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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    A friend once described Russian literature to me as a character reappearing on page 800 who hasn't been mentioned since page 4, and you're trying to remember who they are and what they did. That feeling.

    Patrick
     
  2. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    Surely the key phrase is " not costed in to the equation " . Perhaps you should reconsider as to who might
    warrant the epithet "clueless "

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  3. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sadly, that post speaks rather more about you than anything or anyone else. But if you had read more than 3 lines, you’d have seen an interesting scheme able to benefit both the area and the railway. Instead, I sense a grasping refusal to accept reciprocal obligations.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    The plc own 9351 and 7828. My understand is they all but own 53808 in the agreement with the S&DJRT - pay for it's overhauls and everyday running costs.
     
  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    One final word Rodney. After reading your post and replying above I have to say I got more and more angry. I have just worked out why that is.

    The BESTT scheme is focused on training young people who for various reasons society haven’t given a chance to and as a result they could have taken the wrong path. The scheme which is available nationally using various host railways gives disadvantaged people a start on the road to better things and a constructive future.

    The recruitment criteria was focused on a set of social needs set by HLF. Over the period I was involved I saw three young men grow in confidence and ability, they went from scrap heap to having a chance. All three of those young men raised to the challenge and took the opportunity they were given. All three have moved onto better things and I’m proud to say they have all thanked me and I hope they consider me a friend now.

    The last year has been a painful experience having lost my hobby through people like you but if I have achieved nothing other than seeing these three move forward under their own steam then every last negative attack from people like you Michael, Frank & JJP will have been worth every single minute, in fact it was a privilege.

    I think I’ve made a difference and completed a social responsibility and I’m never going to say sorry for that. I’d like to thank BESTT (Henry & Martin) and HLF for supporting this scheme and long may it continue on other railways.

    Rant over.
     
  6. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    But where do you put the old Buffers?:):)
     
  7. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Just count back a couple of posts and you will find the detail that you are looking for.
     
  8. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    Andy

    This sentence of yours I am afraid sums up the misunderstandings of your concept of financial benefit. You say that the PLC were paid for their time, and yet you also say the money went "straight to the bottom line". In all the business contexts I have come across - quite a lot - the term "bottom line" is a colloquialism for profit. If the PLC is spending £14,400 of staff time on trainee mentoring then it is certainly not going to the bottom line. If it is actually going to the bottom then, as you will know, it will be a contravention of the terms of the bid. It cannot be doing both.

    I sat through your presentation to the PLC board before it was submitted. I didn't understand what the benefit to the railway was then, and I still don't, despite your multiple extensive posts to this forum and other public presentations. I made my views known to the Board at the time, but I was a minority voice. Chickens and roosts come to mind.

    If you really want to support the railway then the other phrase that comes to mind is "least said, soonest mended." You don't seem to be familiar with this.

    Frank
     
  9. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Frank

    You missed the line: "All the PLC had to do was treat the Trainees the same way as any volunteer joining the shed team who needed shadowing and developing, nothing more, not even the paperwork evidence (which I did for free)". If three new volunteers had turned up looking to work in the shed you as a Board Director would not have wanted them to pay £14,400 for their being looked after by others, so why apply a cost which is not there ?

    However I will go into the next layer of detail seeing you ask. the PLC paid staff in MD shed could have claimed this money in addition to their salaries for acting as mentors above their normal tasks, that was authorised by the PLC and the HR Manager. Those very positive WSR people decided not to take the money but still support the scheme, they gave their own time to help three young adults. Thus the £14,400 did go straight to the PLC bottom line.

    But lets stop this stupidity of too much detail now, I know you have hated everything I have ever done, you have told me often enough and that's OK you are entitled to your opinion.
     
  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    @rodders154 I am simply an enthusiast who visits the line from time to time.

    Let us look at what is in the public domain. I have met none of the characters involved apart from a few conversations with @Robin Moira White so I can form no judgement on anyone involved.

    The WSR came very close to going bust & had a visit from the ORR whose report by all account didnt make pretty reading.

    Clearly these were situations that had been brewing for many years.

    The PLC has now served notice to quit on the S&DRT at Washford despite signing a 50 year lease two years ago and issued a press release calling them a 'Cuckoo in the nest' This has had the hardly surprising effect of crystallizing many of the issues that arise with the current board and of course in a movement that seems to rely a great deal on trust, mutual assistance and forebearance does the wider WSR no favours.

    To top it all we have Coronavirus when the WSR will need all the help it can get. While the outbreak would not have appeared on any railways Risk Register, the WSR will need all the help it can get and all the Washford situation does is to make it less likely that they will get the help they need.

    So, as a former board member while you are clearly bound by 'collective responsibility' indeed as far as board matters are concerned those former board members who post on this thread have all done so, I wonder if you - and others might perhaps mull over what has happened so far and if these really represent 'Good Governance' and could indeed should the WSR have been run better.

