Welcome to the SVR Rolling Stock Trust Website

 News from the SVR Charitable Trust

 August 2017

New funding for the Academy

Fantastic news just in for the Heritage Skills Training Academy, with the announcement that the Hendy and Pendle Charitable Trust has agreed to our request for a contribution of £9,500 towards training 19-year-old George Brogan. Our photograph shows George, who recently began his latest placement in Carriage & Wagon Mechanical in Kidderminster, with one of the Trust’s founders, Sir Peter Hendy CBE. Commenting on the grant, Sir Peter said: 
 

“Sue Pendle and I are extremely enthusiastic about helping to fund training for a heritage railway engineering apprentice, and we’re looking forward to regular progress reports on how George and the other apprentices are getting on.”

Sir Peter is the Chairman of Network Rail and the former Commissioner of Transport for London. Funding the Academy is a key project for the SVR Charitable Trust, and we currently provide 96% of its costs. 
 

(Photo credit: Bob Sweet)

A gleaming new roof for 24105

Charitable Trust-owned coach 24105 has just received a brand new roof, courtesy of volunteers and staff at Kidderminster Carriage & Wagon.  The team applied the last of four coats of paint on Monday, after re-canvassing the roof. It’s all part of a major overhaul programme for the Gresley-designed teak carriage, as paint shop supervisor (and Charitable Trust chairman) Hugh McQuade explains:
 

“We use bitumen paint rather than gloss because it can stretch and shrink with the frequent British temperature changes. The white colour shows up any nicks or cracks, making them easier to detect and monitor. Traditionally, the LNER would have used white lead paint. I suspect using white rather than a more sensible grey was more of an image thing than anything else. They’d be keen to outdo rival railway companies, with the smartest presentation for coaches that they could muster!”


Whilst the roof canvas itself should last for up to 40 years, C&W will apply a fresh coat of white paint to each of the Gresley carriage roofs once every five years.

Our photograph shows apprentice Emma Harrison finishing off the final coat on 24105 with Paul Brunet, who is over from his engineering firm in France on work experience.

(Photo credit: Richard Herington)

‘Peep’ event proved a fundraising success

July’s ‘Peep Behind the Scenes’ event was a great opportunity for visitors to discover the dedication and hard work that goes into keeping the SVR running. It was also an effective fundraiser; for the first time, proceeds from the sale of event wristbands came to the Charitable Trust and we raised more than £2,500. There were also direct donations made to individual restoration projects by visitors. Attractions included Kidderminster Carriage Works, the Diesel Depot, Wickham Trolley rides, Bridgnorth Motive Power Depot, a demonstration goods train and various signal boxes, as well as restoration projects including various carriages, the Toad brake van, and locomotive Hagley Hall.





Encouraging SVR visitors to ‘give a little extra’

The Railway is now asking people who make an online transaction, such as booking tickets or renewing Membership, whether they would like to donate to the Charitable Trust at the same time, and many choose to do so. Not only does this bring in more than £400 each month for the Trust, but it also gives us the chance to engage with a new group of people and tell them about the importance of funding the SVR’s long-term future. Together with the donation envelopes that TTIs (travelling ticket inspectors) distribute on the trains, and the collection pots we’ve placed around the Railway, we’re getting out the message that the SVR needs financial support above and beyond the price of travel tickets, to guarantee its long-term survival.


June 2017

 

We did it! With your support, we've hit the £1 million jackpot!

 

The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust has met the £1 million fundraising challenge set by the Heritage Lottery Fund. HLF pledged to match every pound donated to our endowment Future Fund, to reach a total of £1 million.

 

The offer was only open until the end of June, but well over a month ahead of the deadline, we received the final and much-anticipated donation that takes the amount raised to the £1million mark. 

 

A £400 cheque from SVR supporter Richard Hill tipped the scales; after Gift Aid and HLF match funding, Richard’s donation was boosted to £1,000 for the appeal. Richard, who lives in Bewdley, Worcestershire, has been a volunteer and fundraiser at the SVR for 24 years. He says the long-term aim of the appeal attracted his interest:

 

“I’m very happy that my money, along with the other donations, is going to be invested in the Charitable Trust’s endowment Future Fund. It will generate income to support all kinds of restoration projects. I see this as helping to secure a viable future for the Railway, and I like the forward thinking behind it. I really believe that since it was established in 2012, the SVR Charitable Trust has been transforming fundraising on the Railway.”

 

Re-acting to the achievement, Chairman Hugh McQuade says:

 

“We are delighted with this achievement, and have been inspired by the passion and generosity of our supporters. Thanks to the opportunity HLF has given us, we’ve kick-started our endowment Future Fund. With the first £1 million in place, we’re now in a position to make a real commitment to the future of the Railway, to help fund the essential maintenance and restoration work on its rolling stock and infrastructure in the years to come.”

