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S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Andy Norman, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Andy, ok, its for Steve to decide whether to ask questions or not answer others. I'm not going to labour the point and I understand and respect individuals not wanting to get caught up in things. I agree with you regarding his web-site and his efforts for the WSR in the past and have acknowledged already what a wonderful site he runs.
     
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  2. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

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    Thanks for that. I would suggest that you can (if you really want to) still support the WSRA, WSSRT and indeed the Plc without having any kind of ID card.

    I'd suggest your questions to me converge on one thing - the actions of the current Plc Board. In response I would say a majority of Plc shareholders approved the current Board members and if I feel something is not right I will challenge the Board as I have always done in the last 43 years of my WSR life.

    The specific examples you mention? SDRT: the "other matters" are a concern for me so I'm checking those (I cannot form a final view until that is cleared up); HR volunteer policies: I was not aware they'd been removed (I guess you are saying, for example, new volunteers are not provided with any HR policies at all? Anyone else know?); removing volunteers: nothing new there, it depends on the reasons for their removal (continuing to do something when expressly asked not to do so would result in removal for any member of staff).

    As for leading the WSR out of the hole it is in? Who knows what the next year or two will bring. My hope is for wholesale change to its organisational structure. I will be supporting the Railway. Come and join me.

    OK, now rip me to shreds ;)

    Steve
     
  3. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    There are other alternatives that you haven’t listed. No amount of badgering will bring a substantive response from me at the moment.

    Robin
     
  4. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    You said you were getting flak for the PLC's actions on this forum; I've explained why, in my opinion. that was the case.

    FWIW. I would not expect a personal statement from you but something from the WSRA itself would be nice, especially given in the language used by the PLC. The Association's continued silence can only be taken to be tacit approval of their actions, which is extremely disappointing.
     
  5. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Unless I have missed it, neither the WSSRT or the WSRA have made a public statement. How you are able to interpret that is a mystery to me.

    Robin
     
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    What isn't explained is why anyone should or would want to support the WSR and its many organisations given how appallingly it has treated the S&D. We keep on being told to support the WSR, which frankly only condones the behaviour of the WSR management.

    You can not have it both ways, you can not say 'nothing to do with us, it is the PLC' and then demand support for the WSR and the PLC from people.

    Either you support the small organisations because there but for the grace of god go I, or you support the PLC's treatment of the S&D.

    You can't say look at all these great things on the WSR and then sit on your hands when it comes to people and groups being treated appallingly.
     
  7. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    There are times when silence in the face of the unjustifiable is eloquent. In respect of the S&DRT eviction notice, and the time that has elapsed, this appears to be one such time.
     
  8. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Hi Steve. No I'm not gong to rip into you at all. I respect anybodies decision to act in whatever way they feel is correct, from my many posts on this subject I don't think I've ever demanded anybody resign or do anything I demand, each must decide for themselves. I can only bring as many of the facts into the light as I can and try and stop people deflecting from those facts by straying off the point. I've repeated the phrase often "its for the people of the WSR to decide".

    I think its great that you are looking into it yourself and that's 100% correct that you must draw your own conclusions and we all have the choice to react to what we find or not in our own different ways.

    Re the PLC Volunteer HR Policies there was a list of around 17 on HOPS (I have copies if you want them) all were removed around March 19 when I complained about the PLC Chairman using two particular ones. Since then there have been no HR Policies for any WSR Volunteer, that's a matter of record just ask the people concerned who you will know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Over the matter of the sale of locomotive shares by the ex-6, we were told some time ago something along the lines that the current WSRA trustees were pursuing the matter and that any more detail while legal action was going on would be inappropriate. I don't remember exactly what was said or when, but I believe it was something along those lines, and that seemed fair enough.

    This
    suggests that the WSRA trustees (collectively) probably do have a view about the eviction issue and may be pursuing some course of action in relation to it, but for whatever reason feel that making their position public would be counterproductive. If that is the case, a simple statement that it is the case would be a lot better than nothing at all.
     
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  10. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Mike

    We will no-doubt continue to disagree on the course of events but I have plenty of emails if you need reminding. I was referring in my post to my volunteer role not what would have happened if I been placed into the paid CEM role. I’ve never mentioned this story in public but seeing you want to bring it up.

