The WSRHT board is pleased to announce that Mike Thompson will take over the role of Chairman of the Trust from the date of the next AGM. During the interim period, Mike will work alongside Steve Williams in his current role as acting Chairman to effect a smooth transition of duties. Steve will remain on the board as Vice Chairman and Company Secretary.
Mike has been a volunteer on the WSR for over four years and is currently a qualified Guard, TTI and booking clerk at the WSR. Mike has a business background with over 30 years in aviation leadership roles managing a wide range of international teams, including Sales, Marketing, Customer Service & Operations.
Steve Williams said ‘I have worked with Mike in various capacities over the last two years and have great regard for his abilities and his overall knowledge of the railway both as an active volunteer on the trains and in undertaking work in support of the railway, particularly in relation to commercial opportunities. He is a natural fit for the Trust, and I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the charity. It has been a privilege to lead the Trust on a temporary basis, and I pay tribute to my colleagues for all the support they have given me over the last 8 months‘.
Mike Thompson commented, ‘It is an honour to take on the role of Chairman, and I am very excited about working with our members and the excellent team of Trustees as we embark on several new restorations, educational and community projects. I also wish to thank my two predecessors for their significant contributions to the Trust. Chris Austin has carried the charity forward with great professionalism over the last 10 years and has overseen significant advances in the standard of our museums, carriage restoration projects and improving the finances of the organisation. Also, huge thanks must go to Steve Williams, who stepped in as acting Chair last year during a very difficult period for the Trust and brought some much-needed stability‘. Mike’s first goal will be to maintain this stability and to support the Trustees in their current endeavours, helping them to expand future activities and enable the Trust to grow and become a wider part of the WSR community.