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7027 Thornbury Castle

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

  1. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    In very general terms, the agenda is itemised by department, and at the end of each department's report there is time for questions. I didn't go to the last AGM, but I seem to remember from the one before, also on Zoom, that you could still ask face-to-face questions. From personal experience, all I'll say is don't back down when given a wishy-washy answer.

    The one that intrigues me is the boiler from 4115. Now I have not personally seen the Three Counties agreement, but when an email circular in 2016 revealed disquiet amongst the Didcot workers over the proposed Churchward County, it was met with an email from a GWS Director, who robustly asserted that the Three Counties agreement was legally binding, and therefore the GWS had to build a Churchward County. The relevance to 4115's boiler? Well I believe part of the agreement was that Vale of Glamorgan Council would build a County Tank, using this boiler. [I know, I know... the idea of a Council building an engine is itself utterly absurd.] However, some time prior to 2014, this boiler was sold to another concern. Presumably VGC were not legally bound to build this engine. So why was the GWS legally bound to build theirs? Who decided this distinction? And why? The person responsible for organising the boiler's purchase told me that he offered the GWS Chairman an (unbelievably low!) amount for it, to which the Chairman 'nearly bit me arm off!' When I asked the same Chairman about this at the 2016 AGM, he denied any involvement and said the deal was done between the new owner and VGC. So who organised the sale? And why did the GWS not get first refusal? The GWS has three engines in its collection that use this type of boiler. Did no one think that it might come in useful?

    As you can see, what's happening with Thornbury is nothing new. It's just that, as a Castle, its popularity is shining light on the sorts of antics which have been going on for years.
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The question of ownership is one that intrigues me. I get the impression from posts on here that the GWS deny ownership of both 4709 and 7027. Yet donations for 4709 can be made via the GWS and presumably gift aid is claimed where appropriate. Is it allowed to do this and then pass it on to another group as seems to be happening? Similarly with reclaiming vat on expenditure which I feel sure will be happening. It’s either part of your business/charity or it isn’t. It all seems very grey and I wonder if HMRC would be happy with what’s going on?
     
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  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Regarding the specific point about a charity claiming Gift Aid and then passing on donations, this is in the intersection of tax and charity law.

    If a donation is collected by a charity and then passed on to another body, the charity collecting that donation must pass on the Gift Aid to the receiving body. So, for example, if a church says that it’s Remembrance Sunday collection will be donated to the Royal British Legion, the associated Gift Aid must also be passed on.

    That of course assumes that the gift is within the charitable purposes of the charity. So what might be allowable for a church might not be, say, for a railway preservation charity.

    These details are of course irrelevant here, where 4709 is part of the GWS.


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  4. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    I get all the emotion around the castle, lovely locos and as has been said you cannot have too many of them.
    However and please tell me where I may be wrong.
    Was once owned by Pete Warterman I assume as an individual or through one of his companies.
    PW sold it to JJP (as an individual?)
    JJP sold it to Michael Gregory (again as an individual?) with no restrictions
    As far as I can see on here and the railway press the GCR agreed to have it located there and worked on, beyond that they had no involvement.
    MG decides to sell it, he owns it he can do what he wants with, it and sells it to the 4709 group.
    The plans of the 4709 group and or the GWS to which they in someway may be linked have plans, which my not be realistic for it.

    So as I see it, a private individual sold something he owned to someone else.
    We may not like the end game, (I personally see no purpose in new builds and include 60163 in that) but all this talk about forming a group to buy it confuses me.
    Is it now up for sale? It seems not.
    This is not like SLL with a defined plan for loco preservation having a route to restoring a loco available to purchase.
    So if I throw £100, £500 or £1000 a month to someone on the internet what is the business plan. Purchase something that is not available for sale? and how do you do that.

    Say I own a vintage car and decide to scrap it, you may be upset but you have no right to tell me what to do.

    So can someone tell me what I am missing and what contractual law has been broken that allows any of these sales to be challenged in the courts?
     
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  5. D1002

    D1002 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Another nostalgic photo of Thornbury Castle when she was allocated to Worcester pulling away from Paddington under the old Bishop’s Bridge which crossed the station until it was lifted in 2004 and replaced by a wider one in 2005.
    (Photo by Terry Doritty).
    737247BC-CD91-42D7-82EF-139A2F49AFEA.jpeg
     
  6. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    You are spot on in your appraisal of the situation.
    The various people on here who are asking(with apparent scorn) 'are you going to start a group to restore 7027?' seem to missing the point that if one were to solicit donations to purchase a thing which is not for sale, it would be fraud.
    I do not know who to ask if the 4709 mob might consider selling 7027, given that it is fundamentally unsuited to their needs and objectives. If the GWS and the 4709 lot have not replied to JJP, are they any more likely to reply to me?
    It could be that the group has been given the locomotive on the proviso that it must be broken up, and they are not permitted to sell it as a unit. Who actually knows? All we have here are a lot of frustrated and disappointed enthusiasts, me included, apparently full of goodwill, and little actual information.

