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The papers for the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the West Somerset Railway Association are now available for download from the Documents page of this website.

The meeting will be held on Saturday 7th July at 2:00pm in Bishops Lydeard Village Hall. To speed up the entrance process please bring your current membership card with you.

In accordance with Articles 51 and  52 any member unable to attend the meeting may appoint a proxy to attend in his/her place to vote on any resolution placed before the meeting.  Proxy Notification forms must be received at the Registered Office by 2pm on Thursday 5 July 2018.  Electronic submission to admin@wsra.org.uk is acceptable.

Trustees Nigel Power, and Paul Whitehouse are retiring by rotation and both have offered themselves for re-election.  Geoff Garfield, who was co-opted during the year also offers himself for election by the membership.  Three additional members are standing for election, Frank Courtney, Will Foster and Robin White. Please see the Articles of Association (articles 7 – 25) for full details of the roles and responsibility of Trustees.

The Trustees look forward to seeing as many members as possible at the meeting.

In partnership with the Gin & Sin co, the WSR plc are offering WSRA members the chance to join a very special experience on Sunday 17th June. Travel through the Somerset Countryside whilst sampling a selection of gins and learning about the history and process of gin making. You will be able to sample 5 artisan gins with suggested botanicals and different types of tonic. After sampling, choose your favourite gins from the samples to enjoy three full measure Gin and Tonics.
Your gin tasting experience will take place on the 14.15 train from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and you will be free to return on a train on your choice. If you choose to start your journey at Minehead, you will need to catch either the 10.15 or 12.15 train in order to reach Bishops Lydeard in time for your 14.15 departure.

All seats are arranged in tables of four – if you book four seats, you will be seated together, if you book two or singles, you will be seated with another party.
Over 18s only. Please arrange suitable transport home, do not drink and drive.

Included in your ticket:
Introductory talk
Return travel on the West Somerset Railway
5 artisan gin samples
3 full size gin and tonics (if you prefer, you can take away a 50ml sample of gin to enjoy later)

This exciting new experience is on sale to the General Public for £49 but WSRA Members can receive a £10 (almost 20%) discount by quoting a discount code when booking. Contact the WSRA General Manager to obtain your discount code.

Book online on the WSR PLC website. If you prefer to book by phone please call 01643 704996 from Monday 11th June. You will need to have your current WSRA membership card with you when you travel.

It is with much sadness that the death is announced of Nigel Adams.

Nigel gave many years of dedicated time and effort to the West Somerset Railway.  He will  especially  be remembered for his contribution as a WSRA Trustee during the 2016 transition period.

Nigel’s son Tom writes:

“Nigel Adams sadly passed away in the early hours of Tuesday 22nd May 2018 surrounded by his wife and family. A service of thanksgiving will take place at St Leonard’s Church, Exeter at 2.30pm on Wednesday 6th June followed by refreshments.

The West Somerset Railway was a significant part of Nigel’s life and therefore his family would like to invite all friends, staff and volunteers at the West Somerset Railway to attend. If you would like to dress in uniform it would be a very meaningful tribute to Nigel.

Any donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Hospiscare.”

 

The West Somerset Railway Gala Planning Team are delighted to announce that plans have now sufficiently developed for our 2018 diesel gala for us to make a formal announcement about the event and the attractions we intend to offer for the event which runs from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June 2018.

We will be having visiting locomotives brought to the WSR by our friends at GBRF from several locations around the country which will be brought together for a single move from Kidderminster SVR to Bishops Lydeard prior to the event. These are planned to be Class 20’s 20189 & 20205 (courtesy of Michael Owen) hauling Class 45 No. 45041 “Royal Tank Regiment” (Courtesy of Peak Locomotive Company), Class 50 No. 50035 “Ark Royal” (courtesy of Class 50 Alliance) and Deltic Class 55 No. 55019 “Royal Highland Fusilear” (courtesy of the Deltic Preservation Society). All these visitors are in BR Blue livery, so could this be one of the longest train formations of BR Blue locos together in many a year? These visitors will be joined by the home based Diesel & Electric Preservation Groups fleet of Class 14 No. D9526, making its return to traffic after a heavy overhaul, Class 33’s Nos. D6566 & D6575, with D6566 re-entering service after a heavy overhaul, Class 35 Hymek’s Nos. D7017 & D7018, with D7018 making its first public runs since a catastrophic engine failure in August 1995 and a full rebuild and restoration by the DEPG team and ever popular Western Class 52 No. D1010 “Western Campaigner”. These are likely to be joined by Class 09 shunter D4107 for some rare haulage opportunities on shuttles between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren, quite likely in the company of the Class 14 whilst the later is gently run-in for its initial return to service.

Each of these locomotives fits our theme of “Vintage Diesels to the Seaside” in that not only are they are working to the seaside at Minehead but each of these types often worked holiday trains to the seaside in various parts of the country in their working careers for BR. This will allow many diesel fans to visit the WSR and relive their “bashing years” of the 1970’s & 80’s.

