The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) Charitable Trust has received a flood of donations following an attack by vandals on two of the railway’s carriages. The response has been so impressive that the Trust hit its £10,000 appeal target in just one week.
The appeal was launched to meet the costs of putting right the damage caused when vandals sprayed paint along the sides of the heritage vehicles on Christmas Day – the only day that the railway was closed over the festive period. Charitable Trust director Shelagh Paterson says, “The speed and generosity of the response we’ve received shows us just how shocked people were when the news of this awful incident broke.
“It also shows the depth of their passion for SVR and everything it stands for. Keeping our heritage alive and accessible is clearly very important to the wide range of people who’ve come forward to add their support. With the exception of a handful of larger amounts, most of the donations we received were between £10 and £25. Each one was a vote of confidence in the sterling skills of the SVR’s restoration volunteers and staff, and we’re so grateful to everyone for their support.”
A generous donation of £1,000 took the appeal past its £10,000 target. This came from the Worcestershire Ambassadors, a group that draws together leaders of industry, enterprise and public life.
Work to restore the vandalised carriages is well underway in the SVR’s Kidderminster paint shop. A team of volunteers spent three days removing the spray paint by hand. The gold leaf lettering and painted lining on the carriage was badly damaged but is now being painstakingly restored.