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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Either that, or its a small group of people doing the shouting, safe in the knowledge they won't lose their PLC cards, the vast majority how ever, apart from a few brave souls, won't put their heads above the parapet until the troublemaker in chief, and his followers have been ousted because they know that to disagree will get you targeted, on here, by the same group of people and your hobby taken away from you, there is one thing those who target others need to remember, they themselves could one day become the people being targets, if a new board is elected, and they themselves become the trouble makers.
     
  2. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Well, that's one question for the Q&A Session at the AGM then. (WSSRT Board please note. This is fair warning. I expect a fill, complete and accurate answer now you know this question is being posed)
    How many new memberships have been issued in the time between the 14 candidates announcing their intention to stand for election and the AGM taking place?
     
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Is there a cut off for membership to vote in the agm?
     
  4. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm sure there are those with in the offices of ORR, who well informed as to past issues and failings, will be keeping an eye on things , especially if red lights start flashing and something is brought to their attention, there will be a file already marked with West Somerset Railway listing findings from their last visit, Safety regulators tend to be more vigilant than some public transport operators especially if they are in police talk, "known to have form" .
     
  5. 242A1

    242A1 Member

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    The WSSRT appears to have a mindset not fully in the present. They are not responsible for running steam hauled tourist trains on a line operated as a commuter line by the PLC but the dream has not fully faded away yet. They see the WSR as something other than the preserved railway that most of us know; it is different and special. How folk love to see themselves and what they are involved in as 'special'. The WSSRT has aligned itself in support of the PLC, well given the history that was nearly inevitable and the treatment of the S&DRT may have just helped to concentrate the minds into greater focus. The rank and file membership of the WSSRT may well have views far removed from those of the Trustees who made the decision to support the PLC but bearing in mind the people involved and their various positions it is little wonder that the Trustees of the WSSRT saw the views and opinions of the wider membership to be of no account.

    David Gilmour, I am pretty sure most of us will know who he is, is a man of considerable talent and achievement in his field. He is on record as stating that if he creates a piece of music that he cannot play himself then he will find someone who can. So I am talking about a capable man who recognises his limitations. The history of those occupying the position of Chair of the PLC does not lead anyone to conclude that they were of similar character. The meeting at Paddington was a fine example, delusions of competence. Rather than recognise their own weaknesses and so make certain that that they surrounded themselves with others whose specialisations create a team fit for the purpose of correctly identifying and achieving what is necessary, regardless of how ego challenging that might be, this never appears to happen. Look at where you are now on the WSR. If your livelihood depended on these people would you work for them, continue to work for them or look elsewhere? How impressed are you with the quality of your leadership, with those individuals at the top? Ask yourselves another question; are you inspired by these people, would you like to emulate them? Or are you more desperate and disgusted?

    So is the PLC as both individuals and a group meeting your approval or would you rather not invite any of them to dinner? The board is viewed as being too small, if it is only in existence to act as a rubber stamping exercise to endorse the whim and fancy of the Chair, this should come as no surprise. If it is not being created to be a balanced body able to support, lead and encourage all those who have given many thousands of hours and many hundreds of pounds to try to keep this line alive then what is it for?

    You do not blindly support those at the top regardless, you have to be very wary concerning what floats up there. In the military inept officers have had accidents, not that I am suggesting this course of action, but it can be understandable. The WSR seldom if ever appears to get the quality of leadership that it needs and it could well be to late now. It needs someone to come to the table that is able and willing to deliver a substantial funding injection. You need inspiration, vision, talent and open honest communication. But you are not going to attract this while you continue to make yourself what you always have done. I would give a description but little of it would be positive.

    How late is it, how close to the end? The bickering, bullying, guts hating and petty Fiefdom protecting continues unabated, it cannot be long now.
     
  6. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    I must admit I haven't been paying much attention to this thread over the last month or two, other than an occasional cursory look, and was slightly surprised to see just how much things to have flared up again.

