Ashchurch and Tewkesbury District Rail Promotion Group

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Garden News

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on August 7, 2016 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Very pleased to announce that the station garden at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury has been short-listed for an ACoRP award. Judges will be visiting short-listed stations soon. Many congratulations to the volunteers who have worked hard on this project.

New Sign

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on March 7, 2016 at 4:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Latest Newsletter

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on March 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome to the first edition of 2016 of ATDRPG Matters.


Our next Open Meeting will be held on Friday 4th March 7.30pm at Tewkesbury Library GL20 5NX.

We look forward to introducing Sergeant Andy Boston of British Transport Police as the invited guest speaker.

All welcome, complimentary refreshments to be served beforehand.



Again, there is little in the way of major developments since the last meeting, but your committee has been busy behind the scenes, largely through continuing contacts with individuals within the railway industry, and Ken’s continuing occasional travels throughout other areas of the UK, obtaining useful information and comparisons. Here are some of the more important events:

2 December 2015 - John represented ATDRPG at a meeting at Ashchurch Village Hall hosted by Harris Ethical Ltd., who had been commissioned to undertake studies to find practical and financial ways forward for the development of the station. Other representatives present included Great Western Railway, Gloucester County Council and Railfuture. This was a fact finding mission and no results have yet been published.

30 December 2015 – construction of the final four raised beds on the station garden was completed (see photo above).

6 January 2016 – Letter received from GWR, advising that we have been successful in our bid to their Communities Improvement Fund and that we have been awarded £5000! It is planned to have a meeting with GWR to discuss the practicalities of how and on what we could spend this money.

9 January 2016 – The day was unusual in having both the latest footfall count at the station, plus a working party at the garden. The latter concentrated on filling the beds with soil and compost ready for the new occupants, together with laying the final bark pathway. Concrete posts have been installed ready for when the mock level crossing gates are built.

3 February 2016 - Ken and John attended the latest meeting of Worcestershire Rail User Groups Alliance (WRUGA). This alliance incorporates areas from Hereford to Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Stratford-on-Avon and ourselves. Another very positive meeting, with all members of the Alliance keen to see improvements in the Worcester-Bristol corridor and at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury especially. The situation re Worcestershire Parkway was concerning to all.

11 February 2016 - John had a meeting with Vikki, the manager of Mary P’s Nursery, regarding our proposal to join forces for the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration over the weekend of June 11/12. We are hoping to have a model railway in the car park to give rides during the Sunday afternoon, plus a bouncy castle and refreshments. There is also planned to be displays relevant to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury station’s past. We have begun discussions with GCC, etc. for permission.

22 February – Ken and John had a meeting with GWR re the £5k grant. Various questions were answered and areas of doubt clarified. Basically, we can spend the money of whatever we want, but we will have to submit costings, budgets, etc. and all to be completed by 31 March 2017. We have ideas already, but if any member has any bright ideas (preferably sensible!), we would be delighted to hear them.

Other matters – the footfall counts are constantly showing levels of around 110/120,000 p.a., against the official figure of 87k+. We are looking to finish the station garden by the end of May at the latest, so we can enter ACoRP’s competition. The rest of the invited Speakers for this year are: AGM June 3rd (subs due) – Nigel Harris (Editor of Rail magazine and Christian Wolmar! September 2 – Matt Barnes of GWR; and December 2 – Richard, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, to talk about his latest book.

Thank you.





*********** Stop Press**********

There Will Be No Additional Train Service For Cheltenham Races This Year – Please Use Either Service 9.24 Or 11.24





A day, or longer, at the seaside (by train from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury of course!)

How many of us recall the days of a much awaited trip to the seaside, often by excursion train or by scheduled train using special offer tickets. The days of excursion trains to the seaside are long gone, and special seaside day trip tickets are not part of the modern ticketing structure used by the current train companies.

Unusually we are very lucky with our train service at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury, as not only are many seaside resorts easily accessible with just one change of train, but we are directly connected by through trains to some of the more popular South Coast resorts. Not only that, but by careful pre-planning, using Advance Purchase Tickets, railcard discounts, and other offers, trips to these resorts can be remarkably good value. (eg. Advance Purchase Single to Brighton can be as low as £17)

Brighton and the Sussex Coast

Our best service is the popular 11.24 departure, which although calling at many local stations on the way, runs directly right through to Brighton. Not only does this service also stop at Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea, but with one simple change many other popular seaside destinations can be reached, Change at Southampton for the Red Funnel ferry service to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, at Fareham for Portsmouth and Southsea station (for Southsea), or for Portsmouth Harbour station to get the Wightlink ferry to Ryde on the Isle of Wight. The train also calls at Havant from where there is a frequent bus service to Hayling Island, and at Barnham, where you change for a few minutes short hop train run to Bognor Regis or Littlehampton. If you travel all the way to Brighton you can, should you wish, continue to Bexhill-on-Sea or Hastings, or to one of my favourites, the lesser known resort of Seaford, near Newhaven. With a direct through train back from Brighton as well, these places are well worth a short break, especially out of the main holiday season.