 

There have been thousands of donations to the appeal since it began in 2014. Some people signed up to give a regular amount on a monthly basis, others chose more unusual ways; one group of friends handed over the remains of their beer kitty after a day out on the Railway, and another supporter raised money by making and selling a valuable model locomotive.

 

Although the first £1 million is now secured, as Hugh McQuade explains, that’s only the beginning:

 

“Our ultimate goal is to raise £10 million for the endowment Future Fund, as we believe that would produce enough income to alleviate worries over the Railway’s future. Although the HLF match funding has now reached its limit, we can still claim 25% extra Gift Aid on donations, and I encourage people to continue to donate to the SVR’s future wellbeing.”  

 

Thank you to everyone who donated to our £1 million appeal


The region’s finest were racing to support the Severn Valley Railway

On 14th June more than 200 of Worcestershire’s finest gathered in the glorious summer sunshine for the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust’s annual Worcester Race Day.  Many of the Trust’s corporate partners were represented, including Thursfields Solicitors who were the main event sponsors, and Allelys Heavy Haulage who sponsored the champagne drinks reception.

And to bring a little SVR magic to the occasion, guests were welcomed by uniformed ticket inspectors and invited to be seated for lunch by a railway whistle!

As well as the thrill of the racing, guests were also able to bid on a range of auction promises, kindly given by the Railway’s supporters, including a luxury London break donated by Great Little Breaks.

We raised an impressive total of £23,000 from the day, which will sponsor an apprentice in the Railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy.

As Chair of the Trust’s Worcestershire Fundraising Committee, Handelsbanken Stourbridge Branch Manager, Richard Mander kindly organised the day.

To see all the day’s photos please look on Facebook page.


To be part of next year’s event, please call Coralie Hudson on 01562 757940, or email coralie.hudson@svrtrust.org.uk


January 2017

Time is running out for our match funding opportunity from the Heritage Lottery Fund

 

Right now, there’s a chance to double any donation you make to the Future Fund, thanks to a generous match funding grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Up to the value of £500,000 HLF will match your donation and any applicable Gift Aid, pound for pound, giving us the opportunity to a raise a total of £1 million for the Future Fund. 

 

This means a donation of £20 with Gift Aid would be worth £50 for the Railway. However, time is limited, and the match funding offer from HLF will expire in June 2017. 


Please act now to make the most of this double-your-money opportunity by downloading an Endowment donation form




November 2016

Launch of the Railway's 2016 Share Offer

Please click on 2016 Share Offer for full details of the Railway's scheme in support of the Bridgnorth Development Project.

You can also donate to this ambitious scheme through the Charitable Trust, and if you are a taxpayer, we may be able to apply for a further 25% Gift Aid, on your behalf, at no extra cost to you, making this a very efficient way of giving to the project. Please download a Bridgnorth donation form and see our page on the Bridgnorth Project.

September 2016

We flew with Scotsman!

What a day we had! On Wednesday 21st September we hosted a truly spectacular event at the Severn Valley Railway, and we were delighted to welcome 1,200 of our loyal supporters to share it with us. 

You probably won’t be surprised to know that months of careful preparation and attention to detail went on to ensure that our event, and the five subsequent days of Pacific Power have been able to take place. Without the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers we couldn’t have done any of this, and we owe them a huge amount of thanks and appreciation. 

Because it was the first day in such a very high profile series, it was always clear that our VIP Flying Scotsman Charity Day was going to attract the lion’s share of public and press attention. 

As well as our on board guests, we also welcomed two film crews, two radio stations and dozens of regional and heritage reporters and photographers. The event has generated an enormous amount of publicity for the Railway, and has helped to raise our profile as a major heritage attraction. We received coverage on ITV Central and BBC Midlands Today, who broadcast their programme live from our station at Bridgnorth!  

 

 May 2016

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust wins £75,000 from the DfT Dragons

The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust has won £75,000 in a Department for Transport competition, for its ambitious scheme to transform the Railway’s travel offering for disabled passengers. 

The Trust took part in a national ‘Dragons’ Den’ style competition, pitching their project to a panel of senior government figures, including Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Sir William McAlpine, Mark Garnier MP, and Deirdre Wells of UK Inbound. More than 200 organisations applied for funding from the DfT’s Heritage and Community Rail Tourism Innovation competition, and the SVR was one of those shortlisted to pitch in person to the Dragons.  

