Ownership of the Railway
This page explains the way the GWSR plc and the GWR Trust work together to ensure the success of the railway.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway plc (GWSR) operates the railway, which is owned by its shareholders.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust (GWRT) was formed to bring together those interested in supporting the railway.
All the working staff of the railway report to the GWSR, and are all unpaid volunteers who must in addition be current members of the GWRT.
The day-to-day operations of the plc and the Trust are in the hands of boards of directors that are elected by their respective members (or shareholders). Coordination is facilitated by having some directors who sit on both boards. The management team at the GWSR sets the strategic goals for the railway, and directs the activities of the volunteer workforce.
The GWRT produces The Cornishman house magazine, and organises various social activities for the members and volunteers.
Any profits that arise in either organisation are ploughed back into the railway to ensure its continual enhancement. Membership of the GWRT and shareholdings in the GWSR are encouraged at all levels.
GWSR Plc EGM 2023 - Articles of Association
These ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION have been adpoted at the EGM held Tuesday 28th March in the Tim Mitchell Building Winchcombe Station.
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
Richard read mechanicalengineering at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he was awarded ascholarship from the regional engineering institution and completed a studentapprenticeship in the motor vehicle industry before deciding to qualify as achartered accountant. After qualifying,Richard returned to industry working for FTSE-100 and subsequently FTSE-250companies where he gained broad experience in increasingly senior roles up toboard level embracing financial management and strategy evaluation. While based in the UK, he worked in Europe,North and South America, Australia and China. Richard became a director of the steeldivision of Foseco with overall responsibility for finance in Scotland,Germany, USA and China. His final role leadingup to retirement was Head of Internal Audit of Cookson Group which had takenover Foseco plc.
In 2015, Richard joined therailway as a volunteer in the Steam Loco Department, and subsequently he was electedto the board of GWSR plc in 2018 as Finance Director.
Dr Graham Plant - Civil Engineering Director
As a civil engineer with professional memberships in the UK, the US, South Africa and Hong Kong Graham has over 50 years of experience in the delivery of major projects through planning, design and construction. He had a 20-year career up to 1992 with Arup, Consulting Engineers in the UK and South Africa where he was a Director.
He then had seven years engaged with the new Hong Kong International Airport from inception to completion carrying ultimate engineering and commercial responsibilities. This was one of the world’s massive and complex projects taken forward against a background of unique political change.
After leaving the Airport Authority in 1999, he was an independent consultant until 2018 providing strategic and engineering advice to clients developing major road, rail, airport and port projects in the UK, the US, Denmark, Australia, Chile, Trinidad, South Africa and Hong Kong.
During this time, Graham also undertook a full-time Interim Management rôle for 18 months as one of three Executive Directors of Crossrail Ltd and its first Programme Director for Crossrail, now Elizabeth Line. He then served on the Engineering Expert Panel for a further 5 years.
His published technical papers put particular emphasis on practical solutions to engineering issues. In 1999 he was awarded The Institution of Civil Engineers’ prestigious Telford Medal. He has also co-authored and edited a book with colleagues on the design, construction and performance of the Hong Kong airport site reclamation.
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.
Maurice Hall – Cross Board Director
I was born and live in Gloucester . I have spent my career in accountancy and have been Finance Director of several companies in Gloucestershire.
I retired in 2015 and started to volunteer on the railway. I am a Station Master and a member of the Railway Catering Services.
I have been married to Carol, who is also a volunteer, for over fifty years and have two children and five wonderful grandchildren.
Colin Charman – Safety Director
I recently retired from Eurostar after a career of 42 years in the rail industry. I started as a part-time junior railman (cleaner) and then worked my way through commercial roles, train planning, Operations Management, Train Crew Management, Station Management and the into International train operations. I sat on various national and international bodies, including writing rules and standards for national, international and channel tunnel operations. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators, Within the Institution I'm a Lead tutor/tutor in subjects including International Railway Operations, Compliance Safety and Risk and Managing the Railway Business. I joined the GWSR in 2019 as a volunteer, so am quite new to this kind of railway. I hope my experience will help us to grow and continue to give a safe and enjoyable experience.
Mike Robinson – Volunteer Resources Director
Whilst I only joined the RCS volunteering group before Christmas 2022, I have lived trackside in Woodmancote near Cheltenham for 35 years and remember the track being laid inthe early 1990's !
