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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. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    There's a cuckoo on the WSR all right but not at Washford. Once again, a group who are not aligned with the personal agenda are branded as troublemakers without a shred of evidence. The recent press release only strengthens the argument to withdraw "88" which in my view, is the sole objective of the PLC. Just look at who stands to benefit.
     
  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thank you for the clarification on the Land Registry position; I was unaware of it.

    As for my name, my details are on my member profile and there is no secret about my identity. My posts are unsigned because that is a common posting style here and elsewhere, and for no other reason.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I understood that the new Washford lease was necessary to obtain funding from The National Lottery

    So, that presumably means that it must satisfy their requirements for long term security?
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    But do note that the S&DRHT (at MSN) is NOT the same group as the S&DRT (at Washford) :)
     
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  5. brauntonians

    brauntonians New Member

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    oh dear, here we appear to go again when i thought a corner had been turned for the new running season.
     
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  6. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    You snipped and quoted out of context, viz.

    If you post such things as "Even by the standards of this site, that is an exceptionally foolish comment" you can expect brickbats.

    Patrick
     
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  7. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    A corner has been turned, the road is just not going in the direction we expected!
     
  8. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    Other people here have quoted an income of approx 2K per annum for SDRT. I am inclined to think that would be a lot more if WSR were paying cash to hire No.88. I assume therefore that the hire agreement includes WSR being responsible for continued maintenance of the loco (i.e. they are bound to return it to SDRT in as good a condition* as it was when they received it.) rather than a simple cash deal. This would fit in with the WSR apparently not wanting to lose the loco (It's not costing them much to use - at least not in the short term anyway).

    * I am assuming it was in working condition when the hire began; or was it WSR that paid for and restored it? Can anyone confirm this either way?
     
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Digging into the murky recesses of my memory....in the very beginning the WSR had the job of finishing off the restoration of the loco started by S&DRT members and then got the use of it, with responsibility for ongoing maintenance. When its first 10-year overhaul came along I believe that a new agreement was negotiated along similar lines. IIRC the WSR got 'free' use of it for a certain amount of mileage, with the S&DRT getting fees for any excess, also the S&DRT got 'free' use of it for occasions such as their annual special train, but I may be wrong there.
     
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  10. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The fact that its mythical 10 year ticket it up in 2026 yet the agreement apparently runs until 2020 makes me think that, when it comes out of service, the WSR will be responsible for its overhaul before presenting it back to the SDRT as a fully working locomotive. Such agreements are not unknown. If it was on a restore and run agreement i would have expected it to end in 2026, or thereabouts.
    All conjecture, though.
     
  11. Station Clock

    Station Clock New Member

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    For those interested WRSA journal number 85 Winter 1999, p18 records:-
    • The locomotive will be repaired by the WSR plc at their expense, with a target date for return to steam of no later than 30th April 2000.
    • New cylinders will be fabricated with the patterns paid for by the Trust.
    • The WSR plc has hired the locomotive on a full repairing contract until 30th April 2020, when it can be returned to the Trust "complete and in full working order" to an agreed and recorded high standard. The Trust does not receive a fee for the hire.
    • Throughout the period of the hire agreement, the Trust obtains two days' use of the locomotive every year: one day at Washford, and the other for a return train trip on the WSR.
    • The WSR has undertaken to operate the locomotive for a minimum of thirty days per year on the Railway (except during periods of major overhaul).
    • By further agreement, there can be up to sixty days out-hire annually.
    The journal goes on to say:-

    The Trust and the Company both recognise that the way forward can only be in close partnership. The S&D Railway Trust, as a Registered Museum, has a duty to acquire, to conserve, and to educate. The Company has a duty to its shareholders and its passengers. Both organisations are thoroughly committed to providing enjoyment and a rich experience for the public. Having acquired a large S&D locomotive, the Trust's duty has been to ensure that the public can view its museum exhibit in an appropriate context: running trains on Britain's longest Heritage Railway seems entirely appropriate.

    And:-

    By 2018 when a further overhaul is scheduled, Number 88 will have operated on the WSR for a longer period than it did for any former railway organisation.
     
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  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    IIRC the return to steam was in fact delayed for some while for various reasons (I think the work turned out to be even more extensive than first thought), with the result that S&DRT members got 'free ticket' vouchers from the WSR by way of compensation for not yet being able to see their engine in steam and ride behind it. There would be more detailed records in the Loco Reports for the S&DRT AGMs of that period - not surprisingly, it was very much a 'hot topic' at that time!
     
  13. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    The devil is as always in the detail regarding consequences in life, here is a theoretical operational dilemma which I would like to pose to get the grey matter working: What would you do in these circumstances? (Any similarities with real life are of course a coincidence).

    As a small dedicated group of railway enthusiasts you have a landlord who also runs your loco under a hire agreement under which you let them have it cheaply and in return they put money from each steaming into their own ‘loco pot’ to pay for its overhaul & maintenance which is due in around 5 years’ time (give or take) plus some axle box work/loco lift needed in 1-2 years.

