An unofficial website featuring the West Somerset Railway

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Latest WSR Association Board Meeting documents published

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have published the agreed Minutes of the Board Meeting of 12 January 2021 and a synopsis of the more recent Board Meeting held on 9 February 2021. Click or tap the buttons below to load the documents from the Association's website.

Minutes Synopsis

16 February 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Washford: An extension of Notice to Quit announced

WSR

Members of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust have received an update regarding the Notice to Quit received for the Washford site from the West Somerset Railway on 10 February 2020. The Notice to Quit gave the S&DRT one year to leave the Washford site, so the Notice Period has now officially expired. The Trust has also issued a press release - tap the button below for further information.

SDRT press release

11 February 2021
Details kindly provided by Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust

The next Zoom event for staff and volunteers

WSR

Staff and volunteers have been invited to join the next Zoom online event. Topics for this session include Operational Safety and ROGS, along with other updates. It will be hosted by Andy Castledine, Operations Director, on Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 6pm. Login details will be sent the day before. The Railway add:

Thank you to all those who attended our first zoom session for staff & volunteers, it was great to see so many of you. Moving forward the sessions will be held on a Monthly basis, each meeting will focus on a different topic, with a different lead director.

10 February 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

WSR Plc Board Director vacancies

WSR

West Somerset Railway Plc write:

The Board has been going through a process of corporate restructuring as a result of which we are looking to fill the following Director vacancies on a voluntary and non-executive basis:

  • Director Mechanical Engineering
  • Director Infrastructure Engineering

For an application pack, please contact Sam Eastaugh, HR Administrator, direct dial: 01643 704996, email: hr@wsrail.net

For an informal discussion about the WSR and the Plc, please contact Jonathan Jones-Pratt Plc Chairman on 07525-761791 or email jon.jones-pratt@wsrail.net

Closing date is 14 March 2021.

Update: On 5 February 2021, the Plc announced the following vacancy for a Safety & Compliance Lead Volunteer Manager (closing date for applications of this vacancy is 14 March 2021); further details from Sam Eastaugh (contact details above).

4 February 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The 2021 Rally will go ahead, if safe and sensible to do so

WSR

The Rally's organising team have just reviewed the plans and can confirm that the 2021 Steam & Vintage Vehicle Rally - planned for 7 and 8 August at Norton Fitzwarren - will go ahead, provided it is safe amp; sensible to do so. The team say:

Normally, in January and February, we would be contacting exhibitors and traders inviting them to book their places. However, because of the current lockdown, which has no firm end date in sight, the team have decided to put off issuing invites for the moment and review the situation in late February or early March, when the situation becomes clearer.

Ideally, we hope to be able to provide a full Rally with all the exhibitions and entertainments loved by our many visitors. However, if social distancing remains, it might be necessary to plan a smaller event. The worst case would be a continuing lockdown, which would result in cancellation. All we can do at present is wait until we have enough information to start making plans. We will keep everyone updated when we can.

3 February 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Outline plans for train services in 2021

WSR

The minutes of the recent board meeting of the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust reveal a welcome outline of the Railway's thinking on possible train services in 2021.

The plan, at the moment, is for a regular red timetable to operate from 1 June until the end of October.

In April, trains may run between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, and in May, possibly, between Bishops Lydeard and Watchet or Minehead; however, all April and May services are very uncertain.

There will be no Spring Gala.

At the time of writing, none of the above has been confirmed by WSR Plc and, in these difficult times, is rightly subject to change.

WSRHT minutes

2 February 2021
Details kindly provided via West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

News from the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust (formerly the Steam Trust) is looking for two Trustees to join the Board. In addition to their corporate responsibilities, each Trustee will lead on a specific portfolio. These are safety management and heritage carriage restoration. The charity has a full programme of work derived from its Business Plan and is in the process of completing a Natural Heritage Lottery Fund project on the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard Station. More details on the Trust website - click the button below.

Another new item on the Trust website are the minutes of their Board meeting held on 21 January 2021.

