Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Broadway, the last mile - a terrific response after the first month!

Dear GWSR Supporters

I am delighted, and a bit humbled, to be able to tell you that, three weeks from when Pete Waterman was here for our share appeal launch day and four weeks since the first share issue documents arrived at the railway, we have received £410,000 in share applications - that's almost a third of the total!

This is an unprecedentedly good start!

To put this into context, the Bridges to Broadway share issue raised about £250,000 in the first three months which, at the time, we thought was very good.

Based on that, for this share issue, I budgeted that it would take us until the end of August, five months, to reach the value we have achieved in only three weeks!

I also need to update you on how things are going financially with the 2016 season - in a word 'excellent'!

The Cheltenham Festival Race trains were a record, the Wartime in the Cotswolds weekend just completed was a record and passenger numbers on service trains are up on last year, itself a record year.

On Saturday night we will run a Fish and Chip train free to our volunteers (served by the directors) as a big thank you for all their hard work.

I will keep you updated on a regular basis on how the share issue is going but, do please remember, there is still more than £800,000 to go!

Thanks for your support,


Chris Bristow
GWSR PLC Finance Director

Monday, 25 April 2016

Wartime in the Cotswolds - update

Just to let you know final numbers for the weekend were 20% up on 2015 - a new record. Interestingly numbers of visitors on the Saturday were almost exactly the same as for the Sunday - the only difference that a larger percentage joined us at Toddington  rather than Cheltenham. I mention this because there were so many other Sunday activities in Cheltenham and Winchcombe this past weekend, so we really did very well
Colin Fewell

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wartime in the Cotswolds

An excellent weekend - we had a record number of visitors on Saturday and once I have the figure for Sunday I will send out the total. Many thanks to the organising group for all their tremendous hard work and also to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make it such a success. A great friendly atmosphere commented on very favourably by our visitors.
This year we were honoured by a visit from King George V1 who gave a rousing speech at Toddington and again in Winchcombe town centre much to the bemusement of a lot of tourists, and causing a traffic jam.
Also this year for the first time we had a vintage Bedford bus running between the station and Winchcombe town centre. This followed on from a number of shops and businesses in Winchcombe coming together to support us with banners, bunting and special 1940's shop windows. I hope we can

develop our relationship with the town further in the future.
Colin Fewell

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Broadway the last mile share issue - update on Wednesday 20 April 2016

Dear Supporters of the GWSR,

It is now two weeks since the share issue launch event and also since the share issue document arrived at shareholders' homes in the post.

I am delighted to report that, as of today, the receipts total a little over £350,000 - that's fantastic for the first two weeks!

Managers involved with the share issue met today to discuss and agree actions to keep the share offer in the public eye and therefore to keep the funds flowing. I'll expand on this in future blog postings.

If the funds keep on coming in at this rate we should be able to bring forward our planned 2016 purchase of rail. This is important as laying the track is on the critical path to opening in 2018 and anything we can do to help Permanent Way's activities make an opening at the start of the season more likely to be achieved.

So let's celebrate getting £350,000 in two weeks and concentrate on getting the other £900,000 needed!

Thanks for your support,


Chris Bristow
GWSR Finance Director

Friday, 15 April 2016

Broadway - the last mile share appeal - hugely popular in first week!


It is one week since the launch of the share issue on 6th April by our president, Pete Waterman.

At the end of the day on 13 April, one week later, our railway has received £251,000 in share purchases – that’s 20% of what is needed to complete the project and run steam trains once again into Broadway!

It is great to see in these share purchases many new shareholders, many of our own volunteers coming forward to buy shares and many purchases from all over the country not just our local area. It just shows the affection in which our railway is held!

We have already placed orders for the civil engineering works identified as necessary from Laverton as far north as Childswickham Road bridge.

Shortly we will be placing our first order for rail with the new British Steel Company at their Scunthorpe works. Rail is, as you know, the largest element of the project funding and it is our intent to buy British steel for a British Heritage railway and we are therefore watching the price and availability closely.

 We will naturally feel more comfortable once we have sufficient funds in place to act quickly if we see an advantageous price or delivery opportunity develop.

Our admin team are working flat out on processing share requests so please be patient if you do not receive a rapid response.

Please keep the applications rolling in – 20% is a great start in the first week but we have a long way to go yet!

Thanks for your support and I will keep you posted on progress.

Alan Bielby

GWSR Chairman

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and their family paid a private visit to GWR on Easter Saturday. As well as a round trip on the train, the Duke and Duchess rode on the footplate of Dinmore Manor during the run-round at Cheltenham and on returning to Toddington, the Duke toured the loco sheds. They enjoyed their visit very much and we hope that they will return.
Glyn Cornish