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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Having been a Railway supporter for over 40 years now, it would be a poor do if I didn’t have a few shares.

    However, by far the most tax-efficient way to make financial contributions to the ‘Railway’ is via the Charities.

    One should never forget the value of the vast number of volunteer hours put in by the army of volunteers, to which I have made a minor contribution over the years.

    Robin
     
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  2. The new Pullman Dining Service is advertised as starting from Minehead on certain red timetable dates, completing two return trips back to MD. Presumably a breakfast service will be offered on the 10.00 departure? The implication appears to be that this is a 'walk on' service. But which Pullman car is involved, and what does this mean for the QB? Dining services from MD have been attempted twice in the distant past without much success. Some serious promotion will probably be required to fill dining seats on the 10.00 MD, although an 18-seat Pullman might just be realistic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2019
  3. An interesting note in WSR plc's Strategic Report, under the heading Future Developments and Strategy, talks of a 'major aspiration to test the ability to bring steam back to Taunton'. This appears to signal a change of policy regarding the Taunton link and would seem to conflict with any future plans resulting from trial shuttle services operated by GWR. Perhaps the future involves WSR based shuttle trials, top and tailed by 9466 and a '47' maybe?
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Woah! Could this mean the dedicated track between Norton Fitzwarren and Taunton, which was being bandied about a few years ago? :Wideyed:

    Whilst on the subect of Norton Fitzwarren, is there any realistic case for reopening a station here, either on the WSR or 'the big railway'?
     
  5. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    The most significant figure on that document is the date, 17th May 2018.

    That means that it was submitted one month before I became an investor and as a consequence my name and the value of my gift do not appear. There will be many others whose name and contribution do not appear.

    I wonder when it will be refreshed; end of the trading year perhaps?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  6. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    I thought I read somewhere on here a while back that the old trackbed for the Minehead branch into Taunton was now occupied by various signal cabinets and other such equipment and as a result it's no longer available. Other, more knowledgeable, people on NP will no doubt be able to confirm or deny this.
     
  7. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Shareholder lists have to be updated regularly. However I think they can be submitted on a disc and if that is the case then you have to pay Companies House to send a transcript of the info on the disc.
    I am also aware that it is possible to do a partial update just listing the changes since the last submission. These part submissions are what you generally find on the Companies House web site. A such it would have a list of the most recent sales and of any transfers.
    When I attempted to find a complete list of shareholders some years ago I realised I'd have to look at an awful lot of returns to get a full list and then I'd have to strip out old entries (From what I can tell when you add to your shareholding the new total shareholding is in the part list submitted to Companies House). What I did get was a sense of how many shareholders were on the list. I would not want the job of writing to them or indeed of trying to maintain an up to date register. It's conceivable there could be well over 50,000 names on the shareholder list given there are about 26 million shares issued. Probably why the minimum initial shareholding criteria was adopted.
    Note - pure speculation on my part. Those of you who are shareholders can ask the registrar at the AGM if you care to.
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The information is available online, via https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01010188/filing-history

    Listed under "Filing history" is a confirmation statement for 6th June 2018. It consists of 96 pages, of which 87 list the indiviudal shareholders. I counted 92 names on the first page, so at a rough estimate, there are 8,000 names on the list (92 * 87). There is a subsequent update for 2019, which doesn't list names, but notes a small increase in shareholding. Possibly some new shareholders, but within the margin of error of the calculation, not likely to be wildly different from 8,000 names. In the twelve months between the two statements, about 600,000 shares (i.e. £60,000 value) were issued.

    As you say, the actual number is large (but not 50,000). The annual cost of keeping them informed (i.e. with accounts, notice of meetings) might be considerable, along with how accurate the list is (especially with regard deceased shareholders).

    Tom
     
  9. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Comparison with an 8,000 member organisation.

    8,000 shareholders get an annual report - cost probably about £1/head. During the average year, most (though maybe not all) will not have contributed any cash to the plc in their capacity as shareholders. Their cash contribution was one-off, when they purchased shares. They may well make other contributions - as volunteers, to appeals etc. but they receive the annual report regardless (probably even of still being in the land of the living in some cases, sadly).

    8,000 members will probably cost more as they will expect a periodic magazine (which I suspect shareholders don't get from any Railway), which probably costs about £4/head on top of AGM and other running costs - say £5/head total per annum, maybe £6.

    BUT

    The vast majority of members will be paying an annual subscription of 2 or 3 times that cost - or perhaps even more. (I am not specifically referring to any individual railway here). Life Members won't and arguably have a similar 'better deal' like shareholders, but Life Membership is likely to have cost several times the minimum share subscription, albeit less than some other share subscriptions.

    Both Shareholder benefits and membership privileges have an 'opportunity cost' (or even a cash cost for, say, diner tickets, as well as an opportunity cost).

    Steven
     
  10. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    That's making it sound like the money wouldn't be spent on trackwork! The shares would merely be a side-effect of the money going to trackwork.

    But yes, any such plan should/would have to be discussed and agreed to by the whole WSR 'family' (unlike the unfortunate plan to acquire the freehold).

    Noel
     
  11. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Good spot, not as many as I feared. Notice though the number of folks holding 50 shares. That's £5 worth. All of these people have had an annual report every year and at least one notification of an AGM per year.
     
  12. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    To be hoped there are no suppliers who are owed money.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    A good few years ago a railway I was involved with had a vat inspection and the inspector was adamant that vat should be charged on the subscription, which he considered was a payment for services. After some negotiation, it was agreed that the benefits such as the magazine and train rides were zero rated and the cost of supplying these could be deducted and vat should be charged on the remainder, which he considered to be a vatable charge. We had to demonstrate how many train rides were actually taken on average, not simply say that they were unlimited. I think the agreed figure on which vat was paid was 18% of the subscription. This was paid for several years but, as it seemed that no other society paid vat on their subs income, it was quietly dropped. It was not challenged on a later vat inspection.

    As you say, a grey area.
     
  14. Now the Charity Commission acknowledge that heritage train operation can be classified as being a charitable objective, I would go further. Some advocate, and indeed operate, with a charity running an operating subsidiary. This model is increasingly viewed as outdated elsewhere in the sector.
     
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  15. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    The current chair of the PLC is no or was not in favour of the two charities merging.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    One of the commonest reasons why track cannot be reinstated is the movement of signalling equipment nearer to what remains of the line at any point. Whilst the space where the track was may remain there is now a massive amount of 'kit' in the way. True of Norton to Taunton.
     
  17. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Hi Robin, noted. was using old info.
     
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  18. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

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    What's the preferred setup now, then?

    Noel
     
  19. A compelling case for a unified structure seems to be emerging, that structure being a (single) charity. The Swanage appears to be heading that way.
     
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  20. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting this. That is a staggering loss. I have read the BBC report. Given the comments of JJP reported by the BBC (that to those of us used to looking at company accounts) his comments seem bizarre. Given the extended trading period and extension to the accounts etc, this is not good news.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     

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