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The West Somerset Railway has won a funding grant from Hinkley Point C Community Fund to deliver a Community Cohesion Project as part of the drive to mitigate the impact of the construction of Hinkley Point C on the local Somerset Community.

We are now recruiting for a Community Engagement Manager to manage and deliver the project. Please follow the link below for details.

Community Engagement Manager

The West Somerset Railway has been awarded a grant from the HPC Community Fund. The Fund is in place to help address and mitigate against intangible and residual community impacts deriving from the construction of Hinkley Point C. The successful WSR application, led by the West Somerset Railway Association with the full support and involvement of the West Somerset Railway Plc and other members of the WSR Family will enable the railway to increase its engagement with local communities, individuals, organisations and agencies to extend its reach to a wider, more diverse community base. A range of activities have been developed including volunteering opportunities and training and work experience which are all designed to facilitate personal well-being, community cohesion and the training/upskilling of people to help the economic stability for West Somerset and the wider areas surrounding the HPC build.

Click HERE to read the full press release.

The WSRA is thrilled that supporters shopping online via easyfundraising.com have now raised in excess of £400. The Staff and Trustees would like to thank all 43 supporters who have made the effort to make their online purchases via easyfundraising.com and raised over £400 in the last 18 months. All funds raised via easyfundraising go directly to support the restoration of locomotives to run on the West Somerset Railway.

Easyfundraising is an online fundraising platform that works with over 2000 retailers who have all agreed to make a donation to the shopper’s charity of choice. There is no cost to the consumer. If you’re not already signed up please consider using easyfundraising and help us raise funds for locomotive restoration.

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/westsomersetrailwayassociation/

The WSRA has teamed up with award winning television programme maker David Parker to present an evening celebrating the achievements of the some of the men and women who brought our picturesque branch lines back to life.

David is touring the country with his illustrated talk entitled “Flying Scotsman and the Golden Age of Steam” presenting footage of restored branch lines, locomotives and the sheer hard work put in some of the men and women who made it happen.  On Friday 9th November he will be at Bridgwater Arts Centre, starting at  7:30pm.  We have teamed up with him for this one show and included in the evening will be contributions from WSR folk, including Ryan Pope who has restored his own steam locomotive and is now the WSRestoration Engineering Manager.

Tickets, priced £10 and £8 for concessions are available in advance from  https://bridgwaterartscentre.cloudvenue.co.uk/flyingscotsmanandthegoldenageofsteam

WSR supporters are eligible for a price reduction and can get advance tickets for £8 and £6 (concessions) by using the promotional code 4472.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Notes:

  1. The Venue is Bridgwater Arts Centre, 11-13 Castle Street, Bridgwater TA6 3DD.  Enquiries to info@bridgwaterartscentre.o.uk
  2. The Promoter is David Parker who can be contacted on dparker@availablelight.tv
  3. The WSRA contact is the General Manager – jacquie.green@wsra.org.uk

The Trustees are pleased to announce that the re-upholstering of the two Stogumber station seats they agreed to fund earlier in the year is now complete and visitors to the station can sit in comfort whilst they wait for their train or partake of some refreshment.

The re-upholstering of the two bench seats was undertaken with advice and guidance from Ian Colbey on heritage, and funded by the WSRA. The 8 foot long fully upholstered seat is in the booking office (where delicious refreshments can also be purchased) and the smaller bench with only the seat upholstered is in the waiting room on the platform, along with a model railway layout recently gifted to the station.  They form part of an ongoing programme of improvements at Stogumber, that make the little station a joy to visit.

Peter Mann reports:

A small team from S&T, comprising Peter Mann, Bob Birkenhead and Bernie Martin, have successfully installed a new set of lever leads in Williton Signal Box.This was made possible by the funding support from the WSR Association, which was much appreciated. The leads were engraved by Phil Taphouse of P&S Engraving in Carhampton.

The job itself turned out to be more difficult than we anticipated as we hit a number of problems.  The main issue was that to meet the specification laid down by Signal Engineer John Jenkins, the font on the new leads needed to be as similar as possible to the fonts used on an original set of leads in John’s possession, which came from the old Westbury Signal box. It turned out that these exact fonts were not now available in the digital world, so we had to work very closely with the engraver over a number of months to match the fonts, necessitating many trials and test versions. In the end we had to select a variety of fonts for different letters and numerals. We are very grateful for Phil Taphouse’s expertise and perseverance. We are pleased with the final result, the leads look very good and they help to complete the WN loop extension project.

The photos attached show the new leads in place.

The July draw for the WSRA 50:50 club was made at the end of August and the winning ticket numbers  can be viewed HERE. Cheques are on their way to the lucky winners!

The WSR’s Gala Planning Team are pleased to be able to announce some of the locomotives that will be visiting the line and working trains at the Autumn Gala between Thursday 27th and Sunday 30th September 2018.

Our theme of “Cross country railways” aims to celebrate the large variety of locos and trains that worked lines all around the UK on routes that served many towns and cities away from the capital. These included the Bristol to Sheffield/York & Newcastle routes, the Somerset & Dorset, Midland & Great Northern, North Wales and many cross Pennine routes.

The first visiting loco that we are able to confirm is BR Standard Class 5 No. 73082 ‘Camelot’ from the Bluebell Railway. This will be the first time the engine has left the Bluebell in preservation so it hasn’t been seen working anywhere else since its withdrawal by BR in the 1960’s. These locos were common on the ex Midland Bristol to the North routes and the Pennines as well as Southern Region lines where this particular example spent much of its life and carried the ‘Camelot’ name from a withdrawn “King Arthur” 4-6-0. The loco has been under repair for much of the year, but these are now all but completed and it is expected to re-enter traffic on the Bluebell very soon.

The Std 5 will be joined by Bulleid Pacific No. 34046 “Braunton” (currently running as No. 34052 “Lord Dowding” as part of the RAF 100 celebrations) which of course as a strong history with the WSR having initially been restored in the workshops at Williton. This loco arrived on the WSR yesterday and will be working a daily round trip through August and into September on many days, but please check before travelling to the line to avoid disappointment as maintenance will be required on occasions and the loco will also be our working on the mainline on a couple of dates in September.

The current home based fleet of Manor’s Nos.7820 “Dinmore Manor” & 7822 “Foxcote Manor” along with Modified Hall No. 6960 “Raveningham Hall” will represent the Western Region routes and Somerset & Dorset 7F No. 53808 represents that most famous cross country railway. Our 2018 season’s visitor S160 No. 6046 will also be appearing. It is unlikely that our own Manor No. 7828 “Odney Manor” will be quite ready in time for this gala, but may make an appearance in light steam at Minehead.

A further visiting loco or two is still under discussion and we will reveal the identity of these as soon as possible.  Please do note that all locomotives are as always subject to final availability.
Don Bishop
Gala Planning Team
Chairman.