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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    I said I wouldn't post more ..but... I really don't like the use of "Black ball" here . With Black Ball one no vote over-rides all yes votes. I'm not proposing that. What I'm saying is that each member has a choice and if more members vote no than yes for a candidate then that candidate is rejected. It's called democracy.

    Think about what you are saying about blanks being a vote 'against', they are not. A blank is a nothing vote. Unless you are going to actually count all the blanks as no votes and compare them against the yes votes to see which wins, but then what about partial returns? are all those blank returns no votes against everything? That'd be absolute chaos.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2023
  2. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    I assume you,ve raised this with the society ? I guess if you don,t officially make a comment to them then it won,t even be considered to change.
     
  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Point noted about the meaning of blackball - I'm not suggesting you go that far.

    However, I otherwise disagree - in any local or national election, we vote for one or more candidates (dependant on whether it's FPTP or some form of PR). We do not vote against any particular candidate, just for those we most prefer. In the Bluebell election I referred to, I voted in preference order for 5 of the 6 candidates. By not voting for the 6th, the effect of that was a vote against as it undermined that candidate's chances of gaining enough support given the system in use. If I'd disliked a candidate, by withholding even a 5th preference vote, I would undermine their chances.

    I have no problem with a board determining that they wish to have a given number of members, and that the top x candidates will fill those places.

    By contrast, where a vote is structured so that each candidate is individually considered for election to the board, so that the performance of candidate A has no impact on the outcome for candidate B, I agree that there should be an "against" option.

    I am not a fan of candidate screening beyond a declaration that the candidate will be legally eligible to take up their post, as I believe that members and shareholders should have the right to determine who run the organisation. However, as I have seen with National Trust AGM packs, I have no problem with the board indicating a view of which candidates are supported, but this has to be with reasoning provided - preferably supporting the favoured candidates, rather than opposing the disfavoured ones.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In the BRPS case, I don’t ever recall a situation in which the existing board supportec one candidate to the exclusion of another in a contested election, though I agree that at least in principle they could. The attitude is much more that we should welcome anyone motivated enough to put their name forward.

    As a working volunteer, I do find looking at who has nominated and seconded a given candidate to be instructive, though that route is perhaps harder for members who are more removed from the day to day. For a large charity like the National Trust, the vast majority of those voting are simply too far removed from those they are voting for to make even that an option. In general, I haven’t previously voted in elections for organisations of which I am a relatively casual member (NT, YHA, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, to name three of varying size) since it is very difficult to really know the strengths of those you are voting for: anyone can (or ought to be able to) write a compelling 250 word introduction, but much harder to know which of them will actually be good trustees in office. I suspect the result of that is to give power to the existing board, because many will simply follow the “committee’s recommendation”.

    Back in the days of the unincorporated society, when voting was only allowed in person, the argument is that it disenfranchised remote members - but one real advantage it had was that it was highly likely everyone actually voting knew fairly well who they were voting for, since the AGM attendees had - I suspect - a majority of working members.

    Tom
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It is that inclusive attitude that I welcome at Bluebell, and which is an example that others should follow. As a remote member, I am reliant on those 250 word briefs, and would always prefer to allow the candidates to stand on their own merits. My suggestion of endorsements is based on the concern that some have expressed about the need of a board to seek to recruit specific skills, which has led in some instances to selection panels and such like - which I deplore.

    I am not entirely convinced of the merits of ensuring that all candidates are known; that is a factor that can cloud judgment at times; the voice of remote members who are also part of the organisation deserves consideration. At the same time, when things are going awry, the existence of a bundle of proxies in the chair's hand puts a powerful temptation in place to just weigh the votes, and disregard the other aspects of participatory democracy. The effects of this in west Somerset, for example, have been discussed many times on here over the years.
     
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  6. Petra Wilde

    Petra Wilde New Member

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    Good points. There is now another emerging problem with voting for people one doesn’t know, based solely on their written candidates’ manifesto. That problem is that tools like Chat GPT are going to make it so easy for an absolutely talentless person to write a totally compelling self description of their perfect candidature!

    With large organisations like the National Trust I’ve hitherto always tried to digest the manifestos and make a considered choice, but have been aware for years of the high chance that my choices will be sub optimal. This can only get worse. Is this an argument for allowing voting only in person after seeing the candidates in action, perhaps? Though that does disenfranchise many, so clearly not great.
     
  7. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    There have been recent issues with 'entryism' in the National Trust and the 'recommended candidates' made it very easy to avoid voting for 'anti woke pro hunting' candidates
     
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  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    In our specific situation, it is the plc board who are the executive on the railway - i.e. they are responsible for running it. But because the Society owns the majority of the shares, in effect they appoint the Plc directors as per the Society articles:

    20.9 The Trustees shall use the Society’s shareholding to ensure that:
    20.9.1 Only persons approved by them are appointed or re-elected Directors of Bluebell Railway Plc.;
    20.9.2 Directors of Bluebell Railway Plc do not remain in office after they cease to retain the confidence of the Society;​

    So in effect we have it both ways: our Plc directors are recruited specifically for the skills they bring to their designated role, but the membership - albeit at one remove via the Society Trustees - has the ability to remove any director "who ceases to retain the confidence of the Society".

