The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust

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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…

January 10, 2020 Admin No comments exist

Following 12 months of hard work by its Project Team and volunteers, the Steam Trust is pleased to be able to publish the proposals for the redesign and reinterpretation of the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard station. This has been made possible by the National Heritage Lottery fund grant of £40,000 together with a contribution…

December 10, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Some very good news to update last week’s post as James Pearson has passed through the preliminary rounds in the HRA competition and is now going forward to the final round to be held in Birmingham on February 8th, 2020. Tracker Tom Shaw who volunteers in the shop and café at Bishops Lydeard has also…

December 8, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The Trust has just published issue No 13 of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust Newsletter for December 2019. Available as a PDF document here and of course on the Newsletters page.

December 7, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The Steam Trust is delighted to be able to recognise the generosity of Jeremy Hooper who has donated £20,000 through the Trust to this year’s WSR Track Appeal. With Gift Aid, this takes the donation to £25,000. Mr Hooper, who lives in West Sussex, has been thanked by Chris Austin, Trust Chairman, for his contribution….

December 7, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Jon Jones-Pratt, Chairman of WSR Plc, has issued an end of season message: It is the time of the year when we start looking forward to the winter festivities. For many of us that means a few days pause between the end of our main scheduled services and the Christmas Programme. But not forall, and…

December 2, 2019 Admin No comments exist

James Pearson has been nominated by the Steam Trust Board as our young representative for this year’s Lord Faulkner Award hosted by the HRA for ‘significant achievement’ to Heritage Railways by a young person under the age of 26. Joining the Gauge Junction team in January 2016, James quickly discovered his talent for scenic creation…

November 29, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Another fascinating acquisition for the Gauge Museum, provided by our friends at Taunton station. A set of GWR letter boxes from Taunton station is now safely preserved in the Gauge Museum.  Beautifully made, they were part of the internal mail system run by GWR and later BR, which closed on completion of privatisation in 1997.

November 26, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Work on museum refurbishment has revealed the two goods shed doors at the Minehead end of the shed.  These allowed unloaded wagons to be staged through to a short holding siding (where the Taunton Model Railway Group is today) to allow other wagons to be brought into the shed The doors will be a feature…

November 21, 2019 Admin No comments exist

On 19 November 2019, during a meeting of the Museum HLF Project Group, our Trust Chairman Chris Austin presented a certificate awarded by the British Museum, Marsh Award to Trust member Matthew Sutton for his ‘highly commended voluntary contribution to ‘Museum Learning’. Matthew is a Senior operator and Training Officer at Gauge Junction as well…

October 18, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Would you like to help the Steam Trust to develop its education and learning programme through our National Lottery Heritage Fund Project? If so, come and be a Learning Assistant! The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust was successful in 2018 in obtaining a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Fund with two main objectives: firstly, to…

October 15, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Railway Association and West Somerset Steam Railway Trust’s ‘Rail Renewal’ appeal is now over the £75,000 mark and so 30% of the hoped-for total of £250,000 by 31 December for the next round of infrastructure works, so it could easily achieve a figure close to that target with gift aid by then,…

October 9, 2019 Admin No comments exist

In the Gauge Museum we put together and labelled some parcels and loaded them on the train to recreate the railway scene of the 1950s and 60s during the Gala. Here, Leading Porter Blazdell take a break from his duties as museum steward to load luggage in advance, newspapers and a parcel onto the 14.45…

October 3, 2019 Admin No comments exist

News of a ‘Steam and Scream Spooktacular’ at Watchet – a community event at Watchet Station and Watchet Esplanade – wickedly wonderful Halloween fun during half term week at the West Somerset Railway! The event runs from Tuesday 29 October to Thursday 31 October 2019 from 6pm to 10pm with the Steam and Scream Ghost…

October 1, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (Steam Trust) is looking for a Curator to look after it’s Museum at Blue Anchor. The person would be responsible for the overseeing, direction, co operation and management of the Museum at Blue Anchor. The Museum is usually open on Sundays, Bank Holidays and Galas between April and October….

September 8, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Chris Austin, Chairman of the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust, who has been leading the Taunton shuttle project on behalf of WSR Plc, has provided a summary of the latest data collected on Saturday 31 August. Shuttle passengers returned 100 survey forms – an even bigger sample of forms than received on previous weekends. Analysis…

August 19, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Williams as its first Vice Chairman. Steve will combine this role with his existing responsibilities as Company Secretary, in leading on implementation of the Trust’s Business Plan and as project lead for the Gauge Museum project with its £40,000 contribution from…

August 6, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The WSRA Steam & Vintage Rally 2019 was held at Norton Fitzwarren over the weekend of 03/04 August. The Trust exhibited its Sleeping Car 9038 and Toplight Carriage no. 6705, both vehicles looking resplendent in the summer sunshine. 9038 was one of three Sleeping Cars introduced by the GWR in 1897 to carry First Class…

July 25, 2019 Admin No comments exist

23 July 2019 This coming weekend, the new Saturdays-only GWR Summer shuttle service trains starts on Saturday July 27 and will then continue through August and into the autumn on selected dates forming a timetabled link between the national rail network at Taunton station and the West Somerset Railway (WSR), one of Somerset’s top tourist…

July 9, 2019 Admin No comments exist

GWR Shuttles to West Somerset Railway details are announced on 08 July 2019 Saturday trains starting on July 27 and through August and into the autumn form the basis of the new GWR summer shuttle service linking the national rail network at Taunton station and the West Somerset Railway, one of Somerset’s top tourist attractions….

