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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. John Palmer

    John Palmer Member

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    Note well the opening paragraph of the joint statement issued by the Mid-Hants RPS Ltd and the S&DRT Ltd:

    “The Mid-Hants Railway has offered to help house a part of the collection of vehicles and artefacts belonging to the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust, which has been asked to leave the current site at Washford in Somerset, while a permanent location for its collection is sought”

    And note in particular:

    “... part of the collection ...” - “... while a permanent location for its collection is sought.”

    Currently the S&DRT has no permanent site to which it can re-locate and resume operations. Thanks to the good offices of the Mid-Hants we have the prospect of being able to save for the future some of the irreplaceable historical artefacts Somerset & Dorset enthusiasts first began to accumulate even before the line closed in 1966. But we have no assurance that all of those artefacts can be saved and have to assume that some remain at risk of loss.

    So let's be absolutely clear on what's about to happen. The WSR plc's eviction of the S&DRT from Washford is going to cause enormous expense, disruption and inevitably some loss. It remains to be seen whether the Trust will ever be able to re-establish the museum first opened in the station building at Radstock and subsequently revived at Washford, and there is nothing in the Trust's recent pronouncements to suggest a foreseeable prospect of it doing so. In 1975 we managed to evacuate from Radstock with remarkably few losses of items having historical value, yet somehow the Bath Bank Engine staff, one of only two known to have existed, went missing during the move, and it's entirely possible some loss such as this is going to happen again.

    Consider what is going to become of some of the large artefacts. Burnham Signal Box, restored to correct configuration with Western Region depredations made good, will need to be moved intact to a new home, whether temporary or permanent, assuming such a home can be found. Then there's the recreation of Midford Signal Box's interior – I took a look at this during the recent Open Day and saw for myself the problems and risks to be faced in dismantling and preserving it.

    Just imagine for yourselves some of the agonising decisions Trust officers are likely to face, because there's every possibility that funds will not be available to relocate all the items the Trust would wish to take with it, with the consequence that choices will have to be made as to what can be saved and what must be sacrificed. I don't have to imagine this because I was intimately involved in the making of such decisions when the S&DRMT quit Radstock in 1975, and I know all too well how hard some of those decisions are going to be.

    I doubt there has been an instant when the merest scintilla of shame or regret for these consequences has crossed the minds of the WSR plc board members responsible for the S&DRT's eviction, so I counsel all those who must still interact with them to recognise the irresponsibility of their conduct and to deal with them accordingly. Whilst any of them remain in post I shall not be raising my littlest finger in support of the railway over which they officiate and I urge others to adopt the same stance.

    No doubt I shall be criticised for advocating a course of action that might lead to the complete and final failure of the West Somerset Railway, but I retract not a word of my recommendation. A railway that tolerates actions such as the West Somerset board's eviction of the S&D Trust has no moral claim to survival.
     
  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Among all the posts on this matter here since it first emerged several months ago, this one really sums it up for me. JJP and Co. Hang. Your. Heads. In. Shame.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    And their many enablers. All those who drank the kool aid marked 'saving the wsr'.

    That no one on the WSR has been able to pull the line back from this wanton act of destruction shows just how bad things are in Somerset.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2020
  4. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Thank you for your detective work. We have to take it as a fair summary of conversations. However, what is described is not for a number of reasons a very plausible plan.
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I suppose if the board were bright enough to realise that then we might not be in this situation...
     
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  6. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    You may not think it palusible, however if you accept the substance of the reported conversations it does appear it was seriously considered at least once - wich suggests some would disagree with you.
     
  7. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Perhaps, though I struggle to see how it would be executed effectively, as discussed ad nauseam.


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  8. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I have one issue with this position, and that is the assertion that the acts of the current management of the WSR speak for all those associated with the WSR. I prefer to believe that these acts were perpetrated by a small minority within the railway who, unfortunately, have been gifted power far beyond their number or representative influence.


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  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Unfortunately, the lack of noise being made about this on the Facebook groups suggest the majority of volunteers are content with this state of affairs, the recent announcement from the S&DT had gathered not a single comment over there. Either that or everyone's just to frightened to speak out, which I find chilling, and perfectly believable. :(
     
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  10. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    I don't claim infallibility in this or any other matter. However, we have discussed the barriers to its success a number of times. These include, but are not limited to, the fact that the plan requires other parties to act in a way that would be beneficial to those proposing the plan, with no commensurate benefit to themselves. Possible but not likely.
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think given discussion over the “official” groups, and comments I’ve picked up about the state of mind around the railway, I discount such sources as indicators of feeling.


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  12. mdewell

    mdewell Member

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    Yes, I fully understand what is involved (although you have explained it far more clearly than I could) and that is why I joined SDRT shortly after the eviction notice was issued, and yesterday made a donation via their website. I know others have done similar and hope more will follow our example now that SDRT have somewhere to go to (albiet only temporary).
     
  13. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    ... and just GO !
     
  14. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go! https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell
    Also Leo Amery, M.P. in the 'Norway Debate' which finished Neville Chamberlain.
    Pat
     
  15. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    The survival of the S&D Trust is as important to them as the survival of the WSR to its supporters.
    Apart from a long strip of land through West Somerset - which the County Council owns - there are similarities. Both have important collections of historical railway locomotives, vehicles and artifacts.
    Why supporters of the WSR believe that the WSR should not fold up, but are more than happy to witness the possibility of a former 'friend' (S&D Trust) folding up is a indictment of those in leading positions in all groups of the WSR.
    It proves the insularity of the WSR and it individual regimes - almost an "I'm alright, Jack" syndrome.
    John Bailey hopes for peace in Somerset, I doubt it will happen as there are too many behind the scenes pulling at different strings.

    I have a great sadness that the eviction of the S&D Trust is happening and, like many here, believe it a great mistake by the PLC. The only good point has been the release of 53808 to the Mid Hants.
    However, those who have read a million or more posts on various WSR threads, dating back some years, long before the present saga, will have noticed that there are too many people with their own vested interests and that, as far as I can see, is why the PLC are taking a strident position. That position is of course debatable, but it is, as far as I see, how things seem to stand in West Somerset.
    This is not something new, it has been going on for a long while, previous PLC boards had to deal with it as well.
     
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  16. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    Any noise on FB gets deleted and the author is banned from the group .....
     
  17. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    I quite agree that the plan requires other parties to act in certain ways, but if there was no likelihood whatsoever of such actions why would any plan have been discussed seriously enough for Andy Norman to have been approached? Sure it's machiavellian, but stranger things have come to pass before.

    Whilst it may be unlikely to occur, it seems less unlikely that some may still be looking to it - if only as a plan C
     
  18. 62440

    62440 New Member

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  19. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    I have no idea how serious the discussions that Andy was involved in were. Im not saying they didnt take place, or whether they were worked through, merely that I don't know. However in pratically all the organisations I've been in I can recall discussions, often over the same idea spread over a period of time, and at a high level, of ideas that have little or no chance of actually materialising.

    Until someone produces a plan of how this idea could actually work, I will remain sceptical of its chances of success.
     
  20. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    I think it's likely still to be under Covid-19 emergency provisions, expected to be extended as @Lineisclear mentioned several pages ago.

    If so, it can legitimately be held with only two directors present, restricted business and proxy votes.

    Patrick
     

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