    Given the speed with which people have been commenting on here, this may be by now a completely moot point, but I was a bit puzzled by some of the handwringing from WSSRT people on here which seemed to be trying to imply that the candidates are somehow doing something improper or underhand, by standing for election as trustees. The WSSRT wants to be independent, the thought seemed to be, therefore they shouldn't be doing anything that might interfere with what the WSSRT wants.

    What I don't understand is: well, that's not a problem then, is it? If the WSSRT wants to be independent, the WSSRT will vote them down at the AGM. If the WSSRT supports what they want to do, the WSSRT will vote for them. If we wait for the AGM, we'll find out what the WSSRT wants.
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The problem isnt so much the root and branch members of the WSSRT, Those standing for election are members also, of long standing, let us not forget, its a select few, who are the problem, either they have personal animosity for certain people, or they totally support the present chair and his methods, as long as he leaves them alone, the problem though is this, when you side with the bully, you forfeit any sympathy if someone bigger comes on the scene and removes that bully, and people turn on you, which they will,
     
  8. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    The WSSRT and PLC board like their elections to be run like those in North Korea.
     
  9. baldbof

    baldbof Part of the furniture Friend

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    Ahem!! Normally, they get promoted!! I've seen some belters that have gone that route. Still baffles me how they managed it.

    Famous quote from an officer's annual appraisal -"His men will follow this officer anywhere - even if it is only out of idle curiosity."

    Does that include the use of anti-aircraft guns?

    >>> back to thread.
     
  10. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    r

    I had resolved not to post any more on this forum. I have stupidly been leafing through the
    last five weeks. A never ending WSR hate fest.

    What I do not understand is National Preservation's position. Perhaps naively, I had assumed that
    NP's mission statement if they had one ( if they do apologies) might be: " A forum for Heritage
    Railways to meet, exchange knowledge and share in the pleasure "

    However since I last posted you as a moderator have told us how you have visited the WSR twice.
    Apparently terrible experiences but Joycean like ( " Finnegans Wake " ) you cannot tell us.
    We will have to take it on trust. Based on this you would be pleased if the WSR Plc ( and
    therefore the Railway folded ).

    Later you posted "Another thought occurred is whilst those on the WSR are unwilling to
    engage directly on here then the former will appear more one sided ? "

    Then we have the above posting, finishing with " Any smoke signals from
    Minehead ? "

    Meanwhile snide comments about the WSR. Plc Chairman ( and to a lesser extent his
    Board ) are regularly allowed to remain on the forum. Some time past following some
    fallacious posts wrt rrelationships between a local MP and the WSR Plc I carefully listed
    some public statements from local MPs and Councils as an attempt to throw light on
    the exact position. This post was taken down yet innuendos about the WSR with no
    basis in fact whatsoever are allowed to stand.

    I do hope that any journalists who read this forum will appreciate that it lacks any
    objectivity whatsoever. It is no different ( indeed probably far worse ) than the
    Facebook groups that Sidmouth and others decry for taking down/forbidding
    any adverse post.

    Regarding the current WSSRT debate.
    The approach by the 14 wrt seeking Trustee positions seems unhelpful in the
    current difficult times.
    It does not appear that the majority of the 14 ( based on their cameos ) have
    an interest in the WSSRT as a charity only its Plc shareholding.
    As far as I can see the shareholding is a strategic one ( both museums are
    located on WSR stations ) and such a shareholding should be employed as
    a vote only on matters that impinge on WSSRT activities . ( I do know what
    I am talking about: at one time twice a year, I had to update the Companies
    Investors and separately the City Analysts. ). It is not a shareholding for an
    individual to attempt to bring down a Board.

    The concept of the WSSRT/WSRA becoming the WSR Charity with the
    Plc as its operating entity is not what the recent report promulgated. It
    was quite clear. We ( all those who care for the WSR ) have somehow to
    bring into being "New WSR Charity " and then convince Plc Shareholders
    of the correctness of this.
    Without personalising this 'we' must be led by new faces, or at least
    unsullied ones. The same persons causing havoc has to stop.