Reacting to the announcement that the SVR had been chosen as one of the competition winners, SVR General Manager Nick Ralls said:  

“This award means we can transform our facilities for disabled visitors. We think it’s essential we offer all our passengers, regardless of their mobility level, the same level of convenience and access, along with the on board heritage dining facilities for which our railway is so well regarded. This funding from the DfT gives us the key to make that happen, and we’re extremely excited about getting started on the work.”  

The first phase will see the restoration and conversion of a currently un-used British Rail vehicle into a dedicated wheelchair-accessible carriage, providing accommodation for five wheelchair users and their companions, along with a disabled toilet. The team of staff and volunteers at the Railway has extensive experience in this type of adaptation, having carried out similar projects in recent years. The Trust’s chairman Hugh McQuade explains more:  

“We learn from every one of our restoration projects, and we’re constantly adapting our approach.  We pay great attention to getting an authentic match to each carriage’s period style. It’s about giving passengers the richest heritage experience that we can.”  

This carriage will complete the Railway’s fleet of adapted carriages, and will mean that there are wheelchair facilities on every single timetabled train on the Railway.  

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the restoration team lies in the second phase of the project. This involves rebuilding a second carriage to provide dining accommodation for up to 16 wheelchair users. Hugh McQuade explains more about its design:  

“We’ve come up with an innovative zig-zag layout for the tables, that means we can allow for many different configurations of wheelchairs and conventional seating. As far as we know, nothing like this exists anywhere else in Britain.”  

The expansion of the Railway’s existing wheelchair-accessible fleet and the creation of a dedicated dining car mean that we’ll be able to offer charter and party facilities for large groups of people with disabilities.  

The third part of the scheme is the purchase of lightweight wheelchair ramps, to be carried in every adapted vehicle, including the ‘new’ dining car.  The current station-based ramps are heavy and cumbersome, and because of security issues cannot be kept at every station and stop along the line. The new set of portable ramps will allow disabled passengers to get on and off trains at all stations and halts, giving them full access to all the attractions on the route.  

The DfT’s £75,000 will form part of the project’s overall cost. The remainder of the funding comes from the Charitable Trust’s own funds, those of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) plc, and also includes an in-kind costing for more than 3,000 volunteer hours that will be worked on this project.

 

May 2016

Official Opening of the Kidderminster Diesel Depot

 Representatives of the Charitable Trust were proud to join guests invited to the official opening of the Diesel Depot at Kidderminster. As one of the organisations that made a financial contribution, we are delighted to see the splendid job has been carried out on the design and construction of this new facility. 

During the course of the Spring Diesel Festival, more than 4,690 visitors came to the Railway, and many were very willing to make a contribution to the Charitable Trust as they undertook a tour of the new facilities at the Diesel Depot. Our bucket collections raised an impressive £1808.05, and because the contributions were made through the Trust, it will be possible to claim a further 25% in Gift Aid, making a total of £2260.06. All of this funding will be restricted to Diesel projects. 

Chairman of the Diesel Committee, Jonathan Dunster said: 

“It was fantastic to see the generosity of visitors to the Diesel Depot during the Spring Diesel Festival weekend. We’ll be using the money raised on the Saturday and Sunday to continue to fit out the depot and improve the site further for our hard working volunteers”. 

The Trust’s Director of Development, Shelagh Paterson added: 

“The amount raised re-affirms the commitment of the Railway’s diesel supporters, and we look forward to working closely with the Diesel Committee on future fundraising opportunities for this essential part of the Railway.” 

Pictured at the opening ceremony: Nick Ralls (General Manager, SVR Holdings), Mike Ball (Vice Chairman, SVR Holdings), Nick Paul (Chairman, SVR Holdings), Shelagh Paterson (Director of Development, SVR Charitable Trust) and Mark Garnier MP 

May 2016

A Business Trip on the SVR

 It was a bright and early start on 5th May, as a group of the Charitable Trust’s corporate supporters departed from Kidderminster on board the Observation Saloon. This was a special trip to thank them for their past support and to showcase the delights of the Railway. 

Mark Garnier, Wyre Forest’s MP, kindly hosted the event, and his personal love of heritage rail shone through as he outlined the economic and cultural importance of the Severn Valley Railway. 

As well as existing supporters, a number of other companies also joined us to learn about the Railway and what it can offer. There were strong indications that they would like to get involved with the Charitable Trust in the near future, both to support the Railway and to benefit from membership of our Corporate Partnership Club. 

The success of our Corporate Partnership event was due in no small part to the volunteers and staff who looked after us so well. Many thanks to 2857’s crew for turning out in the wee small hours to steam the engine ready for our journey, the other volunteers and staff who proved such informative guides, and the catering staff who produced a delicious breakfast. 

