GWSR plc Director Profiles
Richard Johnson - Chairman and Company Secretary
I joined the railway in 1981; initially as a member of the team rescuing Merchant Navy 35006 from Barry.
After six years working on that project, I joined the Loco Department for a short time, before graduating to the Carriage & Wagon department which was just taking up residence at Winchcombe in the old goods shed.
I was asked to become the head of the Carriage & Wagon department in 1999; a post I held for 18 years. I joined the board as Company Secretary in 2014, and in late 2017 was invited to become Chairman; a position which I was very privileged to accept.
In my role as Chairman I shall do all I can to ensure the continuing development of the GWSR; to further our aim to become one of the premier heritage railways in the country.
Richard Winstanley - Finance Director
I joined the Steam Department in 2015 after a fire and drive experience day on 3850. I consider it a privilege to volunteer alongside many experienced and passionate steam enthusiasts who, at the end of a day, can still crack a joke when covered head-to-toe in soot and oil!
Iain Gray – Safety Director
I am a Chartered Engineer with over 40 years' experience in the nuclear industry. My latter working years were spent as a nuclear safety regulator, providing me with good knowledge of health and safety law, and its enforcement. I was introduced to the railway by my wonderful wife buying me a fire and drive experience for a special birthday. I bumped into the recruitment team in Cheltenham shortly before retirement and became a member the next day. I also volunteer as a travelling ticket inspector and a steward with Railway Catering Services.
Janet Gough - Volunteer Resources Director
As the Volunteer Resources Director, I work closely with the Membership Secretary, Safeguarding Officer, Volunteer Liaison Officer and the recruitment team, to support all volunteers on the railway, currently numbering in excess of 950. My role is to ensure that the railway keeps abreast of changes to relevant legislation, to maintain best practice and to provide appropriate advice and assistance in helping to resolve personnel issues.
For 20 years I worked with volunteers in a heritage and conservation organisation which relies on them to further its aims and support its work, and I feel privileged to have been offered the opportunity to work in this capacity for GWSR.
Alan Miller – Permanent Way Director & IT
All my life I have had a passionate interest in transport and trains and joining the GWSR has allowed me to enjoy my hobby in a practical and rewarding way.
I have been a volunteer since 2002 mainly as part of the Permanent Way team.
In 2016 I was privileged to become a director of the GWSR Plc.
The Permanent Way department is responsible for providing a safe operational permanent way for all railway operations, meeting the requirements of the railway as agreed by the Board.
Since the end of 2017 I have taken on the role of projects director acting as liaison between the board and those involved in the various construction projects around the railway.
I am also IT director, the aim being to improve the way we use computing and software across all departments.
Col Mike Bennett OBE DL – Non-executive Director
Born and educated in South London, I spent my working life with Dunlop and its successor BTR, starting in sales with several railway customers, and finishing in general management, which brought me to Gloucestershire in 1983. I retired in 2001.
I have had a parallel career in the Reserve Forces, mostly serving with the Army Cadet Force, and my final appointment was as Colonel Commandant Gloucestershire, responsible for 650 cadets and 130 volunteer officers and instructors, for which I was awarded the OBE.
In 2010 I was privileged to be appointed as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and, in that capacity, was responsible for organising the Railway’s QAVS ceremony for the Lord Lieutenant in 2015 as well as assisting in the GWR’s 2018 Remembrance Ceremony.
My teenage years were spent living in Birmingham where I became an enthusiastic train spotter, particularly the Great Western. In 2012 I attended a Steam Firing and Driving Day which was my introduction to GWSR.
I hope that I will be able to use my previous experience, both in corporate management and in dealing with volunteers, to help the Board in keeping the Railway moving forward.
Roger Bush – Cross Board Director
After 20 years boating on the canals there was a gap of a few years before joining the railway in 2005. First volunteering in 2007 on Lineside Clearance and after retirement in Carriage Cleaning, Railway Catering and Commercial departments. Elected to the GWRT Board in 2016 and nominated as the second Cross-Board Director to the GWSR in August 2020. Railways were my first hobby - my 1961 Ian Allan Combined Volume is still in regular use for reference!
Glyn Cornish – Cross Board Director
I first volunteered on GWR in 2002, joining the Permanent Way Department; I also joined Railway Catering Services and later trained as a DMU driver. Also upon my retirement, I became Membership Secretary and a Director of GWRT in 2008, Chairman of GWRT at the beginning of 2015 and a Cross-Board Director of GWSR Plc shortly afterwards.