue – for many, it is the only contact with the railway and it’s a vital one.”

A beaming Steve Standbridge, editor of The Cornishman said: “I have almost lost count of the number of photographs I have looked at and stories I have edited over the past 20 years.

“Receiving this award is, of course, a huge honour.

“The HRA’s award acknowledges the great contribution that magazines like this make in maintaining good communication with those who freely give of their time and money to ensure that the railways they support go from strength to strength.”

Mr Standbridge pointed out that The Cornishman has recorded the progress of the GWR from its earliest years.

“From humble beginnings the railway has achieved great things, as well as suffering setbacks such as the two embankment collapses over the past three years.

“Now the growing GWR is knocking on the door of Broadway and the magazine will record the huge achievement of our volunteers in reaching that and other major milestones in the future.”

Mr Standbridge said that he regarded the award as being for the GWR Trust, which is the charitable arm that provides the volunteer support for the railway.

“I certainly wouldn’t be able to record the railway’s news in the way that I do, without the strong support and encouragement of all of our volunteers – so really, this is as much for them as it is for me,” he added.

The Award plaque will be displayed in the ‘Flag & whistle’ tea rooms at Toddington station.

David Locke

Latest on Share Offer

The rate at which share investment in the Bridges to Broadway appeal has been very encouraging – as at Monday 28th October the Bridges to Broadway share offer stood at £176,000, a great start.   We are about to call for tenders for repair of the bridges and they will be tackled in the most efficient manner, whether as one contract or separately.

If you are considering the offer and have any questions or would like to receive the offer document please contact Maxine Hawkins on 01242 621905 or development@gwsr.com

Santa numbers

As at last Saturday, we have had over 2500 on line bookings - 25% up on the same time last year. This means we have already sold one third of all the tickets available, so all the signs are we will have a busy 8 days.

As you know, this is one of the biggest earners for the railway - and great fun for everyone involved -  so we really do need support from as many volunteers as possible. At present, we are still very short of help in all areas - mainly a lack of "santas" but also other helpers - on the train, in the coffee shop and as "elves" to work with santa.
So please can you help? Let me know as soon as possible if you can spare some time.
Many thanks
Colin Fewell

Monday, 21 October 2013

Membership & Volunteers are GO

Members & Volunteers are GO

It’s good new week

Many of you will know that the GWR does not normally announce our figures for membership and recruitment of volunteers until the Spring Cornishman to show the figures for the previous year.

However, things are going so well in 2013 that I thought you might like an up-date.

GWR Trust membership is now at an all time high of 3747 as at 30th September.   This is some 200 more than at the end of 2012 and I am assured by the Membership Secretary that more applications are coming in every week.

Volunteer numbers are also increasing very rapidly.   These again are at an all time high of 778 plus 14 joining us from the Dinmore Manor group.   Will we crack 800 by years end?  You bet we will.

The Recruitment Director tells me that we have inducted 37 new volunteers in the last quarter:

P’way 1, Shop 4, TTI 3, C&W 7, OTC 4, Diesel 3, Signal 1, Booking Office 1, Broadway 2, Cheltenham 2 and Steam 9.
We also have 5 new recruits for the November Induction course and 27 others in the paperwork stage.
This is very good news indeed and when they are all on stream will ease the burden that so many of you have borne for the last 2½ years.

This rate of recruitment is far in excess of any losses.   Most of this years losses (32) have been on the grounds of age, ill health or moved away from area.   Only 2 have resigned for reasons unknown.   The loss rate is slightly below the norm for the GWR.  

Some of you will no doubt have seen the Trust Recruitment Stand out and about this year and plans are well advanced for it to be out on the GWR on no less than 16 days in 2014 as well as other outside venues.

All this is extremely good news for the GWR and bodes well for the future.

Onwards & Upwards.

Kindest regards


Sunday, 20 October 2013


Many will already have heard of the resignation of our Chairman and Finance Director Malcolm Temple. He has worked extremely hard during his time as chairman and has seen the railway through two extremely challenging years of landslip problems, has greatly contributed to the raising of the one million pounds needed to restore it to a working railway and now has enjoyed a most successful year of full operation .His contribution is greatly appreciated by the volunteers and the Board.