April 2016

Charitable Trust Carriage Plays Starring Role at King's Cross

When Sir Nigel Gresley’s statue was unveiled during a recent ceremony at King’s Cross station in London, one of the stars of the show on Platform 8 was the SVR Charitable Trust’s Kitchen Composite carriage, No 7960. As the last surviving vehicle of its kind, its presence was a worthy tribute to its designer Gresley, one of the leading engineers of the steam age.   

Trust Chairman, Hugh McQuade explains why: “I’d say it’s the finest of the nine teak-bodied, Gresley-designed carriages the Trust owns. People at King’s Cross were amazed at the quality of the restoration, and at just how much time and effort has gone into making this the showpiece vehicle it is today.”  

Built in 1936 at Doncaster, 7960 was purchased by an SVR volunteer and arrived at the SVR in 1980 in a very sorry condition. During the final years of its service, the interior had been gutted to convert it to a mess coach for track workers, and its dilapidated state meant restoring it would be a long, hard task. The carriage’s subsequent owner, Phil James, was the driving force behind this labour of love, and led a small team of dedicated volunteers, working under tarpaulin, to carry out the early work.   

After Phil’s death, his family donated 7960 to the SVR Rolling Stock Trust, (which subsequently became the SVR Charitable Trust), and the restoration work was completed at the Carriage & Wagon Works in Kidderminster. A good deal of detective work was required to work out how the interior had originally been fitted out, and the preservationists had to use impressions in the wood as clues.  

The LNER Carriage Group’s fundraiser, Richard Hill, commended all those who contributed to the restoration: “The skills and hard work volunteers and paid staff made this 35-year project possible, but we’re also thankful to those who support the Trust financially. Donations are still needed to continue our work in the future and can be made by visiting svrtrust.org.uk.”  

“It’s fantastic that this important historic vehicle has acted as such a superb ambassador for the Railway at King’s Cross, and rather than gathering dust as a museum piece, is earning its keep as a working vehicle on the SVR.”  

The Kitchen Composite will play another leading role between 22nd and 26th September, as it takes its place behind Flying Scotsman, when the iconic steam locomotive visits the SVR’s Pacific Power events.

April 2016

Fantastic response to the Flying Scotsman VIP Charity Day

We are delighted to report an enthusiastic take up of tickets by the Charitable Trust’s supporters for this special event on Wednesday 21st September. 

We are running three round trips from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, when passengers will experience the ultimate in steam-hauled luxury. Each train will be formed of nine Gresley-designed teak carriages, and will be pulled in both directions by Flying Scotsman. We’re encouraging passengers to enter fully into the spirit of the day by dressing up in 1930s style. 

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to our invitation to buy tickets for this unique event. We will be contacting you soon to arrange payment, and in due course will be sending out tickets and full details of arrangements for the day. 

All proceeds from the day will be used by the SVR Charitable Trust to support the Heritage Skills Academy and fund future restoration and infrastructure projects on the Railway.


February 2016

 Next Annual General Meeting of the SVR Charitable Trust

Please find below the documents relevant to the next AGM of the Board of Trustee's on the 14th March 2016 at 7:30pm at the Kidderminster Railway Museum (thanks to David for hospitality). We hope to see as many of you there as possible:

2015 Accounts and Chairman's Statement will be available next week.

June 2015

 Another Winning Day at the Races

The recent annual Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raised a winning total of £35,000 for the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.

The event took place on Wednesday, 24th June and was sponsored by a number of very generous local companies including Thursfields Solicitors, EFG Harris Allday, Nicklins, Redwood Care Homes, West Midland Safari Park, Houghton Edwards LLP and Handelsbanken of Worcester. Over 200 people filled the Severn Suite at Worcester Race Course to show their support for the SVR Charitable Trust and enjoy a fabulous day at the races.

An array of extraordinary auction prizes raised just over £9,000, while a raffle raised an extra £3,000.  In addition, Worcester Race Course generously donated £3 of every ticket sold.  

John Leftwich, Trustee and Fundraising Chair of the SVR Charitable Trust said “we were absolutely thrilled by the significant amount of money raised and want to reiterate our thanks to such a fabulous organising committee and all the generous sponsors who worked extremely hard to deliver such a fantastic day”.

 March 2015

 The SVR Crowned Heritage Site of the Year

Whistles will be tooting in celebration on the tracks of the Severn Valley Railway this weekend following news that the attraction has been named the nation’s best-loved heritage site in a national awards scheme.

