Sunday, 29 March 2015

Special Fish and Chips evening

The Directors had a great time last night serving over 100 volunteers on the special fish and chip train. This was the Board's way to thank everyone for all the tremendous effort  put in  to make this such a successful railway. And with drinks prices slashed and free fish and chips,  hopefully  all who came along for the evening  went away happy. I even saw a bottle of champagne being served! And we Directors weren't even allowed to drink as we were on duty
Colin Fewell.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The past three days

I amn sure all volunteers would have been involved one way or another on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and as you will have experienced,  the weekend certainly buzzed!
The recruitment fair organised by Philip Young was a great success with a large number of newcomers to the railway indicating an intention to volunteer - far more than we all expected. If they all follow this up and become fully fledged volunteers, we will be in a good position for the future.
Then on Monday we had our annual marketing day and this year over 170 people from b&b's, hotels, tourist offices, the media etc came along making this the largest such event we have ever held. Lots of good comments but to quote just one: "As a complete 'outsider' to the railway I was very impressed with this
well organised and successful day.  There was obviously a lot of strong local support & identification with the GWR which is well deserved.  Other organisations  could learn a lot from you!!"
Colin Fewell

Monday, 16 March 2015

Stories from the Race Trains

As usual the race trains provided some amusing anecdotes.

We heard of one punter who placed a £10 each way bet at rather short odds on horse number 15 but when he went to collect his winnings found he had specified the wrong race.  He let the bet stand and number 15 came in at very long odds on the next race giving him a very handsome win. We were able to help him with that.

Our Champagne was on sale for £38 a bottle, £8 a glass.  One passenger felt that £38 a bottle was ok but he objected to paying £8 each for the glasses to drink it from! He was happy when we explained that empty glasses were free.

An order for drinks from one compartment came to well over £100.  The size of the order was justified on the grounds that half of the drinks would be left in the carriage for the evening when it was probable they would have no money left to buy drinks with.  Makes sense to me.

Many of our volunteers feel that waistcoats are appropriate wear for stewards on these trains and the most sartorial match their bow ties as well. One volunteer appeared in the morning in a smart green waistcoat and bow tie in the colours of the Irish flag. By the evening he was in a normal GWSR tie having sold the bow tie to a passenger for £50.  Nothings too much trouble for our customers.

Finally one very “happy” punter said keep the change when offering £150 for an £80 order but our volunteer felt that that was just a little too generous given the condition of the customer. We hope no one is ripped off on our railway.

A big thanks to all our volunteers from every department that helped make these trains a great success again.

Richard Summers

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Race week

Thanks to everyone for making this a highly successful race week. I think our Finance Director will be pleased! Lots of positive comments from visitors and the media which will set us up for a great season. More infrormation to follow
Colin Fewell

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Race trains publicity

Tuesday we were filmed for a long item on BBC Points West. Yesterday Helen Skelton interviewed volunteers and racegoers for Radio 5 live , and today we had a team from Sky Sports both at Toddington Station and also on the train
Colin Fewell

Monday, 9 March 2015

The GWR visited the Cheltenham Regent Arcade

As you will be aware we had a small team in the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham on Thursday and Friday last week.  Over the two days we handed out over 350 sets of literature about the Railway, including Timetables, Recruitment Fair flyers and other event flyers. During the course of the two days we had a number of interesting conversations, including one with the editor of a well known magazine (at least well known on our railway!). The Centre Management were complementary on the effort we made in setting out our stand and the fact we dressed in our railway uniforms.

Thank you to all who helped me with this initiative this year. Watch out for similar promotions in the future.

Philip Young

Recruitment director


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Visitors from Stratford on Avon

I was surprised to find that the number of visitors to Stratford each year who come by public transport is well into 6 figures - around 400,000. Each of these at present is unable to travel to our railway. John Mayell is working on a plan to link bus routes so that we are able to devise a day's programme for these people. This together with a possible revised bus timetable will come into operation hopefully this May.
Colin Fewell

Visitor information Coach

You may know that c&w have brilliantly renovated the old upholstery coach into a new visitor attraction which has now been renamed as the "GWSR Discovery Coach". It is in the bay platform at Winchcombe where the santa coach was. The carriage is not yet ready to be open to the public as there is still a lot of work to be done. We plan to have a large map of the line along one wall with a GWSR timeline from the late 1890's to date, along another wall. There will also be videos and slides and much more. It is hoped it will be open from the end of April although prior to that may well be used by school groups. A further meeting was held today to finalise the wording on the timeline.
Colin Fewell


I see we are now number 1 in the "things to do in Cheltenham" section. Not bad considering we haven't run trains for 2 months. Maybe that's the answer!
We are number 11 in the "things to do in the Cotswolds" section

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Recruitment Team are out and about in Cheltenham.

Are you going to be in Cheltenham town centre on Thursday or Friday this week? If so why not come and visit the Railway’s volunteer recruitment team in the Regent Arcade where we will be promoting the Recruitment Fair to be held on 21st & 22nd March and the Railway as a place to visit.

Look forward to seeing you.
Philip Young