    So , please NP either " moderate " or close down. One Moderator's musings on
    management, other Heritage Railways, how his unspecified employer walks on
    water etc may please some but they I suggest do not
    do justice to NP's claim to primacy.

    Secondly please, those who fail to see any good in anything that emanates
    from any part of the WSR, since you are never going to be satisfied can
    you find another whipping horse.

    As far as the WSR , to all those who care, the Railway has to survive until
    better times. The Plc is what we have. Remember if you want change you
    are more likely to achieve it from inside the tent rather than grand gestures
    from outside.

    Finally some questions "Why is it alright to try and bully a small charity i.e.
    the WSSRT when the WSR Plc is regarded as a pariah w.r.t. it's handling of the
    S&D Trust lease.

    Why is it some think on a Heritage Railway there is no room for a
    specialist Charity ie the WSSRT. No one AFAIK has suggested that
    the DEPG or indeed the S&D should be engulfed. Or presumably the
    plethora of small Charities and Companies homed across the Heritage
    Railway diaspora.

    Enough said, I had not intended posting again on this forum, and
    may come to regret that I have.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  11. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Metaphorically.

    They've got the cult of personality done, they're an economic basket case. They are paranoid about internal and external enemies, all of whom exist only in their own minds. External mediation and offers of help have been unsuccessful.
     
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    The difference between the Facebook groups and NP is that, within some quite broad parameters, members may post as they see it. That leaves you, me, and everyone else as equals - something that a group which expels a member asking a reasonable and sensible question cannot lay claim to.

    However, your post does accurately highlight that members of NP do dislike the conduct of the board of the WSR plc of late, do have a lot of concern for the WSR, and do wish preservation well. That we can disagree strongly on how to achieve those ends is perhaps a compliment to NP, not a criticism.

    As for the question of the WSSRT and it's shareholding in the plc, I could be tempted to accept your view of the strategic merits of the shareholding. I would however be interested in how you would consider, hypothetically, the acquisition of a similar shareholding in the plc by one of the other charities resident at the WSR. Would such a "strategic" holding be a reasonable prospect for, say, S&DRT or would it be up for challenge?

    The plc have issued comments on the Bailey report recommendations that read to this observer of corporate speak as though the ideas are (a) being kicked into the long grass and (b) can only be progressed under plc control. I have wondered why such ideas haven't been implemented already since the X6+1 were evicted, and regard the conduct of the plc in the last year to 18 months as demonstrative of precisely why control by the plc is the wrong answer.

    The membership of the WSSRT have the option to decide on the proposed slate of candidates; it should be for the members to consider that on it's merits and not based on ancient personal animosities.
     
  13. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Maunsell907 wrote "...The concept of the WSSRT/WSRA becoming the WSR Charity with the Plc as its operating entity is not what the recent report promulgated. It was quite clear. We ( all those who care for the WSR ) have somehow to bring into being "New WSR Charity " and then convince Plc Shareholders of the correctness of this...."

    Well, maybe I am missing something here, but...why apparently should it not simply be the case then that 'New WSR Charity' = WSRA + WSSRT combined ?

    Does the answer perhaps lie in his following sentence "...Without personalising this 'we' must be led by new faces, or at least unsullied ones. The same persons causing havoc has to stop...." OK, in which case the WSRA and WSSRT merge into 'New Trust', at which time all existing Trustees stand down and a new set are elected? Start with the slate wiped clean. Simples...or not ?
     
  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I sum this up as we need to win, you have to lose, its paranoia, the problem is those such as Maunsell and Rodders had their chance, both were I believe PLC board members, and trustees at one point, and they could have pushed for all of his to happen, at that time, but for some reason did not, they are also tainted by the past as has been said , and agreed by even those they now seek to destroy that if a new charity was formed, they would stand down, so whats stopping you from seeking change, doing the easy thing, isn't always the right thing, sometimes you have to stand up for what is right.
     
