Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc’s chairman resigns

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After six years as financial director and five as chairman of Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc (GWSR), Malcolm Temple has resigned.

Mr Temple has decided, after steering the railway through some of its most
difficult times, to pursue other charitable and political interests.

The greatest challenge for Mr Temple and his voluntary GWSR colleagues was raising funds to pay for the cost of repairing two major embankment
collapses while maximising revenue opportunities by continuing to operate
the truncated railway on sections unaffected by the collapses.

The emergency appeal raised over £1 million, enabling the damaged
embankments to be rebuilt. The railway is now concentrating on continuing
its expansion towards Broadway and a share offer, ‘Bridges  to Broadway’, was launched on 30 September to pay for the repair of bridges between the present northern end of the line and Broadway itself.

The Board has appointed Alan Bielby as acting chairman and Christopher
Bristow as financial director, both of whom are already directors and
volunteers with the railway.

Mr Bielby said: “Malcolm leaves the railway knowing it is in good hands and
well placed for the future.

“It is currently enjoying its best-ever year. Volunteer numbers are increasing; passenger numbers have already exceeded our previous best (in 2009) and this augurs well for the longer term future.

“Malcolm has made a significant contribution to the railway during a very challenging period, at the same time helping to lay the foundations for railway’s future commercial success as well as its expansion to Broadway and beyond.

“I and my Board colleagues wish him well.”

The GWSR is currently enjoying its best ever year:

* passenger numbers as of today are 23% up on the railway’s best ever
year in 2009, when 75,000 tickets were sold
* the number of volunteers on the railway now exceeds 750, up about
25% over the past three years
* the railway’s popular Santa Specials which run throughout December
are selling well, a fifth of available tickets having been sold

GWSR development continues on several fronts

* on 30 September the railway launched its ‘Bridges to Broadway’ share
offer as part of the project to complete the two-mile extension from
Laverton to Broadway. Share applications have been coming in to the railway
at a rate of £7,000 per day
* Broadway station’s two platforms are already substantially built
* Thanks to a bequest and a grant from Cheltenham Borough council good
progress is being made by volunteers constructing a second platform at
Cheltenham Racecourse
* A £110,000 development at Winchcombe station has seen a new carriage
paintshop, carpentry workshop and upholstery loft built and nearing
* Work is under way to improve locomotive restoration and servicing
facilities at Toddington

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