    1. You will recall that it was you who talked me into applying, I didn’t want it and I have my own long standing recruitment business to run. You will remember your words were: “Andy this project will fail without you in the role” I also had the same support from Robin, xxx & Paul in different forms.

    2. As for an independent panel, by the time of the panel sat I was ‘on the naughty step’ with the newly arrived PLC people. The recruitment process was signed off in detail by HPC, WSRA & PLC as a part of the bid before they arrived. However on the day a PLC Board member was ‘unexpectedly’ there which was not what was indicated. He was also the same Board member who refused to investigate the complaints I lodged against the PLC Chairman for Bullying under the relevant HR Policy despite him being allocated to it and the emailed promises made by the PLC HR dept. So I’m going to have to disagree with your use of the word ‘independent’.

    3. However point 2 above is just a deflection, you know I always said that if nobody else would do the job then I would stand rather than see it fail but if there was somebody else qualified then it should be given to them. I said that to you and others before in the run up to the interview and both Paul and the PLC Person heard me repeat that during the interview itself.

    4. So as not to undermine the person you gave the job to. I think she is very good, she deserves the job, she is positive and understands the job very well from what I’ve seen. It’s just a pity that she is not doing what the project set out to do on the WSR and the project has been re-directed off the railway and now only involves some schools in Bridgwater who don’t visit the WSR and who don’t bring paid for trips to the WSR with all the side benefits you and I discussed at the time.

    5. It was you who said you wanted me to carry on with BESTT Trainees and the 1940’s Weekend and I pointed out that these were under the HPC project activity list, numbers 18 & 20 (out of 20) so they were for the new CEM to do as a part of her job description so I couldn’t. No-doubt you will recall the specific phone conversation we had about it at the time. You will also recall that you were going to call me back in around 10 days’ time to look at what I could do as a volunteer going forward. I’m still awaiting that call.

    6. Regarding the removal of my email WSRA address it was done later by your General Manager who basically said to me ‘you are not needed now so I’ve blocked it’, she also said she removed my access to share file to stop me having access to any WSRA information again because I wouldn’t be anything to do with the WSRA from then on.

    Mike, this is all silly detail and just another deflection from the facts, there is an underlying theme here across many things and I will draw the parallel back to the S&DRT’s plight. The HPC Project was set to bring more people and money to the WSR. However as soon as the current PLC Management took over suddenly agreements were scrapped and there is a focus on just getting money without the PLC running the activities that were agreed in writing and paid for.

    Let’s pull this around to the point: What happened to the agreed community activities under the HPC Bid? Let’s start with an easy one. Check the KPI Matrix and look under the Visits & Activities agreed tab, numbers 1 to 11 regarding the local school train trips/visits which were arranged for schools along the line between April & July 2019. Why are the schools who supported the application before hand still waiting for news of their promised trips, why has nobody spoken to them or explained and why was a great resource in the WSR CEM re-directed offsite and not a part of the WSR on-site?

    I of course don’t expect an answer and that’s fine, I understand and frankly it’s just wasting everybody’s time anyway. The WSRA has clearly taken a decision to back the PLC in all that it does and I have to respect the WSRA Board feel as they do. But ultimately the WSRA will be judged by the court of public opinion alongside the PLC not by me as just one person on here. If the PLC save the day and turn the WSR around then the WSRA standing beside it means you all look like heroes, but if it goes the other way then the WSRA board are likely to be seen as a part of the problem, not the solution. But again it’s not going to be me that will make that decision.
     
  11. jimbrettell

    jimbrettell New Member

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    Hi everyone. It's that 'fairly ordinary member of the public' again and new boy round here feeling compelled to say something as to be honest I'm astonished and aghast at the continuing internicine warfare being played out, all in public gaze. Ok, not many ordinary members of the public might venture into this particular unsavoury corner of the internet, so everyone, in their absence, I will lay claim to voicing how it looks from the outside.

