Severn Valley Railway Society
The Severn Valley Railway Society ("SVRS") was the first organisation formed to preserve the Severn Valley Railway. It arose from a meeting of railway enthusiasts at the Cooper’s Arms in Kidderminster on 6th July 1965. Structurally it was a simple society of members run by a committee.
The SVRS conducted the initial discussions with British Railways (BR) through 1965 and 1966, however it quickly became apparent that for legal reasons a Limited Company would be necessary to buy the line from BR and obtain a Light Railway Order to operate the railway. In May 1967 the Severn Valley Railway Company Limited was formed for this purpose.
The SVRS continued as the ‘public face’ of the SVR through 1967 and 1968, during which time it continued to promote the railway and also ran four joint rail tours with the Manchester Rail Travel Society. In 1968 it was involved in the production of the first published history of the Severn Valley Railway, a 60 page volume entitled ‘The Severn Valley Railway’ by D.J. Smith.
By late 1969, with the opening of the SVR in sight, it was considered that the original Society was no longer required It was therefore merged into the Severn Valley Railway Company Limited on 6th December that year, although the name was still used on membership applications until at least 1971. In accordance with this change, issue 14 of Severn Valley Railway News for Autumn 1969 was the last headed “The Magazine of the Severn Valley Railway Society”; issue 15 became “The Magazine of the Severn Valley Railway Company”.
- "The Early Days Of The 'Severn Valley'", SVR News 190 (2015) p18.