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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. Mike Birch

    Mike Birch New Member

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    But arguably not as interesting as the vote tomorrow for re-election of Mark Smith retiring by rotation "and recommended by the Board pursuant to Article 39(a) of the articles of association".

    I, along with a few on others on here, can only assume that there must be more to this than meets the eye. I note however that members of the HRA do have the opportunity to vote for, against or abstain.
     
  2. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    To your first point, yes you are right. The S&DRT were being proactive in developing both the museum and the station. A part of the reason for having a long lease was that it allowed external grant funders to give money in the knowledge that it would not be wasted if they spent a lot of grant money on the site only to be thrown out shortly afterwards. I was involved with their plans, they explained them, I toured the site and they also gave me written support in my application to HPC which gained the WSR the Community Engagement Projects £96k last year and the WSR Community Engagement Officer in place currently.

    Needless to say this eviction has further wider consequences regarding the ability of the WSR to attract external grant funding in the future in addition to what we have debated here so far.
     
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  3. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    Here is what I don't understand... JJP owns two locomotives, 9466 and 4936, both of which I understand fall foul of the axle loading restrictions... unless 4936 just creeps under the barrier by virtue of being a smidgeon lighter than 6960? If it does, then it is an obvious candidate to take 88's place in the fleet. Whether he will then expect full commercial steaming fees remains to be seen, although given the parlous state of the WSR's finances, I should be extremely surprised if the board consented to it. If the railway were emptying its coffers into Pratt's for the 2020 season, then I agree that the present global health crisis could potentially finish it off.

    Incidentally, I note that the latter locomotive now appears to have *two* NatPres accounts, @WSR_6960 as well as @6960 Raveningham Hall - might I suggest that it would be wise for the purposes of clarity for the more recently-created account to adopt another name? I myself was guilty of much closer username duplication than this on another forum some years ago and had the moderators change my handle accordingly.
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    If I can be excused for playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment....

    The PLC's website describes the WSR as "a true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway". So - what role does an ex-LMS 7F play in that scenario? 53808 arrived on the WSR as a result of a specific mixture of historical circumstances - if the PLC were looking for new additions to their fleet today, would it have been a candidate? IMHO it would be quite feasible for them to claim in due course that it no longer 'fits in' and so they seek an ex-GWR alternative that is deemed as a more suitable replacement.
     
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    While many lines try to aim for a particular ambience, I dont think anyone thinks that a Dukedog on the Bluebell or a LT Liveried pannier on the SDR is inappropriate. Neither is 88 on the WSR, especially as it is a locomotive that has spent all its working life in Somerset
     
  6. Just_Sayin

    Just_Sayin New Member

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    Yes. I’ll dig it out and send across :)
     
  7. MattA

    MattA Member

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    Furthermore, the S&D fell under the control of BR's Western Region in its later years...
     
  8. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    If only an ex GWR alternative was available (such as 4110 or 6695 perhaps)

    But seriously they can’t afford to be picky. The potential loss of 53808, and subsequent necessary replacement with another loco hired in on commercial rates, could really hurt the WSR financially.

    It will be interesting to see how the 53808 situation develops.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  9. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    >>>Neither is 88 ...... a locomotive that has spent all its working life in Somerset...

    Not strictly true, given that it also worked into Dorset, Hampshire, and Gloucestershire (at least). :)
     
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  10. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Didn't it spend a while in Wales as well?
     
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  11. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    Many people only became volunteers on the WSR after first visiting Washford Stn & yard & I found very friendly folk in the 5542 group I joined first & as they say the rest is history !.......
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  12. 60044

    60044 Member

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    Is it just me, or is JJP's position on the WSR potentially becoming remini
    Don't think it worked there, though!
     
  13. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Hello Malcolm,

    The implication from your post is that you would like to see the SDRT accommodation they have themselves constructed on land that they have a 50 year lease for be vacated by them for WSR uses.

    Is this correct?

    Might I nicely suggest that you haven't thought this through.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  14. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    No, you read it wrong, having worked there on PW trackwork, etc don't want SDRT to leave there at all, but be useful to others to utilise as well....
     
  15. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Another day, and still no public statement from the WSRA...

    (I gather the WSRA board have quite a lot to consider over all this via 'private information', but an information vacuum is corrosive in this day and age, and the WSRA really ought to up their game over all this and not delay).

    To reiterate what I stated yesterday evening, I am quite sure that the WSR PLC board are aware that the 'Notice to Quit' on the SDRT is invalid, and is therefore a 'stunt' using the most reprehensible tactics of aggressive commercial organisations upon a much smaller organisation with limited funds. (Robert Maxwell's tactics spring to mind).

    The problem here is that the WSR PLC board have not thought through the huge goodwill it has lost in the last few days, not to say hostility engendered against it's actions, and considered the long term results of a ''fit of pique" by one or more and collectively the very small WSR PLC board that the SDRT could not and cannot bail out the WSR PLC by agreeing to donate substantial sums to the WSR PLC, or agree that it's 'rent' for Washford should be upped considerably from what has been agreed for many many years, and confirmed in a new 50 year lease less than 2 years ago.

    There is obviously a clear connection between the terms of the lease for Washford, and the dealings and contract with loco '88'. Separate agreements they may be, but they are mutually intertwined, obviously.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  16. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    At the very least, they could have issued a statement something like the following:

    "We note with concern that the SDJRT has been given notice to quit Washford by WSR PLC. We hope that it can be appreciated that this is a complex and sensitive matter, and we will issue a formal response in due course"

    Essentially saying nothing, but not being seen to take sides, and not leaving a vacuum in which all sorts of aspersions can be cast by third parties.
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Is it just me that doesn't mind that the WSRA hasn't put out a statement? I don't think it would be particularly helpful. It'd be a lose lose situation. Side with the Plc and get roundly criticised, side with the trust and drive a wedge between the Plc and the association again, further sowing disunity in West Somerset.
    I'm still agnostic on the matter of whether it's best to try and avoid attributing certain actions or views to the Plc or association, and just stick with "the railway", I wonder whether the former hinders progress towards ending of factionalism. When garden centre on the GWSR closed down, the lease was terminated with "the railway", note "the Plc".

    Are you? Have you read the agreement? I haven't a clue, I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least a cogent legal argument behind it even if it ultimately failed, and a moral (and practical) argument totally lacking.
     
  18. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    jma1009 said:
    I am quite sure that the WSR PLC board are aware that the 'Notice to Quit' on the SDRT is invalid

    Yes, I am. (13 years of dealing with commercial leases and disputes and court cases over same, as a Solicitor, before I took early retirement, and pursued a quite different career).

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ok.
     
  20. BrightonBaltic

    BrightonBaltic Member

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    I actually wonder whether a bad season (coronavirus or whatever) pushing WSR PLC into administration might be a positive thing... clean sweep, all new management, and Pratt can go off to start his own railway on Steep Holm.
     
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