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Severn Valley Railway Guarantee Company AGM

On Saturday 10 October at 7.30 pm, the Company held its AGM by Proxy only, via telephone conference call, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Those Directors present were David Williams (Chairman), Diane Malyon, Tony Bending, Michelle Bevon, Alan Davies, Alan Longdon, Rob Whatton, and David Mellor (Secretary). All Directors were present except Jordan Taylor. Apologies were received from General Manager Helen Smith.

In accordance with Article 13 of the Company’s Articles of Association, a quorum of 5 members had been achieved, and therefore the meeting could legitimately proceed.


Minutes of the previous AGM (the 51st) of 13th July 2019 were approved.


Election of Directors. Michelle Bevon, Alan Longdon and Diane Malyon retired by rotation, and had offered themselves for re-election in accordance with Article 42 of the Articles of Association. Additional nominations had been received from James Cooper and Lawrence Mortimer.

The total number of proxy voting forms returned by members to the Company Secretary was 591. There were 45 spoilt forms, mainly through members voting for all 5 candidates rather than the (clearly) stated requirement of 4 out of 5.

The votes cast were:

Michelle Bevon 468, James Cooper 446, Alan Longdon 336, Diane Malyon 505 and Lawrence Mortimer 384. Therefore Michelle, James, Diane and Lawrence were elected to the Board, and Alan was unsuccessful.

The Chairman, on behalf of the Board, thanked Alan Longdon for his service as a Director for the past 15 years, and his contribution to various committees in the operating and safety fields. The Board was pleased to note that recently Alan had received his 50-year certificate as a volunteer from our Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The Directors’ Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2019 were adopted unanimously.

Folkes Worton LLP were reappointed as Auditors of the Company for the forthcoming year, and the Directors were authorised to agree their remuneration.

Any Other Business. Questions received from members prior to the AGM were read out and answered.

Bob Lane had asked about the non-disclosure of the final cost of Bridgnorth buffet building. Bob admitted that he had asked this same question at the Holdings AGM on 12th September. This Board agreed that this was indeed a Holdings matter (policy and finance) and beyond the scope of this Board. Bob had received further correspondence and meetings with the Chairman of the Holdings Company, this Board and the General Manager, all to explain a difficult but necessary financial and commercial decision.

Quentin Haigh wrote to offer warmest congratulations to Secretary David Mellor, who he believed had achieved a fifty year stint in this important role for this Company. This was indeed true, and more since! David also deputised as necessary in similar roles for the Holdings Company, so the sentiment was echoed by all the Directors present, and we are sure by all our members too.

Ray Churchill had enquired if there was any possibility of foliage being cut back to reveal fully the beautiful views of the Railway and the River from The Engine House at Highley. It needed young energy; as a younger man, he had enjoyed taking part in such exercises with Charlie Greenacre, Alan Trend and other dedicated volunteers. He hoped this would continue there in the future. In response, this has been raised with The Engine House management, and is expected to take place when possible.

The Chairman drew the meeting to a close by thanking all SVR members who returned their proxy forms. More generally, he thanked the membership for keeping faith with the Railway during this awful pandemic. Please ‘stay safe’.

The meeting closed at 8.15 pm.

David Williams

Chairman – SVR Company Limited

15 October 2020

This year’s Annual General Meeting of Severn Valley Railway Company Limited (The ‘Guarantee’ Company) will be held on Saturday 10 October 2020, but in very different circumstances to previous years. Coronavirus has played its part and this year, for the first time ever, members will not be able to attend. We had hoped that by postponing the AGM, the lockdown would have eased sufficiently to allow a normal meeting, but eventually the Board decided that this was very unlikely and instead opted to hold the AGM ‘by proxy’, in the same way that the recent ‘Holdings’ AGM, was held on 12 September.

The next issue of Severn Valley Railway News is currently being sent to all members. The envelope also contains relevant AGM information, including the usual proxy card. This year, voting on all resolutions will be by use of the proxy card. A letter from the Chairman, David Williams, is also included with the pack and explains how any member may raise a question under ‘Any Other Business’ should he or she wish to do so.

If by any chance any member has not received the ‘News’ and inserts by Friday September 18th, please advise the Membership Secretary, Victoria Evans, by email (, by telephone on 01562 757930 (Monday-Wednesday, 9.30am-1.30pm) or by post.

Tony Bending Director

12 September 2020

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