I had a career in the pub business working for Whitbread for most of my career, firstly in Operational roles running our numerous pubs being responsible for everything from pub manager recruitment to marketing and menu planning and then latterly in senior HR roles covering the South West of England, for around 20 years.
I'm married to Susan and we have four grown up children who live on four different continents - how didthat happen, so we do manage some interesting holidays!
I am passionate about people and love to see people grow and develop or simply see people contributing and enjoying themselves in whatever role they are in - all equally important in my view. I do hope I can say hello personally sometime soon. Thank you.
Mark Young – Construction & Maintenance Director
I first remember visiting the GWSR in the 1980’s with my father when there was aline up of locos rescued from Barry scrapyard opposite Toddington signal box and no public services. We continued to visit the railway during my childhood watching the railway grow and expand its services along the line.
In the 1990’s I joined Dinmore Manor Loco Ltd and have been heavily involved with the restoration of both 7820 & 3850 and their subsequent overhauls along with the restoration of 2874 ever since. I was also involved in the restoration of 4160 on the West Somerset Railway where I started training as a fireman, however, the distance from my home in Evesham saw me looking closer to home fora steam fix and I joined the GWSR in 2004, soon afterwards qualifying as a firemanand then a driver.
Working in the loco department has allowed me to continue working on the DML Ltd locos along with helping with the restoration of 4270, looking after the standard gauge loco boilers on our railway and helping to train other volunteers to fire and drive engines.
I have also looked after the motive power site at Toddington and helped to develop thesite facilities including the David Page shed extension, Diesel shed, Concrete floor in the David Page shed, internal and external loco pits, the recommissioning of the loco lifting jacks along with construction of the welfare building.
Further along the railway I have helped with construction of the Tim Mitchell building, the Carriage & Wagon paint shop and Broadway Station. My involvement with building projects comes from my “day job”. My family have run a building consultancy in Evesham since the early 1980’s looking after house builds, conversions and extensions in and around Wychavon. As such my education was biased towards construction and after completing a HND and BSc in Building at Oxford Brookes University I spent 5 years working for Birmingham City Council in their Clerk of Works division before returning home to take a role in the family business which I now run with my wife Michelle.
After being involved with so many construction projects on the GWSR and having a background in the construction industry I was asked to consider the role of Construction and Maintenance Director to help the railway maintain and preserveits heritage buildings along with developing facilities for both the visiting public and our volunteers.
Clive Whitwham – Coaching & Rolling Stock Director
I am a lifelong railway enthusiast and joined the GWSR as a volunteer in 1990, fulfilling a long-held desire to be actively involved in what was then the preservation movement and is now the Heritage Railway sector. I have worked principally in the C&W Department ever since, although I am also a Guard and have been a Buffet Car steward, ground frame operator and several other things at various times. Although interested in all aspects of railway rolling stock, and GWR vehicles in particular, goods wagons have become my principal field and I am also Deputy HoD (Wagons) in C&W.
My aim is to ensure we maintain and enhance our reputation for high quality rolling stock restorations and maintenance and continue to provide a running fleet that attracts praise from the public and fellow enthusiasts alike.
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway Plc
Winchcombe Railway Station
Pete Waterman OBE
Richard Johnson (Chairman)
Richard Winstanley (Finance)
Colin Charman (Safety Management)
Dr Graham Plant (Civil Engineering)
Maurice Hall (Cross-board)
Clive Whitwham (Rolling Stock Director)
Mark Young (Construction & Maintenance Director)
Mike Robinson (Volunteer Resource Director)
Col Mike Bennett OBE DL (Non-executive)
Process Assurance Manager
Permanent Way Manager
Heads of Departments
Construction & Maintenance
Carriage and Wagon
Railway Catering Services
Ben Evason / John Cruxon
Guards & TTIs
Signal & Telegraph
Neil Carr (acting)
Senior Station Masters
David Boot (Broadway)
Rob Davidson (Toddington)
Dave Griffin (Cheltenham)
Roger Wyton (Winchcombe)
Brian Thomas (Broadway)
Neil Herepath (Winchcombe)
Bryan Nicholls (Gotherington)
David Tomlin (Cheltenham)
Model Railway Group
Volunteer Liaison Manager
Development Fund and Office Manager
Flag & Whistle Franchise