WSRHT website

2 February 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

Diesel & Electric Preservation Group online shop is open

WSR

The Williton-based Diesel & Electric Preservation Group have announced the opening of their online shop:

Our online shop is now open so go ahead and visit our store! In addition to our range of clothing and collectibles, new merchandise is coming soon including mugs and coasters featuring each of our locomotives along with additional items in the clothing range. DEPG membership can be purchased or renewed from the shop pages and most importantly, donations can be made as well.

DEPG Online Shop

31 January 2021
Details kindly provided by Diesel & Electric Preservation Group

The Railway hold a Zoom event for staff and volunteers

WSR

Thanks to the Diesel & Electric Preservation Group's Andy Royal for a report on a successful online staff event held by WSR Plc on 28 January 2021.

Last Thursday, the WSR hosted a Zoom session where Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt gave a detailed update on the status of the WSR including finances, infrastructure and future plans. Over 60 volunteers joined the call and several engaged in a healthy Q&A session that followed the news briefing. In my book, the WSR get top marks for this initiative because it brought people together and re-ignited the spirit of the 'WSR family' and showed that we are all so eager to get back to work and get the railway back to normal operating status as soon as we can.

31 January 2021
Details kindly provided by Diesel & Electric Preservation Group

Read the 4561 Blog for rebuilding progress

WSR

Good progress with the major rebuilding of the West Somerset Railway Association's GWR 2-6-2T no 4561 is being made at Williton's Swindon Shed. Details can be found in the recently updated 4561. Click or tap the button below to load the blog.

The 4561 Blog

26 January 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Results of Association members views on restructuring

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association recently invited members to respond to a few high level questions about possible future restructuring of the WSR organisations as proposed by in the Bailey Report. Click or tap the button below to load the survey report from the Association's website.

Survey results

24 January 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

WSR Heritage Trust issue Newsletter no 16

WSR

The Trust has announced the publication of Newletter no 16 now available from the Trust website wsrht.co.uk. This is a milestone for the Trust as it is the first Newsletter published under the name of West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust. A link to Newsletter no 16 can be found below.

WSRHT Newsletter no 16

22 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

An electric train service from Bishops Lydeard, perhaps

WSR

Go-op - a co-operative society - is planning to run an electric train service between Bishops Lydeard, Taunton and Swindon, according to a post on Facebook.

A project funded by Innovation UK is seeking to bring 21st century rail technology to the 19th century station at Bishops Lydeard - a renewable energy generation and storage system for a battery powered train. The project would see a modern multiple unit train set based at the station, with an ultra-rapid electric charger alongside. If successful, it could be the basis for future train services in Somerset, and possibly even a regular connection to the national rail network for Bishops Lydeard.

In the source, WSR Plc are quoted:

The WSR has always encouraged train operators to run trains to connect with the very popular heritage steam trains that run from Bishops Lydeard to MInehead. We have been discussing with Go-op, a Taunton based cooperative about a potential train service that they want to run from Bishops Lydeard and Taunton to Swindon. This has included safety and operational requirements on the WSR, as well as how the trains would connect. We are at an early stage and will continue discussions as Go-op resolves the many issues involved in running on the national network.

Go-op add:

The local substation has some scope for supplying electric vehicle charging points, but that won't always be coming from green sources and may not be sufficient (the battery on the train might be as large as a megawatt-hour, and charged several times a day). So it would be ideal to have some additional generation - perhaps a mix of solar and small-scale wind power - and these could be sited in currently unused land owned by the WSR just to the south of the station. While there are long term plans to establish additional sidings there, the energy infrastructure could be designed so as to be compatible with such future uses.

The above was gleaned from a Facebook post on the Bishops Lydeard page. At the time of writing, there is nothing on the Go-op website but Go-op have confirmed the report, and WSR Plc have confirmed their statement.

21 January 2021
Details gleaned from Facebook page of Bishops Lydeard

Culture Heritage Recovery Fund Award - latest updates

WSR

The Culture Heritage Recovery Fund (CHRF) is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The WSR has been awarded £865,000 to help secure the railway’s longer-term viability as a popular tourist attraction, educational offering, and preserver of heritage locomotives. The money must be invested by the end of March 2021 to receive the full benefit of the award.

