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.

S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

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

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12,946
    Likes Received:
    7,385
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The more you can get others to cough up for, the less you have to pay for when you have purchased the assets of the railway via a management buy out.
     
  2. K14

    K14 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    Catford
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    1: It's a mechanical system, so they're rods & links, not pipes.
    2: 5572 has Auto gear at both ends:—

    https://www.philt.org.uk/PreservationScene/GWR/i-KRRs4Xd

    Linkage is next to the Steam Heat pipe on the right.
     
    malcolm imps likes this.
  3. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Honiton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I’d quite like a new dapol o gauge but I can only got space keep my 00 gauge running not both but I’m not going to make my son move out so I have space I just won’t have the dapol until he chooses to go then I can build o gauge in his room. It sounds the same except they are forcing them out before they want to leave
     
  4. daveb

    daveb Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    867
    Likes Received:
    434
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wimborne, Dorset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    When 5542 was first auto fitted, it was cab end only. It's now fitted at both ends, done as part of the last overhaul. Don't know about 5526.
     
    malcolm imps likes this.
  5. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,014
    Likes Received:
    1,320
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The irony level is.. pretty ironic! The huge fight over the WSRA x6 started when they tried to buy the freehold of the track. Now the PLC is enquiring about it...

    Noel
     
    tracker, jma1009, ross and 3 others like this.
  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,629
    Likes Received:
    3,074
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I get the sense that this is another round in the internecine battle of vain and self serving egos in Somerset. When Malmesbury’s Thomas Hobbes talked about the state of nature being a war of all against all, he obviously had the WSR in mind.

    The people who were oh so vocal against the x6 over the freehold, now mute and silent as someone else tries to buy the freehold.

    Unfortunately the S&DRT is caught in the crossfire of this. The silence by the WRSA and the WSSRT on the treatment of the S&DRT shows that for all their talk of a railway family, these are hollow words.

    And what message does that send out? that the organisations and their supporters who shout so much about the WSR family, cannot be trusted to help protect the small groups in the family.

    Either they support the smaller organisations or they support the PLC, they cannot have it both ways. Either they are for the eviction or they are against it. You can not be a bit pregnant, you either are or you aren’t.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    tracker, jma1009 and ross like this.
  7. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    From what has been stated here recently, and from what has NOT been said, it becomes clear that there is a division between the two major shareholders on how the Plc should proceed. It is also clear, from the number of resignations and oustings at governance level in both the WSRA and the Plc that there is a great deal of personal animosity involved. I don't know enough of the individuals concerned to know the rights and wrongs of the various arguments but I do know, and have said before, that most of these people were able to work together successfully in the past, and they now need to take a deep breath, subdue their egos, and get together to hammer out a working plan to take the railway into the future. Failure to do so is likely to lead to the complete loss of the railway, particularly as there are rocky times ahead as we recover from Covid19.
    As an aside : members of both the WSRA and the WSSRT might want to ensure that they understand and support their respective Board's policies. This is not to imply that either are doing anything wrong but will ensure that the membership are fully aware of what is going on and why.
    I wish you all well.
    Mike
     
  8. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    1,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    ynysddu south wales
    Actually, to be precise, the WSSRT and WSRA have a minority shareholding in the WSR PLC, which is where the dysfunctional set up of the WSR stems from; neither can control what the WSR PLC board does, and is why the SDRT has been left to deal the WSR PLC on it's own, that personally makes me very sad over all this.

