Monday, 28 September 2015

Interesting comments this weekend

The first  Craft fair we have ever run was well attended - mainly it has to be said by ladies although there were a number of men who also passed through showing an interest in the quilts, paintings and other crafts on display. Many congratulations to those who organised and took part. I don't yet have final travelling visitors numbers but I do know OTC particularly at Winchcombe was  busy. An interesting comment made by several of the lady visitors who clearly were at the railway for the first time was how impressed they were with the cleanliness and the hard work put in to keep the stations tidy.
Colin Fewell

Friday, 25 September 2015

Vacancies on the GWRT Board

Firstly the GWRT Board wish to thank Steve Sperring and David Locke for their hard work and dedication to the posts of Fundraising Director and Communications Officer. We wish Steve and David good luck as they move to far flung places.

These moves create two vacant volunteer positions on the GWRT Board, one of which will be a Director position and one an Office position. The exact mix of these posts will be agreed in discussions with the candidates. Both positions are expected to attend Board meetings.

If you are interested in being considered for either position please send your name, contact details and application letter to Maxine Barton-Hawkins, GWRT Company Secretary, Toddington Railway Station, Toddington, Glos GL54 5DT or email by Friday 6th November 2015.

If you have any questions regarding either position contact Glyn Cornish, GWRT Chairman, or Maxine Barton-Hawkins,

Role Description: Communications Director/Officer
Purpose of Job: To ensure prompt and accurate dissemination/reception of information concerning the GWRT via a number of channels both electronic and paper based. You will be expected to attend Board meetings on a monthly basis.
Reports to: GWRT Board
Co-operation: Editor of Cornishman, Heads of Departments, Editor of Volunteer Newsletter, Web Master, GWSR Plc. Directors and the Development Foundation Manager
Supervises: Editors of all Official GWRT publications

Main Responsibilities:
To organise the establishment of communication channels (electronic and paper based) for the dissemination/reception of information to members, volunteers, and the public

To encourage the provision of information for publication about the GWRT and its activities from all sources

To create and maintain procedures to ensure the accuracy of information supplied to the members, volunteers and public

To manage any person providing official information to the members, volunteers or public on behalf of the GWRT

To establish and maintain links with outside organisations and the media to publicise and encourage participation in meeting the aims of the GWRT.

Must be a member of the GWRT and hold a current Work Permit for the period of the appointment. While not essential having worked or volunteered in an equivalent role would be an advantage.

 Role Description: Fundraising Officer/Director
 Purpose of Job: To facilitate the raising of funds to further the objectives of the GWR Trust
 Reports to: GWRT Board
 Co-operation: GWRT Chairman, Development Foundation Manager

 Main Responsibilities:
Devise fundraising events and schemes in order to secure funds for the Trust to further its objectives.

Manage the organisation of such events and schemes including materials, volunteer staff, publicity and administration.

Manage and oversee any existing fundraising schemes and to periodically ensure they are still relevant and effective.

Manage, update and keep accurate records for the on-line auction site.

Liaise with members of the public when items are donated to the railway, to assess such items given for sale and if necessary liaise with the Museum Director if an item is better suited to the museum rather than sale.

Provide monthly reports to the board and attend monthly board meetings and the AGM.

Liaise with the GWR Development Foundation Manager to avoid conflict of activities.

Manage in co-operation with the GWR Development Foundation Manager, all applications for Grant Aid with outside bodies.
Must be member of the GWRT and hold a current Work Permit for the period of the appointment. While not essential a proven track record in fundraising would be an advantage.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A busy time for commercial activities

Now the summer holidays are over, we have to get down to planning the timetable for 2016.

First off though, a comment on the recent Thomas event. This was as always a great success due to the enthusiasm of so many volunteers. Visitor numbers were down on the record set last year but what with the recent appalling weather and of course the rugby world cup this was to be expected. About 40% of all tickets were sold on line in advance and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Visitor numbers up to date are well up on last year which is good news, and amazingly santa ticket sales are currently about 40% higher than on the same date last year!

On to 2016! We are now at the second proof stage in the design of next year's timetable. This is a mammoth job to get all the dates, events and times agreed by everyone but hopefully we are almost there. We've got to get it right as 350,000 printed timetables will be ready for distribution at the end of November!

This week I have been having talks with John Mayell, David Capron, Tony Shipley and Rosemary Smith about a new special event for next year. For the first time, we are introducing the "Cotswold Food and Drink Fayre" in October 2016 which looks as though it could become a regular fixture for us.

Colin Fewell

Friday, 18 September 2015


Monday 14 September was a day of celebration for the volunteers of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR).

That’s because the 900 people who freely give of their time to help run and grow the popular steam railway in the Cotswolds, were presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, at a special ceremony at the railway’s Toddington station.

 Presenting the Award was the Queen’s representative, Dame Janet Trotter DBE, Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire.  The railway is one of just three voluntary organisations in Gloucestershire to have won the Award this year, out of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups nationwide to also have been honoured.

Dame Janet first arrived at Winchcombe station where she formally opened the railway’s new ‘Discovery Coach’ which imaginatively presents the history of the railway and its local context. 

She then boarded a steam train to Toddington, along with GWSR officials and guests.  After touring the locomotive restoration facilities she mounted steps to the footplate of the latest locomotive to be restored at Toddington, to announce the citation and present the Award and a certificate from HM Queen Elizabeth to Chairman of GWSR Plc, Alan Bielby.

The occasion was witnessed by up to 200 of the railway’s volunteers. 

Dame Janet said that the selection committee had ‘no hesitation’ in making the award to the railway’s volunteers, noting how impressed she was with the scale of the operation and all that it had achieved.

Since 1982, when the embryonic GWSR first took occupation of a derelict Toddington station yard and fifteen miles of vacant trackbed, after British Railways closed the line in 1979 and removed the track and infrastructure, it has steadily grown to become one of the leading tourist attractions in the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire..

GWSR Chairman Alan Bielby commented: “We have won many awards over the years but the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is by far the most prestigious and the most meaningful. 

“It is a testament to our volunteers, past and present, for all that they have contributed to making this railway such a success.  It’s the envy of many other heritage railways because it remains almost entirely volunteer run.”

Please look at latest news o the GWR news for a selection of photographs

Sunday, 13 September 2015


I have been asked to make a couple of corrections to my posting about our last Plc Board meeting:

1. With reference to the culvert at Bishops Cleeve, this work will actually be carried out by the Civil Engineering Department with the assistance of P/way.

2. With reference to the professional assistance with vegetation clearance on the Cotswold side near Broadway, this is being done to assist the volunteer workforce.

Richard Johnson
Company Secretary