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7027 Thornbury Castle

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by svrhunt, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    (Getting off topic). I think the requirement is for it to “remain normally on the Bluebell Railway”. It did spend a couple of years stored at Didcot in I think the 1980s or 1990s; and more recently some loan time on the Severn Valley in exchange for some work carried out on the pistons and valves - I think that was because the SVR had suitable equipment to bore the valve chests in situ designed for GWR locos.

    So in practical terms things are possible, but it is unlikely it could go for “you can use it for ten years if you overhaul it”. In any case, it is near the top of our overhaul queue.

    Tom
     
  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    The reasoning for my posting, was that if any purchase falls through, for whatever reason, it might be a way for the GWS to save face, and save the engine from being dismantled ,by arranging a swop, plus if they wanted to it would be a shot by the committee over the bows of the main protagonist, that seems to me, to be using the GWS as their own Frankenstein, engine works, to get their own way, even if it brings the GWS into disrepute, as i believe there is already disquiet at this attempt to use an incorrect boiler, at the cost of an engine that is restorable.
    otherwise, there is a very good chance that 7027, becomes just a collection of parts, scattered around the site, then quietly cut up, once the interest in it has died off, or once again there will be another announcement that the next bodge job, from The Frankenstein factory, will be a Star using the frames, wheels, off 7027, and an 28xx boiler,
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  3. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Its getting every more peculiar on the various Facebook threads, certain posters who whilst vociferously supporting the dismantling, previously claimed not to be directly involved in the 47xx project are now claiming that they have been attending the various meetings between the 47xx group and the GWS?

    Funny old times.

    In slightly progressing news, update from JJP from the same location.

    Hello,
    We have stayed quiet for now on anything public.
    I have been contacted by Didcot.
    We have had to ask a few questions, namely around the parts and what actually is included.
    The number is quite high, but we need to give them time to work things out. Right now they don’t have the info.
    Once we have that we can look to set up a meeting I think with Didcot and see them.
    This will allow me to get the facts, and then consider how best to structure this.
    We can thrash out a plan, ultimately if the deal is right we will purchase and then draw breath to allow a owning group to be incorporated.
    I am told by Didcot that the GCR would like the engine to leave though, which is a shame, whatever happens we need to protect and try and keep those involved to date.
    Without this team we won’t have anything, this is going to be a huge project but I think we can do it!
    I will update once I know more, it’s sat with Clive now to come back to me (Didcot).
    Thanks guys.
     
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  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Thanks Tom. Good to hear an overhaul isn't far off. I remember it on the SVR, it came to my rescue at the ASG when they accidentally crossed the last train in Kidderminster loop rather than the platform when they were supposed to connect, 9017 was duly used to get us to Bewdley to meet the service train. It's a great machine.

    Getting back to 7027 -
    The whole thing of who is or isn't involved seems to have been peculiar from the start, one wonders what is lurking in the woodwork.

    JJP's update sounds like something that is workable, a shame though about the GCR bit.
     
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  5. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think there has, possibly deliberately, been a huge amount of ambiguity regarding things from the 47XX side, there still even now seems to be no indication of any formal structure, making decisions or statements, something I fear may well come back and royally bite the GWS/47xx group on the arse in due course, via the CC or other.

    I agree re the GCR, one hopes that may change track when its not just storing a very contentious locomotive that is going to be dismantled and instead there is scope for the restoration volunteers to continue.
     
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  6. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    The "leave the GCR" thing really is odd.

    I love the GCR, I used to volunteer in my uni days down there. The locomotive itself has done nothing wrong and if there's volunteers willing to work on it (and funding), it would be a great stable mate with the existing Hall class locomotive that is currently resident there.

    I hope that isn't an official GCR line and that the locomotive could stay, at least until a new owning party is established.
     
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  7. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I doubt that's top of the bill. Remember for any volunteer led organisation there is little that is more important than the care and feeding of volunteers. Whatever I may think of the quality of recent strategic decision making in the 4709 group, its undeniable it consists of people who have made immense personal contributions to heritage railways, in time, effort and money. Its absolutely vital that those folk feel and are valued and continue the 47 project, no matter how much we may deprecate the 7027 idea, which can easily be categorised as enthusiasm to make progress temporarily overcoming wisdom in big picture thinking.

    There are, of course, a number of horrible examples in the history of the heritage movement of what happens if key people are upset and walk. The sale of 7027 in the first place being only the most recent of examples. The last thing that's needed is for people to be swamped in Internet froth and bile, which is almost bound to result in the victims thinking "f*** this for a game of soldiers".

    I can claim I know something about these feelings first hand. I'm a volunteer for a national committee in a major sport. There's one forum that is - or perhaps was - the most high profile in the UK, and some of the committee members used to comment on threads covering the work of the committee. One particular individual decided he didn't like what was said and done, and chose to post at every opportunity not disagreement, but allegations of actual corruption, personal abuse and so on, all without the slightest trace of evidence, and forum moderators, after a brief attempt to rein him in, simply gave up and let the allegations continue uncontested. All the committee members, without discussion, seem, like me, to have thought b****R this, and no longer post on the topic. If the abuse had been more widespread than one individual in one place I probably would have walked completely. Let's face it, if folk don't appreciate your volunteer efforts why the hell do it. The lynch mob that social media is so prone to will doubtless applaud such departures, but the more mature and clear thinkers will surely reflect that no man is an island, and any man's loss does diminish me...
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
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  8. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Undoubtedly, it is wrong to throw any abuse the way of the 4709 group, however much we may disagree with the purchase of 7027 for parts.

