We are reminded of the Documents page on the WSRA website which helpfully includes links to various WSRA documents including the minutes of recent trustee board  meetings. These documents are a great way to help members keep in touch. Well done WSRA for maintaining such a fine record.

The synopsis of the very recent meeting states only one member has been nominated to stand for election as a trustee at the autumn AGM. Rather worrying.

The Documents page also has the Minutes of the previous Board meeting which reported on Communication, “We agree [to] produce a monthly email newsletter. We consider that a new website which permits the provision of a members’ only area is essential. ” [We should add that the current website is, in our opinion, perfectly capable of having a members-only section. So it’s not a technical matter – but the proper and regular attention to the administration of such a section might prove more troublesome.Let’s hope we are wrong.]

The Documents page is at https://www.wsra.org.uk/documents/


Final call for Trustee nominations.

Deadline 7 July 2017.

Your WSRA needs YOU!

Nomination form


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 viasimmsj841@gmail.com 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 http://www.wsra.org.uk/agm_documents/ )

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 http://www.wsra.org.uk 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.