Some very positive news to report from the West Somerset Railway this week with the line’s £1 million ‘SOS’ appeal having now passed the £50,000 marker, so 10% of the initial £500K target this Winter and so 5% of the full figure.
The WSR is looking to increase this figure rapidly now with the help of a new fundraising drive to push donations in different ways, plus some specific infrastructure projects that the line’s two support charities can support too towards the appeal.
And just a fortnight after launching the WSR’s Christmas programme on BH Monday 30 August with the traditional ‘Santa Express’ and new ‘Winterlights’ trains, both seasonal products have been eagerly snapped up by people keen to travel this festive season with 2,650 tickets having been sold and bringing in over £55,500 in much-needed income.
The ‘Santa Express’ bookings so far are encouraging with 650 tickets sold, and ‘Winterlights’ has done spectacularly well with 2,000 tickets sold, and some trains have already sold out.
Some further good financial news was shared with the WSR’s volunteer and paid workforce too this week in a letter circulated to staff from WSR plc Chairman Jon Jones-Pratt which shows that the company’s trading figures for July were well ahead of where they were expected to be after some very good summer trading, and August is promising too.
The full letter can be downloaded here:
The WSR held a successful 1940’s event last weekend (11/12 September) with wartime scenes and vehicles of the era recreated all along the line at many stations, people dressed in period costumes and uniforms, and the highlight was the big band dance at Minehead on Saturday evening featuring the Liberty Sisters and Deane Big band, attended by some 200 people.
This weekend sees the WSR’s Mixed Traction event with diesel and steam from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September, see: https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/events/detail/mixed-traction-weekend and then there will be the all-steam Autumn Steam Gala to follow on Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October, see: https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/events/detail/autumn-steam-gala-2021