Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Broadway Station

At a Plc board meeting on Monday afternoon, we discussed recent events and correspondence surrounding our earlier decision to site a shop at Broadway. Having looked back through everything, it was difficult to understand how that decision did not apparently reach those of the Broadway group who are actually building the station, as it was clearly raised and mentioned on a number of occasions at various planning meetings with representatives of the Broadway team.

We also looked at the commercial considerations surrounding the potential alternative uses of this part the building, and felt clear that our original decision had been correct and remained fully justifiable based upon the facts as we have them. That decision was based in part on the potential unsuitability of this particular space for a café in that it is quite small.

Having made those points, we are also aware that we are dealing here not just with commercial reality, but also with nostalgia and emotion. It is clear from many of the emails received in the last week that many of our volunteers and supporters arriving at the station, would welcome the opportunity for coffee and refreshments from a small café and were expecting that.

We were encouraged by the fact that we have been assured by a large number of the Broadway volunteers, that they feel that there are sufficient numbers of them to be able to staff and resource a small café on all operating days.

With all that in mind we agreed to change our original decision, and accept a café being sited at Broadway station, with the following caveats.

Firstly, it would be necessary for the Broadway volunteers to convince us that they had a viable business plan, and that there were sufficient of them willing to staff it regularly to make it work. Secondly, if it turned out not to be viable after a couple of years, we would have to reserve the right to change the use of that particular space to a different use. Finally of course, the café would be operated under the auspices of our Railway Catering Services, and all new volunteers would need to be suitably trained, and qualified in food handling techniques.

We hope that this is a decision which will be generally welcomed. There has been a large outpouring of emotion over the last couple of weeks. Whilst we all welcome honest debate, some of the emails which have been sent to us have been objectionable; some have been unacceptably abusive.

We hope that on the basis of this decision, we can all move forward together and accept and understand what it is we are trying to achieve at Broadway.

Richard Johnson


  1. Dear Mr Johnson,

    On behalf of myself and the shareholders who contacted me, I would like to thank you for your decision to retain the Edwardian café at the terminus station at the village of Broadway.

    This decision reinforces the sole objective of the GWSR trust which is :-

    "To establish and maintain a railway museum for the benefit of the public"

    I note you require a business plan and the option to revert to a shop at this location in the future.

    I hope that my lobbying was seen as emotional, aggressive but not abusive.

    Mike Rose.

  2. Richard, thank you for the above post, we feel the right decision and caveats have been well explained and are clear and concise. Please thank the rest of the board for making the right decision and making the position clear to all. Hopefully those who were abusive will now apologise for their remarks and all concerned can move forward to the greater good of the "Cotswold Smiling Line" that is the GWsR. Having made a clear decision that we hope all will abide by, myself and Marion will now take up membership of the line, Something we did not realise we should have done when we first came to and discovered the GWsR three years ago! So to all the volunteers, lets move forwards now and make our new "Lady", Broadway, the place it deserves to be. I am also glad that an Edwardian tea room will be in place, as my companies offer of a vending machine will not now be needed, I was trying to think of ways to disguise it! A great decision and a chance not to just move forward but upwards in promoting the line.
    Kindest Regards
    Paul & Marion

  3. I am quite appalled that anyone would make such aggressive or abusive contact. We are a friendly railway and should not let emotions take over. Democracy and business sense have to work together and do not always align in the real world. There was no rush or urgency on this.

    I am very happy with the outcome which gives many peoples preferred option of a cafe a chance to work before a cold business solution.

    I will be making my planned extra £500 donation towards this as I hope other who made similar promises will. I hope that the cafe option works well and look forwards to my first tea & cake there soon.

    1. A good decision that will provide a necessary amenity for the new station. A number of us making previous comments offered sponsorship to assist with kitting out the new cafe. I am sure an appeal will provide even more so allowing the cafe to be fully equipped to a good standard and relieving the company of some of the cost. Looking forward to visiting next year
      Brian Trigg Shareholder

    2. David, totally agree with the above. just need to know who/where to send the £100 we promised as well!

    3. I am sorry to hear that some individuals thought they could best make their point in being abusive. I think the boards new decision is correct.

  4. I,am very pleased,that the Board,have made the decision,to have the café,at Broadway!.I,will be supporting it,when it opens,next year!. Anthony.

  5. This is a pragmatic and I believe correct decision with perfectly proper caveats. I wish the cafe project well. Discussion and debate is a good thing, but our friendly railway can do without boorish abuse from a few.

    1. I concur entirely. As one who has been a member and shareholder from the early 1980s, I've always understood the "growing pains" that a heritage railway staffed almost overwhelming by dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers will have from time to time. As John says, we do not need boorish abuse and, regrettably, the communication revolution of the Internet has made it far too easy. Thank you all for all your hard work.

  6. I thoroughly endorse the Board's decision to revert to the Cafeteria option for the Refreshment Room at Broadway. In a World such as we find ourselves in, it is refreshing and right that the majority request was upheld. Regards, Paul.

  7. Thank you for I think making the correct decision, now lets all get behind it a make it the success that Broadway deserves. Two teas please and a sticky bun!

  8. A good decision - even if it's really just a return to the original decision!

    I'm not too sure why it was felt that the space available in the station building was unsuitable for a cafe as it was too small. As I understand it, the station building was designed from the start to accommodate catering facilities.

    If it was felt that the plans were wrong, and not enough space had been provided, perhaps someone should have said something at an earlier stage.

    But I think the right decision has now been made. We got there in the end, even though it was via the a slightly bumpy road.

    Now we've sorted that one out - is it too early to raise the issue of the footbridge being in the wrong position...?

  9. Good to hear. Very disappointed to hear about "unacceptably abusive" emails, that's really not fair on the board. It was clearly unnecessary.

    On a slightly different note, is it possible to confirm what will and won't be completed at Broadway upon opening? I'm assuming that the newly reinstated cafe for instance won't be operational at opening day? And also the latest on the car park?


  10. I could understand the original view that a café was duplication, but wondered how much more viable a shop would be at the 'end' of the line. Now the café option is on the table how about promoting use of the train to get to Broadway for tourists and stress there is a refreshment facility for after they have 'done' the town??

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  12. Excellent decision, I may even volunteer to work in the cafe to ensure its success!

  13. I am the same and hope that the cafe will be fitted out ASAP with the station ready for visitors after Easter John M

  14. Well done to the board, a sensible decision.
    Just a thought ... transport between the station and the village centre? Too far for many to walk, and car parking at the station limited; a shuttle bus? GWR used to own a fleet of buses in the 1930s but I guess to find one of the originals would be a very big ask.