Thousands of people voted for the Railway, which scooped the Heritage Site of the Year title in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2014/15, it was announced this morning.
The much-loved Midlands attraction beat-off stiff competition from some of the UK’s biggest tourism sites; London’s Imperial War Museum, Georgian estate Kew Palace, Welsh architectural wonder Portmeirion and the mystical, pre-historic stone circle at Avebury.
The annual awards celebrate the best of the British countryside, with the heritage site category shortlist compiled by television presenter Jules Hudson, widely recognised as the face of many BBC lifestyle and history series including Escape to the Country, Britain’s Empty Homes, Britain’s Heritage Heroes and, most latterly, Countryfile.
A life-long history lover, he praised the SVR’s Heritage Skills Training Academy, one of a range of projects funded by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, saying the Railway has a “fantastic conservation element to it, running an apprenticeship scheme for young engineers in order to keep the traditional skills alive” and adding:  “Travelling by steam train is also a wonderful way to see the spectacular surrounding countryside.”

Clare Gibbard the SVR’s marketing and communications manager, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news – we are all over the moon! “Everyone at the Railway, from our staff and volunteers, to our apprentices and dedicated fundraisers in the SVR Charitable Trust are committed to not only protecting the future of this valuable heritage site, but also to making it an enjoyable and memorable place for people to visit, so for so many of the British public to vote for us, in the face of some very tough competition is a wonderful recognition of this hard work and we are extremely grateful to everyone who took the time to vote for us.  We are currently requesting donations to fund the 2015 intake of apprentices.  If you would like to support this project, please click the donate now button.”

February 2015

Next Annual General Meeting of the SVR Railway Charitable Trust

Please find below the documents relevant to the next AGM of the Board of Trustee's on the 16th March 2015 at 7:30pm. We hope to see as many of you there as possible:

December 2014

Severn Valley Railway welcomes first female apprentice

A young woman is following in her family’s footsteps and making history at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) by becoming its first female apprentice.

Emma Harrison, aged 17, is one of five new recruits to enrol in the Heritage Skills Training Academy (HSTA), fulfilling a lifetime ambition of working on a heritage railway.

As a child, Emma’s love of all things heritage and steam was instilled in her by her father and late grandfather, who sadly passed away in July this year, but not before Emma was able to tell him that she had made it into the Academy, of which he was incredibly proud.

Family holidays regularly included trips to various heritage railways, such as the Talyllyn Railway, where, as testament to her passion, Emma has been a volunteer since 2011, joining the locomotive crew on their early morning starts to clean the engines and see them out of the shed for their day’s running.

Emma, from Wolverhampton, said: “It was normal that a family holiday would include at least one trip on a railway and it’s still true today that we always manage to find a railway to go on, even when abroad.

“A great saying in our family is ‘a holiday is never a holiday without a railway in it’, which developed my love for railways and steam engines, and got me involved in heritage engineering.”

By being accepted into the SVR’s HSTA, Emma is fulfilling a family legacy, as her late grandfather was a member of the Gloucester and Worcester Railway, as well as a financial supporter of the SVR, along with Emma’s grandmother.

It was through her grandmother that Emma found out about the HSTA after she received a leaflet and passed it on to Emma, who then did her own research.

She said: “I decided to apply and see where it took me. I was extremely happy and overjoyed to get the place and as soon as I got off the phone I was straight back on the phone to my mum, dad, gran and my granddad, who was so proud of me.”

Also joining Emma on the HSTA this year are Alan Brookes, aged 19, from Stourbridge, Tom Hubble, 20, from Birmingham, and Dean Parkin, 17, and Ryan Parsons, 20, who have moved all the way from Launceston in Cornwall and Wimborne in Dorset, respectively, to take up their places in the academy. All five new trainees beat off stiff competition to be chosen from dozens of enthusiastic applicants from all over the country and abroad.

But the fact that she’s the only female in the Academy isn’t lost on Emma.

“If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure I would get the apprenticeship but I hoped they would realise that they needed a female in the mix!” she said. “It’s a daunting thought that I’m the first female apprentice with the SVR, but it’s a learning curve for both me and the railway.”

The pilot HSTA scheme has been successfully working with three apprentices since September 2013 in the build up to its official launch in September of this year and the new recruits are set to follow in their footsteps, learning the skills associated with keeping a steam railway up and running.

The Academy is one of a range of key projects financed by the fundraising efforts of the SVR Charitable Trust (SVRCT) and the SVR’s Share Offer scheme.

The Charitable Trust was launched in 2012 to raise vital funds to assist in the preservation and operation of the Railway. Through initiatives such as the HSTA, the SVR hopes to become the UK’s Heritage Engineering centre of excellence. Whilst the Charitable Trust is incredibly encouraged by the level of financial support given to the Academy to date, they still need to raise considerable sums to ensure its continued existence.

Richard Thurlow, HSTA co-ordinator, said: “Serving the dual aim of securing the future of the Railway and offering training and employment to young people has seen the Academy become widely accepted and acclaimed throughout the Railway by staff, volunteers and visitors alike.”

For more information about the HSTA please contact Richard Thurlow by emailing Richard.Thurlow@svrlive.com or calling him on 07866 553743.