The WSR's CHRF programme implementation board has been brought together to manage the oversight of spending these funds and are providing helpful regular updates to volunteers and staff about how and where the money is being spent in order to achieve the stated aims of the fund. The board have kindly given their permission for the updates to appear on wsr.org.uk and enable a wider readership.

CHRF Update 3 List of CHRF updates

A link to the list of CHRF updates also appears under 'News' on the top menu bar of each web page.

19 January 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Latest WSR Association Board Meeting documents published

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have published the agreed Minutes of the Board Meeting of 10 December 2020 and a synopsis of the more recent Board Meeting held on 12 January 2021. Click or tap the buttons below to load the documents from the Association's website.

Minutes Synopsis

15 January 2021
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

News from Bishops Lydeard Station Shop

WSR

Kate Beard writes:

With the whole of the UK effectively locked down once again, customers may be pleased to know that Bishops Lydeard Shop is happy to accept customer requests for models, books and other items, and railway modellers may like to be reminded that Hornby have recently announced their programme of 2021 new releases. We would ask that customers let us know their Hornby requirements asap please in order not to miss out on the limited number of pre-orders often allocated to us.    

Customers may e-mail us or send a letter to the contact addresses below, setting out their requests and providing a telephone contact so we can get back to them to discuss delivery and arrange payment.

Email: kate.beard@wsrail.net (monitored daily)   

Address for letters (monitored weekly): Station Shop, Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton TA4 3BX 

13 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the West Somerset Railway Plc

WSR Heritage Trust seek a website manager

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust are looking for a website manager:

The WSRHT (formerly WSSRT) charity would like to invite applications from any volunteers who can act as a content manager and help with the development and running of their web site. Any interested parties should be familiar with the processes for designing and implementing functionalities on a web site, including the appointment of a new web hosting provider to manage the site itself. Note, this is a task that can easily be run remotely from home or office. Please would any interested parties contact the WSRHT via e-mail at info@wsrht.co.uk or Geoff Evens directly at geoff.evens@wsrht.co.uk A working specification is available on request. Thank you.

11 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust

The canopy around the turntable to be removed

WSR

The Friends of Minehead Station report that the local authority have decided to take down the structures just outside the Turntable Cafe at Minehead on which there were a few 'sails' left, and add that it will be interesting to see what it looks like with all the structure gone. The modern-style canopy was constructed by the Council in 2008 to complement the newly installed turntable.

11 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the Friends of Minehead Station

Keep warm with WSR winter clothing

WSR

Keep warm this winter with WSR clothing:

The temperature is set to be pretty cold over the next few days - even in sunny Minehead! We have a great range of WSR winter clothing online in various sizes. Hoodies, Hats, Scarves and Gillets, plus our softshell jackets. Click or tap the button below to check out the range.

Online Shop

5 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the West Somerset Railway Plc

A Message from the Steam and Vintage Rally Team

WSR

Writing on their Facebook page the Steam and Vintage Rally Team say:

Happy new year all. Hope that this Covid all clears up and we can have our wonderful Steam Rally this year. We are in the very early stages of starting to plan for this year's event. As everything this year it all depends how the Covid situation goes. So all keep safe hopefully look forward to seeing you all in August.

The Steam and Vintage Rally Facebook page

4 January 2021
Details kindly provided by the Steam and Vintage Rally Team

It was fifty years ago

WSR
Train in October 1970 approaching Blue Anchor © John Wood

Fifty years ago the last BR passenger trains ran on the Minehead Branch. Saturday 2 January 1971 saw the last timetabled passenger train although other BR trains appeared for various reasons up to March 1975. Sadly the West Somerset Railway are not able to recognise and celebrate this milestone anniversary due to current pandemic restrictions. And so those who recall that time are left with their memories, especially people now involved with the West Somerset Railway who travelled on the old line, particularly the last day. Let us hope some kind of celebration can be arranged when things return to normal.

30 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Update on Bishops Lydeard Station Shop Opening Times

WSR

Kate Beard writes:

Following the change of Government Covid regulations and the cancellation of the WSR's Winter Steam Journey trains, we are sorry to announce that the shop will close after the final train on Christmas Eve. We plan to re-open in January as usual, subject to Government regulations, but will confirm this in due course.

