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.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,412
    Likes Received:
    14,901
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Just to be clear, are you saying this has happened, was at some stage planned to happen, or just merely pointing out that something was technically possible as an intellectual exercise?
     
  2. Eric Tyler

    Eric Tyler New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Wasn’t there talk many years ago about moving the Minehead station from its present site towards Seaward Way. The vacated seafront site would have great potential for redevelopment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes Received:
    5,463
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I am not sure I would trust Jones Pratt as far as I could throw him. (let's not humanize him by using initials). It does seem that there is more intent than incompetence behind the decisions being made by the WSR.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
    jnc likes this.
  4. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,143
    Likes Received:
    1,837
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I think we’ve been this way before.

    You are required to file a form at Companies House within one month of any allotment of shares. The last form was as 17 May 2019 so, were due process to have been followed, there has been no shares allotted since then. By my reckoning £1m would be enough to get a 29.9% share (maximum without having the make an offer for all the shares, and possibly enough for effective control).

    Maximum authorised allotment 35,000,000

    Allotted at 17 May 2019: 23,270,843

    The directors can therefore allot up to 11,729,157 more shares, being 34% of maximum allotment, without a General Meeting to increase the maximum.

    Patrick
     
  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    3,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Happy to clarify. To my knowledge this has not happened, yet (share acquisition).

    It was explained to me as the plan for the WSR PLC in detail, from two people who could not be closer. It was explained to me in late 2018 after the new chairman took over. One person was clearly recruiting me as a part of 'the new team' for a privately owned WSR, it seemed they were impressed with my money generating and organisational skills and wanted me to continue.

    The plan as explained at the time was something that would take some time to implement.

    Given the PLC is perhaps near the financial end yet still actively trying to buy the freehold tells you something is not right here ?

    I've always felt, it is for the people of the WSR, (WSRA, WSSRT, DEPG, PDG, S&DRT) & The Community to decide what they want for their railway. Nobody has done anything so far to stop this, yet they have also not agreed publicly with it either. So they must be happy with whats happening due to the silence. Many Trustees knew of this plan because I and others have told them during the last year a number of times, perhaps many thought it would never happen and perhaps some think they want it to be a private railway. If they are happy for it to become that then so be it.

    Currently the decision about the future of the WSR is still in their hands as shareholders, stakeholders & volunteers, but maybe, perhaps not for much longer one way or another ?
     
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,412
    Likes Received:
    14,901
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thank you. Very clear, and very, very worrying.

    I await the character assassinations all round in lieu of actual defence of these aims and actions...
     
    Forestpines, Greenway, ghost and 3 others like this.
  7. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,054
    Likes Received:
    1,829
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Straight question : Who are the major shareholders in the PLC and who elects, or appoints, the Directors ?
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    20,651
    Likes Received:
    37,607
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The major shareholders are WSRA (9%); WSSRT (a smidgeon under 9%); SCC (2.5%); thousands of other individual and corporate shareholders but no-one else individually has more than 0.5%. Data correct as at mid 2018 which is the last publicly accessible share register, but the number of allotted shares hasn't changed dramatically since then.

    Tom
     
    The Dainton Banker likes this.
  9. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    3,419
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It's deja vu all over again as they say. Last time around, the money was understood to be coming from an individual who had access to significant private wealth. The land at Washford was to be used for holiday chalets etc. etc. etc.
    Well done Maverick.

    Well here we are again. The plc profess to being broke so they can't be planning to spend money on a non essential purchase. The references made to "my business" and "my railway" made over a year ago in a stakeholders meeting were perhaps a little unguarded but we can all draw own conclusions. Well done too SCC for standing their ground.
     
  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,693
    Likes Received:
    5,463
    Location:
    Here, there, everywhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The PLC also doesn't have the money for 88's overhaul either apparently...
     
    jnc likes this.
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,412
    Likes Received:
    14,901
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    They were worrying enough at the time, I don't think anyone imagined quite how "My railway" he intended it to be.
     
    5944 likes this.
  12. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    3,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    All approx figures. 23,000,000 PLC Shares.