At the Board meeting last Friday, we were faced with appointing both a Chairman and a Finance Director and it was unanimous that Chris Bristow be appointed Finance Director and I as Chairman. The Board will continue unchanged on its objectives of building on the successes of the railway this year to ensure an even better year for 2014. We also look forward to an early return to service of one of our mainstay locos, Foremarke Hall, from its 10 year overhaul as well as the imminent introduction of P&O to operating condition.

I am also happy to report that the following items were approved at the meeting:
- Flag & Whistle Franchise - A franchisee has been selected and an agreement will be finalised
- Elegant Excursions - The terms of a new contract have been approved and the new contract is now being finalised

In addition we will be welcoming Richard Summers to the Board as the second Cross-Board Director from the GWRT and, we also now have a new Volunteer Director, Chris Sparkes, to ensure that we identify our needs for new volunteers and ensure that all existing volunteers have good means of communication. Chris will work closely with the GWRT Volunteer Director in these areas.

Alan Bielby


For those interested in statistics, we are currently 23% up in visitor numbers compared with the same point in our best ever year 2009.
Santa tickets are selling well with 2000 having been sold as at last night. This is about 15% up on the same date last year and represents just under 30% of the total number of tickets available.
Colin Fewell

Friday, 18 October 2013

Bridges to Broadway share appeal off to a flying start!!!!!!

Bridges to Broadway share appeal off to a flying start!!!!!!

I’m sure all volunteers will be delighted to know that, including cheques in today’s post, Friday 18th October, our share offer has reached £143,000! That’s a fantastic amount only 19 days after the appeal’s launch.

Furthermore, the November editions of the two magazines in which we have editorials and advertisements, Steam Railway and Railway Magazine, have only just hit the streets and we are beginning to receiving requests for the share issue document from their readers. Judging by the enthusiastic response in the past from their readers and the railway public we should all be getting excited that a major element of the railway’s key objective of reaching Broadway is getting very real!

Those of you who have subscribed before the last couple of days should have received your share certificates and travel vouchers as we are meeting our commitment of having these in shareholder’s hands within 10 working days.

Stand by for further updates!


Chris Bristow


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

B2B Meets First Target!

Delighted to report that my target was achieved

Receipts to Monday am (excluding Monday and Tuesday's post) were £107,000

If you haven't purchased yet, we're waiting


Friday, 11 October 2013

Latest on Share Offer

The total share sales to Friday 11th are £74,000

Lets try to make it £100,000 by Monday


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Bridges to Broadway

We are off to a tremendous start

As of close of play on Wednesday 9th shares to the value of £45,000 have been purchased

This is in the context that most received their Offer Document on Thursday or Friday of last week

The Shares Hotline is 01242 621905 if you want an Offer Document or have a question

Every penny raised by this Offer will go towards the Railway reaching Broadway and if you are a tax payer, purchases qualify for 30% tax relief


Friday, 4 October 2013

2014 timetable

As you may recall, I asked volunteers a while ago for their comments and suggestions for the 2014 timetable. I received almost 100 e mails, all of which were very helpful and gave lots of useful information. Many thanks for everyone's input.
 As with any exercise like this, some people argued against some of the recommendations put forward by others, and a number of the proposals just aren't possible to implement because of time restrictions, the single line or pure cost considerations. I also have to bear in mind visitor requirements and our own budgetary demands. Taking all of these into consideration, we are now almost ready to go to print with the new timetable. Broadly speaking, the timetable will be similar to this year, but I thought I would set out the major changes.

  1. No public trains will run in January, February, the beginning of March, or for most of November
  2. We will use the same colour coding for the timetable as this year
  3. We will run a public service on 171 days as against 184 in 2013
  4. The blue timetable will be revised such that the first train departs at 10:00 and there is a lunch break built in. There will be more "blue" days and slightly less "green" days.
  5. The red/green timetable will be retimed at the end of the day to ensure the final DMU meets the Cheltenham bound train.
  6. The printed timetable will be more "user friendly".
  7. The steam gala - named the Cotswold Festival of Steam - will run for 3 days at the end of May as against 4 this year. The diesel gala will run for 3 days at the end of July.
  8. The Friday Scenic rail cruises by DMU will run on most Fridays in July as well as all of August.
  9. After Christmas there will be a mixed traffic gala on 29th and 30th December.
  10. The autumn real ale weekend is to be retimed to mid August.
Colin Fewell