In the meantime we shall continue to accept customer orders for models and other items, and would ask our customers to contact us on the e-mail address below, which will be monitored on a daily basis.

Railway modellers may like to be reminded that Hornby will be making their annual announcement about new releases in early January and that we shall be very happy to accept pre-orders for any of the new items scheduled.

For enquiries or to place an order, please contact the shop via kate.beard@wsrail.net providing a phone number on which you can be contacted.

24 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The Railway cancels its planned post-Christmas trains

WSR

The Railway has announced:

West Somerset Railway is currently in a Tier 2 area until 00:01 Saturday 26th December 2020 when Somerset will enter Tier 3. Santa Express services up to and including 24th December 2020 remain unaffected and will go ahead as planned. It is with great regret that we will no longer be able to operate services for our planned Winter Steam Journeys after Christmas. We look forward to welcoming you back to the railway in 2021, but in the meantime please stay safe. Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year.

23 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The 2020 Christmas Message from the Plc Chairman

WSR

The Railway is now into the last week of running Santa trains between Bishops Lydeard and Williton with the services having done really well and with some very happy customers. Staff are even happier and just so pleased to be back running the railway again! The WSR Plc Chairman's Christmas message - usually for those working on or for the Railway - is being given wider distribution and may help give folks more details on what is happening and what is planned. Click ot tap the button below to download the full Christmas message

The Railway is hopeful of running the remaining public winter services on 29 and 30 December subject to Government restrictions, and is looking forward to the New Year with growing confidence if the virus is kept at bay.

Go to the 2020 Christmas Message page

23 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Update on the WSR Emergency Appeals

WSR

Here are the details of the Railway's various fundraising appeals as at 22 December 2020.

West Somerset Railway Plc:
Website Donations£64,790.00
Cheque Donations £18,429.26
Share Purchases£53,110.00
Station Donations£41,950.00
Other sources£1,640.00
Council Grant£25,000.00
Culture Recovery Fund£865,000.00
WSR Plc Total£1,069,919.26
West Somerset Railway Association:
Rail Renewal 2020£39.086.97
DMU refurbishment £5,000.39
Loco Renewal Fund£23,286.00
Preserve & Protect Fund£30,938.61
Trusts & Foundations Grants£61,500.00
Other grants£4,020.00
WSRA Total£163,831.97
West Somerset Steam Railway Trust:
NLHF 'Emergency Fund'£28,700.00
Donations£58,900.71
Council Grant£7,500.00
WSSRT Total£95,100.71

Please note the WSRA and WSSRT categories/groupings differ from previous presentations of the same data on these webpages.

Links to the main online donation pages can be found under the 'Appeals' tab at the top of all pages on this website or go click or tap the button below.

Fundraising Group webpage

23 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The upgrade of Seaward Way Level Crossing

WSR

As reported in the recent 'The Platform' newsletter:

Following informal discussions with the ORR (Office for Rail and Road) it has been decided to include CCTV in the scheme. This will enable the signalman to see the crossing and road approaches in detail before initiatingthe barrier sequence. The new crossing will now be an MCB-CCTV classified crossing (Manually Controlled Barriers with Close Circuit TeleVision). The first work on the ground which will take place as soon as formal approval to the detailed plans are given by the ORR will be the installation of the concrete base for a new switch room on the Dunster side of the crossing. The room itself (a small cabin) has already been constructed off site. Regular (and frequent) planning meetings are now taking place betweenall the partners in the project, including Somerset County Council, who are financing the project, and the various consultants and contractors. All involved are well aware of the urgency of getting the project completed but this is a complex technical project which must be correctly planned and delivered. Inevitably, in a project like this, most of the time takes place in the preparation and the physical build time is relatively short.

In his Christmas message to staff and volunteers, WSR Plc Chairman, Jon Jones-Pratt, confirms work is underway and for completion in early 2021 although the message suggests this work may result in a likely restricted service during the first part of the season. No doubt as boxes are ticked we will get more updates on this project.

19 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Change of name for the Steam Trust

WSR

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust say:

A reminder that the Trust is planning to formally adopt the new name of 'West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust' with effect from 1st January 2021. Hopefully that will give us time to do all the logistical work involved with the change. Alongside this the Trust will be updating the Articles following the approval at the AGM. The Trust will also be undertaking a review of its policies and will be looking to align these with those of the PLC where they apply to the Trust.

