Thursday, 27 March 2014


I see Gwyneth Paltrow has said her divorce is "conscious uncoupling". Did she take this from any of our training programmes?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tourism Day

We had our annual tourism day yesterday. Record attendance from 120 b&b, caravan site, and cottage accommodation owners. Everyone said how much the enjoyed the visit and the comment "highly professional" was made several times about our railway. We were also on BBC Midlands Today at 6:30 - have a look on iplayer if you missed it. ITV also filmed a long piece for their West Country regional news programme. Many thanks to all who took part.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

New Resource Planning Group

A new Resource Planning Group has been formed under the direction of Richard Drewitt, Resource Planning Director for the GWSR Plc.
The group has eight members. The purpose of the group is to lead on planning across the whole railway with the following specific functions:

  • To maintain a dynamic 5-year plan which will focus initially on the extension of the railway to Broadway.
  • To make reasoned strategic development proposals for Board approval based on researched and costed plans developed in consultation with all departments.
  • To recommend development priorities to support the agreed strategic objectives.
Each member of the group has been assigned to specific departments with regards to liaison and consultation on planning matters.

Richard Drewitt      C&W, BAG, Heritage Group
Steve Price            Steam & Diesel
Roger Bigg            Buildings & Services, Friends Groups & Commercial/Marketing
Bob Mackintosh    Finance, Operations (Timetabling)
Virginia Hawkins    Stations, OTC & Trackside Maintenance
Keith Newman       Guards & TTI's, Fire Dept.
Iain Gould              S&T and Signalmen
Adrian Kenny         P/Way, Bridges & Structures

The first task of the group will be to focus on current issues and provide planning support to ensure sustainability of current operations. Following this, the main task will be to prepare for Broadway by looking at the detailed needs of all departments against the business development criteria.

Planning group members will be making contact with department managers within the next two weeks to start the process of consultation and information gathering for the planning process. The group will be consulting with all departments to gather as many views as possible, from as many volunteers as possible, in order to form a detailed plan with all angles considered. To assist this process department members are requested to channel their suggestions for planning matters through their department head or manager.

The purpose of the planning group is not to make decisions on what projects should take place or to run any specific projects. The group will advise and make recommendations to the Board who will decide on strategy and development priorities. One of the functions of the group will be helping departments to identify and find ways of accessing the resources they need to both continue current levels of operations and to be able to support the increased demands on services when the Broadway extension is open. The group will also facilitate the coordination of resource allocation between departments in order to achieve the best outcome for the railway as a whole.

We all look forward to receiving input from your departments and to a close working relationship in the coming months and years.

Richard Drewitt

Friday, 14 March 2014

First weekend

Those of you at the railway will have noticed how full the trains were last weekend. I don't have the exact figures but it looks as if we were about 40% up on the same weekend last year. Of course the weather payed an important part. Thanks should go to Lynne who really had a baptism of fire in the Flag and Whistle but everything seemed to go well. On the train we sold all the weekend's bacon baps by just after midday on the Saturday. All in all, a good start to the season.
Colin Fewell


8 trains this year to the races for the first time. And most of them completely full. Thanks to the volunteers for helping all week. It looks like we broke all records!
It was a  great atmosphere throughout, but why is it the younger the racegoers are, the more drunk they seem to get! And why is it the young drunk is much more aggressive than the older drunk?  Had a number of "discussions" with certain of them this week. Typical of which was a serious request to turn the air conditioning on as he was "hot". Unfortunately I assumed he was joking and laughed. Not a good idea! He'd "paid so much money he expected comfort on the train" etc. In the end I quietened him down by saying the air conditioning started to work once the train moved. I then opened a window and all was peace thereafter! Also, as usual a request from a passenger to wake him  when he reached Bath!
All good fun though with numerous stories to tell over the coming year.
Colin Fewell

Thursday, 6 March 2014


To try and spread the word, Ian Butler has taken on the twitter account for the GWR and tells me that  over 50,000 twitter followers received details of last week's competition from us. When you consider the circulation of the Echo is around 20,000 this shows the power of twitter.
We would like to get more information about the railway out to far more people so all members and volunteers are asked to follow @GWSR (have a look at the bottom right of the home page on our website) and then retweet or favourite our tweets to others.
Also I would like train staff /OTC staff and station staff to encourage visitors to tweet their experiences with us. (Only good experiences of course!!). There is a massive and growing opportunity here to advertise our railway.
Colin Fewell