The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust

Year: 2020

September 28, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Annual General Meeting of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust will be held on Saturday 14 November at 14.00 by Zoom.  Details will be sent to members 21 days before the meeting. The temporary suspension of applications for Trust membership will also be lifted from 1 October.  This had to be put in place while we…

September 25, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Partnership Development Group (PDG) met yesterday to consider proposals from the PLC towards achieving ‘One Railway’ via a fundamental re-organisation of the PLC to create a parent charity, with the PLC operating as a subsidiary company. The meeting was also attended by John Bailey, architect of the recent report recommending these changes. The PDG…

September 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust regrets that it is having to suspend the acceptance of new member applications from today as a result of the huge level of demand which is beyond our ability to process at this time. The Trust is a small charity run by volunteers and hitherto has been processing applications at the rate…

September 17, 2020 Admin No comments exist

WSR Shared Vision – September 2020. John Bailey.  Independent Assessor. WSR – Achieving the Three Chairmen’s Consensus Following a notably amicable meeting on 15th September, involving the Chairmen of The West Somerset Railway PLC (“the PLC”), The West Somerset Railways Association (“WSRA”)   and the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (“WSSRT”),  they asked me to assess independently…

September 10, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The recent successful bid by the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust resulted in an award of £28,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s (NLHF) ‘Heritage Emergency Fund’. This will allow the Trust to be Covid-19 secure when it is able to reopen the museums to the public again, and also to resume work on carriage…

September 4, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust announces with regret that it is having to defer its Annual General Meeting from the proposed date of September 19th to a date later in the year.  The Chairman, Chris Austin, will be writing to members in the next few days to explain the reason for this and to…

August 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

On 17 August, the Trust was advised by the National Heritage Lottery Fund that their recent application for support from the NHLF Emergency Fund has been approved in full. The Trust will get details from the NHLF in the next few days on timing. Trust chairman Chris Austin welcomed the grant, saying, “This will allow…

August 8, 2020 Admin No comments exist

West Somerset Railway weed removal teams could be working near you. It would be really beneficial if every single working member of the WSR, or anyone else willing to help, would consider doing one morning of weeding on the railway track. This will help with the important work and assist the railway in surviving the…

August 6, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The title is nothing to do with Ben Stokes, but the Steam Trust has just recruited its 100th member, following a run of new applications in recent weeks!  There have been five applications in the last week alone.   Whilst Covid 19 has stopped the trains running and brought a halt to many of our activities,…

August 5, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Board of Trustees is pleased to be able to publish its Business Plan for the remainder of 2020 up to 2022. There has inevitably been a delay in completing this work due to the impact of Covid 19 and the consequent need to review and reset our business objectives. The Plan reflects the wide…

July 29, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Tuesday 28 July found the Salvage Hunters team at Bishops Lydeard in the Gauge Museum. Chris Austin, Chairman of the Trust, was on hand to welcome them and to show them around the museum. Salvage Hunters is a television series that shows Drew Pritchard and Tee (John Tee) his long-time friend searching for old and…

July 26, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Board of Trustees has now set a date for the 2020 AGM which will be Saturday 19th September at 2 PM. This will be by Zoom videoconference. The Board acknowledges that not all Members may be able to attend due to absence of or difficulties with, technology but have decided to hold the meeting…

July 20, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust is delighted to have received a £15,000 donation from the Peall Railway Trust. Trust chairman Chris Austin said ‘ We are hugely grateful for this generous donation which will be of such help as our museum donation boxes have so far remained empty this year.’ Simon Peall the Trustee…

July 7, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The newly formed WSR Fundraising Group are issuing the attached document in order to assist the West Somerset Railway survive the effects of Covid 19. We realise you may already have contributed and seen this from a number of sources. A number of our members are also members of other parts of our large railway…

July 4, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Welcome to Gauge Junction, the model railway situated in the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard. It is hoped that this is the first in a series of video’s that will be showing some of the winter and refurbishment work carried out by the Gauge Junction team. It is hoped you will all find the video…

June 30, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Briefing Partnership Development Group (PDG) has held its first meeting since 2018. PDG is an advisory and stakeholder body drawing together participants from all the major groups on the WSR together with County and District Council representation. Its role is to provide a forum for members of the WSR family to discuss railway wide issues…

June 28, 2020 Admin No comments exist

1 The Trust is grateful to John Bailey for the comprehensive report he has produced and the commendable speed with which it was produced. The PLC response to it is welcomed, and we look forward to participating in discussions on how best to take forward the ideas put forward by John Bailey on structural change….

