Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Food and drink fayre

Another great weekend - this time a new attraction being the first Cotswolds Food and Drink Fayre. Numbers of visitors exceeded our expectation resulting in very full steam trains! Lots of good reviews and  happy "tweeters". Many thanks to all the organisers and we look forward to a similar event this time next year.
Colin Fewell

Friday, 7 October 2016

Visitor numbers

Visitor numbers this year have been excellent, even allowing for the extra days we have been running. 
To give you a brief summary, our overall numbers as at the end of September are up 14% on 2015 at over 70,000 but that does include 13 days extra running. Broadly, our numbers per day have increased by over 4% with all our special events bringing in large increases - apart from the problem this time with Thomas
So far this year we have run on 149 days as against 136 in 2015. This increase is to build our services ready for opening to Broadway in 2018.
Our on line advance sales of tickets has increased by about a quarter and the total number of group booking as at the end of September already exceeds the total for all of 2015
Colin Fewell

Thomas and the Cheltenham marathon

To plan a big event such as "Day out with Thomas" we have to make arrangements well over a year in advance. The Thomas loco for instance is always booked up by so many other operators that we have to get in early. Unfortunately this year, our Thomas event was fixed before we heard that the organisers of the marathon had moved the start point to the racecourse. Those of you living locally will know what happened. Suffice it to say, we lost income as a result of the poor organisation of their event, and since then have been in touch with the organisers, the borough council, the Chamber of Commerce and the racecourse to express our dissatisfaction.
Unfortunately by June this year, we had already fixed next year's Thomas date which can't be altered and it looks as though there will be a similar clash. However now we know of the potential problems we can do our best to find ways around them.
All I can really say at this point is a tremendous thank you to all volunteers who battled through the crowds to ensure we were up and running at the correct time. I know that some of you abandoned cars and walked long distances and others who changed what they were otherwise doing on that day just to help us. Thanks to all of you, it was a splendid weekend with lots of excellent feedback.
Colin Fewell