Severn Valley Railway Co. Ltd. (the 'Guarantee' Company)
SVR Company Limited (Company number 00906842) is a Company limited by Guarantee, supported by its membership. It provides the volunteer work force that assist in the operation of the railway.
Chairman, Guarantee Board.
Director, Holdings Board.
David Williams joined the Severn Valley Railway Society in 1966, seven months after founding. He soon became SVR News Editor, from Issue 3 to date, over 50 years later. A member of the Committee of the Society from 1967 to 1970, he became a director of the newly formed SVR Company in 1972, and its Chairman from 1979 until the present day. He has also been a director of Severn Valley Railway Holdings from 1977 until the present. He retains an interest in rolling stock, having been instrumental with colleagues in saving locomotives 43106, 80079 and 75069 from scrap, and assisted in other schemes. He was a locomotive fireman for five years and a driver for nine. He thinks the SVR is the best railway in the country, and has devoted most of his life to it.
Director (Holdings & Guarantee Boards)
Tony joined the SVR in 1966 and immediately became an active volunteer, a role which he has continued ever since. In the early days he helped with the restoration of Bridgnorth station and the track between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade. With the arrival of the first locomotive, however, he joined the Locomotive Department, proceding to become a driver.
He is also one of a small team looking after the IT aspects of the Railway. Tony joined the Guarantee Board in 1973, and was Deputy Chairman of that Board for a period. In the period immediately prior to the appointment of Nick Ralls as General Manager, he was a member of a small Executive Committee tasked with running the SVR until Nick’s appointment. He is one of the three Guarantee Company representatives on the Holdings Board.
He worked for British Telecom as a manager for most of his working career, eventually taking early retirement which allowed him to spend even more time as a volunteer on the Railway.
Robert’s interest in the SVR started with membership of the Junior Club in the late 1980s, followed by Permanent Way Department participation, and continued as a Locomotive Cleaner, and later Passed Cleaner, in Bewdley Motive Power Department.
Additionally, Robert mentors younger Cleaners in that Department, andassists the Volunteer Liaison Office staff with placement of new volunteers.
The VLO work caused Robert to accept an invitation to join the Railway’s Staffing Committee, a position that he finds rewarding, and gives early insight into some of this Board’s activities.
Away from the Railway, Robert is a Technical Sales Advisor in the agricultural tractor industry, which provides useful experience of financial and personnel issues.
Duncan started as a volunteer in 1988 in Bridgnorth Motive Power Depot and worked his way up to become a passed fireman in 2005. In addition to that he is also a wine waiter on the Severn Valley Venturer, and has been part of the team who set up and run Santa operations at Arley each year since 1995.
Duncan is Head of Human Resources for Toolbank, a nationwide tool wholesaler, where he is involved in developing and supporting the management team across the twelve branches, with initiatives to increase profitability and reduce costs through the 700 people for whom he is responsible.
He joined the Board in 2009 .
Jordan is an SVR volunteer with a wide range of interests in, and achievements on, the Railway. He started as a member of the Junior Club and progressed to station and platform duties at Bewdley. Later, he joined the motive power department as a cleaner and gravitated to become a steam loco fireman, and more recently a duty shedmaster at Bewdley.
In the meantime, he also qualified as a signalman at Arley and became a member of the three-man signalbox restoration gang who set about restoring the interiors of boxes that really needed it. To date, Arley and Bewdley North have been dealt with during successive closed seasons of the Railway. This work resulted in a natural progression to become a member of Alan Davies' Presentation Committee, one of four sub-committees set up by the Guarantee Board in recent times.
Outside the SVR, Jordan is a qualified mechanic, becoming a railway technician at Tyseley TMD. Recently he has become a mainline train driver for the new West Midlands Railway, based at Birmingham New Street.
Alan is a retired Black Country copper, living locally in Button Oak, where he is a parish councillor. He was employed by British Rail in the 1960s.
He started with the SVR as a part time volunteer in 1970, becoming full time in 1977. He was Bewdley Station Master from 1989 to 2009, before taking up the new post of Stations Co-ordinator. He has also been a driver and a guard, as well as a member of the Operating Committee. Due to health reasons he is no longer operational, but he remains a senior duty manager, a duty officer, and is a member of the Safety, Rules Review, Gala and Accommodation Committees.
Alan was elected to the Guarantee Company Board in 2005 and became Deputy Chairman in 2009. He is exceptionally keen on promoting the younger element of our membership to get involved in operating and running the Railway, which is very evident at Bewdley.
Michelle is an SVR volunteer with a wide range of interests in the Railway. Her desire to volunteer at the Railway grew after many happy childhood memories of spending time around Bridgnorth station and many journeys on the SVR, leading to her wedding reception being held on the SVR where they chartered a train.
