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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Quite frankly, this is a statement of the bleedin' obvious. It has been pointed out many times before that any heritage railway quickly becomes a pastiche of what it once was - it has to in order to survive. in the modern environment. The Tallylyn is a good example of a railway that is sort-of unchanged yet is nothing like what it was when it ended its days as a working line. The inevitabilty of change shouldn't mean that we cannot try to portray as realistic as possible a pastiche though.
     
  2. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Unfortunately, judging by the response of management to the shareholders which was to say that they would not engage with anything outside official channels, I suspect the answer is no. Which re-enforces my point about a cultural of managerialism that values only its own views and refuses to engage or listen to other stakeholders. 'We're the masters, we know best.'
     
  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The issue with that view is that, of all the stakeholder groups, the volunteers interest in this is the one that has no legal basis. As discussed on that thread, they are outside employment law protections, while the charity and company law obligations under which heritage railways are organised mean that the interests of the volunteers and supporters have no standing.
     
  4. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that unfair - channelling communications is often a necessity. What it doesn't preclude is listening to other channels and factoring them in.
     
  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I wonder if you are over-interpreting that phrase “not engaging outside official channels” to mean “not listening”. I can’t comment on the SVR case, but I know in Bluebell circles we have an “unofficial Facebook” page, which is quite lively and has a high number of volunteers active on that page. It’s very rare for anyone in the directorship / trustee roles to ever post, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t read. Quite frequently an issue that generates a lot of comment in that forum will get some kind of official response through one of the official communications channels in due course. So lack of comment in every channel is not the same as not listening.

    It’s also worth remembering that for those in director / trustee roles across most railways, they are also overwhelmingly volunteers as well. That comes with the all the same strengths and weaknesses of volunteers in more traditional operations / maintenance roles: ie generally they are filling those roles because they are passionate about the railway, but they also have time constraints set by having a life outside the railway, and in many cases demanding day jobs.

    Tom
     
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  6. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    This was what was said (emphasis mine):

    I am not sure how else that can be interpreted.

    There have also been posts in this thread from people who have written and basically been told 'tough decision has been made'.

    I will note that in my experience at railways and elsewhere, when people stop listening and don't keep their ear to the ground is when minor issues become major issues. As a director or senior manager you might be a lightening rod but if you keep your ear to the ground you can dissipate the clouds before they become a storm and you get struck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  7. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    We have also seen commentary from that management about how they have considered their position.

    I stand by my view that it’s reasonable to say that if you want to influence policy, you have to approach directly rather than use external fora. The issue with that comes when there are reasonable suspicions that such feedback will result in adverse consequences. This, however, is Bridgnorth rather than Minehead or Rowsley.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    We are talking at somewhat crossed purposes. If you want to influence management then use official channels or the most effective other channels. However, if you are management and want to know or care about what people think then you need to keep your ear to the ground, read the graffiti in the toilets, listen to mess room chit chat, social media rants and remember it isn't weakness to admit to being wrong and to change your mind and your approach.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  9. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    If it was, then it the posts on this thread about the most successful railways recreate the past would not be there. I don't think the pastiche is remotely as realistic as it could be - the war weekends and the like being a case in point. You don't see the reenactment of the bad bits - all easily recreatable. It's an evocation of what the past was remembered to be. Andy why should there be? it's a day out. Nothing wrong with that, but don't lets kid ourselves that it is realistic except in the narrowest viewpoint
     
  10. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    All true but how do we square that with the educational role that most of the supporting charities are required to fulfill?
     
  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Education is about more than "living museum" style recreation of the past; events such as war weekends are occasional, and not how they attempt to discharge that core function.
     
  12. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The pastiche that we supply is there for visitors to use and augment with their own imaginations, the better our pastiche and the less they have to imagine the better, though, and it is often the smallest details that are the most influential in that regard. Railways in wartime events are a case in point: as you say, people prefer mot to dwell on the adversity but rather on what they see as the positive "can-do" attitude, bravery and the camaraderie of the time which are things we should celebrate. Railways mirror that. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it does highlight much that is positive about the past, including the role our railways have played in society at differing ages.
     