18 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Steam Railway Trust

GWR no 5199 moves to West Somerset Railway for 2021 season

WSR

In anticipation of being able to run normal steam services again in early 2021, the West Somerset Railway Plc has announced that former GWR 5101 class 2-6-2T no 5199 is moving on 17 December to Somerset from its current base on the Llangollen Railway. The WSR Plc say:

The hire of the 'maid of all work' Class 4 loco from the 'The 5199 Project' owning group will last until 31 December 2021 and was agreed by Group Chairman Richard Pumphrey in conjunction with WSR Plc Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt and Acting WSR CME Andy Forster. The Llangollen Railway is fully aware of the hire and move from North Wales.

No 5199 will operate on a minimum number of 35 steaming days in this period. It is an ideal engine for the WSR being capable of hauling most trains with ease, and many members of the class ran regularly on the steeply-graded branch hauling eight coach trains in GWR and British Railways days.

For 25 years, the WSR was host to popular sister no 4160 which was restored at Minehead by WSR personnel, but it has now left the WSR and is undergoing overhaul on the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh under the aegis of Locomotive 5542 Ltd.

14 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Latest WSR Association Board Meeting documents published

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have published the agreed Minutes of the Board Meeting of 11 November 2020 and a synopsis of the more recent Board Meeting held on 8 December 2020. Click or tap the buttons below to load the documents from the Association's website.

Minutes Synopsis

12 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

Donations for DMU renewal work reaches target

WSR

The West Somerset Railway Association have some good news for the Railway's Diesel Multiple Unit.

The WSRA is pleased to announce that the recent fundraising campaign for the railway’s DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) has now achieved its £5000 target. The West Somerset Railway is very grateful to everyone who donated to this appeal. The funds will be used to pay for repairs to the old door handles, locks and striker plates on the DMU to ensure that they are safe for passengers.

Work has already commenced to remove the old items and prepare them for sending away for refurbishment. Interim Operations Manager Paul Fleet said:

This most welcome funding allows us to focus on some of the small, but nevertheless important components of the unit.

Our small team of dedicated volunteers are grateful for all of the donations, and would welcome offers of help to bring about a number of desired and long-overdue improvements that will keep the unit serviceable over the coming years.

9 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Association

The Itinerant Ticket Rack

WSR

A chance find in a Californian antique shop’s store room has opened a fascinating link between Minehead and Los Angeles, 5,341 miles away as crows or seagulls fly, and excited volunteers at the West Somerset Railway.

The discovery of a dusty, wooden roll-fronted cupboard hanging high on the wall in Agoura Antique Mart was only made because of the curiosity of a customer who took a long-range photograph so she could enlarge the image and then discover exactly what it was.

The answer proved to be a vintage ticket cabinet from Minehead railway station which probably last saw service in the 1960s. The mystery, still unsolved, is who rescued it when the branch line from Taunton was run down and finally closed in 1971 by British Rail, then took it to the United States.

This story was discussed on BBC Radio Somerset's 'Breakfast' on Wednesday 9 December 2020. Click or tap the BBC Radio Somerset button below - the five minute discussion starts around 2 hours 34 minutes into the programme.

Click or tap the button below for the full story...

The full story of the Itinerant Ticket Rack BBC Radio Somerset

8 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

The December 2020 edition of The Platform now available

WSR

Lots of really useful topical information about the West Somerset Railway can be found in the December 2020 edition of the new electronic newsletter. Topics include:

  • Christmas Trains
  • The Cultural Heritage Recovery Fund
  • Seaward Way Level Crossing at Minehead
  • Williton Goods Shed and Williton Strategy Group
  • Washford Yard
  • News from the Civil Engineering Department
  • News from the Mechanical Engineering Department
  • Developments in Signal Engineering
  • News from the West Somerset Railway Association
  • News from the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust
  • Online Personal Track Safety Certification

Click or tap the button below to load The Platform newsletter...

