For those unable to make the AGM I thought I would summarise some of what I said in my presentation.
We had the best year ever making it two years in a row with record passenger numbers. In 2016 we saw just over 100,000 visitors which was 13% up on 2015. Note however we ran on 9% more days. This increase in days running was deliberately to get us into position for 2018.
Every event was successful and record breaking except for the September Thomas which unfortunately fell on the day of the Cheltenham half marathon which clogged up all the approach roads. That won't happen this year as this has been put back a week following our request.
It is important to recognise that every special attraction last year was successful and not just the main events so congratulations to all the organisers. Of special mention was the new Food and Drink fayre which will be repeated this autumn.
It is also worth saying that numbers of visitors on "ordinary" days increased
This year is looking good with photo charters and more recently the BBC filming a whole episode of Father Brown at Toddington and Gotherington stations. I think it is important to say that we aren't expecting any dramatic increase in passenger numbers this year but are budgeting on the same number as 2016. Numbers can't keep increasing and we hear from lots of people "see you in 2018"
Another great achievement this year has of course been the opening of Hayles Abbey Halt which has co-incidentally come in the same month as the opening of Hailes Abbey museum. It is interesting to see how many passengers are buying tickets to the Halt. (And what railway can boast they opened two railway stations within the period of 1 year?)
Last but not least of course we have the new Tim Mitchell building at Winchcombe which will be used for various exhibitions, and for our special events and of course it will be available for volunteer training.
A reminder - if any was necessary - that we open to Broadway on Good Friday 30th March. We will run service trains the preceding three weekends from Toddington to Cheltenham Race Course.
There will be two train timetables - one for 2 trains (whether they be 1 steam and 1 DMU or 1 steam, 1 diesel or 2 steam) and one for 3 trains.
We have volunteers currently working on a new guide book and a second book of walks - concentrating on Broadway and Hayles Abbey Halt - and hopefully we will have a new DVD or two available.
We are also working on special trains during March for our working volunteers but more of that anon.