June 27, 2020 Admin No comments exist

As part of its ongoing process to strengthen the Board and to continue with its programme of succession planning, the Trust is seeking expressions of interest from individuals who have a love of and commitment to, railway heritage and who would be interested in working in a small charity. The Board has three main objectives…

June 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust welcomes the appointment of their Vice Chairman and Company Secretary Steve Williams to the PLC Board. Steve will continue to support the Trust in his present roles and as Project Lead for the Gauge Museum Project, part funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.  Chairman, Chris Austin said: “At this…

June 15, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The first issue of ‘The Platform’ has an inevitable focus on the work the WSR Plc Board is doing to keep the railway in good order and prepare for re-opening as soon as they can. There are also brief contributions from the West Somerset Railway Association and the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust which is…

May 25, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Alan as DMU driver with the last ‘staff and ticket’ movement between Williton and Crowcombe Heathfield in 2006. After 29 years service to the WSR, the Trust will miss the support of Alan Meade who has retired as a Trustee and as leader of the Model Railway Group at the Gauge Museum. Alan, who was…

May 16, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Welcome to special issue No. 14 of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust Newsletter. I hope you are keeping well and managing during these strange times. Please click here to load the Newsletter This update is for all members and volunteers of the Steam Trust to provide as much information as we know about the…

May 2, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Here is the Joint Statement issued by the West Somerset Railway PLC, West Somerset Railway Association and the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust. This is followed by a copy of the Position Statement issued by West Somerset Railway Plc. West Somerset Railway & Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust A joint statement from West Somerset Railway…

April 22, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The WSR plc’s main Coronavirus emergency appeal now stands at £50,983, comprising: £26,715 via website donations, £1,868 in cheque donations, share purchases of £6,400 and station group donations of £16,000). There is an additional £14,395 from the WSRA/WSSRT for Rail Renewal 2020, comprising offline donations of £12,241 and online Justgiving of £2,154. This brings the…

April 20, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Steve Williams, Company Secretary, writes to Trust members: Dear Member As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and Government requirements around self isolating, the Board of Trustees has decided to postpone the 2020 Steam Trust AGM. The Board had intended that this would be held on 23rd May and you would have been receiving the agenda…

April 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Just a month after its launch in mid-March when the heritage West Somerset Railway (WSR) was forced to close before the 2020 season had even started, the WSR’s emergency coronavirus funding appeal has raised just over £50,000 by 17 April. The WSR has asked railway enthusiasts, supporters of the railway, local people and the public…

April 4, 2020 Admin No comments exist

We know that these are uncertain and difficult times for everybody.  To help keep young children busy and support parents and carers, our education team have put together a series of STEM-related learning challenges for you to download and complete at home. Feedback We would love to see photos of any finished products, so make…

April 2, 2020 Admin No comments exist

After the West Somerset Railway plc (WSR) was forced to suspend operations and shut down on 17 March –  before the 2020 running season even got underway planned for Saturday 21 March –  an urgent appeal was launched on the company’s website for desperately-needed funds to help the 22-mile line heritage line get through the…

March 19, 2020 Admin No comments exist

After a stay of two and a half months in the loco compound, while the Gauge Museum was repainted and refurbished, the Trust’s sleeping car, GWR no 9038, returned to the museum on Wednesday 18 March 2020.  Before being allowed back inside the building, the sleeping car was given a thorough wash and brush-up in…