A new intensive timetable is being designed for the event with all diesel timetables on the Friday & Saturday and a single steam hauled trip on the Sunday to cater for casual visitors to the railway who want and expect steam and also a regular coach party booking. We are also planning to run a limited number of diesel turns on the Thursday as a preview day.

The gala will also be complemented by a beer festival which is being planned for the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust site at Washford to run over the weekend. It is planned to have a good number of real ales available from both local west country breweries and some from further afield to cater for all tastes. Food will also be available at the festival. All trains will call at Washford to enable diesel gala visitors to indulge in a pint or two in between their haulage runs. Please note that there will be no car parking available at Washford and all visitors are encouraged to travel by train.

With the WSR’s stiff gradients and plenty of mileage to be had across the weekend and a good variety of motive power to enjoy we are hoping for a bumper gala turn-out.

Any queries should be directed to Don Bishop, Chairman, Gala Planning Team.

On Friday 9th March the WSRA organised a fundraising pub quiz as part of Pub Aid’s “World’s biggest Pub Quiz” Promotion.  Held in Bishops Lydeard village hall, the quiz was a very enjoyable evening attended by 56 participants, in 11 teams,  from around the railway and the local community.  The atmosphere was great – lots of banter and laughter.

Congratulations to the winning team who called themselves “I have no idea” and also to the individuals  who prizes won in the raffle.  The evening raised £355 in total for the WSR Locomotive Restoration Fund so THANK YOU to everyone who participated, organised and donated.  A great team effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Toye

Amazon has today launched it’s new support mechanism for charitable organisations and the WSRA has signed up to be a part of it.  Access your amazon account via the new https://smile.amazon.co.uk  website and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net value of every purchase you make to the WSRA.

How to join in:

  1. Visit https://smile.amazon.co.uk
  2. Choose your charity – under ‘pick your own charitable organisation’ type in West Somerset Railway Association and click search
  3. Select the WSRA when given the option
  4. Shop via https://smile.amazon.co.uk  You will notice that under the search box in your browser it says ‘supporting: West Somerset Railway Association’
  5. Donation of 0.5% of your net purchase price is made by Amazon to the WSRA.
  6. Bookmark https://smile.amazon.co.uk for future purchases.

 

WSRA Note:

This is a new service and we’re still waiting for marketing materials, logos etc to be made available by Amazon.  Using them without specific permission is not an option!  The WSRA Organisational Information has been ‘gleaned’ by Amazon and we would hope to be able to update and modify it in due course.  However the funds are there and Amazon is ready to donate so please don’t let a few teething issues put you off.

The HPC Community Cohesion Grants Programme addresses intangible and residual community impacts deriving from the construction of Hinkley Point C.

The successful West Somerset Railway application, led by the West Somerset Railway Association, focusses on volunteering and the benefits of personal well-being, community cohesion and economic stability that a volunteering spirit can bring to the community.  The West Somerset Railway has a thriving community of over 1000 volunteers with a wide range of backgrounds and skills applied across the whole 23 miles of the railway. This Grants Programme presents the opportunity to extend volunteering opportunities to a wider and more diverse community, as the populations of West Somerset Towns and Villages develop and change with the construction of Hinkley Point C.

The WSRA is one of ten local community groups which have been invited to submit applications to the second stage of the programme.  The application will now be developed to demonstrate how the West Somerset Railway will attract new volunteers from a diverse population and facilitate their integration into the community, enabling them to grow in confidence and skills as they make a valuable contribution to a community that becomes their own.

WSR PLC Chairman Ian Coleby said “The West Somerset Railway is an important part of the economy of West Somerset and we welcome this opportunity to extend our family of volunteers and engage with a wider community base”

WSRA Chairman Paul Whitehouse said “As the support charity for the West Somerset Railway we are thrilled to be leading on this project which will benefit individuals, the West Somerset Community, and the railway.”

 

 

Notes:

  • 25 community groups submitted expressions of interest and 10 have been invited to submit second stage applications
  • The second stage applications must be submitted by May of this year
  • The West Somerset Railway Association is the support charity for the West Somerset Railway.
  • WSR Volunteer Andy Norman is the Project Manager leading on this application for the WSRA.
  • For more information about the railway please visit west-somerset-railway.co.uk
  • For more information about the West Somerset Railway Association please visit wsra.org.uk
  • For any other information please contact the WSRA General Manager Jacquie Green at jacquie.green@wsra.org.uk

The WSRA Fifty Fifty club draw has taken place for January 2018. Winning ticket numbers can be checked at https://www.wsra.org.uk/fifty-fifty-club/#results

If you’re not yet a member download an application form HERE

The WSRA has joined Somerset West Lottery and is now one of the ‘good causes’ available for you to choose as your beneficiary when you buy lottery tickets.

To support the WSRA and take part in the weekly lottery visit https://www.somersetwestlottery.co.uk/support/west-somerset-railway-association and buy your tickets.

If you buy tickets for this week’s draw, to be made on Saturday 10th February, there’s the added bonus of a chance of winning a trip for two for the Dunster Castle Express, courtesy of the WSR PLC.  What’s not to like?