For more information about the SVRCT, call 07562 757940 or email administration@svrtrust.org.uk.

November 2014

An Ugly Duckling emerges as a beautiful swan

An 80-year-old LNER carriage which has been completely restored to its historic best was unveiled in a unique ceremony at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), featuring a live performance by renowned harpist David Watkins on the station platform.


The restoration of the SVR’s LNER teak train carriage No. 43600 aimed to recreate many of the original features of the vehicles and included fitting new seating, authentic LNER pattern moquette, new lighting, tables, luggage racks, coat hooks and mirrors, along with fresh wall coverings reflecting the LNER’s use of rexine, an early form of vinyl.
The completed restoration project was funded by the SVR Charitable Trust (SVRCT) and was first started by the LNER Coach Fund over 30 years ago. The work also coincided with the SVR’s major overhaul and revarnish of the carriage as part of its maintenance cycle.
Shelagh Paterson, fundraising manager for the SVRCT, said: “This fantastic restoration of Carriage No. 43600 is just another example of how the Charitable Trust is continually working to raise funds  to improve and enhance all aspects of the Railway.
 

August/September 2014

Major Tool Donation at Autumn Gala 2014

It was an exciting day for apprentices from the Severn Valley Railway’s (SVR) Heritage Skills Training Academy as they took delivery of £8,000 worth of tools from B&Q.

Staff from B&Q’s Kidderminster store were on hand at Kidderminster station to hand over the eagerly-awaited bounty, which was loaded on to one of the SVR’s heritage steam trains under the watchful eye of selected SVR guests.

They then joined the excited apprentices for the 16-mile journey to Bridgnorth Station in Shropshire, which takes in a further six stops along the 150-year-old route.

Essential kit will be used at SVR’s Locomotive Works at Bridgnorth and the Carriage and Wagon department at Kidderminster, while each apprentice was also presented with their very own tool set to keep.

John Leftwich, Chair of the SVR’s Charitable Trust Development Board, who helped secure the donation – the largest in the Railway’s history – said it was a very welcome boost to its on-going projects.

“Preserving such a historic and well-used attraction for the 200,000 visitors who travel each year with us is a constant challenge and a costly task, but one made easier by generous donations such as this one - we are all very grateful,” he said.

Sam James, deputy manager of B&Q’s Kidderminster store, said: “The Severn Valley Railway is a jewel in Shropshire and Worcestershire’s crown and we are thrilled to be able to lend our support to ensure that this remarkable infrastructure is preserved for the future. It’s wonderful to see the next generation of railway engineers gathered here today and we wish all the apprentices lots of luck as they embark on their exciting new careers along this beautiful stretch of English countryside.”

The Heritage Skills Training Academy (HSTA) has been launched to teach young people the traditional skills of maintenance and restoration of locomotives, carriages and heritage buildings. The Academy has just welcomed five new apprentices, all of whom will benefit from the new tools.

Chinasearch Donation

On August 27th the Carriage and Wagon Department received the first donation order gifted to us by the Director of Chinasearch David Ward. This donation order was arranged by John Leftwich in late July and was delivered by David Ward - the Director of Chinasearch. 80 sets of crockery received with a total value of £1660.00 so far.

   

This donation of crockery will go towards the 7960 carriage. The 7960 carriage is a Kitchen Car with restaurant accommodation for both First and Third class passengers. LNER Kitchen cars were among the most advanced in the British Empire, and featured combined electric and anthracite cooking equipment, and luxurious passenger saloons. 7960 is expected to be complete and ready to go back to work in the Spring on 2015.

 

Chinasearch is Europe's largest distributor of discontinued china, glassware and cutlery, supplying them to individuals, companies, trade outlets, theatre/film companies and embassies all over the world. They have thousands of patterns in stock, including world renowned brands such as Wedgewood, Villeroy & Boch, Royal Doulton and Spade. They are proud of their exemplar service and the attention they give to each customer. They have built their business and reputation on a personal service intent on finding exactly what you're looking for as quickly as they can and delivering it carefully selected, hand-packed and dispatched.

The second part of the order from Chinasearch was twelve sauce boats and salt and pepper sets. This made the value of the donation around £2000.00. The Trust is extremely grateful to David Ward and his company Chinasearch for this gift. The volunteers in the Carriage and Wagon Department were delighted with the crockery and have immediately started designing pockets for the drawers using samples from the 80 sets of crockery given.


