If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Peak Rail Annual Report and Action Group

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by huochemi, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    2,098
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It is standard accounting/tax practice in the commercial sector. Put simply, as an example, if an organization had nothing (except money) to start with and then bought material and employed labour to build something (perhaps a locomotive? ) the final book value of the item would be the total sum of all the expenditure involved. This book value would be the figure used to calculate depreciation but would not necessarily be the same as the market value, which could be considerably greater or smaller.
    It can be very misleading in a set of accounts unless properly explained.

    Surely they had Directors/Shareholders liability insurance to cover this ? And why were the court costs so high, it could only have been a couple of hours hearing ?
     
  2. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    451
    Occupation:
    Boilermaker
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Isn't the fiddle factor here that it all depends where the labour has gone. If for example they have used the labour to restore a loco from a Barry wreck to a going concern, then fair enough, as the new "asset" has considerable more book value.
    On the other hand, if the same people have been crewing the loco, then that's clearly an operating cost, not capital (but it's difficult to see how they've determined which is which!).

    Can you get insurance for being sued for breach of contract (I presume that's the essence of the various legal actions over the last few years)? If they could (and I have my doubts), I'd think they are now uninsurable!
    The comments in the accounts from before the case were settled about making a provision for paying out suggest that they are expecting to have to write the cheque themselves rather than lean on a insurer.
    As for legal costs - knowing how much one can spend just on advice around pleading guilty with mitigating circumstance to a minor motoring offence, I can well believe costs of £20k are totally achievable for the complainant. I'm less clear on how Peak Rails's solicitors can have run up much of a bill, as their actions appear to have boiled down to reviewing the claim then advising them to settle ASAP before their hats get nailed on any more firmly.
     
    Breva likes this.
  3. sleepermonster

    sleepermonster Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    793
    The information bubbling up in various places indicates that there were two quite different cases and three preliminary hearings; hearings are the tip of the iceberg - an immense amount of preparation work goes first to get things organised, it is sometimes called "front end loading": for example: statements of claim, defence, counterclaim, reply to defence, defence to counterclaim, then case summaries, cost estimates, before full directions for trial are even ordered. Peak Rail seems to have developed a habit of changing its arguments in the middle of a case (see the account in the Footplate Course-Age Discrimination thread); in the "Multi Track" section of the county court that carries a very heavy penalty indeed. That leads to a process which usually looks like this: - application to amend, statement of truth in support, statement in reply and cross application, court hearing to apply for leave, leave to amend and file amended defence, amended counterclaim, leave to amend reply to defence, leave to amend defence to counterclaim - amended documents filed and served, ALL costs thrown away by the amendment to be borne by the party seeking amendment. They seem to have been at it hammer and tongs for months.

    Nobody, not even solicitors if they don't do this work, understands just how dangerous these cases and their costs are unless they have been personally involved.
     
    jnc, 48624 and dggar like this.
  4. Woodster21

    Woodster21 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Is the Boards position untenable?
     
    48624 likes this.
  5. Mogul

    Mogul Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    687
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Dorset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Or is the problem lack of willing and able replacements?
     
    48624 likes this.
  6. Woodster21

    Woodster21 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Good point...fire sale of assets soon?
     
  7. steamdream

    steamdream New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    15
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Avranches(france)
    Really,sincerely I think that Peak rail has not any future!!
    I remenber that in the 80's "they" constantly said "we will be to Buxton well before 2000"!!
    well!.... at the end of 2017 only 4 miles rebuilt!!!no more comments!
     
  8. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    2,238
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't think they have much in the way of assets. I really feel for those volunteers who have given so much to the railway and are now seeing their efforts tossed away by the so-called management. There have been rumours for years of them being autocratic and out of touch and it would seem that they were right. I can't see how their position is tenable going forward, but where replacements are to come from is anyone's guess.
     
    jnc likes this.
  9. crantock

    crantock Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    270
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Beancounter
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The problem with reforming Peak Rail is that it is a company with a wide shareholder base. The share register lists some 4,400 shareholders and some 754,000 shares (be nice if PR could send Companies House an updated register). There are/were only 5 with 10,000 shares, none have over 17,000. I won’t name individuals but one of these is the PLC itself (and those cannot be voted - CA 2006 s726) and another is Peak Rail Association. Only 120 shareholders have over 1,000 shares and at least 6 of those are dead. To requisition an EGM requires 5% and can be achieved if a select few are on board. But the risk of proxies for the chairman swamping all is too great. How many votes were cast at the last AGM?

    To achieve change though someone needs to care and someone needs to have a vision. I think extending to Buxton is out and there is no real halfway house (Bakewell is the wrong side of a steep valley). I wish them well as the Heritage Shunters Trust and the Briddons have put a lot of effort in. As did the turntable team etc etc

    Has the bill been paid yet? If so how have they found £160k when the cash resources have been at approximately £80k for the last 2 years. Borrowed some? Sold something? Or an issue of shares giving someone effective control?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. dggar

    dggar New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    2
    It has come to my notice that their are discrepancies in the register of share holders. My wife and I each acquired 50 shares each in 1982 and a further 50 each in 1984. These are not recorded on the list that was made available to the Briddons. (That's 200 shares not listed.)
     