    1.WSRA: 2,000,000 (9%)
    2.WSSRT: 1,900,000 (9%)
    3. SCC: 600,000 (I maybe 100k out here so very approx).
    4. Balance: held in penny packs from 1,000 to 50,000 by individuals.

    Its believed that approx 50% of shares are unaccounted for (people passed away, forgotten, etc.)

    Directors should be voted in by standing before an AGM (between 60 & 30 days I think without checking). However the current PLC Chairman during 2019 stated in public that due to the situation no Directors would be accepted for the PLC unless they applied to him directly and served a 3 month 'probation' period before being accepted by him. The 2019 AGM was an invitation only affair with no new people standing.

    The previous PLC AGM under the last Chairman was called late and within the period where anybody standing had to gain permission of an existing Director as a 'late' application (inside 30 days of the AGM). One person to my knowledge asked to do so but was refused by the then Chairman.

    The way people join the PLC Board in the past few years has been mainly by co-option as invitation from other PLC Directors. In effect its currently and has been a closed shop with unopposed voting in, meaning 1 vote and you are elected once you are in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  13. M Palmer

    M Palmer Guest

    This is probably a stupid question but can either the WSRA or WSSRT block a new share issue/allotment if they were so inclined as it stands? I ask because it seems if there is a new share issue up to the maximum and someone unscrupulous were to purchase the whole shebang, it would essentially be all over.
     
  14. baldbazza

    baldbazza Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT geek
    Location:
    miles away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Ok, so purely conjecture...
    SCC gives WSR the freehold of the railway but keeps the station and all land west of the level crossing to sell for redevelopment. No need then to replace the expensive level crossing either. Some arrangement made for a basic station east of Seaward Way. Loco works etc moves to a nicely-cleared piece of spare railway land in Washford.
     
    Eric Tyler likes this.
  15. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,964
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    If JJP gets his way then I trust he has the means to employ the staff to run the railway, the finance to repair its infrastructure and the finance to repair the rolling stock and locos. None of that is cheap and I can't see volunteers rushing to volunteer their time/money to help someone else make money.

    Keith
     
    Bluenosejohn, johnofwessex and 35B like this.
  16. M Palmer

    M Palmer Guest

    Except for the guilt trip that already seems to be being employed, "oh if you don't help out then the railway will go bankrupt and be torn down" etc. There are always kind souls to be manipulated alas.
     
    jnc and Greenway like this.
  17. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    14,375
    Likes Received:
    8,705
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Yet when I made the observation that he might be planning to go along the Dartmouth Route, Some people said I was far wide of the mark, I would say, the WSR does indeed have a Cuckoo in its midst, and its not the S&D trust.
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,412
    Likes Received:
    14,901
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    One other question occurs to me arising from the plan revealed by @Andy Norman today; if the plan involved buying WSR Plc shares at a knockdown price when the Plc went into administration, then err, why hasn't it happened yet? We have been told (and how accurate this was was never really resolved on here) that the difficult decisions made by Mr Jones-Pratt successfully avoided the Plc going into administration. Has the "opportunity" for want of a better word, for this plan to be enacted now passed?

    Presumably if there's nothing to this, there would be absolutely no problem with the WSSRT and WSRA publicly stating that, purely generally, and surely just re-iterating what ought to be obvious to everyone, that they support the WSR as an entity owned and run for and by its volunteers and members, not a small controlling board. What would be controversial about stating that, either here as an individual trustee (as surely it is already policy, even if not explicitly written down)?
     
    jnc, The Dainton Banker and ross like this.
  19. Blackdown Boy

    Blackdown Boy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2019
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    81
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and retiring from volunteering.
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer

    In these circumstances an MPD at Dunster would make more sense.
     
  20. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,412
    Likes Received:
    14,901
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I rather suspect they genuinely expected the WSR to continue to be able to be operated by a largely volunteer workforce rather than any desire to go down the paid staff for everything route, although the difference between their desire and reality may be one of many routes to their (and the WSR's if it goes through) downfall.
     

Share This Page