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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    some pics from January 2020.... IMG_8428[1].JPG IMG_8430[1].JPG
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I think that you would find great difficulty in backing up that statement. Can you name a few for us?
     
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  3. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    You ought to take some photos for the model railway section. A garden railway is in my 'one day' list.

    I think there seem to have been two reactions - I know people in their seventies who are at risk, but who have gone back to volunteering in a public facing role, happy to go down the gym etc at the first opportunity and others who have been much more cautious. I guess a lot depends on personal circumstances and attitudes, some people would I guess prefer the risk but have some social interaction while others don't want the risk and can handle minimal social interaction. It isn't even older groups. I've got a friend who is pregnant and she is quite happy and in fact wants to do more public facing stuff, I've another friend, same age who is the complete opposite.

    But I guess the real test will be when 'normal' returns and whether there are shortfalls of volunteers.
     
  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I would like ask how it came to pass that in 2017 for the WSSRT, and then with the SDRT in 2018, both had new leases of land for 50 years that failed to comply with the provisions of the Law of Property Act as to their execution and were not properly 'signed as a deed'.

    The failures in respect of the new SDRT lease for 50 years in 2018 , as an extension of the 1991 lease are even more inexplicable, as the SDRT had now become an incorporated limited company in the interim prior to 2018, yet the 1991 lease - that was being extended by 50 years - was still originally granted to the SDRT trust before it became a limited company.

    Why in 2017 and 2018 did neither the WSSRT and the SDRT not employ a firm of Solicitors to get the new 50 year leases properly executed?

    Why didn't the WSR plc board also not do this?

    Why did the Lottery funding that was linked with both not say 'hey - that isn't a proper new valid lease?'

    For the 50 year 'lease' for the WSSRT it is available to look at on it's website - signed by Chris Austin and Steve Williams in February 2017. No 'signed as a deed'; no affixing of company seals etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  5. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Mmm. I know SVR best so let's compare.

    Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC is an unlisted public company with share capital. The PLC doesn't pay dividends. Its shares are not currently quoted on any trading platform, nor are there any matched bargain facility arrangements. There is currently no secondary market in the shares and shareholders may only sell their shares by way of private bargain if they can themselves find a buyer. Similar to WSR plc I think.

    The membership body is Severn Valley Railway Company Limited, incorporated, non-charitable and in 2020 holds the largest shareholding, 17.8% of issued capital (1,807,679 £1 shares).

    The charity, Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd not only holds shares but in the 2012 share offer existing shareholders with small numbers of shares who did not want to increase their shareholding were invited to donate their shares to the Trust.Other charities associated with the SVR, Great Western (SVR) Assoc. and Stanier 8F Locomotive Society, are both shareholders. I'm not aware of any of the charities having difficulty in holding shares.

    Patrick
     
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  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Is it worth making a distinction between charities *buying* shares and just *having* shares? I can see the potential problems with the former but not the latter.
     
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  7. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    Are the shares though held as an investment? i.e. are they an asset held to produce a return? I expect that they are not and that they are held to further the aims of the trust. They are an asset of the trust, which is effectively a purpose trust, rather than an investment in my view.
     
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  8. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Having set this hare running I thought I had better go and check the detail of Charity Commission guidance note CC14. There's no doubt in my mind that Investment includes the decision to hold on to shares as well as to buy them. if shares are gifted they are still an investment in the company by the recipient charity. The trustees are under a legal duty to report annually on their investment policy and explain the purpose for which investments are held.
    The normal meaning on investment is one that generates a financial return and, in keeping with their duty to act in the best interests of the charity, the level of that financial return in the form of income or capital gain is material.
    At first sight that would upset the apple cart of quite a few of heritage railway structures as other posters have pointed out. In the helpful lengthy document setting out the legal underpinnings to CC14 guidance paragraph 5.7 is instructive:

    Some charities may hold shares not as financial investments but to allow them to attend shareholder meetings and "hold the company to account". In certain circumstances this will be a means of furtherance of the purposes of the charity.

    The certain circumstances are not clarified but it looks as if SVR GWSR and WSAR /WSSRT can breathe again!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  9. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    This PDG meeting will prove indicative of whether we move forward or remain in the mire!

    It is absolutely imperative that all the contentious issues are discussed out in the open at that meeting and if really contentious redacted in the minutes
     
  10. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Which, in conjunction with the lack of either cost to purchase or financial value to the investment, seems entirely reasonable.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    The question I ask is WHY these questions were Answered and not made available to we Supporters Earlier?

    It just ADDS to the Problem
     
  12. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Details please?
     
  13. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Maybe they just want to inspect everything before they run it - possibly?

    No indication there that if left the WSR in other than a fully functional condition, surely?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Indeed, it is a question. But let's give credit to those trying to answer it, rather than attack them for others' failure to do so.
     
  15. LC2

    LC2 Member

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  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Leading to pages of speculation, recriminations and the occasional personal attack; cause and effect of the West Somerset Disease in a nutshell. Well done to Robin for getting the information into the public domain at last.
     
  17. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    I do so hope that the ongoing Negotiations between the plc and the S & D RT will enable a phased withdrawal of artefacts over a reasonable period of time well beyond the February date.

    This is the only Reasonable thing to do in view of a move now being a forgone conclusion

    It is all down to discussion something that has been very lacking in the past.

    Maybe just maybe this is the good that can come out of this very Unfortunate incident?
     
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  18. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    EXACTLY what I was trying to convey!
     
  19. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Valid point Noel, but it is my understanding that Sheering's yard costs a fortune

    The question is who is Paying for it?

    Either way money spent on rent is Wasted!
     
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  20. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Which makes it very odd that this potential use for Washford, worthy as it may be, has only come up now - after many months of furor. That, along with things in the record like that most unfortunate 'cuckoo' comment, lends credence to the supposition that the eviction of the SDRT was a snap decision, one not motivated by a careful business analysis; and carried out in a most unsuitable way (which should have started with going to the SDRT and explaining to them why asking them to leave was vital to the WSR).

    Not that I'm looking for a stick to beat the PLC with; things are way too desperate at the WSR for those kind of silly games. But if this crown jewel of the preservation world is to be saved, everyone must be extremely clear-eyed. Also, in a healthy organization, this kind of discussion wouldn't need to happen on a public bulletin board.

    I have this strong urge to bang my head on the nearest wall...

    Noel
     

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