in the company commercial division at mfg Solicitors LLP, Peter brings
many years of business experience and an enthusiasm for heritage rail
that stretches back five decades. He has a wealth of charity experience
from his active involvement with six separate building preservation
trusts. Living and working in Kidderminster, Peter has long been a
regular visitor at the Railway, bringing first daughters, then
grandchildren, to experience the joy of heritage rail.
Paul Fathers is well known to many people on the SVR. He’s been a staunch supporter and volunteer since his teenage years back in the 1960s. With a professional engineering background, he brings a wealth of experience with him. In his ‘day job’ Paul is a regional inspector for the Security System and Alarms Inspections Board. He has been involved in many SVR development projects, and was a founding member and vice chairman of the SVR Rolling Stock Trust, the precursor of the current SVR Charitable Trust. He will play a key role in assisting the Charity to develop its fundraising strategy and contribute to its governance.
David brings experience of controlling £1 million+ development projects in industry, sits on the board of our Heritage Skills Training Academy and has close contact with the Railway’s engineering apprentices as head of the carriage & wagon department. These roles, together with his volunteer work as a guard, give him wide-ranging insight and involvement with the running of the Railway.
David’s involvement with the SVR started back in 1973, when his company Rubery Owen bought 150,000 shares to support the extension of the line from Hampton Loade to Bewdley. He served as a Director of SVR Holdings until last year, and brings a vast amount of business acumen to his role with the Charity. He is a keen supporter of the Heritage Skills Training Academy, in which young people are apprenticed to learn the skills needed to maintain and restore the SVR’s rolling stock.
Nick brings a comprehensive understanding of business in general and heritage rail in particular. He joined the board of SVR Holdings plc in 2002 and was appointed chairman of in August 2011. Currently he is also chairman of Tricorn Group Plc and a non-executive director of Worcester Warriors Rugby Club.
Nick's former positions include deputy chief executive of IMI plc, chairman of Advantage West Midlands, chairman of the West Midlands CBI, non-executive director with John Laing Homes plc and SIG plc, chairman of governors at the Downs School and governor at the City Technology College, Kingshurst, Birmingham.
Laura is managing director of Transport for West Midlands. She has more than 25 years international experience delivering integrated economic and spatial regeneration and is the first woman in England to a lead a strategic transport authority.
She has held a number of senior roles in the West Midlands including head of strategic planning and implementation at the Black Country Consortium, the Black Country director of transport and the strategic director for transport at the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority. She joined the trustees in 2020.
As the Chairman of stockbrokers EFG Harris Allday, Ron was already familiar with the Charitable Trust's work before he joined the board of trustees. Not only was he the chairman of our investment committee, but also his company EFG Harris Allday joined our Corporate Partnership Club, and supported the Railway through event sponsorship.
With his robust background in investment, Ron is particularly interested in improving the financial wellbeing of the SVR, and is keen on developing a new generation of engineers within the Heritage Skills Training Academy. Ron's expertise in helping to identify trusts and grant-making bodies is proving invaluable, as the Charitable Trust looks increasingly to these sources of income in the future.
Diane joined the Trust board in 2021.
She became a director of SVR Company (Guarantee) Board in 1993, taking over as chairman in 2020 and becoming a director of the SVR (Holdings) plc at the same time.
Diane became a working member at 16 on the Severn Valley Limited and on Bridgnorth based buffet cars in 1978. She moved to the Plant & Machinery Department, assisting with trolley and diesel shunter maintenance, passing out as a shunter driver in 1980, before joining the station staff, concentrating on booking office and station gardens. She also helped found the Severn Valley Venturer dining service and continues as part of its management team and is a regular cook. She was co-ordinator for the vital Santa operation from 1995 to 2019, retiring from the role in January 2020. Diane is chair of the Staffing Committee, which focusses on volunteers, in partnership with the Volunteer Liaison Office and she sits on the Accommodation Forum - a group committed to trying to improve facilities for volunteers on the SVR..
In her "real life", Diane worked as a Primary School teacher for over 30 years and, for the five years before taking early retirement, became an Acting Headteacher raising the attainment of failing schools. She makes use of her professional skills and knowledge in supporting the development of educational and people centred activities.