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7027 Thornbury Castle

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

  1. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    If I understand you correctly you're making the assumption that the only source of cash/bank account for the 4709 group is the ring fenced fund in the GWS books which contains donations via GWS charitable status. Two weeks ago I'd have thought exactly the same. Now I'm not sure that need be the case. Is there any reason why the individuals that comprise the 4709 group should not have other funds available to them, personal donations, private loans, money that hasn't come through the charitable donation route? Applying Occams razor, is it more likely that the GWS management are lying about being blindsided and are thoroughly implicated in this PR disaster, or that they are telling the truth, and the 4709 folk have gone about this privately and without involving GWS related funds? I don't think any of the 4709 group statements are incompatible with the latter scenario.
     
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  2. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    They aren't - which is why I'm careful to observe that the governance issues are not just financial. But the GWS books are not just "donations via GWS charitable status", but a statutory statement of a company's accounts that define the value of that company, including that of 4709. A logical implication of your suggestion is that 4709 is operating outside the governance structure of the GWS and the cash and/or assets that are involved in the 7027 transaction(s) may not ultimately be held within the GWS structure. As a restricted fund, such a transfer of asset value in and of itself would have significant accounting and legal impact, and be required to be subject to legal and regulatory process. Simply the thought raises some massive red flags about how this affair is being handled.

    Ultimately, a subsidiary is either a subsidiary or it isn't. Those in charge of the parent cannot distance themselves from it's actions when those actions have implications for the whole parent organisation.
     
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  3. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Gets tricky. If a group of people who are also the core of the 4709 group choose to spend money available to them as individuals I'm not sure what power the parent group has. Its occurred to me that in my work career the head of an autonomous subsidiary of my employer set up a whole series of, lets say business processes, which were carefully hidden from the main executives. The scandal went as far as a feature on Panorama, and I believe if he hadn't succumbed to a heart attack first he might well have spent a significant period of time as an involuntary guest of Her Majesty.
     
  4. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    As stated before I'm ready to cough up a decent sum and regular donations thereafter. I can't be the only one.
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think technically that is possible (i.e. Loco Group A having it's own independent existence, but using Charity B to collect gift-aided donations, provided the charitable objectives of charity B are broad enough to encompass support for loco A. Indeed, that is the arrangement by which the Maunsell Locomotive Society (an entirely independent company) encourage donors to donate via the Bluebell Railway Trust, into a fund ring-fenced for the Maunsell Locos.

    However - suppose that is true for 4709 being entirely independent, but using the GWS for donations to attract Gift Aid. There are still two hurdles you have to jump. The first is - what is the nature of the body that constitutes "The 4709 Loco Preservation Group" (for want of a better name)? What sort of body is it - a company? An unincorporated Society? etc etc? Where are its accounts, its constitution, its membership articles?

    Secondly, the fact that money is held by a charity in a ring-fence for a given project doesn't absolve the Trustees of the charity from exercising due diligence in how those ring-fenced funds are spent. I can donate money to the Bluebell Railway Trust and ask for it to be ring-fenced to the Maunsell Locomotive Society, but that doesn't make it the MLS' money to spend: the funds belong to the Bluebell Railway Trust and can only be spent for the benefit of the MLS (to satisfy my wishes as donor) but also in accordance with the Trusts's governing articles (to satisfy the Trust's charitable duties).

    In other words, just because the GWS holds money in a ring-fenced fund for the 4709 group doesn't mean that that group can draw down those funds without reference to the GWS Trustees.

    It all feels very murky: it feels to me that as a matter of some importance, the relevant parties need to (1) clarify the structural relationship between 4709 and the GWS, and in particular to what degree 4709 is an independent entity and (2) clarify which organisation has paid what, and which legally owns the loco.

    Tom
     
  6. Saint Austell

    Saint Austell New Member

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    Much rather they spent the money on the collection that's gathering dust in that shed.
    Instead of building more cut and shuts.
     
  7. fentmar

    fentmar New Member

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    One thought I would add to the mix. The major stumbling block to 7027 has been the lack of motion. 6 castles went to Barry of which 2 went to Didcot and 4 went to Tyseley. Tyseley had 3 sets of motion. Where is the other one?
     