Remarkably there are 3 direct services daily from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury to Weymouth, at 07.05, 13.24 & 15.24! Sadly there are no direct services returning, but there are many connections available by changing at Westbury, Bristol Temple Meads or Gloucester.


We have 1 direct train a week scheduled to run from Ashchurch for Tewkesbury to Weston-Super-Mare, leaving at 14.51 on Sundays. However, our most popular seaside “day trip” resort is very easily reached with one change of train. Although Bristol Temple Meads has a slightly wider choice of connections and full station facilities, in most cases a “same platform” change at Filton Abbey Wood station gives good connections. For example, leaving at 09.24 changing at Filton Abbey Wood (with a 17 minute wait) gets you to Weston-Super-Mare at 11.21.

Other options to consider: Barry Island or Penarth (change at Cardiff Central), Rhyl, Colwyn Bay or Llandudno (change at Birmingham New Street), Dawlish, Teignmouth, Torquay or Paignton (change at Cheltenham Spa), or for a real adventure, change at Cheltenham Spa for that great Scottish city which has a magnificent beach which most English people do not realise even exists, Aberdeen !

Ken Radbourne February 2016



Just for a moment – a split second – I thought “it could be me”. I’ve been to Worcester, I might have bought a ticket and forgotten all about it, I could be the secret £33 million jackpot winner, but then I remembered Camelot wouldn’t have had to wait for me to come forward because I always write my bank sort code, account number and password on my ticket so that they can pay it straight into my account. Come to think of it, perhaps that’s why however much I pay into that account it’s always in the red. Ah well, there’s the Euro lottery rollover or the Irish and Nigerian lotteries which you are guaranteed to win.

But if I had won £33,015,496.72, what could I have done with it? With train carriages costing £1.5 million each (281 new diesel and electric carriages for the next Northern franchise are valued at £490 million), I could have bought and presented to GWR 2 x 3 car Turbo/Class 172s (say £10 million), 4 additional drivers and conductors (£1/2 million), a couple of oil wells worth of diesel (£1 million at today’s give away prices), a bit of a backhander to Network Rail for additional wear and tear on their tracks and station platforms, and I could have delivered an hourly service along the Cotswold Line and between Worcester and Cheltenham/Gloucester/Bristol and still have had £20 million to waste on riotous living or doubling the track between Pershore and Worcester Parkway. “It should have been me!”

Derek Potter February 2016

*Produced and Published in good faith by ATDRPG, as always please check all details before you travel. Contact details; web -; e-mail - [email protected]; facebook Tewkesbury Ashchurch Rail atdrpg. Thank you for reading, please consider the environment and redistribute. Rail related articles, letters etc. suitable for future issues welcome. Editors’ decision is final.


In Fading Light

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on February 15, 2016 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Photo courtesy of John Stretton.

Record Passenger Numbers at Ashchurch

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on December 21, 2015 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Official figures from the Office of Rail Regulation indicate a 4.2% passenger growth at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury in 2014-15. This is the fifth successive year of growth.

87834 passengers used the station in the year, although our estimate based on periodic passenger counts is 110000.

Minutes of September Meeting

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on November 26, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 4th September 2015

The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chairman K. Radbourne in the absence of A. Cameron.

Apologies; A. Cameron, A. Snarey, D. Potter, P. Williams, J. Roberts, Stefani Browne.

Minutes agreed as a true record; Proposed H. Burns, Seconded J. Stretton

Matters arising – none.

Group Reports; J. Stretton; Latest newsletter published and available - Noted

Updates; A recent study by Amey recognised that ASC was in Glos’shire and any misunderstandings about travel cleared up, destinations were explained to Councillors. TBC regeneration are very proactive and with that met on site with Leza West to offer visions for the Station, TBC are very much onside with a mini round table meeting to be planned. Sources of funding are available for minor requests eg signage. A meeting has been arranged for 12th October with Business Development reps. - Noted

Phase 1 of the garden project has been signed off. There is a spare bed available - Noted

Next footfall count Friday 1st October. On 8th August 9.24, 53 passengers got on – Noted

Chippenham- Bath Junction re signalling within Gloucester is due and preferred by 2020.

Currently talks of a schematic plan to open a platform 3 at ASC as freight is too long for the loop, Network Rail are keen to see the loops extended, following the line into the Army Camp with turnout slightly towards Gloucester, bi directional enabling stopping trains to let the Voyagers pass, all subject to funding.