    I've had communications with the WSRA 'acting Chairman' over the last few days; they were not in any way positive, and singularly lacking in any mention of the SDRT in the replies I received.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
  9. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As we established a few posts back, both the WSSRT and WSRA each hold about 9% of the Plc shares. Nobody else holds anything like the same number, the next biggest being the SCC with about 3%. Whilst these may be a minority of the total shares the chances of rounding up sufficient small shareholders, many of whom are now unknown, to challenge them are very small indeed. Therefore, in practical terms, the two organisations hold the key to the appointment of the Plc Directors. If they are divided in their approach then whichever can gain the SCC support, or that of a number of the other shareholders, will carry the day.
    Why there are two support/owning groups I don't know. It was explained on the WSR thread several years ago and IIRC was due to another factional dispute many years ago, but I may have that wrong. Irrespective of the origins it should be obvious that the railway cannot continue to function properly in this fashion and there is an urgent need for the two organisations to amalgamate, or at least reach agreement on the way forward.
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    7,979
    Likes Received:
    11,119
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I seem to recall the explanation was that when the WSR was first set up steam operations were only a part of what was envisaged, with DMU commuter services anticipated too. So there was the Plc set up to run the trains, the WSRA that you joined to support the venture, and the WSSRT to preserve steam era stock for operating at weekends and holidays.
    I'm sure someone like @Steve Edge will happily put me right if any of the above is wide of the mark, but I don't recall mention of factional dispute on his forum before in rlation to how the original set-up came to be.
    What is an absolute nonsense is how those organisations have endured given the changing nature of the WSR. Both the Plc and WSRA own steam locomotives for instance, and no one is running DMU commuter services.
     
    ross and MellishR like this.
  11. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thank you Alex for the invitation to comment. Yes, the setup seemed right at the start but the dream in 1971 did not materialise. Things were not changed and, in my view, the WSR setup has long been a problem. By chance the current book I'm reading is "Saving the West Somerset Railway - the branch line that refused to die" by John Parsons (now sadly passed) published in 2011. It has a few glaring (deliberate?) omissions but is a good read for anyone interested or curious about the Railway's organisational arrangements and how these arrangements led to difficulties almost from the start. Do please read the book.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    malcolm imps, Swan Age, jnc and 2 others like this.
  12. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    When I first became a supporter of the WSR, back in the days of Peter Rivett and David Morgan, the big topic was "Running into Taunton". If there had been a Nat Pres then, it would have been the "West Somerset Railway - Viability of extending to Taunton" thread that ran to thousands of pages. Probably because the Railway was split over this issue, other splits were not apparent, but when I volunteered, it was immediately apparent that the railway was not one big happy family and there were other fault lines.
     
  13. ikcdab

    ikcdab Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    867
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    WSSRT Trustee
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Yes, this is largely right though the primary aim of the plc was to run the diesel commuter services supplemented by some steam trains in the summer. When the commuter services failed to appear, the plc took on the steam services and the WSSRT became moribund. Although it continued to live legally, to all intents and purposes it was completely inactive. In 1985, the late Peter Barnfield and his wife, Ginny, gained permission to open Blue Anchor railway museum. Aroound the same time the sleeping car became available and to support both of these ventures and to provide a heritage focus for the railway, the WSSRT was brought back from the dead. The long missed Peter Thompson was the first chairman and I was appointed as archivist. This was all done with the blessing and support of both the PLC and the WSRA. The WSRA had a different focus, it being the supporters association and all this worked very well. Nobody tried to eat anyone else's sandwiches. The plc ran the trains, the WSRA supplied volunteer labour, restored locomotives and coaches and supported the railway directly. The WSSRT as the sole charity ran blue anchor museum, did the sleeping car and provided the heritage focus.
    Sometime in the 1990s, the WSRA became a charity and in order to enable this, started looking at heritage and education. This is where some of the crossover began to occur the steam trust, but always, always in a friendly and amicable way. The WSSRT was limited to a maximum of 50 members and even if it wanted to, it could never compete with the WSRA. The steam trust has now had the 50 member limit lifted. The WSSRT and the WSRA have always worked well together, and three years ago we agreed to take on BL museum from the WSRA and we gained the lottery grant to refurbish it.
    Why am I writing all this? It's just to say that although the WSR setup may or may not be ideal, it does work tolerably well, enabling each of the different groups to focus on its own objectives whilst all contributing to a general high level picture. No structure can ever be perfect because the environment changes, but given the desire, what we have is ok.
    Life here on Nat Pres can be an echo chamber and we need to be careful not to confuse it with real life.
    Ian Coleby
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    9,424
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I’d like to thank Ian for that comprehensive post and providing significant context. I will, however, take the liberty of suggesting that events over the past decade show that this structure provides significant fault lines which, with divergent opinions and personality clashes, has not helped the railway.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Fish Plate, Forestpines, jnc and 2 others like this.
  15. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    3,179
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    We should be grateful that both the WSRA and the WSSRT have resisted the temptation to play the role of mediator. It would be a tactical blunder of epic proportions.
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    18,361
    Likes Received:
    30,534
    Location:
    21C102
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Ian - out of curiosity - why does the WSSRT have any members at all? Certainly the original set up of having a strictly limited number looks odd, it's hard to see what benefit could have accrued from that.