    Tom
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2023
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  9. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From the "What's new" page:

    BRPS Members are reminded that this Saturday sees our combined Members’ and AGM day.

    If members require additional copies of all the AGM paperwork this is available to download at the entry for 20 May.

    As described earlier, the many groups across the Railway are “opening their doors” from 10.00 am so please do support them in anyway you can.

    At 12.00 noon, Journalist and TV presenter Nicholas Owen will rededicate E6040, ‘The Bluebell Railway’ at Sheffield Park station.

    The Society AGM takes place in the Marquee at Horsted Keynes which will be followed by food and drink being available at the station.

    There will be 3 evening trains hauled by 72 ‘Fenchurch’ that will leave Sheffield Park at 5.30 and 6.45 returning at 6.25 and 7.35 (during the early part of the day Fenchurch will be shunting wagons at Horsted Keynes).
    A final late train will leave Sheffield Park at 8.00pm calling at Horsted Keynes arriving at East Grinstead at 8.50 and arriving back at Sheffield Park at 9.50. The train timetable for the day is here.

    Obviously car parking is available at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes stations.

    It is a pity that many members may have had their plans thwarted by the national train strike but it is hoped members will none the less be able to attend. In addition if coming from the Haywards Heath direction by car, note that it is Lindfield Village Day, and the centre of the village will be closed for a parade around 12.15 to 1.15pm.

    Please do support your Railway.

    We look forward to seeing you and hope you have an enjoyable day.

    Roy Watts
    BRPS Vice President

    Please note that the daytime trains and events, guided tours and project stands are open to all visitors to the railway during the day, so non-members are also most welcome to join in the fun (except of course for the AGM!)​
     
  10. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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  11. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Back from today's Members' Day and AGM. The move to an afternoon slot on the railway seems to me to have been very successful; I'm sure the official numbers will come out in due course, but unofficially I think there were something like 250 members in attendance, up from I think 102 last year. 6989 and No. 65 handled the service trains, No. 72 was shuffling about 7 or 8 goods wagons round Horsted (and then ran various services this evening to get people back to SP or EG) and the new 73 was officially renamed.

    For those that haven't noticed, the new SR Coach Group (which has been set up to concentrate on Maunsell and Bulleid vehicles) now has a presence on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SR.coach.group where they are providing detailed photographic updates on their work. The Hastings Line Brake 3rd is now finished as far as the body is concerned; it is having some work on the underframe and bogies. The next Maunsell vehicle to be tackled is the restaurant Car, for which (I think I heard right) £136k of a target of £150k has so far been raised. That vehicle will require new seats throughout, an initial trial construction was on display in the C&W workshop.

    A few photos taken in somewhat hurried fashion:

    The Brighton 1st in the maintenance road in OP4. Behind is the LNWR Obo, which I believe should be back in traffic fairly soon; behind that (almost out of sight) is No. 949, the Stroudley Brake 3rd. Both of the latter two are on jacks for attention to the under frames.

    The bogie on the right is a Maunsell Bogie removed from the Hastings Brake. This has been swapped for another Maunsell bogie, this one apparently showing signs of being twisted.

    IMG_0696.jpeg

    Looking the other way, a line of bogies under overhaul. Two Mark 1 Commonwealth bogie frames in the front; then a Pullman bogie behind them; then the Maunsell bogie behind them.

    IMG_0697.jpeg

    The Moquette store, part of a much enlarged trimming shop in the new OP4 building.

    IMG_0699.jpeg

    Tom
     
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  12. TheModster

    TheModster Member

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    6989 climbing Freshfield Bank in the sunshine today.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Cuckoo Line

    Cuckoo Line Member

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    Interesting in the latest Chairman's weekly report that both the Maunsell Q and Normandy have been given the green light for overhaul.
     
  14. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Well-Known Member

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    Normandy is very interesting, wasn't expecting to see that for a long while
     
  15. A1X

    A1X Well-Known Member

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    How much work is going to be needed for the Q? Only out of traffic fairly recently, was it boiler of mechanical which caused the retirement?
     
  16. Ben Jenden

    Ben Jenden Member

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    Firebox stays.

    50 steel stays fitted as economical measure at its previous overhaul are corroded with signs of fracturing. The rest of the stays are monel. These stays aren't accessible without a boiler lift.

    New driving wheel tyres and tender tank is also required

    12-18 months the Chairman weekly update seems to estimate. I expect the boiler at least will go to an outside contractor
     
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  17. Paul42

    Paul42 Part of the furniture

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    Screenshot_20230607-174143~2.png
     
  18. Chris86

    Chris86 Well-Known Member

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    Bluebell has got quite a lot going on with overhauls currently- excellent news and hopefully demonstrates confidence in the future operations!

    Am I correct thinking the following are all being worked on;
    34059
    Beachy Head
    Stowe
    263

    Plus the 2mt conversion and one of the P's?

    Then soon to start the Q and Normandy- I saw a suggestion somewhere that the Dukedog was likely to go into Atlantic House when 32424 is out.....

    Brilliant to see

    Chris
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Plus the early stages of work on the 9F, concentrating on the tender at the moment. The P class being worked on is 27.

    It’s “wait and see” at the moment on what goes into Atlantic House.

    Tom
     
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  20. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well there's another Atlantic at the railway that hasn't worked for many years...
     

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