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  • Writer's picturePatrick Hearn

Recruitment to SVR General Manager

Following a successful recruitment process, I am very pleased to announce that the new General Manager at the Severn Valley Railway will be Helen Smith.

Helen is currently Deputy Director at the Tank Museum, Bovington where she reports to the Board on all aspects of managing the museum, leading on strategic development of the business including operations, collections, exhibitions, learning programme, curatorial, marketing, admissions, retail, catering and events.

The Tank Museum is a £30m Heritage Fund project with over 300 vehicles. It operates a £4.6m tank rebuild and restoration workshop with an active apprenticeship scheme. There are over 600 volunteers working at the Tank Museum in a variety of roles, many akin to those at the Railway. Her previous roles have been General Manager at The Fusilier Museum in Bury and Operations Director at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.

Yorkshire-born and bred, Helen currently lives in Dorset and is looking to relocate to the area as quickly as possible. “I am really excited about joining SVR. I will be on the Railway as often as I can before I join you and am looking forward to meeting as many volunteers and staff members as I can during these visits. Christmas is a busy period for the Railway and I want to experience the Santa trains and Steam in Lights, which I know are innovative changes this year.”

I am delighted that Helen has agreed to join us. The decision to appoint Helen was a unanimous one involving the Boards of both the Holdings and Guarantee Company. We are confident that she will build on the strong foundations laid by her predecessor Nick Ralls, and lead us forward on our journey. I will let you know Helen’s start date when it is agreed.

Nick Paul CBE Chair,

SVR (Holdings) Board

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Stephen Thomas
May 07, 2021

Don't think Helens communications skills will help. Wrote to her with concerns over the £2.5m shareholders fund for Bridgnorth. sent it via Royal Mail to head office. Did not even get an acknowledgement. Must agree with Robert SVR communication are terrible but they are quick enough to ask for Money


Robert Wilson
Nov 21, 2019

The general feeling around the railway is that there is a significant lack of communication downwards to the volunteers. I have noted that, on Helen's C.V., she has a Masters in communication. I hope we can all look forward to experiencing a great improvement in this area.


caroline cleaveley
Nov 06, 2019

Thanks to the old guy and welcome to Helen and hope she stays for 12 years too. caroline cleaveley.

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