    More importantly can we concentrate on the message not the messenger
     
  11. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Well, my original post did say that "the blame is not evenly divided, and most of the WSR community are good people". So how can that be true... and at the same time it be correct that "until everyone in the WSR truly believes 'I am part of the problem', it will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis''? Well, let's go back to the beginning.

    The WSR has been through a long series of crises, starting with the freehold, down to trying to kick out the S&DRT. NatPres, and the commenters here, didn't cause any of those crises. We may have given them publicity (and I can see how that would have been upsetting - and I actually really do sympathize), but the basic causes in each case necessarily had to be inside the WSR, and not out here.

    The detailed causes in each particular case will vary - but what's the common thread? Surely it's not just bad luck that so many things have happened to one line? That's what we're all scratching our heads about.

    To me, it's instructive that that the response that caught my eye ("So why are you trying to close it?") was to be hostile to a one-time insider. Where did that come from, and why?

    I think @Jamessquared is onto something with his comment about 'lack of introspection', but in a way that's just a restatement of my "they all have to look in the mirror".

    But ask yourself 'What is it about the WSR's culture where 'So why are you trying to close it?' is apparently seen as an appropriate answer?'

    I don't want to go on about that particular case, because it's just one person, and a minor point; but I think it's very illustrative of an attitude that may be behind this puzzling long string of things.

    But I don't think we can solve it, if so; it has to come from inside. Hence my "I reckon that until everyone in the WSR truly believes 'I am part of the problem', it will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis."

    (And sorry if I haven't explained it all clearly; recovering from corona, and my brain's not working quite as well as it usually does.)

    Noel
     
  12. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    The loco is owned by the S&DRT - period .
     
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  13. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    ditto
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    An excellent post, and sorry to hear you came down with the dreaded virus, glad to hear you're recovering. :)
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    And I was under the impression that 7828 is owned by the WSRA, Its interesting isn't it, that over the last two days, people who never normally post on this subject are doing so, in a way that clearly supports the board, its almost as if an instruction has gone out, your either with us, or against us ? in this whole sad situation, yes it's sad, no one wins, everyone loses, people who love and gave time to the WSR now no longer welcome, old friends now unable to agree to disagree, it will all come to a head, it has to, one way or another,
     
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  16. huochemi

    huochemi Well-Known Member Friend

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    7828 appeared to be owned by an unidentified finance co (on a sale and leaseback arrangement) as at the last reporting date (this is based on joining the dots, as the language of the annual report was rather contradictory). Has that been paid off and ownership transferred back?
     
  17. Herald

    Herald Member

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    Many organisations thrive on seeking and listening to the widest possible range of views. Organisations which employ clones of a dominant personality rarely thrive in the longer term.

    Many readers, myself included, always read to the end of the posts and I'm sure many of us have learnt much about how to obtain grants by doing so. We may have also gained an insight into the very common closed minds of Somerset where things are always different :)

    So are you claiming Andy lied to the Board? Or are you saying that the Board was inept and didn't understand what it was signing up to or being charitable was it that after signature it then became so focused on immediate challenges it simply had no time to nurture Andy's clearly explained strategy for using this initial grant as a catalyst towards further grants?

    It seems the PLC couldn't even be bothered to take money for school trips on its trains which the grant would have funded and as Andy has explained were designed to be self managing and to use otherwise empty seats so maybe it deserves to get "diddly squat"

    To this and I suspect many other readers it is entirely clear that, as ever on the WSR, a small self interested group are determined to have their way and as ever the railway is suffering as a result. I once heard it said that British Rail's greatest success was in managing decline sadly this may be an aspect of the past the WSR is seeking to emulate.:(
     
  18. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    We know that individuals have been called and thanked for volunteering. You would have thought that all volunteers would have been contacted, including the 40% who have recently departed. I wonder why a more effective communication strategy was not used ?

    All rather obvious really, a few honeyed words, perhaps a bit of flattery and maybe even a few hints of advancement leading to a place at the top table in the fullness of time. All without a shred of substance as agreements are dissolved in a heartbeat.
     
  19. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    I was quite concerned before getting it (I gather we're mostly all going to get it eventually; and I was in several high-risk groups for bad outcomes - > 60, diabetic, etc), so in a way I'm quite relieved to have come down with it - now I don't have to worry! :) Easy to say, of course, given that I didn't have the aforementioned bad outcome! Hopefully chloroquine will help many of the not so lucky who do get that outcome.

    Noel
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I have to say that I am totally baffled by the whole matter, in terms of the government's advice, its promises, forecasts and the reality of the situation. I don't know whether to stay at home and starve to death, or go out to buy food, get the virus and die that way. Either way, I may never to get ride on the first train across Chelfham Viaduct or witness peace break out across the WSR - which ever (if either) may come first :)
     
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