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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it is excellent news. Let's hope it isn't too late. Good luck with this endeavour, Robin.

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  2. 60044

    60044 Member

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    He should have paid more attention - only Goathland- Levisham is moorland!
     
  3. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Indeed. However, I sense from what I read that the multiplicity of appeals may continue, at least for some while.

    I would argue that, if people decide they want to donate to "the WSR" then it must be made as easy for them as possible, with maximum benefit to the railway. Whilst recognising there may be difficulties, I would argue that there needs to be one single Gift-Aided donation 'point of call' - they go there, click, pay their money, job done. Simples! What that money may be used for, and how it will be distributed within the railway family, can be decided internally within the WSR - why must the public have to make the choice, for the 'average visitor' it probably does not bother them anyway?
     
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  4. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    You highlight the key difficulty in this discussion. For good or ill, control of the WSR plc has become centred in one individual over the last 18 months. In that period there have been a number of issues where the role of the plc as a body has been central. Another business controlled by that individual has also been subject to legal proceedings over how it conducted its business, and other reports exist, not to that person’s credit. Looking at publicly available information on businesses associated with that person begs questions about both the business model and how much there is behind them - and by implication the WSR.

    It is therefore becoming impossible to distinguish ball and man when considering much of what is happening on the West Somerset Railway. Indeed, noting pro and anti posts, what comes across is how central that individual is to the discussion.

    My conclusion, from the outside, is simply an ethical one - the conduct of the plc has of late been on a par with that of a number of businesses with which I refuse to deal. And, just as my need for sports kit can be met without Sports Direct, so my need for preserved railways can be met without the WSR plc.


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  5. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    I would urge a sense check on that, if cash is needed for a non-charitable purpose (like paying staff national insurance and pension contributions from 1st August, for example)

    Patrick
     
  6. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    I didn't overlook them so much as consider them to be small fry compared to the populations of the catchment areas I mentioned for the SVR and the NYMR
     
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  7. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    If the plc needs money, then it is up to the plc to find it. Selling shares. Hitting up every business support scheme available, fighting for tax deferrals etc. Which is why you don't wan't to alienate your local politicians.

    The supporting charities may be able to find ways to spend more with the plc, eg. work on carriages, a grant to refurbish a building etc, & those items can include staff costs directly related to the project.
    But, that expenditure must be at the instigation of the charities

    However, that does not prevent the WSRA & WSSRT being more efficient with fundraising for their own purposes.
    Again, it's why they should merge.*
    Fundraising fees, banking charges etc are non-linear, so a combined entities costs won't be the same as two separated ones.
    There would also be savings on professional fees, membership comms, etc etc. Savings into the £thousands per year, which is more money that can be spent on the charities objectives.



    *I challenge anyone that is dead set against a merger to explicitly state why, & to publicly offer to cover the duplicated expenses.
     
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  8. 60044

    60044 Member

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    It's a welcome step in the right direction, but it seems to me this is all about targeting those who are already "informed supporters", and there's a limit to how much it may be possible to squeeze from them. The really big sums lie elsewhere and are difficult to access under the current structure are probably going to stay out of reach.
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Good news indeed, and certainly a step in the right direction. Not to take anything away from this initiative, but it does highlight the odd structure of the WSR which really does need reforming sooner rather than later, when such an initiative is required in the first place. But like I said, I don't mean that as a criticism, I'm genuinely pleased and hopeful.
     
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  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I've come round a little on this. Merging still feels like the ideal option for me, but a change of focus for the WSSRT could still help matters and perhaps be slightly less radical and thus more acceptable. If the WSSRT were to much more clearly be a charity purely focusing on museums and the GWR carriages, and stop trying to be another pan-railway charity, it might help focus things, and pleny of other railways have a dedicated museums type charity separate fro the main railway organisations. It would still need to pass its shareholding in the Plc over as that still muddies the waters in my view, but that might cease to be a problem if wider structural change occurs instead.
     
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  11. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    When the beast of what ever is stalking them, they tend to sweep very majestically , perhaps we should encourage re wilding on the North Yorkshire moors, lions, bears wolves, ok you might need to recruit sharpshooters to accompany your PW teams to ensure no one gets taken by a roving lion, but i bet that would liven things up.
     
  12. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Taking the 'WSR heat' out of the argument, the SVR took a decision to route donations via the PLC. You can still buy shares, you can still donate to the charity, but the default donation is to the PLC.

    A railway PLC has a one-way cash flow at the moment. Only they can say if their cash flow needs might be met by other fundraising but one way to find it is to ask for donations. Having a well-funded charity offering to fund an overhaul or education project is welcome but won't pay the PLC's next lease payment or insurance premium. So, IMO, it's not a given that for any line (a) there needs to be one single Gift-Aided donation 'point of call' or (b) they'd would be wrong to take a different view.

    Patrick
     
  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Mention there's a Welshman on the way with a look of lust in his eyes...
     
  14. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    :)
    They tend to trot rather than sweep...

    4CC944DF-1419-4318-A39E-03ED46B40150.jpeg
     
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  15. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

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    The S&DRT own 2 locos, a First Class carriage, 2 other carriages, wagons, track & a shed.
    No debt.

    Strange how you don't want to mention the 7F, even though it was "The first major locomotive overhaul to be completed by the WSR back in 1987"
    (quote is from the WSRs own website)




    What on earth do you mean by 'home to'?

    Lets go through your list;
    Two Manors; presumable Odney Manor & Ditcheat Manor. Well, the first one is owned by the plc, but it has an asset-backed loan against it. The second one is owned by the WSRA & is on static display in a shopping centre in Swindon.
    45xx; 4561? Owned by the WSRA & currently being overhauled.
    51xx; 9351
    7F; ah, now it gets a mention. Oh yeah, owned by S&DRT, the very people you think should 'move on'

    No mention of 4110, which the plc sold at the beginning of 2019...


    So, the WSRplc owns one steam loco, & has a second on finance. It's also got other loans.
    Two others are owned by a connected organisation, & are not in use. (which the plc owes money to & has triggered a report to the Charity Commission)

    That is somehow massively better than not owning locos & being debt free. Hmmm...

    Nothing wrong with hiring locos. Even the WSR does it ;)
    It's also what the plc Chair does with his ;)
     
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  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Very much reminded of the expression of having people think your fool rather than opening your mouth and confirming it.
     
  17. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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  19. Glenmutchkin

    Glenmutchkin New Member

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  20. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    It is a legal term... Quite why it’s used here with the confidentiality wording I fail to understand.


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