Thursday, 31 July 2014

Questionnaires on the train

You will know we give everyone a questionnaire on the train. Interesting ones yesterday! Against the question "What did you like most about your trip?" the comment was - sitting next to my uncle. Against "What did you like least?" was - sitting opposite my nan. Against "what could we do better" was - have more sexy staff. And a Japanese couple wrote that they expected the trains to run much faster!
Colin Fewell

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bridges to Broadway Share Issue Status at 30 July 2014

Dear All,

I expect most of you will have seen the exciting pictures on the blog of the work taking place on our bridges!

We are now at the end of the second month of a work programme which should take our contractors, George Law Ltd., about 6 months. John Balderstone is managing the project for us so don't forget to complement him on the good work he's doing when you see him.

Our Bridges to Broadway Share Issue has gone very well but we are not quite there yet. As of today we are at £458,000, only £42,000 short of our target of £500,000. To all those who have already subscribed may I offer a big THANK YOU!

We have only 90 days to go before the offer closes on 31st October so if you are considering investing now is the time!

You may have heard me say this before, but many of my friends and neighbours who are not natural railway enthusiasts, have been happy to subscribe for shares because they believe in the preservation of this country's heritage and the living museum we are creating. I would, therefore, suggest that if you give the Bridges to Broadway document to your friends and neighbours you will be pleasantly surprised by the positive nature of their response. If nothing else the document, which is available from the information office at Toddington or from me, is a nice souvenir.

Before I close, I should just make it clear that the railway has sufficient funds to cover any shortfall in receipts from the share issue, so there is no question of the work not being completed but, as I'm sure you understand, if we have to divert funds to the bridges project then other planned expenditure on our railway will have to wait.

With your help we can get to the £500,000 target!

Kind regards,


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Diesel gala

A quick note to say that a large number of people came up to me on Friday and Saturday congratulating the railway on the organisation and smooth running of this gala. Time and time again, seasoned visitors to diesel galas stressed  the professionalism of everyone, comparing us favourably with a few other such galas around the country.
Colin Fewell

Tuesday August 5th

Please note that wreaths will be placed on the steam and diesel locomotives on Tuesday August 5th in recognition of the centenary of the start of World War 1. Thanks to Tony Bowles for this.
Colin Fewell

Monday, 7 July 2014

Delight at HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall joining railway

The Chairman and the Directors of the GWRT are pleased to pass on to you a copy of  a recent press release regarding two very well known new member of our railway.
Delight at HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall joining railway
HRH The Prince of Wales’ interest in historic railways is widely known and, because of this, His Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall have accepted honorary life membership of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway  (GWSR) – the heritage railway closest to their Highgrove, Gloucestershire home.
His Royal Highness is an occasional visitor to heritage railways and has also enjoyed travelling by the Royal Train on the national network with a steam locomotive in charge.  His membership of the railway perpetuates a strong link between the Royal Family and steam, given that over generations many locomotives have been named after Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses, a practice that continues to this day.*
Henry Howard, chairman of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust, of which supporters of the railway become members and volunteers; commented: “I’m delighted that His Royal Highness and The Duchess of Cornwall have accepted our invitation to become honorary life members of our fast-expanding railway. 
“His sister, HRH The Princess Royal, has visited the line both privately and in an official capacity, when she opened Cheltenham Racecourse station in 2003. 
“We have exciting events on the horizon, not least of which will be the opening of Broadway station and completing a new carriage overhaul facility at Winchcombe.
“Their Royal Highnesses have yet to visit the railway and of course we would be delighted to welcome them and demonstrate why we are attracting up to 90,000 passengers each year.”
The volunteer-run GWSR is one of the leading tourist attractions in the region, operating steam and heritage diesel train services over the at-present 12-mile line between Cheltenham Racecourse and Laverton.  The railway’s appeal to attract £500,000 share investment under the government’s Enterprise Initiative Scheme, to be used to repair five bridges between Laverton, the present northern extent of the line and Broadway, two miles distant, has attracted over £430,000.
Alan Bielby, chairman of Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc added: “This means we are on track to re-open the line as far as Broadway in about three years.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and a powerful demonstration of what volunteer effort can do.  We’re preserving an important part of Britain’s railway and transport heritage as underlined by several awards.  
Members of the Royal Family are no strangers to the former main line that ran between Stratford upon Avon and Cheltenham.  The station at Cheltenham Racecourse, completed in 1912 specifically to serve the Prestbury Park racecourse which hosts the famous National Hunt Festival, has been visited most years by members of the Royal Family and that interest in National Hunt racing continues. 
Adds Mr Bielby: “The Royal Train frequently brought members of the Royal Family to the races and occasionally, it was berthed in sidings at Bishops Cleeve overnight during race week.
“We’re really delighted that the Royal connection with our historic railway has been cemented in this way and will continue into the future.”
Henry Howard
Chairman GWRT