April 2014

SVR Charitable Trust the Winner at Ludlow Races

Champagne corks were popping at Ludlow Race Course on 10th April as the SVR CT romped home with £62,000 from this exceptional charity fundraiser. The money raised will be doubled by the Heritage Lottery Fund to a marvellous £124,000. As if that wasn’t success enough, a guest from a West Midlands Trust donated a further £106,000 on the day to fund the training of 2 apprentices for 5 years at the newly formed Heritage Skills Training Academy on the Railway. In attendance at the lunch amongst the guests were no less than 1 x Lord Lieutenant, 1 x High Sheriff, 4 x Lords and almost 600 guests.

 John Leftwich, Trustee, addresses the 600 guests at Ludlow Races

February 2014

SVR Charitable Trust Wins £95,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund

The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust (SVR Charitable Trust) has won £95,000 to support one of Britain’s leading heritage railways.  The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will help fund the restoration of the classic Great Western Railway (GWR) locomotive 4930 ‘Hagley Hall’ which will be used as the learning and resource tool for the students and apprentices of the Severn Valley Railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy based in Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Maintaining its reputation as a pioneer, in September 2013 the SVR developed and launched a pilot Heritage Academy; an apprenticeship and training scheme for young people.
It is recognised that the SVR’s workshops are already well developed and seen as a centre of excellence by the Heritage Railway Association and other heritage railways, and the workshops will provide an excellent environment in which to learn under the tutelage of experts.

The size of the restoration project, which will involve stripping the locomotive down to the last nut and bolt, will enable apprentices to experience and acquire a full range of heritage engineering skills.

Hugh McQuade, Chairman of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, said: "Whilst the Severn Valley Railway’s workforce consists of highly qualified and skilled staff and volunteers, it is ageing.  Individuals with the requisite heritage skills, for example steam locomotive fitters or boilersmiths do not exist in the modern workplace and for the Railway to survive these time served skills need to be passed on to a younger generation. The HLF funding will therefore have far reaching benefits for the Railway now and into the future.”

Hagley Hall saved from Barry Srapyard and today on it's way for a complete restoration.

January 2014

Next Annual General Meeting of the SVR Railway Charitable Trust

Please find below the documents relevant to the next AGM of the Board of Trustee's being held on the 17th February 2014. We hope to see as many of you there as possible:

Chairmans Report

Please take the time to read the annual Chairmans Statement which details progress of the Charity up until December 2013.

October 2013

A Major Milestone in more ways than one

Major celebrations took place on Sunday 6th October as key supporters of the Severn Valley Railway and the Charitable Trust saw the 4930 Hagley Hall finally begin it's road to restoration. Around fifty guests attended the loco’s ceremonious departure from The Engine House Visitor Centre to undergo preliminary assessments at Bridgnorth before the overhaul commences. The locomotive’s restoration is one of the key projects for the Charitable Trust, and is being supported not only by the SVR Share Offer, but also the Friends of Loco Hagley Hall Group.

Guests who attended had a double cause for celebration as the SVR announced that their 2012 Share Offer has now passed the £2m milestone. On the closing day of the scheme (30th September 2013) the total figure raised through the Share Offer was a remarkable £2,001,391.

 Recognition Board at the Engine House, Highley

During the celebrations, Chairman Nick Paul CBE and Roger Scanlon SVR CT Trustee unveiled their new recognition boards at the Engine House, Highley.  The Charitable Trust in particular would like to thank and acknowledge the following people for their enduring support and generosity: the Owen Family Trust, Mr J Leftwich, Mr & Mrs P James, Mr R Hill, Mr J Wood Smith, Mr N Paul CBE, Mr S Clark, Mr RC Periam, Mr M Hake, Mr RHC Lambert, Mr A Glossop, Mr P Meier, Mr AG Vickers, the Bransford Trust, the CHEAR Foundation, Great Little Breaks, Hills Ford, Nexus Creative and West Midland Safari Park.

September 2013

Heritage Skills Training Academy gets underway

With the support of the Charitable Trust, the Severn Valley Railway Heritage Skills Academy is
now underway. The SVR recently appointed Richard Thurlow to the role of Heritage Skills Training Academy Officer marking the beginning of this ground breaking project. The scheme is designed to imbue young apprentices in the traditional methods of working and to train them in the essential skills of locomotive fitting, boiler making, carriage joinery, maintenance and restoration as well as the restoration of heritage buildings. Richard will be the point of contact between Telford College, where the trainees will be undertaking their engineering qualifications, and the Railway. 

Three trainees have also now been selected for the Heritage Skills Academy's first ever intake. They are:  

  • Max Green – from Dormston who has an interest in heritage engineering
  • James Lewis – from Swindon who already has engineering experience
  • Billy Furness - lives in Oldbury Wells, Bridgnorth and who is currently studying A levels

Nick Ralls, SVR General Manager commented in his announcement of these appointments; "the setting up and commencement of the Heritage Training Academy is a significant step for the SVR and demonstrates the importance of the Charity to the future development of the Railway".