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  8. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Well-Known Member

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    Great Western standardisation. Parts presumably fit other classes as well as Castles.

    Bob.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It has the power of ownership of the core asset. And the purpose of that power is to channel activities correctly.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    Brand new engines are being made. There are no major stumbling blocks, other than funds. The lack of progress by the 47xx group demonstrates this.
     
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  11. Scrat

    Scrat New Member

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    Thats quite easy really, just as lots of groups of people did in the 1970's to buy engines from Woodhams somebody starts a fund, goes to see the current owner, does a deal and agrees a payment plan, then try hard to encourage lots more people to join and give money. Just as was the problem at Woodhams though, if another buyer comes along and has the money in full before you, you lose out!
    Surely one of the 700 people who have signed the petition to save Thornbury would be happy to take the lead on this and all more than happy to give £500 each to secure the loco. Then they will just need to raise another million at least to complete the overhaul.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Good luck opening the bank account in that way.


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  13. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    ISTR that while 7027 was at Loughborough, castings were purchased from which motion parts could be machined.
     
  14. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Here were some.... DSC00301.JPG
     
  15. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    I doubt many of the inside motion components would fit anything other than Castles or Stars. But I may be wrong, I haven't seen the relevant documents.
     
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  16. aron33

    aron33 Member

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    Sorry I'm late to the controversial news. Seems the GWS and the 4709 group have you lot divided.

    I may not make any sense, but...
    I really don't think using a Castle's no. 8 boiler on a 47xx chassis is a good idea. PERIOD.

    The GWS really thinks that using 7027's boiler for a Night Owl, and the frames for a new Star is a great idea, but to me, its freaking idiotic.

    First, the 4709 group, bless them, hasn't wrapped around their heads the thought that their locomotive will not fit today's loading gauge on the mainline,

    Second, the no. 8 boiler, on a 2-8-0's frames, will not clear any bridges, making the engine too big for most heritage railways,

    Third, and most importantly, we already HAVE a Star: 4003 "Lode Star"

    and Fourth, they really need to step up on fundraising, if they originally wanted to raise the estimated 800,000 quid needed for a new no. 7 boiler.

    All I can really say is that the GWS and the 4709 Group have both made themselves look bad with the decision, and I personally think that sacrificing 7027 for another pie-in-the-sky scheme makes the new-build circuit look bad too.
    Now don't get me wrong, I personally love the new-build engines (60163, 45551, 2999, 6880, 1014, 3840, 82045, 72010, 32424, 2007, 61673, etc...), but when you sacrifice a Barry-condition wreck that could be restored, for a another extinct Great Western locomotive, and, especially snatch it from a group who was restoring it, is just plain wrong.

    Now, I'll shut up and read the comments...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Why do you prefer to donate towards the restoration of Thornbury Castle (which needs an awful lot of work) rather than towards the restoration of Defiant (which needs rather less work to put it into working order)?
     
  18. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Personally I like the idea of using the bottom half of Thornbury for a Star better than doing an awful lot of work to restore a very incomplete Castle when there are already some other Castles in working order and some awaiting overhaul but much more complete than Thornbury is. However I do acknowledge that the conversion would be complex. I also agree that the governance issues need to be addressed and that the people running the 4709 project have made a bad mess of their PR over this business.
     
  19. 43729

    43729 New Member

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    Maybe @GWRman would donate to Defiant. But that is not what he said. He simply pointed out that he would be prepared to "put his money where his mouth is" regarding Thornbury castle.

    The new build sector has learnt time and again that money available for one project may not be available for another.

    My own view is that the general perception within the sector is that Defiant is safe, Thornbury is not. Preservation funding always seems to flow when something is in need of saving.

    Emotion seems to lubricate donations.

    As a counter argument to my point of view, in light of recent events maybe Defiant isn't as safe as we think.
     
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  20. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    You're working on the assumption that I haven't contributed towards the 5080 fund. You're wrong.

    We get it, you support the 4709 group and that's OK.
     
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