K. Radbourne; gave thanks to JS and the gardening team for phenomenal transformation well received by passengers and users of the station. - Noted.

The now renamed Great Western Railway franchise was extended while electrification takes place and will be changing its livery from Barbie Doll to Brunswick Green. Appears to be spending money on signs rather than services. No definite news about Dec. timetable, but no major changes expected. Gloucester will now hold if connections are late - Noted

Was hoping that fellow member Derek would be attending to be able to explain the fare structure which appears to be more complicated than BR days - Noted

Worcestershire Parkway. The group have objected strongly about the scheme which anyone in the business can see is flawed. Main issue is approving the building of the station with no guarantee of trains to service, until then unsure on the effect it would have on ASC - Noted

Guest Speaker – Jack Boskett, local Rail enthusiast and Photographer; gave a fascinating slideshow of both rail and local interest with an insight into his career. Jack has had an increasing number of his photographs used in newspapers and magazines.

AOB; Expected speaker Stefani Browne had been called away to report on the reopening of the Edinburgh Scottish Borders to Galashiels line by the Queen to coincide with QE11 longest reign.

Bus Service. First Group have extended the operating hours of the Tewkesbury- Worcester Service but now running every 90min rather than hourly.

Next Meeting Friday 27th November – Christmas Social. Guest speaker Theo Steel

*ASC – Ashchurch for Tewkesbury Rail Station


Agenda for Meeting 27 November

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on November 26, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Christmas Social Meeting

of the

Ashchurch, Tewkesbury and District Rail Promotion Group

Friday 27th November 2015

Elmbury Room

Tewkesbury Library



1 Welcome, housekeeping and introductions

2 Apologies for absence.

3 Minutes of last meeting.

4 Matters arising.

5 Group Updates;

• John Stretton.

• Ken Radbourne.

• Derek Potter.

6 Any other business.

7 Guest Speaker; Theo Steel, Career railwayman, instrumental in the reopening of Ashchurch for Tewkesbury Station and its services.

8 Date of the next meeting;

Friday 4th March 2016 – Open Meeting

Guest Speaker; to be announced



Good night, thank you for coming and have a safe journey home.

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.



Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on November 20, 2015 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)






Welcome to our final Newsletter of the year, may we take this opportunity to wish you all Seasonal Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year. Thank you all for your continued interest and support.

The forthcoming meeting is to be held on Friday 27th November 7 for 7.30pm Tewkesbury Library.


Throughout September further work took place on the station garden to ready it for the Official Opening event on October 3rd. We were delighted to welcome Tim Maddocks, Customer Services Manager at Network Rail to do the honours by cutting a ribbon at the northern end of the garden, after he gave a well received speech covering the origination of the project, its gestation and his admiration for the final achievements. A representative of FGW was also present along with a number of the raised bed holders, local councillors, supporters and staff from Mary P's Nursery, who provided the refreshments after the formal opening. Laurence Robertson MP was also able to join us, sadly missing the ribbon cutting by virtue of a previous engagement in Tewkesbury. All were extremely complimentary about the garden design and the attractive beds created by their adopters. We have had many words of praise from users of the station and even FGW staff when trains stop. More than one lady has commented that they now feel safer, as it so obvious that the station is being cared for.

1 October and 6 November - our latest footfall counts again evidenced that usage figures continue to grow, with both demonstrating in excess of 110000 p.a. against the 83000+ official figures. We continue to monitor between the formal days and have seen such as 25 boarding the 0705 on 1 November and 38 on the 0924 the week before!

12 October - John had an all morning meeting with Katie Power and Neil Batt (senior officers of TBC) which proved to be extremely positive and helpful, with both keen to see us achieve our aspirations and for TBC to assist as far as possible. With this in mind, a mini-Round Table was organised for November 18, at which stakeholders from TBC, GWR, NR, Glos LEP and GCC were to further discuss how the aims could be funded and realised.

19 October - attended an evening presentation at the Watson Hall with local awards for Tewkesbury in Bloom entrants. It was announced that the town won a Silver Gilt award in the national competition, the first time Tewkesbury have reached this stage. The judges apparently were mightily impressed with what they saw in the town and the Town Mayor mentioned the part played by the station group in reaching this level of award.

30 October - John had a one hour meeting with Laurence Robertson at the station. Despite the rain, John explained what had been achieved and what the aspirations were and how Laurence could help. He (the MP) said that he would do all he could to assist and asked for anyone to continue to contact him on relevant matters.

2 November - John and Richard Dunn of the garden group met Tim Maddocks at Bristol to have a tour of station gardens around the area. Having visited Yatton, Parson Street and Yate, we came away impressed with the patch but otherwise felt that we were streets ahead of them in design, commitment and colour (especially at this time of year). Both John and Richard were encouraged to contemplate entering ACoRP's national competition next year.

