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.
Chris Bristow - Finance Director
I joined GWSR upon retirement in 2010 and am a volunteer in the Steam Locomotive Department. I am a chartered accountant and in my career I have worked around the world for US hi-tech companies as a finance and administration director. I was appointed to the position of Finance Director in 2013. My other interests include classic cars and motorcycles and charity work in Uganda.
Colin Fewell - Commercial Director
As Commercial Director, my role is to encourage visitors to come to the railway and to ensure that whilst they are here they have an enjoyable time. We want everyone to come back time and time again and recommend us to their friends.
Christopher Webb – Safety Director
As a volunteer organisation, all staff and volunteers have formal legal responsibilities as regards their safety and health. My role is to lead and encourage general safety and health across the railway in a way that ensures we meet relevant current legal requirements that are proportional to the risks.
Operational safety aspects are covered by the mandatory requirements of the GWSR Rule Book.
Lee Alibone - Permanent Way & Civil Engineering Director
I joined the Permanent Way (PW) department in 2007 as a volunteer and was elected to the GWSR Board as PW Director in 2014. 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.
I also have responsibility for the Civil Engineering department which is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the railway's infrastructure. This includes stations, platforms, ancillary buildings, bridges and signal boxes, embankments, trackside drainage and lineside clearance and fencing.
Ian Stewart - Volunteer Resources Director
As the Volunteer Resources Director (essentially the personnel officer) I oversee volunteer requirements across the railway, advise on legislation and best practice relating to volunteering, and assist in helping to resolve personnel issues.
I work closely with the Safeguarding Officer, Work Permits Secretary, the Volunteer Recruitment Team and the Volunteer Liaison Officer. Together we support all the volunteers on the railway.
Alan Miller – Stations 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.
In this role I am responsible for the stations, working closely with the heads of department and platform staff to maintain and improve our stations.
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.
Richard Summers – Retail Services Director & Cross Board Director
I hold one of the two seats on the GWSR board nominated by the GWRT. The trust, being the largest single shareholder in the GWSR and the organisation that all volunteers are required to join before they may work on the railway, is invited to nominate two of its own directors to sit on the GWSR board. With my fellow cross-board director I provide a link between the two organisations so that our efforts in fund raising, volunteer recruitment and promotion of the railway are focused to best advantage. Normally these posts do not carry a portfolio; however, in view of my experience gained over twenty years with the railway’s catering services, I report to the board on matters concerning the retail and catering service businesses.
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.