Let’s get 4561 rolling

WSRA Trustee meeting report 10 June 2024

The WSRA Trustees met on Monday 10 June in Williton and by TEAMS.  Amongst the items discussed were:

  • Previous Meeting – The minutes of the previous meeting on 13 May were approved as an accurate record.
  • Governance – three new and/or updated policies were agreed by the board and will be published asap. These are Risk Assessment Policy,  Health and Safety Policy, and Winding up Policy.
  • Rolling Stock – Trustees were pleased receive a report and note that work on 4419 was proceeding according to plan.
  • WSRA Locomotives – Trustees were advised that the WSRA website had been updated for locomotive Restoration, with donation buttons for each loco and an updated blog for both 4561 and 80064.  Work on both locomotives was progressing as expected.
  • WSR Fundraising – Trustees were pleased with the success of the WSRA stand at Williton for the Spring Steam Spectacular where there was a great deal of interest in both the WSRA owned locomotives on display.  Trustees recorded their thanks to Ryan Pope for arranging for the locos to be on display.
  • AGM – Trustees were advised who needed to stand for re-election and that final decisions needed to be made at the next board meeting ahead of the publication of nomination papers on 30 July.
  • Steam Rally – work on the rally is progressing well.  More volunteer help is still needed

WSRA hosts In The Mix visit to the WSR

At the end of May, the WSRA invited ‘In the Mix’ to come and visit us as part of our railways walks programme which focuses on supporting disadvantaged people by offering them a free trip to the railway.
In the Mix (ITMP) is a local registered charity (no. 1161486) that provides youth and community services across Somerset, reaching out to many disadvantaged communities. They are based in Wiveliscombe, Taunton Deane, and they endeavour to provide services that are accessible to all, with a focus on youth work.
They provide professional youth work support and advice to young people, relating to issues prevalent to themselves, their communities and their environment. They offer youth provision based on core youth work principles and values to young people living and working in Somerset.
Their programmes provide informal educational activities and positive opportunities that enhance learning alongside personal, social, emotional and professional development, as well as expanding skills and experiences, boosting self-esteem and confidence while promoting teamwork and citizenship. 
In the Mix arrived at Bishops Lydeard Station at 10.45 and caught a heritage steam locomotive to watchet station arriving at 11am. The group, led by community engagement officer Ray Bleazard, traavelled from Bishops Lyceard to Watchet, visited the boat museum and then went for a walk around Watchet marina and Hellewell steps, enabling them to take some fantastic photos and get some great views of the coastal path.
On their return to Bishops Lydeard they were met by the volunteers from the West Somerset Railway Heritage trust who gave them a tour around the station and rail museum.
In The Mix said “The session rating from the young people was 4/5 stars. The event went really well and was well thought out and planned. We are extremely grateful to WSRA and the team for their support and offer of this funded activity. Huge shoutout to Ray who was invaluable throughout the day.”
Thanks to Tesco for supporting our Railway Walks programme.

 

 

 

4561 boiler at Williton

4561’s boiler leaves the WSR for Lancashire

Today Small Prairie 4561’s boiler departed Williton for Lancashire where it is being entrusted to the care of Riley and sons who will dismantle, assess and then overhaul the boiler.

WSRA was pleased to contract a local Somerset haulier for the transportation.  Images show the boiler lift and subsequent departure.

Williton yard will be open to visitors during the Spring Steam Gala on 3-6 May, so everyone will have a chance to see both 80064 and all the work already completed on 4561.  

Trustees and others will be in attendance at Williton and happy to discuss the locomotives, their progress so far and plans for the future.  We will also be grateful for everybody’s support for these ambitious projects, whether with donations or offers to join the volunteer team.

For more information:

Jacquie Green WSRA General Manager – E: jacquie.green@wsra.org.uk

Geoff Garfield WSRA Chair – E: geoff.garfield@wsra.org.uk

 

4561 boiler at Williton

WSRA Trustee meeting report 8 April 2024

The WSRA Trustees met on Monday 8 April in Williton and by TEAMS.  Amongst the items discussed were:

  • Previous Meeting – The minutes of the previous meeting on 11 March were approved as an accurate record, with one amendment.
  • Governance – Four new and/or updated policies were agreed by the board and will be published asap. These are Social Media Policy Data Protection Policy, Handling of DBS information Policy and ‘Being a Trustee’ Policy.
  • Rolling Stock – Trustees were pleased to note that long-term hire agreements had been signed with the WSR PLC for MK1 carriages and the QB set.
  • WSR volunteer support – Trustees were pleased to note that the WSRA owned brushcutter used by the volunteer Pway gang had been replaced with a new and updated model.
  • WSR Fundraising – Trustees authorised JAG to go ahead with designing a joint fundraising campaign with the PLC for the DMU with a target spend of £80k. The agreed funding breakdown to be £20k funded by the PLC, £20k by the WSRA and £40k from fundraising.
  • Fundraising and Finance – Trustees agreed an additional meeting to consider major project budgets, finance and fundraising.

Restoring the WSRA’s steam locomotives

We have confirmed that the WSRA plans to restore both 4561 and 80064 to steam on the WSR, with the work being done at Williton, as far as possible. We are now able to update members on the plans.

After a good deal of thought and planning, the Association and the WSR plc, who operate Williton restorations, have jointly concluded that it would be best if the restoration of 4561 boiler was done externally, to allow Williton to complete everything else needed, and  to do the complete restoration of 80064. This will allow us to have both locomotives running as soon as possible.

Trustees have already received plans and quotations from different contractors, and selected Riley & Son to do the boiler work. So, 4561’s boiler, with some spare parts, will depart Williton for Lancashire very soon.

Geoff Garfield, chair of WSRA trustees said, “We are delighted to see the way clear to have both these locos running on the WSR as soon as possible, and grateful to the WSR plc for their support and cooperation”.

Jonathan Jones Pratt, chairman of the WSR plc said” We believe this is the right decision for the loco given the busy schedules ahead of us and complex repairs required to this boiler which inevitably involves a lot of time and investment as a standalone project. We can now focus on the rolling chassis as well as the Std tank which sits in the restoration queue, the hope it to accelerate both timelines to achieve our locos running which will support the WSR and our future objectives for a home running fleet”.

Williton yard will be open to visitors during the Spring Steam Gala on 3-5 May, so everyone will have a chance to see 80064 and all the work already completed on 4561.  We will also be grateful for everybody’s support for these ambitious projects, either money, or offers to join the volunteer team.

For more information:

Jacquie Green WSRA General Manager – E: jacquie.green@wsra.org.uk

Geoff Garfield WSRA Chair – E: geoff.garfield@wsra.org.uk

 

4561 boiler at Williton