Download 'The Platform' December 2020

8 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Bishops Lydeard Station Shop Opening Times

WSR

Kate Beard writes:

We are now able to confirm the opening times of the shop for the remainder of December. We shall be open every day that Festive Season trains are running. Those days are as follows and our shop times are set out below these dates:

  • Saturday 12th December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Sunday 13th December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Saturday 19th December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Sunday 20th December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Tuesday 22nd December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Wednesday 23rd December (Trains depart at 11am, 1.45pm and 4.30pm)
  • Thursday 24th December (Trains depart at 10am, 12.25pm and 2.50pm)

Post Christmas

  • Tuesday 29th December (Trains depart at 10.15am and 12.45pm)
  • Wednesday 30th December (Trains depart at 10.15am and 12.45pm)

In the days prior to Christmas Eve we shall be open from 9.30am until at least 4.45pm, and until at least 3.00pm on Christmas Eve.

On 29th and 30th December opening times will be 9.30am until at least 2.30pm.

With restricted access to the shop because of social distancing requirements and to minimise the need to queue, we would ask all shop customers who do not hold pre-booked train tickets to avoid coming to the shop in the 30 minutes before the scheduled train departure times shown above.

Please note that the main station car park will be closed throughout December, with vehicle and pedestrian access to the station prior to Christmas via the old approach road alongside Platform 2 on the south east side of the road overbridge. Before Christmas customers may be met by staff in the approach road and directed to parking.

We shall be operating a one way entrance and exit system through the shop and customers are asked to use the hand sanitisation facilities available in the lobby and to wear a face mask and the disposable gloves provided while in the shop.

After 30th December, the shop will remain closed for our usual break, re-opening on Saturdays from 23rd January at 10.00am.

8 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

A summary of the recent WSR Plc AGM

WSR

The Board of the West Somerset Railway Plc have released a brief report on the Annual General Meeting held on 21 November 2020:

The WSR PLC board is pleased to confirm to shareholders and the WSR community the results of the 48th AGM held on 21st November which was held virtually, online, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The minutes of the previous AGM were approved and the Finance report, along with the director's statement and auditors' reports accepted in draft form. A.C Mole & Sons were also re-appointed as auditors.

The meeting also confirmed the appointment of Andy Castledine, Justin Kerr-Peterson, and Steve Williams as directors, having been previously co-opted to the Plc Board during the last year, and the new appointment of Mike Thompson commencing as a director from the time of the meeting.

The meeting also noted the retirement of Mark Smith as Vice Chairman and as a director and the Chairman paid tribute to and acknowledged his major contribution to the WSR and the PLC over many years, but especially in more recent times when he returned to step and help the railway in its critical hour of need.

Thanks also went out to Bob Meanley for his outstanding contribution as CME, who had also stepped in to help the railway at a really critical time, and resigned as a director in July this year.

Later, after the completion of the AGM, a separate Q and A was attend by up to 62 people virtually on line via Zoom. Some 55 written questions were submitted by shareholders in advance all of which were answered by various directors in line with their respective business activity portfolios.

7 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

Opportunity for steam travel in late December

WSR

Blow the cobwebs away between Christmas and New Year on a Winter Steam Journey. Travel behind a steam locomotive in a cosy warm carriage, and watch as the Quantock Hills and stunning scenery roll by. The journey will be between Bishops Lydeard and Williton return, and will take roughly 1½ hours to complete. These services run on 29 and 30 December 2020 only. Advance booking only and restrictions apply. Please tap or click the button below for full details and online booking.

More information and booking

3 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

An update concerning the Santa Express trains

WSR

The West Somerset Railway has issued a Coronavirus Update affecting the Santa Express trains:

Please note that due to the government restrictions in place for the first weekend of services (12th and 13th December) we are unfortunately unable to accept bookings from those within a Tier 3 area. If you are within a tier 3 area and would like to make a booking nearer Christmas, in the hope that restrictions will be eased after the review, please contact us on 01643 704996 to make your booking.

If you already hold a booking with us for 12th and 13th December and are in a Tier 3 area, you should have received an email with your options.

We are asking all passengers to please follow the current guidelines on your day of travel if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone Monday - Friday 9am-5pm 01643 704996 or email info@wsrail.net.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

More information and booking

2 December 2020
Details kindly provided by West Somerset Railway Plc

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