    If you were to own a vintage car and decide to scrap it- your choice, but your dependents might choose to seek psychiatric advice regarding your mental state- especially if you were proposing to scrap an Invicta Low Chassis 'S' type in order to use its Meadows engine in a replica of a Guy lorry. Especially if the car enthusiasts were pointing out that the Guy had a 6 litre diesel engine, not a 4 1/2 litre petrol. Saying the car is not important because it was not one with LeMans history would not really justify it. If the car were so rare and special that there were only 8 left in the world, it is entirely possible that a court order could be obtained to prevent your following such a course.
    Very few people in this world can afford to waste a quarter of a million on a fit of pique.
    Very few charitable groups would risk alienating the very people they rely on for funding.
    Why the GWS would choose to sit idly and watch the destruction of a Swindon built Castle is beyond belief. In order to botchineer a locomotive with all the practicality and utility of a 9f(*). For all it was a Churchward design, the 47's look like a 28xx wearing the wrong boots. I just can't comprehend the great desire to re-create a type with so little practicality or appeal

    * There's nothing wrong with a 9f- but they are quite expensive to own, restore and maintain, they can't run on the mainline, and are massively overpowered for heritage railway needs. I wouldn't new-build, or parts bin build one if a 4mt were possible
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
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  7. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    No doubt partially aiming that at me, sorry if a bit of realism causes issues.

    There is no harm in asking for pledges to later be called in if able to purchase something if the opportunity arises, I have never suggested taking money. Exactly that has was done to purchase a loco I have involvement with, once there was enough money pledged and the purchase was likely to be realistic an approach was made, but what would I know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2022
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  8. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Not fraud - Nothing wrong or illegal about seeking pledges on the basis of ......"I will contribute £X towards Y scheme if and when the asset for Y scheme has been acquired or written terms for its acquisition have been agreed and an incorporated owning body has been formed" (or something similar).

    Nobody is suggesting actually collecting money unless the scheme is able to progress. But to be able to progress it an idea of the extent of forthcoming support is needed.
     
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  9. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think that’s quite right. From what I can make out, it has been worked on by GCR paid staff as well as volunteers. Under what terms, I have no idea, but clearly there was some understanding that it would be finished and would run on the GCR when finished, and if that were not the case that effort could have been spent on something else.


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  10. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Just to be clear- I wasn't aiming at anyone particularly- more a wave of the arm in a general direction the comments came from.
    As for realism causing issues...not issues. A dose of reality does no harm. It occurs to me though, and with the greatest respect, I have no idea who you are, or what your previous achievements may be. Lacking any clue about your experience and qualification in the matter, I can't actually know, from reading a post, whether you are the voice of experience speaking wisdom and caution, or....something else.
    Now personally, I am willing to pledge some money towards 7027. I have no idea how one goes about setting up the necessary organ to collect such pledges though. In the past, my every endeavour has required me to fund it, me to do the work, and for the most part, I have received the rewards for this. A locomotive is rather beyond me
     
  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Clearly she was worked on at the GCR

    Presumably there must have been some plans for her

    What were they?

    How was it paid for?
     
  12. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Unclear what the plans were, but the work was being funded by the then owner.


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  13. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Member

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    Messrs Waterman, Jones-Pratt and Gregory have all spent money on 7027 then abandoned the ‘chase’.

    Is there a message here for those considering a fund to purchase and restore her ?

    Perhaps there are other more urgent priorities for funds within the locomotive diaspora ?

    Michael Rowe
     
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  14. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    No problems with soliciting donations in order to establish a group's veracity before opening negotiations. It would only be fraud if the money were not returned if the potential offer were rejected or negotiation refused.
     
  15. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It would help if the 4709 people were to make some sort of statement; whether "we've got 7027 and we're keeping it, come Hell or high water" or "We're willing to sell 7027; offers over £X." Their silence is not doing them any good.
     
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    There may well be. But based on what’s been said about the owners and their reasons for selling, it seems plausible that money was not the only factor.

    While I’m not offering to dip my hand in my pocket for 7027 (35011 is more my style), it does seem that the single owner model is more vulnerable to change.


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  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    But who is the 4709 group? is it a group, or one person, who dictates the agenda, and everyone falls in behind them, there already is disquiet with in the ranks of the GWS over the pursuing of rebuilding extinct engines from parts of others, at the cost of other engines already at Didcot, that have not steamed in many years,
    It might very well be that the group may have acquired 7027 and one of the conditions is that its only to be used as a source of spare parts, then scrapped, out of some imagined animosity towards the GCR, by who ever is handling the sale, we honestly don't know, but clearly that would certainly fit in with this agenda of some involved with Didcot, of rebuilding of missing links, even if it means destroying an part restored engine, that could be restored,
    I suspect that due to the silence and lack of any statement, either from the seller, or the buyer, explaining what the plan actually is, there is something rather unsavoury that both don't want to become in the public domain.
     
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  18. 62440

    62440 New Member

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    “Purchase AND restore”

    Is there any estimate of the restoration costs?
     
  19. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    There is quite a long statement by Croucher in the latest edition of Railway Herald.
     
  20. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member Friend

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    Why should any owner of something be obliged to keep stating they don't intend to sell it (especially when they've only very recently bought it and have already stated their intentions regarding it)?
    So would it also be true to say that my silence over my intention to keep my car is not doing me any good?
     
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