After this she had a desire to give her time back to the Railway, to ensure the future of Bridgnorth station as a key feature of the town, so she started as a Booking Office Clerk in Bridgnorth. More recently she has also taken on additional responsibilities as platform staff at Bridgnorth station, a role that builds on the skills and knowledge she has gained within the Booking Office, it continues to enable her to be public-facing, ensuring the safety of our passengers, helping with any queries and promoting the Railway. She can also be found at Arley over Christmas since she started as a volunteer; this is a role that she really enjoys, as she feels it isn’t really Christmas until her elf hat has been put on.
Michelle is always keen to find new volunteers and soon recruited her husband to the Bridgnorth Station Maintenance Team (WWCC) and persuaded him to become a Guard.
Outside the SVR Michelle lives in Bridgnorth and is a Senior Management Accountant for a global logistics company; her background in this profession lead to her joining Rob Whattons' Finance Committee, one of four sub-committees set up by the SVR G Board in recent times.
Diane became a working member at 16 on the Severn Valley Limited and on Bridgnorth based buffet cars in 1978. She moved to the Plant & Machinery Department, assisting with trolley and diesel shunter maintenance, passing out as a shunter driver in 1980, before joining the station staff, concentrating on booking office and station gardens. She also helped found the Severn Valley Venturer dining service and continues as part of its management team and is a regular cook.
She joined the Board in 1994, and since 1995 has been co-ordinator for the vital Santa operation. Diane chairs the Staffing Committee, successful projects of which to date include raising the retirement age of operating crews to 75, child protection policy and revisions of the Code of Conduct for Volunteer Staff and the Volunteer Staff Handbook. She also sits on the Accommodation Forum, which is committed to trying to improve volunteer sleeping facilities.
Director (Holdings & Guarantee Boards)
Alan has been involved with the SVR for many years, first volunteering at Bridgnorth with the civil engineering gang, whilst starting a full-time career in the building industry. This combined his Railway interest with hands-on experience of construction and maintenance. His first major involvement was in the rescue of Yorton signalbox, near Wem in Shropshire, and its subsequent re-erection at Arley, starting a close lifelong association there. Career-wise, Alan worked for a private architect's practice, Staffordshire County Council, and is currently with Wolverhampton City Council, engaged in conservation and school schemes. Alan's building, heritage and railway interests led to him becoming a National Heritage Awards judge twenty years ago, and whilst declaring an interest with SVR entries, he has at the same time encouraged Valley participation. He continues to have a deep interest in the diesel shunters of the 08 Society, and was partly responsible for the rescue of roof canopy steelwork at Wolverhampton Low Level intended to provide platform weather protection at Kidderminster. Alan still spends most Sundays hands-on at Arley, with others, helping to run and maintain the station.
He is one of the three Guarantee Company representatives on the Holdings Board.
SVR Company Limited and its functions
The merger of the Severn Valley Company Ltd and the Severn Valley Railway Association means that the SVR Company Ltd is the body that fully represents the interests of the membership and working members.
The Company has adopted and supports all the functions of the Severn Valley Railway Association and has incorporated these in to its governance. The Company has nine Directors who provide a breadth of experience from across the SVR.
The Company has a Committee structure to make sure that it maintains good governance and has a direct dialogue with its working membership.
These committees are:
Chaired by Director, Diane Malyon and including a representative from the Volunteer Liaison Office; the four Zone reps. from Bridgnorth, Intermediate Stations, Bewdley and Kidderminster, along with working members' representation from station, operating and other departments.
The committee provides support for VLO and its activities, as well as monitoring and reviewing processes by which working members' issues can be addressed. It aims to encourage recruitment, training and retention of working members through the development of policy and structures for support and guidance.
Chaired by Rob Whatton, the committee consists of two SVR. Co. Ltd. Directors (one as chairman and one as deputy chairman) and a small team of working members. The Finance Committee is charged with researching, investigating and reporting on all financial matters relating to the Guarantee Company. This includes the 200 Club, raffles, membership rates, shareholding and new fundraising initiatives. An important part of the remit of the committee is monitoring costs such as the SVR News and the progress of projects that have been funded or partially funded by the Company to ensure good financial return and membership support.
Chaired by Director, Duncan Chandler and a small team of working members. The Communications Committee ensures that Working Members receive the information they require from the Company Ltd and works with the SVR Holdings (Plc) and the SVR Charitable Trust on joint communications.
Chaired by Director Alan Davies with a small team of working members. The Presentation Committee seeks to improve the heritage credentials of the SVR through providing guidance and support on authenticity of clothing, literature and period detail.
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