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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I criticise the board precisely because I want the WSR to survive and because the current management and their supporters are, in my opinion, taking the line in the wrong direction. Their decisions, behaviour and attitude towards others on the WSR, the local community, and within railway preservation is nothing short of a disgrace. It is not people on this forum or Facebook who are destroying the WSR it is the senior management and those who support, tolerate or turn a blind eye to the way senior figures on the WSR are behaving and the decisions being made.

    Why would I support with time or money a board that evicts long standing tenants, removes dissenting volunteers, launches legal actions against critics? As much as I like the WSR I cannot support an organisation where senior managers behave in this way and treat other people so badly.

    Nat Pres and Facebook didn’t create this situation. The PLC board did. If you want to blame someone, look closer than home than here.
     
  2. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    Well done & well put across, keep up the good work behind the Western Front :)
     
  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Curious, after all the pages of comment about the WSR over a long time, suddenly a new Member posts - apparently well connected with the WSR. I wonder if that has any connection with the new direction of the Facebook page?
     
    nine elms fan likes this.
  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Mark,

    I understand that you are a WSR board member.

    I want the WSR to survive this crisis & reopen next year.

    BUT I believe that the decision to evict the S&DRT, aside from any other issues, significantly impairs the WSR's ability to raise funds at this very difficult time.

    What do you think, and more to the point why?

    I may disagree with your conclusions, BUT I may be able to understand your reasoning.

    I -we look forward to your reply

    John
     
  5. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    We have some long standing members who I know are both supportive of the WSR leadership and upset, even hurt by the critique offered by many on here . I wish they would acknowledge the fair issues highlighted and either voice their support for the board actions or use their counsel to try and guide the board on a more acceptable path

    what we have seen are new members , Pro WSR board , some hell bent on trolling and spamming the thread and some who trot out the same rehearsed board message
     
  6. smithersmark600

    smithersmark600 New Member

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    For clarity I am a volunteer and NOT on the board in any capacity!
     
  7. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Those whose only purpose was trolling really did not reflect well on the WSR, if that is how WSR staff and volunteers typically behave
     
  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    can you then confirm the following

    you support the eviction of the S&D Trust
    Calling the S&D trust a "cuckoo in the nest" was perfectly acceptable business practice
    terminating the overhaul agreement of a loco is perfectly acceptable business practice

    I presume in your parallel world that a petition for change from the volunteers is a positive endorsement for the boards actions
    i also presume in your parallel world that the appeal performance is world class

    could you also comment on why Board members were seeking loco hire on social media , and why it took social media to reveal that running was impossible with outstanding trackworks , loss of key personnel , questions now arise on the level crossing . Questions have to be raised on manangement performance especially as many comparable lines have restarted running , while the WSR seems incapable of presenting a coherent plan on what is needed and when any form of running is likely

    yes small issues like a bus running out of fuel would not be mentioned were it any other line, but when added to the list of WSR story it builds an image of increasing disarray
     
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Hello, welcome to the forum! :)

    No one has ever suggested otherwise. I am sure that, on the ground, the WSR is a delightful place to volunteer and I know it is a magnificent place to visit.

    I'm curious as to who you're singling out specifically. There are several committed WSR volunteers who have been critical of current management decisions. (In my mind there is always Tony Ben saying "It's about issues, not personalities!") To say we don't care is not true at all. It would be a major disaster in the preservation world of the WSR were to go under. It simply mustn't be allowed to happen. We are all railway enthusiasts here, and none of us want a long established railway like the WSR to fail. I cannot emphasise this enough. It is for this very reaosn that people are here so concerned about what they are hearing, because we believe on its current trajectory, the WSR failing is a real risk.

    I do actually, and I suspect plenty of other folk on here as volunteers on other railways do as well. I stress again, no one on here is having a go at the bulk of the volunteer (or staff) workforce of the WSR. Where you get that impression of I have no idea.

    Please point to any instance where anyone has been laughing about the situation the WSR finds itself in. I haven't seen anyone be anything but deeply concerned. I couldn't live with myself watching the WSR go bust on its current trajectory, as I see it, if there was anything I could have done to help prevent it.

    I'm sure the board are working incredibly hard indeed - although I'm not sure many railway chairmen have the time to moderate unofficial Facebook groups as well! I'm less sure the board is more than one man at the moment unfortunately in effect. And unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be taking the railway forward very quickly, it being the only major railway not aiming to run any trains this year.
    It's a lot more than not liking the man though. I can put up with not liking people. It is the policies that are inextricably linked with the current board that I object strongly to. Withdrawal of HR policies and unfair dismissal of volunteer "troublemakers", telling the former WSRA chairman to F*** off, reneging on the Washford contract, reneging on the 7F contract etc. etc. If none of those things had happened, my opinion on the chairman as a man would be neither here nor there, for I have barely met him and I wouldn't have anything to judge him on.

    I'm truly sorry you feel that way. I can know it must be horrible to see people criticising your railway. But please, I assure you, we are not criticising the railway. The railway is much bigger than any individual board, they come and go, and it is they who we are criticising. Not you, not anyone weeding the track, re-painting the station, nor working on P'way.
     
  10. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    My apologies @smithersmark600. I did indeed assume, from your username, and from your message, that you were Mark Smith the Vice-Chairman of the WSR! And there was me reading back up the thread and having a laugh about the mix-up about two different Alans. Which I won't go into....
     
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  11. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    I can understand that, many here will also.
    However, it is a pity; you may have been able to influence the present direction of the leadership.
     
  12. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Why though? The S&DRT don't contribute to the running of trains on the WSR other than through 53808, but one locomotive does not make a railway.

    I can see the arguement for them moving on if the space could provide better use in running trains across the railway. The new tenancy should never have been granted if the rent is as cheap as has been stated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  13. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    Why?

    Because evicting the S&DRT led to very bad feeling amongst a lot of longstanding volunteers on the WSR.
    This went public and led to a lot of bad press for the WSR.
    The WSR (PLC board) then poured petrol on the flames by using the words 'Cuckoo in the nest' and publicly announcing that they would not honour the hire agreement for 53808.
    53808 is now leaving the railway.
    The wider world looks in upon all this and sees yet another bewildering turns of events that doesn't look like a trustworthy place to do business, donate, or spend grant funding.
    Grant funders and potential donors think, "Hmmm not sure about this, I think I'll take my money elsewhere".

    Ergo, no matter what the perceived operational benefit to the WSR PLC of 'taking back control' of Washford, all of that is outweighed by the damage done as described above.
     
    Hirn, ross, Triumph 2500S and 13 others like this.
  14. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Time moves on though.

    I found a 2003 WSR leaflet the other day and a day rover cost £11. Cost of things the last 15 years have dramatically risen. The cost of overhauling locomotives is getting more and more expensive, plus everything else.

    I think the whole 53808 saga goes to show that the 80s based t&cs of loco use are probably no longer a feasible agreement.

    The Washford site is way worth more than what the PLC are getting for it.

    If they use donations etc for legal fees, then that is their choice if they feel it is in the interests of the railway.
     
  15. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    But that doesn't give you the right to break an agreement, does it?

    Where is the "head in hands" emoji when you need it....
     
  16. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    We know somebody else like that, don't we!
     
  17. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    The WSR PLC will hardly be the first company to pull something like this.
     
  18. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    No longer feasible to actually have to pay for use of a loco?
     
  19. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Unlike residential property the market for commercial land and property is not very 'liquid' and clearly in the current situation tenants may be few and far between.

    So whats it worth then?
     
  20. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

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    Not only are they paying to run, overhaul and maintain a locomotive, they are giving up a vast area of land they are short on.
     

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