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  13. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    Deaths
    Financial pressures (people having hours cut etc)
    People finding new interests

    I wouldn't be too concerned with one years figures, you need to wait & see if there is a trend.



    The static museums get much more stuff gifted to them, whole buildings, shop contents, etc.
    Their operating costs are largely building maintenance & staff, no locos to fuel!
    They also have more opportunities to get money from people, without it being out of place. BCLM have a pub, sweet shop, fish & chips, cafe.


    Now if anyone that owns an old carriage would like to donate it,
    & 'enthusiasts' didn't moan about a heritage railway not being branch line enough because they have a shop/cafe/pub...



    The Imperial War Museum aren't gassing, shooting & bombing their visitors.

    Battles, aerial attacks etc are re-enacted, by specialists at big events. They are not easily recreatable.
    (You need pyro, safe zones, & a landowner that is willing to have their field wrecked)

    Also, what are you trying to re-enact?
    Railways in the UK saw; military personnel going off to the wars, some moved to hospitals (but with injuries already largely dealt with), child evacuees, movement of equipment & goods.
    The 'bad bits' were either overseas/at sea, or hidden away from the public.
     
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  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    There were many aspects of railways, particularly running up to the end of steam operation, that were hardly complimentary, with locomotives begrimed, rolling stock in a tatty condition and stations in a run down appearance.
    These views are generally avoided by heritage lines. ;)
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    A question purely out of self interest.

    Is there a more up-to-date gala timetable than the one dated 24/8/21? I ask because Loco #6 is not going and Loco #7 is not shown.
    Do I assume that #6 is now 4953 and #7 is 43106 or has the whole pack been reshuffled?
     
  16. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    https://www.svr.co.uk/pdf/2021/Autumn Steam Gala Public Timetable FINAL.pdf on the website is dated 8/9/21

    Patrick
     
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  17. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Something we do at my place of work, ok we aren’t as big an organisation as the SVR but we certainly try and check out our reviews and web chatter about us, if we’re not doing something right, we want to know about it and what can we do to improve in that area,
    Ok one or two people might not like what we do but if there’s a significant number saying ‘this isn’t right’ then maybe it’s time to take a little look in the mirror and see what could be done to affect a positive change.
     
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  18. gwralatea

    gwralatea Member

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    Personally I think some people are getting too hung up on 'will not read or react' - having worked in corporate comms that is a totally standard phrase which means the following:

    1) of course we're going to read it
    2) it absolves us from spending all day every day reading it though because we're not going to react on there
    3) by saying it anyone who really cares is going to send us an email, which will filter the number of things we have to overtly read and react to
    4) of course we're going to react to 1, but because we've told you that we won't, you might not notice when we do and we can plausibly say it's not because of what was written because obviously we didn't read it

    it's fairly standard engagement management, and actually I've got more time for it than the ones who deny that's what they do... Basically it means you only read the unofficial fora for temperature taking background stuff, and the detail comes to you direct.
     
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  19. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    Just what have the SVR done to the station lights at Highley, forget creating a heritage atmosphere with warm cosy lighting, the new LED lights are completely the wrong colour temperature and instead of Highley being a wonderfully atmospheric place to sit in the evening of an autumn gala its now akin to sitting in the glare of an NSE bus shelter, the atmosphere has been destroyed.

    Nothing against LED lights but please get ones that maintain the steam railway atmosphere. Bewdley & Hampton Loade keep their warm lights but there are one or two cold bright lights creeping in at Arley too. The SVR need to be aware, light is a very powerful tool in creating atmosphere, look at the master of lighting the Disney parks and how they use lighting to convey mood, atmosphere, time and place.
     
  20. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Lights are sometimes to help with security recording after dark and some lights are better than others. I'd take it on trust that it may be a thought through decision over the desire to recreate 1930.
     
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