The Great Western (SVR) Association exists to preserve and restore items of rolling stock, particularly carriages, appertaining to the Great Western Railway. Its primary aim is to tell the developing story of the Great Western carriage from the turn of the century right up to the production of the last Great Western vehicle. Its secondary, but equally important aim is to provide stock for use on the Severn Valley Railway.
The first signs of this endeavour was in 1968 when there was a general withdrawal of all pre nationalisation stock. A quick whip round of Severn Valley members of the day produced sufficient cash to purchase two Hawksworth carriages from the long lines at Didcot. Seeing the different types of carriages that went for scrap from that collection, the carriage restoration team at Bewdley decided that this situation should not arise again and a fund was set up to raise money for future purchases. The Great Western Rolling Stock Fund was set up with members paying half a crown per week. It is amazing how it mounts up!
The first item the fund had its sights set on was the last remaining outside framed Siphon. Luckily however, this was not to become available for a few years and this gave us the chance to save other items of passenger carrying stock.
At about the same time, the preservation of locomotives from Barry scrapyard was gathering momentum and a group was set up to save mogul 9303 and other items of Great Western origin.
As the aims of the two organisations were broadly similar, not to mention the fact that most of the members of one group were also members of the other, the two joined forces and became the Great Western (SVR) Association.
The aims of the association were largely achieved and as there is no more stock to purchase the emphasis is on restoring the items under our care. To help us in this task, the association became a charity.
We are always on the lookout for new members, particularly those with a relevant skill. But anyone is welcome. None of us knew anything about restoration when we started all those years ago. If you are interested in joining, please see the How To Help page.