March 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Following the decision to postpone the reopening of the railway, the Trust will not be reopening the museums at Bishops Lydeard and Blue Anchor this weekend either, and similarly the formal reopening of the Gauge Museum on 11 April is postponed as well.  In the circumstances, this is inevitable. All will be ready for when the railway steams again.  It will …

March 13, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Geoff Evens writes: “Just arrived from Isle Joinery in Exeter, the newly completed Roll of Honour frame for the original in memoriam which is to be displayed in the refurbished Gauge Museum. Harry Kirkland made the original frame for the museum in 1990. I am sure many of you will remember viewing the in memoriam…

March 13, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Work on the museum refurbishment moves on a pace. We have now had a number of the new story boards installed and the majority of the outstanding painting is almost complete. It is planned that the final fit for the story boards and exhibits will take place next week. Today we had a film crew…

March 7, 2020 Admin No comments exist

March 5th 2020 saw the scaffolding inside the museum finally removed. There has been much work carried out by the Steam Trust’s dedicated group of volunteers who have worked so hard in getting the inside of the goods shed cleaned and painted.

March 7, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Another important milestone was passed on March 3rd 2020 in the refurbishment process in the Gauge Museum with the completion of the high level work. During the next two days the scaffolding will be removed to start to move on to the final phase in finishing the task ready for the official reopening on April…

March 3, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Further to our news item on 18 January about the appointment of Alan Smithers as the new Curator for Blue Anchor Museum, Alan took up post on 20th February. The Steam Trust is now starting the process of looking  at the future role of Blue Anchor on the WSR and Alan will be playing a…

February 24, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Trust has commissioned Isle Joinery Ltd., Taunton to fabricate a new frame for Gauge Museum Roll of Honour. It is being fabricated from utile hardwood, of the mahogany family; a young craftsman has done the work on it. The attached photos show how far Isle Joinery have got. The Roll of Honour shows the…

February 21, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust has welcomed the appointment of the railway’s new General Manager, Justin Kerr-Peterson.  Chairman Chris Austin said: “We warmly welcome Justin back to the WSR as General Manager and will support him fully in running the railway and increasing the number of visitors to England’s longest heritage railway this year.  …

February 13, 2020 Admin No comments exist

All hands to the pumps!  A concerted attack is made on the museum walls, with (R to L) Paul Conibeare, Matthew Loate and Alan Meade painting the brick wall, while in the background Peter Darke paints the north end timber wall.  Upstairs Richard Gibbs and Geoff Evens are at work above the photographer, while downstairs,…

February 9, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The picture shows the author and broadcaster Christian Wolmar (right) who presented the Heritage Railway Association awards in Birmingham on 8 February 2020 with  James Pearson (left) and Tom Shaw (2nd from right)  who were runners up for the Lord Faulkner Young Volunteer of the Year award.  James is a PIC on the Gauge Museum…

February 3, 2020 Admin No comments exist

As the weeks and weekends go by, we are making good progress with the refurbishment of the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard Station. As the five photos illustrate; the good team-bonding and morale, the amount of progress we are achieving and the laborious work we still have left to do. We have nearly completed cleaning…

January 29, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The museum has been emptied and being prepared for internal painting.  The scaffolding provides a new perspective from track level looking towards Minehead.  Note the exposed doors that used to lead to an extended siding underneath the Taunton Model Railway Group building.

January 18, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The Board of Trustees is delighted to be able to announce the appointment of Alan Smithers as the new substantive Curator of the Museum at Blue Anchor Station. Trustees thanked David Baker for his interim stewardship of the Museum. David will continue to be involved with developments at Blue Anchor. Alan, who, in addition to…

January 16, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust Chairman, Chris Austin, presenting the West Somerset Railway Chairman, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, with a cheque for £35,000 as a contribution towards the WSR Track Appeal. The Trust has to date donated over £40,000. The contribution is for the purchase of heritage track components, particularly for Blue Anchor and falls within…

January 14, 2020 Admin No comments exist

The pictures show a different aspect of the Gauge Museum roof, a view not seen by very many. The museum has now been scaffolded throughout and the Trust can start to get the inside of the museum repainted in preparation for the new “storyboard” approach that will show the railway and its role within the…

Recent posts...