  11. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    UK
    If one were to propose an EGM, there needs to be a plan as to what that is designed to achieve, and if the idea is to get rid of the current board, some at least of whom presumably have executive duties or are otherwise active on the railway, then one needs a replacement board ready to be voted into place and ready to hit the ground running. The situation is a bit different from the WSRA which does not operate a railway. As noted by a contributor above, it may be that hitherto there has not been much interest from the rank and file. Many of us will have seen situations elsewhere where new blood is gung ho to sweep away the ancien regime, but who have no long term commitment to the cause, as at the end of the day, running a not-for-profit is usually a thankless task. It also looks as though a cash injection would be very welcome, absent which it is difficult to see how they are to break out of the current situation. A further disadvantage is that they do not appear to have a wealthy supporters body/supporting charity which many other railways have.
     
    jnc and Bean-counter like this.
  12. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    2,098
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Thank you sleepermonster, I had not realised from the earlier posts that there were two (or more ?) cases involved here and I was responding to the K.E.1 case which was referenced above. Without wishing to get into a discussion on lawyers costs/charges in general (which would be fertile ground for another day :D ) the newspaper report of that case states that the judgement against the respondents was damages of 7500 pds and costs of 335,000 pds ! I presume (hope ?) that the costs included the respondents own defence costs. Either way one has to wonder how a case that was always going to result in a fairly low level of damages if upheld, was allowed to rack up such an inordinate level of costs. One would have expected the Solicitors, the Barristers, and even the Judge, to have called a halt and metaphorically banged some heads together long before it reached this point. This case suggests that some members of the legal profession are still operating on the principles of "Jarndyce and Jarndyce" - I'm sure you get the reference. :)
     
    nanstallon, jnc and Bluenosejohn like this.
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    17,066
    Likes Received:
    13,921
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Judges do, and solicitors should, warn disputants about the impact of costs. But if there is a hearable case, and the litigation is not vexatious (in the narrowly legal sense of the word), then a judge has ultimately to hear it and decide on the facts and the law.

    Were I involved in an organisation taking on such disproportionately expensive action, I would certainly be looking very hard at how to avoid pouring so much money away from the project I was actually wanting to support. I note the comparison to lengthy discussions on another thread of another piece of litigation, where the approach was significantly more focussed on a result, and limited by both sensible action by one side, and the role of the Charity Commission.
     
  14. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    14,553
    Likes Received:
    11,198
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    One should never underestimate the human trait of being unable to accept that you are wrong....
     
  15. crantock

    crantock Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    270
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Beancounter
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think you may be mistaken. Peak Rail Plc was only incorporated in late 1986. Prior to that there was a company Peak Rail Operations Ltd and another Peak Rail Society ltd. Somewhere along the line in the 80s members of the Peak Rail Society (an I can’t recall the legal form) were given shares on the reorg and I assume shareholders in the then company also got shares. The numbers would not necessarily correspond but the details are lost in history.

    Are you on the register at all? The Briddons (or me) could electronically search the pdfs.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. dggar

    dggar New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    2
    There is the possibility that I am mistaken. I've sent you a private message.
     
  17. Bill Drewett

    Bill Drewett Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    816
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bristol
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It's encouraging to see that the condition described in post #34 is not universal!
     
    M59137, Rumpole, philw2 and 1 other person like this.
  18. bobw754

    bobw754 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    sheffield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I do realise that peakrails office staff must be busy at the moment.. but it is very disappointing to open the web site & be greeted with September & October operating dates !! this is just so unprofessional & its been like this for several years.. how may people just don't bother to visit as a result is anyone's guess..
     
  19. DTDL

    DTDL New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I would love to see Peak Rail succeed, a walk along the Monsall trail, especially the Monsall /Millers/Chee Dale parts shows what a fantastic railway it could be, I do however share the fear that even Bakewell will never be reached. I am very concerned about the repeated fall outs with others, the Grinsty business being the most recent in a long line. I am also concerned that PR members/shareholders/volunteers are told next to nothing about such matters, I second Mick Bonds request at post 15.
     
    nanstallon likes this.
  20. DTDL

    DTDL New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Yorks
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I would love to see Peak Rail succeed, a walk along the Monsall trail, especially the Monsall /Millers/Chee Dale parts shows what a fantastic railway it could be, I do however share the fear that even Bakewell will never be reached. I am very concerned about the repeated fall outs with others, the Grinsty business being the most recent in a long line. I am also concerned that PR members/shareholders/volunteers are told next to nothing about such matters, I second Mick Bonds request at post 15.
     

Share This Page