The West Somerset Railway is appointing two new directors.
Malcolm Smith and Robin Wichard will begin working with the Board and senior staff immediately with an initial three months as Board Advisers. Director posts will be confirmed at the end of this period, as is the usual practice.
These are new posts which have been widely advertised. The 25-mile long heritage railway is working to expand the expertise available on the Board. The directors meet regularly to initiate and review policy and work closely with the staff management team, and the nearly 1000 volunteers. The director posts are themselves voluntary.
Malcolm Smith has been until recently the Managing Director of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, where he is also a qualified volunteer driver, fireman and controller. That post followed a long and successful career in television news and other television areas culminating in work at the most senior levels in television news. Malcolm has a degree in physics and an MBA. Before studying at university, Malcolm worked for a period with the then British Rail working in a junior management position. Malcolm lives in Woolacombe, North Devon. Malcolm will be taking up the position of Operations Director.
Robin Wichard was formerly a member of the senior leadership team at West Somerset College, where he held a number of lead positions including responsibility for student behaviour modification strategies and safeguarding. His subject leadership was in the humanities, including history, and other related subjects. His degree was in Archaeological Studies and he has written a number of books with a historical focus. Since leaving teaching he has undertaken various volunteer roles on the West Somerset Railway, including initiating and managing the very successful 1940s event. He has been station master at Blue Anchor and, most recently, Minehead. Whilst continuing his various current volunteer roles with the railway, Robin will be taking up the position of Director (External Fund Raising).
Chairman, Jonathan Jones-Pratt, said: “We are delighted that Malcolm and Robin have agreed to join us. Both bring wide senior level management experience together with very significant heritage railway experience. For us, this is an ideal combination of expertise. We very much look forward to working with them.”