  • Annual General Meeting
  • One Railway
  • WSSRT Membership Pause
  • WSR Shared Vision
  • A restart for volunteers at Williton
  • A statement by the Trust
  • News from the Living Museum event
  • National Heritage Lottery Emergency Fund
  • West Somerset Railway Weed Removal
  • 100 not out
  • Business Plan 2020-2022
  • Salvage Hunters
  • The 2020 Annual General Meeting
  • Minutes of latest Board Meeting
  • Donation from Peall Railway Trust
  • WSR Covid 19 Appeal
  • Partnership Development Group Minutes
  • Gauge Junction on YouTube
  • Relaunch of Partnership Development Group
  • Response to Report by John Bailey on WSR Organisation
  • New Trustees Are Welcomed!
  • PLC Director Appointment
  • Edition 1 of the ‘The Platform’ published
  • Minutes of the recent Board meeting
  • Alan Meade retires
  • Newsletter no 14 – May 2020
  • Joint Statement on the Washford lease
  • An update on the funding appeals
  • 2020 AGM Postponement
  • WSR funding appeal reaches £50,000
  • A home learning pack for children
  • West Somerset Railway funding appeal hits the right notes
  • Minutes of the recent Board meeting
  • A wash and brush-up for 9038
  • Museum re-opening postponed
  • Roll of Honour
  • Progress at the Gauge Museum
  • Gauge Museum scaffolding removed
  • Another important milestone passed
  • News about Blue Anchor Museum
  • The GWR Roll of Honour
  • Steam Trust welcomes new GM
  • Minutes of Board Meeting published
  • Refurbishing the Gauge Museum
  • Heritage Railway Association Awards
  • Gauge Museum Renovation Project Update
  • Gauge Museum: latest picture
  • New curator for Blue Anchor Museum
  • The Trust contributes £35,000 to Track Appeal
  • Work in progress at the Gauge Museum
  • Proposals for redesign and reinterpretation of Gauge Museum
  • James is through to the Finals
  • Newsletter no 13 published
  • A generous donation…
  • WSR Plc Chairman’s end of season message
  • Minutes of Board Meeting published
  • James Pearson nominated for HRA Award
  • GWR letter rack
  • Museum revelations
  • Award presentation
  • Learning Assistants needed
  • Infrastructure update
  • Parcels train
  • WSR Autumn Steam Gala, Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 October 2019
  • Steam and Scream Community Event at Watchet
  • Minutes of the September Board Meeting
  • Urgently required: A curator for Museum at Blue Anchor
  • New steps for TK 5856
  • All dressed up and nowhere to go
  • Analysis of feedback from Taunton shuttle train passengers
  • Steam Trust appoints Vice Chairman
  • The WSRA Steam and Vintage Rally
  • The launch of the Taunton Shuttle
  • New Somerset train services start on July 27
  • Minutes of July Board Meeting
  • Newsletter no 12 published
  • New Somerset train services start on July 27
  • Peter Barnfield “A Railway Retrospective”
  • ‘Tales of the West Somerset Railway’
  • Minutes of Board Meeting 22 May 2019
  • Launch of new 40th Anniversary book
  • ‘Quantock Steamer’ launched
  • Rail Renewal Project
  • Tales of the West Somerset Railway
  • £250,000 track replacement fundraising campaign
  • The Trust looking for additional Trustees
  • Curator – Blue Anchor Museum
  • ‘Somerset Day’ 11 May 2019
  • Minutes of the Board Meeting on 24 April 2019
  • WSR, WSRA and WSSRT Meeting
  • Trust helps rail replacement
  • Blue Anchor Museum
  • Volunteering at Gauge Museum
  • Celebrate Somerset Day at the Gauge Museum
  • GWR approves WSR’s ‘Exmoor Gateway’ bid
  • Easter at Gauge Junction
  • Gauge Museum to be refurbished
  • Exciting new learning opportunities on the West Somerset Railway!
  • Tales of the West Somerset Railway
  • Heritage carriages news
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