The West Somerset Railway was forced to suspend operations and shut down on 17th March. An urgent appeal was launched for the required funds to help the 22-mile line heritage line get through the Coronavirus crisis.
The donations have come from its many friends, supporters, stakeholders, shareholders, staff, volunteers and people across Somerset.
The money, which totals £30,140 to date (correct as of 1st April), has come in the form of website donations (£15,990); cheque donations (£100); WSR plc share purchases (£3,050), and WSR station group donations (£11,000).
However, it’s not just been one-way traffic as the WSR plc has itself given food from its Turntable Café in Minehead to the community via the ‘West Somerset Food Cupboard’.
To donate to the West Somerset Railway, please click here to visit their website.
To see out list of railways which currently have appeals, click here.
What did the officials say?
Commenting on the success of the WSR fund-raising appeal to date, WSR plc Chairman Jon Jones-Pratt said:
“I’ve been both humbled and pleasantly surprised by this great show of financial support for the West Somerset Railway, especially when the minds of many people will naturally be on just getting themselves and their families through the Covid 19 pandemic crisis safely. It shows just how much people care about the WSR and what it means to so many of our friends.
“And I’m also very pleased that we have also been able to give something back to the local community too with our donations of food to the local ‘Food Cupboard’ and some rubber gloves for the NHS – whilst we know it’s only something fairly small in the scheme of things at present, we felt we had to do something positive to show solidarity with the community and every little helps at present.
”Our own WSR family has once again stepped forward to help us too with shareholders and our station groups contributing significant money to our cause, plus the WSRA infrastructure appeal as well. The more money that we can raise now will all help our lovely railway line to continue steaming through the West Somerset countryside, and so help to prevent the WSR from becoming a Coronavirus casualty.”
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