    Your landlord has given you a long term tenancy agreement with an annual rent increase capped at a reasonable level. The landlord turns up one day and says ‘we want an 8-10 times rent increase’ (just theoretical figures you understand for the purposes of this exercise) I know we have an agreement but the new management says that’s what it’s worth now’. You think ‘oh bugger, now what’ you don’t have the money and even if you did your articles and charity regs wouldn’t allow you too. So you say ‘sorry no’. Then a letter turns up telling you to leave.

    You know the contract has been broken (allegedly), but, do you stand and fight or just go? Would you want to stay if you felt all around you didn’t like you and were forcing you out or would you think this is only coming from one place and actually we would be welcome to stay by most people if that obstacle were removed?

    Then you think about your loco and remember that its public knowledge that your landlord has stripped its loco fund bare and isn’t building it up again, as its well-known and public knowledge as reported by many and confirmed by the last loco it the same pot having to be finished off by another charity using their money (£30k) and their workforce last year.

    Then you think: Can we trust our landlord to keep to the loco contract or are they going to just use it for the rest of the boiler ticket, (or even pay for the loco lift/axle box work it needs in the next 1-2 years) and then break that contract as well and just dump it back in our laps not working”? And now you have a loco with no income, no money and a large overhaul bill. You then also remember that another loco lifted for axle box/wheel work recently was put up on blocks and the owners asked for a large sum of money (even though a 25 year agreement was in place in the same manner) and when they said no, the contract was terminated and they had to cart it away. Do you think: ‘oh no, there is a trend here’?

    Would you then consider the other offers to remove your loco immediately whilst there is still some hire in it and send it to another place for them to build up a repair pot in the remainder of its ticket and have a chance of paying for its overhaul, or better still get another railway to take on what you actually know is a good solid loco under the same terms as now.

    So the morale dilemma is: Would you break your loco contract? It is not good of course to break an agreement either legally or morally, but now of course the president is set so it must be ok for anybody to break contracts (as you also know 2 other long term loco contracts were finished early by your landlord in the last year as well as your tenancy agreement) or would you not break the contract, give in and allow your landlord to have their cake and eat it ?

    Or if the above post remains true today perhaps the contract does run out in a month’s time (April 2020) and not 2026 or 2030 in which case it’s easy.

    A bit of a bleak dilemma I know, but I don’t see a good outcome here for anybody other than somebody quickly saying “very sorry we shouldn’t have started down this road, we got it wrong, please forgive us and stay”. What would you do?
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    It certainly seems to me that the loco hire contract could well become part of the settlement for ending the lease, if that is indeed what happens.

    88 may not be GWR but she has always been a Somerset Engine from delivery
     
  15. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    So, what is the position of the WSR directors if the decision to end the lease at Washford goes wrong and they end up with a large compensation bill and no 88?

    Fiduciary duty to the shareholders?

    Reputation damage?

    Also as the biggest single shareholder in the WSR, what is the WSRA saying, it has its own interests and reputation to think about which are not being well served by this affair.
     
  16. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Good point. My understanding is that the largest PLC Shareholders are: WSSRT, WSRA & SCC in that order. I of course come near the bottom of the list as do many others so my liability is small, but it still makes me nervous that 'my' company are doing things.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  17. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    So has the NYMR really offered a new home for 53808?
     
  18. Station Clock

    Station Clock New Member

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    I have telephoned the Association and requested that the S&D Trust Washford termination appears at least as a piece of news on the Association website. I was informed that the news will not be in the journal as it has gone to print.

    A small point of detail. WSRA journal number 112, Autumn 2005, p38 records the 26th October 2005 as "No.88's first appearance on a service train since withdrawal in May 1996".
     
  19. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps that's why the rent at Washford was reportedly low; it's in lieu of steaming fees? (I think I'm remembering that correctly; I'm too lazy to read back N pages to find it, so if I've got it wrong, someone please correct me!)

    Noel
     
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  20. Just_Sayin

    Just_Sayin New Member

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    The PLC should really take note of what the Heritage Rail Association are doing.

    Their documentation released during this last winter specifically stated, Railway Charities must maintain their own identity from any other associated companies.
    And, that charitable funds must not be used for non-charitable activities - specifically stating "this includes cover operating company losses". It was there in black and white, from the HRA themselves!

    So S&DRT cannot just had money over willy nilly, and cook their books. Have WSR not just shown the door to a high ranking member of staff for doing exactly this?
    So it's unacceptable for someone to cook their own books for them, but equally unacceptable when someone refuses to do so for their benefit?

    You can't have your cake and eat it. For all the good that was achieved in 2019, it's just been thrown away with such narrow-mindedness, and I feel for the volunteers who thought their railway had finally turned a corner. At a time when you need as many friends as you can get, this is a perfect example of how not to go about. If they are that desperate for money, why not write the last 5 years or so out as a novel? This puts some of the UK's greatest novels to shame with the amount of twists and turns at every chapter!
     
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