Vans waiting to leave Washford on 25 June 2021.
Two vans waiting to leave Washford for the Watercress Line on 25 June 2021.

At a recent meeting of the Trust Directors, it was agreed to close the Progressing Our Future Appeal. This appeal, and its predecessor Safeguarding Our Future, have raised over £46,000, including Gift Aid, since launching in Spring 2020, following the receipt of the notice to leave Washford.

The Directors wish to thank every one of our supporters who have contributed in any way to this appeal, as well as the many people and organisations who have offered non-financial support over this period.

This money is being used to relocate much of our museum collection and rolling stock to our new museum collaboration ventures at the Mid Hants Railway at Alresford, the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at Midsomer Norton and the Avon Valley Railway at Bitton, as well as providing safe and secure storage for items not on display. We have also incurred legal and professional costs in our ongoing dealings on the Washford lease.

The good news is that it looks as though we can cover all of this from within the funds raised and it is an opportune time to close this phase of our fundraising. The challenges facing the Trust remain significant, but this will allow us to fine-tune our fund raising in the coming months to specific projects which are expected to happen over the next two years.

In the meantime, we would ask our supporters, when donating money, to give to our General Fund. These donations will be separately identified and dedicated to whichever project is in most need at the time. We will endeavour to keep you informed as we go through the next few months how we are progressing.

Martin Rice, Hon. Treasurer