New SVR Guardians Club Announced 

The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd has introduced a major fundraising programme to recognise people pledging to support the Railway beyond their lifetime.

Many people are passionate about the Railway and would love to help keep it alive but perhaps feel they do not have the means to do so at the moment. The SVR Guardians club encourages supporters to make a gift in their Will to The Trust which can be used to fund the Railway far into the future but, most importantly, doesn't actually cost anything now.   

Commenting on the scheme, Stewart Clark member of the Board of Trustee's says “I have spent many happy days and much of my spare time supporting and enjoying everything this splendid railway has to offer. Knowing that my support will continue to benefit the Railway when I am no longer here is immensely reassuring". 

Supporters who tell the Charity they have left a legacy will receive a special “Founder Member’s” lapel pin badge to demonstrate their commitment to the SVR, they will receive updates on the activities of the Trust and they will join a generous group of people who are already securing the Railway's future by acting now.

July 2013

Corporate Partnership Club Introduced

The Corporate Partnership Club has been created to raise additional funds for the development of the Railway and provide key business benefits to Corporate donors including “money can’t buy” experiences.

The Club has three tiers of membership, and lasts for three years:

• Gold at £10,000,
• Silver at £5,000, and
• Bronze at £1,000.

A range of benefits from exclusive behind-the-scene tours, family passes and use of our luxury dining carriage for corporate entertainment are included in the membership. 

The Trust is delighted to welcome its founding Corporate Partners - West Midland Safari Park, Hewett Recruitment, Great Little Breaks, Nexus Creative and Hills Ford.

Commenting on the new programme, Tim Hill, Joint Managing Director of Hills Ford said "Being able to give our suppliers, staff and clients something special, unique and incredibly memorable will assist in setting us apart from our competitors”

Click here to download the Corporate Partnership Brochure and here to learn more about the benefits and experiences you receive.

 

Capturing the Magic of the Severn Valley Railway

Three photographers have scooped the first awards in the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) Charitable Trust inaugural photo competition.

The Railway’s Trustees selected the winning images from over 80 entries that were submitted by enthusiasts and visitors to the Railway. Each of the talented winners will receive a family ticket worth £49.50 for a day on the Railway.

Photographs were submitted for each of 3 categories to represent all that is best about the SVR: People (Visitors and Volunteers), Rolling Stock (Locomotives, carriages & Trucks) and Infrastructure. Commenting on the submissions, Hugh McQuade, Chairman of the SVR Charitable Trust said “We were delighted both with the number of entries and the quality of the images that were entered. They really capture the essence and atmosphere of life on the SVR”.

The winners were as follows:

People

Duncan Langtree

 

Rolling Stock

Jed Bennett

 

Infrastructure

Bill Phillips

 

The winning entries can be viewed at Photo Competition Winners and on the home page of the Trust site www.svrtrust.org.uk 

The SVR Charitable Trust Photo Competition takes place quarterly. Members of the public can submit entries by emailing administration@svrtrust.org.uk

June 2013

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust secures up to £500,000 Lottery funding for Volunteers

One of Britain’s leading heritage railways has secured substantial lottery funding to help it unlock private money to protect its long term future.Restored Carriage SVR Charitable Trust

The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust (SVR Charitable Trust) is to receive up  to £500,000 through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Catalyst programme. The money will kick-start the Severn Valley Railway Heritage Endowment, which will create longer-term financial support for the Severn Valley Railway (SVR).  

The grant will enable the SVR Charitable Trust to access different funding options, attract more funding by increasing its fundraising potential and help to develop innovative approaches to securing private donations.

Every £1 the SVR Charitable Trust raises for the Endowment, HLF will match, up 

to a ceiling of £500,000 - money which will be put towards the substantial annual restoration costs of the Railway’s extensive and historic collection of locomotives and carriages, built during the heyday of steam travel.

Queen's Award for Volunteers

The ‘outstanding achievement’ of volunteers at the Severn Valley Railway has been recognised with a prestigious national award, decided by The Queen herself.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service rewards excellence and outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers who regularly devote their time to helping others in the community and providing an outstanding service.

One of the thousands of nominations received from across the UK, the SVR’s volunteers earned the Royal stamp of approval, steaming through regional and national committee assessments, before being selected by The Queen herself, to receive the esteemed award.

Winners of what is regarded as ‘the MBE for voluntary organisations’ were officially announced yesterday to coincide with the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

In celebration of the achievement, four long-standing volunteers from the Severn Valley Railway - Hugh McQuade, Columb Howell, Gary Williams and Martin White were invited to sample some Royal hospitality at The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

March 2013

New “SVR Patrons” Club Announced

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