June 19, 2019 Admin No comments exist

People still wishing to order the Trust’s new 40th anniversary ‘Tales of the WSR’ book by mail order from either the Minehead or Bishops Lydeard shops are advised that the earlier postage rate was incorrect and the new rate to purchase the book including postage and packaging is £11.50.

June 18, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The Minutes of the Board Meeting held on 22 May 2019 have been published. See the Documents page or follow this link. These were approved as a correct record with one amendment to Minute 311: “The railway will be closed for possession purposes between Watchet and Minehead from October 2019 until March 2020 to undertake…

June 8, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (WSSRT) has published a new 40th Anniversary book chronicling some personal memories and momentous events of the last four decades. The WSSRT hosted a book signing to launch the new book on the evening of Friday 7 June in the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard. Despite the pouring rain…

June 7, 2019 Admin No comments exist

Over the weekend of 8th and 9th June, the West Somerset Railway (WSR) will be holding a special 40th anniversary Event to mark it becoming England’s longest heritage railway forty years ago in 1979.  As Quantock Brewery is one of the closest businesses to Bishops Lydeard station, Quantock have brewed an exclusive new beer to mark this special occasion….

June 3, 2019 Admin No comments exist

A letter to WSR shareholders invites purchase of new shares for the Rail Renewal Project and also invites donations via the Association or the Trust. Unfortunately the e-mail address given for the Trust Treasurer is wrong and should read fraserdon1@live.co.uk Thanks.

May 30, 2019 Admin No comments exist

New book launched by West Somerset Steam Railway Trust recounting personal recollections from some of those stalwarts who helped rebuild the railway over the last 40 years. When the former British Rail closed the once-bustling former Great Western Railway 25-mile branch line to Minehead from Taunton in 1971, a local businessman and railway enthusiasts simply…

May 24, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA) and West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (WSSRT) has just launched an ambitious £250,000 fundraising campaign to assist the West Somerset Railway plc (WSR plc) in urgently raising funds for the WSR’s planned track relays over the winter months of 2019. All of the WSR’s track is currently in the…

May 17, 2019 Admin No comments exist

How would you like to be a Trustee for a small, friendly and vibrant Charity? The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust (Steam Trust) is looking to co-opt to additional Trustees to its Board. One of the Trustee positions will take a lead on volunteer development whilst the other will initially be a generic Trustee role…

May 17, 2019 Admin No comments exist

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust is a small charity working in support of the West Somerset Railway. The Trust currently has 83 members and around 40 volunteers with a regular annual income of around £20,000. It is principally dependent on subscriptions and donations (many paid by standing order) to support the work of the…

April 25, 2019 Admin No comments exist

During a very productive meeting between the WSSRT Trustees and the WSR PLC chairman on 24 April, the Trust Chairman, Chris Austin handed the PLC chairman, Jon Jones-Pratt, a cheque for £5,000 as a contribution from the Trust towards the rail replacements at Blue Anchor.

Recent posts...

  • 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
  • Update on Gauge Museum Project
  • News from the 2019 Annual General Meeting
  • The Trust Museums
  • Heritage carriages together
  • Appeal for help with learning
  • The pre-season WSR Stakeholders Meeting
  • Volunteers at Blue Anchor urgently required
  • WSR Stakeholder Meeting 2 March 2019
  • Recent pictures of 6705
  • Working Parties in the Gauge Museum
  • Model railway, education, community, promotion and volunteers
  • Developing Learning at the Gauge Museum
  • Notice of Annual General Meeting
  • Induction Pack
  • Fundraising Plan
  • Business Plan 2019 Update
  • AGM reminder
  • HLF Learning Offer
  • Safety Management
  • Steam Trust Board Agrees Next Phase of Heritage Carriages Project
  • Appointment of Design and Interpretation Consultants for Gauge Museum HLF Project
  • Award success for three young WSR volunteers
  • A summer exhibition
  • GWR BCK no 6705 looking good…
  • The Heritage Railway Association Young Person Award
  • David Baker returns as Trustee
  • Newsletter no 11 published
  • Minutes of the Board Meeting held on 14 November 2018
  • Appointment of Learning Officer for the HLF Project at the Gauge Museum
  • Work continues apace on BCK no 6705
  • Latest pictures of GWR BCK no 6705
  • A Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust Chairman
  • Appointment of Learning Officer
  • Appointment of Jonathan Jones-Pratt as Acting Chairman of West Somerset Railway Plc
  • The West Somerset Forties Weekend
  • Peter Barnfield
  • Draft minutes of Board Meeting on 16 July 2018
  • Nos 9038 and 6705 at Norton Platform
  • On the way to the Rally…
  • Simon Parkin visits the West Somerset Railway
  • No 6705 heads for the Steam Rally
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