The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust WSRHT

New Trustees Welcomed

Posted on October 11, 2020

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust is delighted to welcome three new volunteer trustees. They have been co-opted to assist the work of the Trust at this challenging time, and will be recommended to members at the Annual General Meeting to be held next month.

The appointments follow interviews last month, and are part of a process that stems from a search for new Trustees that started back in June. The aim was to broaden the base of age, skills and experience and to tackle the increasing workload as membership of the Trust expands. This brings the number of Trustees to ten, each with a portfolio of work supporting the Trust’s objects and the ideal number to run a charity which now has just over 200 members.

Helen Anson is a school teacher and the Trust’s Education Officer. She runs the outreach programme with schools. She has experience as both a primary school teacher and in museums management, including the Maritime Museums at Portsmouth She holds an MA in Museum Studies as well as a degree in history. She lives on Exmoor. Her portfolio embraces Community Outreach and Engagement, aimed at expanding the appeal of the museums by developing a programme of events and activities that will engage with older students, visitors and the wider community. She has already recruited a team of assistants and run a number of successful events at the Gauge Museum, as well as providing expert guidance on the museum’s conservation and care policy.

Matt Jackson has been appointed as Manager of the Model Railway Group in the Gauge Museum at Bishops Lydeard, a post which carries with it membership of the Board. He is a young apprentice with an engineering firm in Exeter. He lives in Honiton. He also helps as part of the support crew for the main line steam locomotive, Clan Line and is a volunteer driver on the Beer Heights Light Railway in Devon. He has been a senior member of the model railway team for three years and has led the major refurbishment of the layout over the last winter, as well as producing a management plan for the group and its activities.

Mike Thompson is an experienced aviation specialist with over 30 years in leadership roles managing a wide range of international teams, including sales, marketing, customer services and operations. He is currently a sales director for an aviation IT specialist, providing airline sales and revenue management systems and other services. On the WSR he is a guard and TTI and booking clerk, and provides commercial advice to the PLC. His portfolio includes Communications and Public Relations. His brother Peter Thompson, who sadly passed away some years ago, was an earlier chairman of the Trust. Mike lives in Taunton and has already supported us with educational outreach activities including recent tours of the railway and the Gauge Museum for Wellington School.

Trust Chairman, Chris Austin said, “I am delighted to welcome three new Trustees to help with the expanding work of the Trust, bringing some specific skills that we need, and with an impressive range of knowledge and capabilities. They also bring some welcome diversity to the Trust board and together reduce the average age of trustees considerably. Together we shall all be working hard to support the West Somerset Railway as we move towards reopening and the welcome reappearance of steam trains again in Somerset.”