Finally, the last two footfall counts have been hampered by some of the regular crew being unavailable on the dates of the counts. This means that the other regular ‘counters’ have to pick up the slack. So...anyone who can spare and hour or two during the day would be very welcome. It is not a hard job, merely counting numbers on and off and, if you feel up to it, chatting with the travellers and identifying where they are going and have come from. The next count is on January 9 2016. Thank you.



Steering group members are looking forward to working with Mary P’s Nursery organising a community event to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Look out for further details after the New Year.




Have a query or a comment? – Just ask us.

We welcome any feedback.

Joan via facebook asks; “Yesterday the information machine was out of order. This was my first journey on this particular train and I didn't know which platform!”

*If you notice that the machines are not working please report it via the ‘Help Point’. The more reports the better. Do not hesitate to use the ‘Help Points’ at any time.


*Produced and Published in good faith by ATDRPG, as always please check all details before you travel. Contact details; web -; e-mail - [email protected]; facebook Tewkesbury Ashchurch Rail atdrpg. Thank you for reading, please consider the environment and redistribute. Rail related articles, letters etc suitable for future issues welcome. Editors’ decision is final.


Christmas Social

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on November 17, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Friday 27 November 2015 19:30, Elmsbury Room, Tewkesbury Library.

Guest Speaker: Theo Steel.

Everyone welcome.

Next passenger count is on Saturday 9 January.

Agenda and Minutes

Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on September 4, 2015 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Open Meeting of the Ashchurch, Tewkesbury and District Rail Promotion Group Friday 4th September 2015


Elmbury Room


Tewkesbury Library




1 Welcome, housekeeping and introductions – Deputy Chair


Ken Radbourne.


2 Apologies for absence. 3 Minutes of last meeting. 4 Matters arising. 5 Group Updates;


* John Stretton.


* Ken Radbourne.


* Derek Potter.


6 Any other business.


7 Guest Speaker; Jack Boskett, Local Photographer and Rail enthusiast


8 Date of the next meeting;


Friday 27th November 2015 – Christmas Social


Guest Speaker; Railwayman Theo Steel




Good night, thank you for coming and have a safe journey home.-


Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 6th March 2015


Apologies for absence; P. Williams, S. Cooper, N. Gale. M. Barns, J. Roberts


Report distributed and agreed as a true record.


Matters arising – none.


Group Reports; J. Stretton - Regular footfall counts continue. 9.7% increase in passenger numbers with 29.7% over 5 years.


FGW are due to install shelter lights and looking at platform seating. Network Rail are altering the track with a view to reopening the ‘loop’. There is a proposal to reopen platform 3 and suggest extending Maesteg train. Passing point could be included during electrification.


JS working with developer Lindon Homes for mutual benefit.


Station garden is to receive bark from Northway play area and more soil. The bed is ready for a wildflower mat and planters out for adoption or sponsorship. Tewkesbury in Bloom will be including the garden in their ‘going for gold’.


A regular newsletter will be produced prior to future meetings. – Noted


K. Radbourne – Looking towards planning RT3, the first group to pull all stakeholders together, working at a slow pace due to safety issues and layers of bureaucracy with future changes likely to be costly. A business case and cost benefit analyst needed both for S Worcs and N Glos. FGW limited by rolling stock and only DfT can buy trains, electrification will release some rolling stock with DfT deciding who to. MP L. Robertson mentioned ASC in parliament.


Trains in future may be withdrawn due to disability access.


Timetable changes – 17.42 Pad – Chelt to take priority over stopping train to make connections.


At the recent passenger account a passenger arrived from Geneva taking 6 hours.


The group will be manning the station for Gold Cup week extended to 4 days with an extra 10.24 train and relief bus service. – Noted


D. Potter – CLPG with 37yrs experience with planners now working with FGW and LM together. FW awarded 3 yr franchise with strong hints that ASC will have good news asap. There are timetable changes in response to the redoubling 2 more Pad – Worcs closing 2 hr gaps. Is questioning Sunday morning services now that maintenance regime is no longer relevant and asking for earlier or later trains with a need to keep signal boxes open, needs v costs and there are extra units available at weekends with an invisible market. – Noted


AOB – Comments from the floor; finding difficulty in travelling to station for early morning trains, removal of first 2 bus services and lack of taxis – Action alert taxis companies;


Is the Station name change still on track – just waiting for funding, may be corporate; Rolling stock owned by ROSCOs not Gov. – Noted


J. Stretton was thanked for leading the garden working parties - Noted.


Guest Speaker – Rachel North DCEO TBC. Rachel gave a comprehensive explanation of the Town Centre Strategic Document and visions for the future including Rail Travel to ease congestion on the A46 and is keen to work closely with the group to achieve this.