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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. 60044

    60044 Member

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    No-one outside the inner management circle knows for sure, but I think it is highly unlikely.
     
  2. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Surely when citing 'we wish to occupy the site ourselves' there must be similar protections as with re-development (evidence; and compensation) otherwise it's a 'get out of jail free' card for any lease, which therefore won't be worth the paper it's written on? The PLC's own words (the now-infamous 'cuckoo' statement) would surely be good evidence that the true motivation is something else?

    Noel
     
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  3. Beckford

    Beckford Guest

    “ It is not good to wash dirty linen in public, whichever side you are on.”

    I couldn’t agree more.
     
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  4. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

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    Would you be able to point me towards that document? Our Trust is proposing a change of statutes, widening its ability to give away funds.
     
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  5. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Without seeing the documents involved, it is not possible to give a legal opinion as to whether the plc was entitled to serve notice to quit, or whether the board had authority to do so without a mandate from the shareholders. So, this is just a personal opinion.

    Many people have a long standing love of the WSR, and may well have put in a lot of time and money (relative to their ability to do so) into keeping this superb branch line going. The line is now being run by a board who behave as a bull in a china shop with no respect for such people. Regardless of the legal niceties, it is incredibly brutal to serve notice to quit on the S&DRT so soon after agreeing a 25 year lease, without any prior discussion of why they are doing so. At the very least the S&DRT should have been asked whether they were prepared to pay more rent. Presumably the rent was set out in the new lease?

    I get the feeling that the board are not very nice to deal with, and more important people than I may be a bit concerned about whether they would want a business relationship with them. I hope that the Railway itself doesn't end up closing down.
     
  6. MattA

    MattA Member

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    With regards to the NYMR rumours - that's a bit far from Somerset, is it not? I'd have guessed that, in an ideal world, the S&DRT would like themselves and 88 to be based somewhere not as far as 200 miles away from the old S&D route...

    Alas, needs must - any home is better than none!
     
  7. paullad1984

    paullad1984 Member

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    WSR are doing themselves no favours at the moment, creating a vary unfavourable impression.
     
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  8. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    A factor, I agree.
     
  9. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    What an arrogant and short sighted view to take! I truly hope for the future of the WSR that this isn't a commonly shared opinion, although I'm certainly beginning to fear otherwise.

    The WSR has equally benefited from having the S&DRT as tenants. The S&D gala's that the railway has hosted have been some of the most popular hosted on the railway which have happened in association with the S&DRT. S&D themed events are known to be well supported across the preservation movement. I understand that 89 is highly unlikely to return to the WSR, so if the WSR push away 88 too then any future such themed events could be difficult to market.

    As a railway enthusiast, neither Minehead or Bishops Lydeard have much of interest for me with Washford and Williton being the biggest draw (in that order). Take away the S&DRT and I have very little interest in visiting the WSR, especially with the bully-boy antics of recent events that are very much in the current public eye. The WSR has always done very little IMHO to promote any of the other intermediate stations (I appreciate other's may disagree with this view).

    I am not a member of the S&DRT, however the recent events of the past few days have got me sorely tempted to change this position. In return I am more than happy to allocate my own resources to assist the S&DRT to help recover from this devastating news. I certainly won't be supporting the WSR any further. I suspect I wont be the only one sharing this opinion.

    As many here would've seen with the trashing of the Stamford Model Railway Exhibition, people often pull together at times of need, finding new strength at times of adversity. It seems to be by their own admission that the S&DRT has been struggling with an ageing membership, I can only hope that the real threat of eviction inspires a new generation to get behind the S&DRT and results in a more secure future going forwards. For the record i'm in my mid 30's and in one of the more targeted area's for attracting new volunteer's, within commuting distance of the WSR, have several years experience driving and repairing steam engines (albeit smaller ones) and more disposable income than in my junior years. Surely I'm exactly the type of enthusiast that the WSR wants to attract rather than deter!!

    Shame on you WSR
     
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  10. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if now would be the time for the S&DRT to launch a Justgiving type page to allow anyone to easily donate to either a relocation fund, or (in the seemingly unlikely event that they stay at Washford) an improvements fund.

    If the appeal was successful, it might also make the WSR realise the depth of feeling for the S&DRT (and by implication against the WSR).

    Keith
     
  11. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    depending on the lease contract though the WSR may need to pay to move the S&D trust . At this point I would advocate waiting for all the relevant discussions to conclude
     
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  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    >>> It seems to be by their own admission that the S&DRT has been struggling with an ageing membership, I can only hope that the real threat of eviction inspires a new generation to get behind the S&DRT and results in a more secure future going forwards. ...

    Do we know to what extent they have had any success in doing that since the previous 'non renewal' scare circa-2010 ? Or is the writing well and truly on-the-wall this time around?
     
  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Given their statement, I suggest it would be premature until they have been able to make a decision about what course of action they will take. One of the more admirable parts of their response has been it's studious calmness, and careful avoidance of saying anything that would up the ante further.
     
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  14. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    Completely agree! Their measured response are most appreciated and reassuring that they are tackling this correctly. A big positive when needing to gain support and in complete contrast to the WSR's official communications.
     
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  15. Hemerdon

    Hemerdon Member Friend

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    This is a very sad state for the railway to be in. I am a supporter of the line and would be very disappointed if the S&DRT were to leave their site at Washford. Washford provides something different. But saying that I wonder how popular the Washford site is on normal running days. Does anyone know the visitor numbers?
    Whilst statements have been made from both sides we may not know the full reasons for the eviction notice. But I hope some arbitration is possible to find a solution that would enable them to stay.
     
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  16. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    This could be most interesting. <BJ>

    Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
    ''Aimed at all heritage rail managers and those responsible for managing and monitoring competency among staff and volunteers, our 2020 Spring Seminar is all about competency!
    - this event promises to be of real value to all HRA members''


    ''Leading, Influencing, Supporting and Communicating'' … Re-Shaping your trade association for 2020 and beyond.

    ''Assessing and Managing Competency'' – John Arnold
     
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  17. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Yes potentially a good idea. However the SDRT is currently seeking legal advice, which will determine if they do have to leave Washford and what liability the WSR has towards them. Until that is concluded it won’t be known how much, if any fund raising is required.
     
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  18. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Fair point, perhaps in the meantime before starting a fighting fund it might be an idea to drop the S&DRT a quick email to say something along the lines off "you are not alone, we support you and we think you should stay". Its likely they are feeling very isolated currently not knowing whether they are welcome by a wider audience on the WSR or not. Email address from their web-site: info@sdrt.org
     
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  19. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    I recognise the need to develop and modernise the Washford museum element and surely the long term lease was a stepping stone to securing outside funding to achieve this? The S&DRT certainly wouldn't have wanted to invest in the site if they faced an uncertain future or risked being evicted. I'd be interested to understand how the 50 year lease therefore can be terminated but appreciate that this wouldn't be for the public forum.

    The WSR would have certainly won a lot more support if they'd actively (and in the public domain) supported the S&DRT to develop the facility to the benefit of both groups. Only then and after repeated efforts of the WSR to encourage had the S&DRT to develop and if the the S&DRT had chosen to do nothing at Washford, would it have become acceptable to serve notice to improve or face eviction. Generally speaking this is how most landlords would act, whether it be a residential, council or commercial property.

    Eviction without any prior notice or warning is certainly dangerous ground to tread!
     
  20. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    I have just done something to this affect with an offer of my support. :)
     
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