Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Steam gala

What a great weekend! Thanks to everyone for all their efforts. And the double headers just added to the excitement. Nice full trains with photographers everywhere.
Arthur Smith (the comedian and "One Show" presenter) was at the railway on Monday interviewing volunteers and the public for a documentary about "England's Heritage" to be shown on Channel 4 this autumn. He said he thoroughly enjoyed his day with us and was impressed by the atmosphere and the friendliness of the volunteers. Once I know the date this programme will be shown I will circulate it. (His interviewing technique is interesting. I still don't know why he asked in the signal box for the capital of Venezuela!!)
Colin Fewell

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wartime in the Cotswolds

I attended the "wash up" meeting of this event on Tuesday.

As with all such meetings, it started with a general feeling of relief that it was all over and pleasure at the vast number of congratulatory e mails we have received - and no complaints! This is now regarded by the re-enactors and the public as one of the top such events put on  by heritage railways and indeed other organisations, and we already have a large number of enquiries about next year. If you take into account the re-enactors and traders etc., we saw well over 2,200 people during the weekend.

However,  much of the meeting was of course devoted to discussing areas where we can improve for the future and it became obvious that if we are to maintain the quality of this event we need new blood to carry it forwards.

Several of the dozen or so volunteers who have given up time during the past three years to build  this event up from scratch now feel they want to stand down and take on other jobs. This means we are left with a clearly stark choice. Either we get a new group of volunteers  to take over the reins, or we won't be having this event next year. That would be a terrible shame for the public but especially for all of us volunteers who enjoy the great atmosphere of the weekend. And of course it would also mean there would be a substantial drop in our railway income for the year thus slowing down our development to Broadway quite dramatically.

I was asked to circulate a request to all volunteers for help to keep the event alive. This I have done through a Volunteer announcement but so far with little response. I want to support the team who have set up this event and I ask that all volunteers consider if they can help in any way. Many thanks

Colin Fewell

Monday, 11 May 2015

Visitor numbers etc.

Looking at all the statistics I can find, it looks as though at the end of April the number of visitors to the railway was very much the same as in 2014 - just over 10,000.
Last Saturday was extremely busy with several groups of which one was for 240 people. Thank goodness they spread themselves over the railway and didn't cause too many hold ups!
Saturday afternoon, a number of us agreed the final layout for the "history timeline" which will go along the wall of the Discovery Coach at Winchcombe. We are pretty much there now as the map of the line is in place also along one wall, the original indenture for land at Winchcombe is  on display and David Boot's "00" layout of Toddington Station is in place.  Once we have erected the two televisions / DVD players and got the timeline back from the printers, we will almost be ready to open up. This will be a tremendous attraction for the summer not just for families and tourists but also for school visits.
Colin Fewell