    Jim, you are right in what you say, and I am sorry you have been subject to that. Unpleasant and unnecessary.

    I have witnessed a few unpleasant things in railway preservation aimed at some of my friends in the industry (and some of the things that have been said to me directly re E***** T*******, some of which was said to me in public with friends and family present this year) - banding together to save something is commendable; it can be done without personal abuse, bullying or harassment, which I think we all agree, should be abhorred.
     
  9. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    There is no clear answer, I fear that what you experienced (which is not on and I have had similar, albeit it tends to focus minds when you remind people that the final decision as to whether their scheme gets grant funding is often based upon a recommendation report I was drafting!) is not rare in volunteer organisations, especially when one considers good and bad that the internet brings.

    As I have mentioned on here numerous occasions, whilst not being directly involved personally, I have been peripherally involved with such groups throughout my professional career and the number I have seen rip themselves apart over what are often quite trifling issues is frankly depressing, and I am sad to say a recurring feature seems to reflect what has happened at GWS/47xx, long standing members feeling that due to the time they have given what they want to do trumps what anyone else thinks, and to hell with the boots on the ground and it leads to discontent and ultimately destruction of what they have contributed so much to create, often not helped by those who have the time to be work up the ladder in volunteer organisations have often retired at the top of the tree in the commercial/public sector and seem to fail to understand that you cannot just ride roughshod over the views of those giving their time for nowt compared to those who you employed and paid for their time.

    In the case of the GWS/47xx setting aside what has happened over the last couple of months for a minute, it has been pretty common knowledge for quite some time that the whole new builds thing (bar possibly 2999) is not particularly well supported within the volunteer force, and this seems to have bought things to a head. For every Didcot volunteer who has suggested support, they seem to be offset by a similar number who either don't support or have once again raised the concern that it fly's in the face of what the GWS should be doing.

    I suppose what I am saying, in a rambling way, is that yes long standing service should give you some sway, however, it should not make one immune from criticism, I am not sure what offline criticism there has been to the rank and file at Didcot (the hint seems to have come fro the hierarchy and the statements that have emerged from that place seem to change by the minute), bar the CEO of the GWS I have not seem anyone else at the sharp end has engaged (and been criticised), and he has given as good as he has got.

    I still suspect this is more to do with a) she is taking up valuable space which one assumes they are not being paid for, b) they have been dragged into the centre of a complete storm of rubbish not of their making, c) an aspiration to get things moving quickly to alleviate the worse effects of A & B. There is also a D, but that is probably skewed by my whole cynicism of this shambles so I will leave that one out.
     
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  10. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    Post of the month.....

    Many have been quick to have a dig in to Richard Croucher, a man who's efforts have done immense good for Didcot and the preservation movement. All very quickly forgotten.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  11. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It wasn't clear to most of us how much, if any, of 7027 has already been removed from the GCR. If they're asking for whatever is still there to be removed, that raises awkward questions. Is there any sense in taking it to Didcot if it may be going somewhere else, and even perhaps back to the GCR, in six months' time? If they're mainly bothered about not being paid while it clutters up their space, is there any possibility of some agreement for interested parties to pay, either while negotiations continue or after a conclusion has been reached (whether that is back to Plan A to use the boiler at Didcot, restoration to recommence at the GCR, or restoration to recommence somewhere else)?
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Fair point, but that's not a full defence for someone if their chosen approach has also helped create major issues.
     
  13. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I am sure I am not the only one whose immediate thought was Gerald Ratner.....
     
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  14. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Richard has done some incredible things for preservation. It does not also mean he is immune from criticism and concern for his approach when things such as this happen.

    We should all be prepared in railway preservation to be accountable for what we say, and what we do. Nobody is immune from criticism: everyone is accountable for their own actions. Ultimately we are all custodians of that we have been entrusted with, and as such that should be the foremost consideration for our actions.

    I had to stand up at this year's AGM for the MNLPS to apologise a mistake I made in the accounting. Happily the consequences of my mistakes were negligible, nevertheless I was responsible and accepted my errors. I am held accountable for my volunteering, and rightly so. How it should always be.

    I hope I add something to railway preservation, but everyone has the right to hold me to account for mistakes I make or things I say. It should be done cordially, and that's the thing we all need to remember.
     
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  15. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    Does that justify constant referral as a 'mob' though by your good self?
     
  16. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    Absolutely, but when it becomes derogatory that isn't right.
     
  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Yes, and where people have been derogatory, that is wrong. That is not in doubt.

    This will get cyclical so probably best summed up as:
    • Abuse and harassment is wrong
    • An organised protest is legitimate
    • Individuals are accountable to themselves and to those they are responsible to
    • Charities and going concerns are accountable to those who fund it
    • Railway preservation is nothing without its dedicated volunteers
    • Those same said people can make mistakes and cause more heat than light unintentionally
     
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  18. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you were to add ... accountable to, 'and dependent on' to the highlighted bit above, something GWS/47xx Group, but sadly others who have waded in have rather missed.

    I am really not clear of anyone who has come out of this particular saga very well.
     
  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Using the word in the sense of a collective noun equivalent to group, then I stand by it.
     
  20. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    A Mob is generally seen as a group with a threatening or hostile collective intent. Whereas a preservation society is ..... :)
     

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