On Tuesday 25th February 2020, we welcomed Mr Steve Wood (Director and Corporate Membership Secretary) and Mr Peter Mills (Youth Coordinator) from the Heritage Railway Association. End of last year, the Trust was accepted as a corporate member of the HRA who represent Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations at a national level.
This visit allowed the Trust to present its development plan for the next five to ten years and expose the overarching governance of the Downs Light Railway. The Trust and the HRA have a mutual interest in promoting and educating young people into engineering and heritage railway industries. It allowed both parties to explore some exciting options to support each other in the near future. The Downs Light Railway's top primary / preparatory level children from The Downs Malvern joined the meeting for a working lunch, where the HRA officers were able to ask questions and explore ideas with them.
- The Heritage Railway Association or HRA, which is a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations. More than 180 of its member organisations regularly open to the public, with 156 of these operating with passengers, although a few only give rides on special days. They have over 300 corporate members in total.
- The Downs Light Railway Trust is a corporate member of the HRA.
- The Downs Light Railway Trust is a charitable trust, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Registration number is 513882.
- The Downs Light Railway was started by The Downs School (Colwall), now The Downs Malvern, in the early 1920s and was formally established in 1925. At over 96 years old, it stands to be the oldest private miniature railway worldwide.
- The Downs Malvern is a leading independent preparatory for children up to 13 years old. The Downs Light Railway runs through the grounds of the School. Exclusive hobby sessions are provided for The Downs Malvern during their term time as an extra-curricular activity each Saturday morning.
- The Downs Light Railway educates on average 15 children on each session. These children are aged between 7 and 18 years old. Dedicated sessions are provided to local educational establishments. General youth activities are open to all children.