  15. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Firstly what I choose to divulge and not divulge is my business and none of yours . I consider myself fortunate to live outside the WSR bubble and based on the many factual postings and evidence hat has been shared (albeit now a little lost in the thread) come to a broad conclusion . I'm sorry that this is at odds with the all is well with the world perception that those close to the WSR hold . Perhaps it is time to repost the list with all the links , probably better screenshots so it becomes a point of reference for us all.

    As a broad rule I would prefer to remain on good terms with those who I don't necessarily share the same opinions as they hold . The WSR way especially those in rareified positions is to unfriend and then this week exclude me from the friends group for what wasn't particularly critical comment. Sorry Michael but the railway cabal does not endear me to the railway whatsoever. I am also grateful for the likes to my posts and words of support received and also the many who have confided in me first hand information

    I note a new tactic played out on here and if the stories are true to the 14 whereby it is fair game to attack, threaten , demean those involved and those who do not agree with the railway position

    let me give you a prediction for what happens next because if you think about it , it does rather become the illogical step of those seeking to defend their position

    The WSSRT will if they haven't already stop new memberships , or like the friends group seek to screen out any who have voiced dissent

    The ten at worst will be thrown out for standing in an election in a desperate bid to keep control

    now who is pulling the strings of a supposedly independent charity that the PLC now view as a close and critical ally . It is amazing was 10% shareholding does is it not
     
  16. daveb

    daveb Member

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    Michael, you don't know me, but I have a lot of respect for you for the part you played in the eviction of the X6+1. For that reason, whilst I could make a lot of comments about your post, I won't. I'll just make the following two points.

    The majority of the members of NP do not want the WSR to fail. I admit that some have said that they do, but they are in the minority. However, that doesn't mean that we have to agree with everything that the PLC board have done. I am saddened that they decided to sell 4110 off the railway, that they have issued the Notice to Quit to the S&DRT, and that many long-serving members and volunteers (including the WSRA Chairman) have either been branded as trouble makers and evicted or have felt forced to leave before being kicked out. Unfortunately we live in binary times, everything has to be black or white (that may sound racist but it's not intended to be). You're either completely right or totally wrong. You support us or you're against us. There's no middle way any more, no compromise. Personally I blame that on the Brexit referendum, but let's not go there.

    I used to be a WSRA member but I chose not to renew my membership this year. I cannot support the WSR until it sorts itself out. Unfortunately there is nothing that I can do to facilitate that. I may rejoin one day, but things would have to change for that to happen.

    Secondly, a comment on the paragraph that I have quoted above. With the current management in place, should you be inside the tent and try to instigate changes, the chances are you'd pretty quickly find yourself outside the tent with no way back in.
     
  17. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    From memory 1982 1983 so well before.
     
  18. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Puzzled by the bridge reference - did you mean the one under Staplegrove Road next to (the site of) Taunton West Junction?
     
  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    If that's the one that crosses the line at an acute angle next to King's School, yes.
    When was the slew done, then?
     
  20. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    I think any journalists reading Nat Pres will have severe doubts about your objectivity, given the well-attested actions of the Plc management and your very half hearted criticism of the least defensible of them and whole hearted endorsement of the others. Anyone coming to this debate with a fresh eye and a modicum of discernment, would be able to identify the blowhards, shills and haters on both sides of this debate and then see from what remains that there is a genuine undercurrent of concern for the WSR behind most of the remaining critical posts. Sadly, apart from John Bailey's, very few of the posts on the other side would survive such a winnowing, especially those that take the line "all is well on the WSR except for those troublemakers on Nat Pres".
    I suppose it is tempting after decades of involvement with the WSR to see everything as petty power politics, because, on the WSR, so much is. However it is important to note that the majority of posters on this thread are not old WSR hands and therefore not infected with the West Somerset Disease (much worse than COVID because, although it's rarely fatal, you never seem to recover). I have been following this thread since the days of the WSRA Six and it is noticeable to me, (and would be to you, if you cared to look) how many posters are newcomers to the thread since the Plc management decided to evict the S&DRT and are more closely connected to other railways and to the preservation movement in general than they are to the WSR. That that doesn't seem to tell you anything, I think, says volumes about your "objectivity".
     

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