Phil gives his 60th birthday gifts to Severn Valley Trust

LONG-STANDING Severn Valley Railway member and locomotive owner Phil Swallow wanted just one thing for his 60th birthday – to raise money for the future of the railway he loves so much. He asked friends and family not to buy him birthday presents, but instead to donate to the SVR Charitable Trust’s endowment Future Fund.

The response has so far raised more than £5,000.

Phil, who has been a member of the SVR for more than 40 years, said: “What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming generosity of my friends and family. It really has been awe inspiring!

Phil Swallow on his 60th birthday with LMS ‘Black Five’ No. 45110 at the Engine House, Highley. SVR

“The fact that the Charitable Trust is building up this long-term investment fund for the SVR is what differentiates it from most other heritage railways. It’s a game-changer and a genuine investment in the future.”

The trust was able to claim an extra 25% Gift Aid on most of the donations, and this helped boost the total amount. Trust director Shelagh Paterson said: “We’re delighted at the way in which Phil has galvanised support from his friends and family to boost our endowment fund. The fund balance is now nearly £1.2 million, and it is professionally invested to generate further income.”

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