The WSR journal is an A5 sized features based glossy magazine for our members and supporters. It is issued four times a year and run by a team of dedicated volunteers, led by the Editor, with contributions from all around the railway.

Our current Journal editor will be standing down after the summer 2017 issue and we are looking for someone to succeed him. There will be an opportunity to work with the current editor on the summer issue, before taking over for the autumn 2017 issue. For more information please contact either the WSRA General Manager or the current Journal Editor.

Here is a note from the WSRA in the March edition of the WSR’s Online newsletter. As we haven’t seen this elsewhere we thought we might alert members through WSRA+

The West Somerset Railway Association is looking for volunteers to staff a membership stand on the platform of Minehead station during the Spring Steam Gala. (Thursday April 27th to 30th). To help to run this there will be a need for 2/3 volunteers a day to be present between 09.30 and 16.30. If sufficient volunteers come forward it is hoped to have a further stand at Williton during the event. If you can assist please contact John Simms or 01823 323106.

Hope this is of interest…


We have taken a rest in recent months.

But we’ll be back soon with a few comments about things WSRA members might like to know.


For those who don’t know, we understand Alex de Mendoza withdrew his nomination a few weeks ago leaving nine Members standing for election as a Trustee at the Annual General Meeting at Bishops Lydeard Village Hall on 22 October 2016. Members will have recently received by post all the papers for the AGM (papers are also available online at )

We encourage all Members to look closely at all papers and then to participate as much as possible including “remote” Members unable to attend the AGM in person who can make use of the Proxy Form included in the papers received by post.

And now that the Association has issued to Members the “250 word” statements and skills statements from the remaining nine Trustee nominees, we are happy for discussion here about the nine candidates and their statements, if blog readers wish to do so. Please note we see little point in any discussion here about Mr de Mendoza at this stage. Thanks.


A recent press release describes a “new era for the Quantock Belle” and wow this is certainly the biggest change for the dining train operation in a long time.

Essentially, from the new year, the Quantock Belle will be run jointly by its owners, the Association, and the WSR Plc.

“This new agreement between the two organisations means that the dining train will be fully integrated with all the other services and special events on England’s longest standard gauge heritage railway.

Although the train will continue to be owned by the Association (who have been responsible for the purchase and refurbishment of the train) the new arrangement means that a wide variety of new and exciting opportunities will come available to passengers and diners. The existing successful volunteer train crew will continue to play a central role under the new arrangements, led by Train Manager Barrie Childs.”

The press release includes this very useful note:

“The agreement is for three years, running to 1 January 2020. It will be reviewed every six months by the Association and the Plc. The current Dining Train Manager will in future report on operational matters to the Plc Head of Retail and Catering; he will, however, retain a reporting line to the Association in its role as owner of the dining set. The Plc will be providing to the Association a statement of intended objectives for operating the dining train before the Association’s AGM on 22 October 2016. For 2017, the Association and Plc will share net revenue (that is, ticket, food and beverage sales less direct costs of haulage, purchases and kitchen staff) equally. Commercial terms for 2018 and 2019 will be agreed in the light of experience in 2017.”

The WSRA website carries the full message.

So. Here is one of the first acts of the “new world” of our Association. Closer ties, closer working with its major partner, the Plc. May the enterprise – and our Railway – prosper.

WSRA Trustee nominations are now closed.

Nominations closed on 29 July 2016 with ten candidates, as follows:

Magda Davies
Will Foster
John Glover
Frank Houlding
Bill Knell
Alex de Mendoza
Nigel Power
Michael Sherwood
Simon Stretton
Paul Whitehouse

Each of the candidates will be asked to compose 250 words about themselves and complete a simple skills audit, which will be published on the WSRA website in due course and mailed to members with the Journal.

The WSRA’s Annual General Meeting will be held at Bishops Lydeard Village Hall on Saturday 22 October 2016 starting at 2pm.

WSRA+ Comments:

1 Our understanding is that with ten vacancies looming, all ten candidates (assuming no withdrawals) will be elected without a vote. We welcome discussion here on our understanding.

2 We advise against discussion about any candidate until we have seen their 250 word statement and the results of the skills audit, and we will reject any posting that appears to ignore that advice. Thanks folks.






At last. The chance for the Membership to have a say in the future direction of the Association.

In the last few days, Members will have received a Consultation Paper in the post.

The WSRA+ bloggers want to encourage all WSRA Members to find some time to look through the Paper and to provide comments and ideas before the deadline of 1 August.

The current Trustees have worked really hard on the Paper which discusses the main areas that need firming up into a clear and agreed Development Plan. The latter will be presented to the Membership at the AGM in October. Hence the need to move fairly quickly.

We have long felt the need for a truly wide ranging review of the WSRA and – well – here it is!

Like us, you may not like some of the proposals, you may be full of enthusiasm for others. Now, you have the chance to let it all out so get reading and then get writing. And don’t forget to send back your thoughts before the deadline.

Let’s make the most of the opportunity to be listened to and then help steer our Association along the right path.

It is our Association after all…