    More generally, though it seldom remarked upon, the conversion of the WSRA into a charity increasingly looks like a retrograde step, since it further confused the waters. (Now you have two membership organisations which are also both charities and also both own and restore rolling stock ...)

    I probably look at it through a particular lens, but a structure in which the Company operated the railway according to the wishes of the membership organisation; the Membership organisation governed (through a real, or de facto, majority ownership of the company) and the Charity supported would seem much clearer demarcation of roles and responsibilities. The route to that point would be a series of compromises and transfers of responsibility between the various organisations, such that you ended up with an operating company majority owned by the membership organisation, and supported by an affiliated, but independent, charity.

    Tom
     
  17. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    2,135
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Really???? Sorry Ian, but if you think the in fighting, the takeover plots, the land deals, the vote fixing, the unjustified evictions, the multiple appeals for the same thing, having two charities neither of which control the plc etc etc is all normal and good examples of "working tolerably well together" then the WSR has bigger problems than at first thought. The other question would be why would you want to settle for working tolerably together? Why not strive for working well together?
    As Tom suggests above the organisation of the WSR is confusing, overlapping and completely unnecessary and has led to a situation where the members of the WSR no longer control their own railway - that is shameful.

    Anyway this conversation is not primarily concerned with the SDRT so I shall now report my own post!

    Keith
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
    Fish Plate, dhpaul, MellishR and 2 others like this.
  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12,946
    Likes Received:
    7,385
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    What should in my view have happened was that when the WSRA became a charity, at the same time, all three groups, if you include the S&DJRT , should have agreed to combine into one organisation, so you only have one body, that were the supporting organisation, that also would have given the group an 18 per cent shareholding, that should have then been the spring board to raise their shareholding to a point where they, not the PLC had the controlling interest. had that happened, the railway would have been the master of its own future, had the freehold, and this whole thing would never have happened, because a rogue chairman could never take on a single combined body that owned the PLC, If he did, he would loose his job very quickly.
     
  19. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    3,938
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Country
    Given the nature and constitutional objectives (at that time) of the S&DRT, I doubt that it would have been practical or feasible to combine them with the WSRA and WSSRT. You might just as well throw the DEPG into the same pot as well, on that basis.

    I would agree in principle with Jamessquared when he wrote "...I probably look at it through a particular lens, but a structure in which the Company operated the railway according to the wishes of the membership organisation; the Membership organisation governed (through a real, or de facto, majority ownership of the company) and the Charity supported would seem much clearer demarcation of roles and responsibilities...". He encapsulates two points which I have made before, namely that (1) the Plc should operate under instructions from an appropriate oversight body and (2) the situation of both the WSRA and WSSRT owning stock, doing restorations, running museums etc is an unnecessary and confusing duplication.

    Ian wrote "..... although the WSR setup may or may not be ideal, it does work tolerably well, enabling each of the different groups to focus on its own objectives whilst all contributing to a general high level picture...." Is that not exactly what the S&DRT has been doing for the past 40-0dd years? So why do we still appear to be no further forward to knowing why this eviction is really taking place?
     
    Fish Plate, Swan Age, 35B and 3 others like this.
  20. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I'd say there aren't any 'members of the WSR'. And that is why 'members of the WSR' have never had control of their own railway. The Plc controls the railway. It always has. Which leads to discussion. Hence this thread. And the 'confusion' continues as it has for the last 49 years. Oh! for change.

    Steve
     

Share This Page