Great Western (SVR) Assoc.
The Association began in 1968 as the 'Great Western Rolling Stock Fund' (also referred to as the 'GWR Coach Fund'), and quickly began to accumulate pre-nationalisation carriages which were being withdrawn from service by BR at the time. In 1972 a separate group, the ‘Great Western Locomotive and Carriage Society’, was formed with the intention of saving a locomotive, Collett Mogul 9303/7325, from Barry Scrapyard. The two groups shared common aims and members, and in 1973 merged to form the Great Western (SVR) Association, the somewhat convoluted title being chosen to avoid any confusion with the Didcot-based Great Western Society. The first Annual General Meeting of the new Association was held on 18 May 1974.
It ran a special train on 12 May 2019 to celebrate “the 50th Anniversary of the Association on the Severn Valley Railway”. This anniversary relates to the 1968 origins rather than the Association’s formation in 1973.
Membership and fund raising
The Association is a membership body, by payment of a subscription. An illustrated members' Newsletter is nominally published twice yearly.
In 2019, for the Association’s 50th year, it launched a fund to return Mogul 7325 to the Collett GWR condition of 9303.
Acquisitions and disposals
The Mogul was purchased in 1974 and moved to the SVR in 1975; it is still owned by the Association.
Acquisition of further redundant ex Departmental Stock continued in the 1970s. By mid-1998 the Association owned 14 carriages and ‘brown vehicles’. Since that time:
- Collett bow-ended Corridor Third 4546 which had been used as a dormitory coach left circa 1999.
- A further 5 carriages in private ownership on the SVR were taken over by the Association.
- 2426 was acquired from SVR(H).
- 5043 (now 9581) was acquired from The 2857 Society in 2014
- In 2017 the Association agreed to transfer 5043 to SVR(H) in exchange for GWR 4786 Full Third.
- In 2019 the Association acquired GWR 2242 Corridor Brake Third.
As of 2020[update] the Association owns 20 carriages (three of which are owned by Association members), one Siphon G Milk Van, and a Macaw B Bogie Bolster.. A full list of SVR-based rolling stock owned by the Association may be found here.
The Association's restoration of GWR 9103 Nondescript Saloon was the overall Winner in the Heritage Railway Association's Carriage and Wagon Competition for 2015. The most recently completed restoration projects are Art Deco Brake 3rd 650, which entered service in November 2015 and Bow-end Composite 6045 whose restoration was completed in April 2020.
Only 3 of the carriages have yet to be returned to working order. As of 2020[update] work on 4786 is in progress at Bewdley and on 2242 at Kidderminster. 2426 was moved to Bewdley in 2019 where it is being used as a workshop although work has started on restoring the ends.
- GW(SVR)A website ‘Background’ (retrieved 8 February 2019)
- SVR News 25
- SVR News 128, “The Great Western (SVR) Association celebrates 25 years”
- SVR News 157
- SVR News 34
- Charities Commission website
- Leaflet circulated to members, January 2019
- GW(SVR)A website ‘How to help’ (retrieved 8 February 2017)
- Full list of shareholders at 24 June 2016
- SVR Stock Book Ninth Edition
- Stock list on the GW(SVR)A web site (retrieved January 2020)
- GW(SVR)A website (retrieved 6 January 2017)
- GW(SVR)A booklet (since publication 6045 has been completed and 2242 acquired)
- GWR(SVRA) Newsletter published Jan 2019