    Since my inaugural posting the world as we used to know it has been turned upside down and effectively we are in a state of war, one during which, although no guns are going to be fired, quite a lot of people are going to die a good sight earlier than was the case a few weeks ago. Every single part of our economy, including the esoteric world of railway preservation, is under threat of survival and yet the squabbling just carries on, seemingly ad infinitum.

    Despite who might be in the wrong; what's happened before; who did or said what to who, when and how, in the present climate it's frankly only serving as an embarrassment to the cause you all profess so much to cherish. I have to tell you, it's not a pretty sight from where I'm sitting and any mother worth their salt would say you all deserve to have your bloody heads knocked together.

    At this point I must declare that I'm now a fully paid up member of the S&DRT, purely on the basis of that very old-established trait of wishing to support the underdog. I suspect I'm not alone and the protagonists in this whole sorry affair would do well to dwell on this as attention inevitably turns to how the hell the preserved railway world can survive post COVID-19?

    I will end this mini-rant by repeating what I said in my first post, namely that the only way out of this unseemly and utterly futile state is to engage in the process of mediation and I say that as someone who has had many years professional experience of attempting to deal with warring parties. To put it bluntly, people do not support groups at war with each other and especially if they've been shitty to another group. Get a grip boys and girls or I fear it's game over!
     
  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Wise words. I’m now going to self-isolate from this thread for a period.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  13. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Out of curiosity, I have just looked on my HOPS account. ALL the Company Policies folders are marked as 'locked', including the HR folder.

    A read of the currently-listed SMS reveals in 16.2 "The procedure for dealing with complaints and grievances from staff is described in HR-POL 017 ‘Grievance and Complaints Procedure’. HR-POL 017" On the assumption that this should be in the HR folder, then I seem to have no way to verify what it now says or whether it even still exists.

    In my professional career part of my role was responsibility for Technical Policies. This included constant monitoring to ensure that, not only were the policies themselves up-to-date, but also the cross-references between them and the rest of our Project documentation. The s*** would have hit the fan fast in my direction if our legal chaps could not have enforced our contractual requirements 'cos they referenced out-of-date or missing policies that were my responsibility. The PLC would appear to be behind in this area at the moment.
     
  14. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Good spot and thanks. They were in place, long standing and unlocked up until around March 19, indeed I copied them all a few months earlier because they formed a part of the HPC Due Diligence process where they needed to see Volunteers & Visitors had protection and requested I sent them copies along with other bits of governance. In March 19 only the HR Policies became locked, other people have verified to me since then they have remained locked (my HOPS log in 'suddenly' stopped working in March 19). All company policies now being locked is a more recent development it seems!
     
  15. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    So who, specifically, holds the key to the lock ?
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Why do you and others think that you have a right to know about other peoples opinions 'nail their colours to the mast'? A persons opinion on anything is personal and they have a right to keep it to themselves. There is nothing wrong with that.
     
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  17. Piggy

    Piggy New Member

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    True, but if you wanted to keep it to yourself, you wouldn't broadcast it would you ?
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    To my knowledge those being quizzed aren't broadcasting it.
     
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  19. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    He doesn’t have a right to know, but equally there’s no reason why he shouldn’t ask. Nobody is obliged to answer and I don’t blame current office holders’ reluctance to state their own opinions in public if their organisation has chosen, at least for the moment, not to comment.

    It’s perhaps also notable that of the umpteen WSR plc directors who have resigned in recent years none, as far as I recall, have chosen to publicly criticise the current regime. If they had no doubt we’d have heard about it here.

    Incidentally the S&DRT page at Companies House shows three of their directors resigned shortly before the eviction letter was received. I haven’t a clue whether there’s any connection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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  20. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    There certainly is a connection between two of the S&DRT directors who resigned and the WSR. Ryan Pope is the Engineering Manager at West Somerset Restorations , formerly a WSRA enterprise but now transferred to the WSR. In other words, Mr Jones-Pratt, Chairman of the WSR, is his boss!!! Martin Atkins is the owner of the ex NCB tank engine which WSR Restorations have been working on as a private job for some years, and undoubtedly a close friend of Mr Pope. Maybe they got wind of what was about to happen and left the S & DRT board before the conflict of interest became a problem for them.
     
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