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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    A good point which I made at the time, after that my complaints were accepted and acknowledged, and allocated to a PLC Director. The HR Department then emailed me to say he would be in touch very soon if he hadn't done so already, that was Feb 2019 !!!

    And then a little later my ID Card was removed without me even knowing until the monthly roster sheets didn't come and I asked about it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Quite...
     
  3. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw New Member

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    The late John Snell made an interesting point regarding volunteers, all be it he was talking about the RH&DR which wasn't and largely still isn't a volunteer organisation in the accepted sense of a heritage railway. "One principle firmly established is that the mere fact that a person has offered his services without pay does not give him the right to do as he pleases. Once his offer is accepted he must do as he is told; he is no longer a volunteer but a conscript. Those not liking this can take there services elsewhere." This was written in 1983, I don't think anything has fundamentally changed. This is not perhaps a view that many will like but it is demonstrably the correct approach for an organisation to succeed and any volunteer has by nature and one would hope inclination to accept that fact. If your not happy for this to be the case, walk away.

    On a broader note am I the only individual who has reached a point in this whole sorry affair where I no longer particularly care what happens to the WSR, I certainly don't want it to fail and if it were to, then a lot of individuals effort over the last 50 years will have been wasted, but it just doesn't matter all that much to me. I'm sorry if people find this damning but it seems as a complete outsider that all the parties involved have long since lost any sense of perspective in the railway as a whole and are all hell bent on preserving their status. I would be immensely pleased if there was some solid evidence to the contrary, it's not apparent on NP.

    In despair
    Martin
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  4. Steamage

    Steamage Member

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    They do seem to have long memories in Somerset. The Somerset Wassail carol includes a verse that goes something like "The girt dog of Langport, he burnt his long tail.." which I'm told is a reference to an occasion when the Danes (Vikings) raided the town.
     
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  5. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I know nothing of the late John Snell; I hope that he balanced that uncompromising assertion with a corresponding respect for the wellbeing of the people working under his direction. My own experience in paid employment and as a (non railway) volunteer is that treating people as conscripts is rarely effective in anything other than the very short term, and a position of mutual respect goes a very long way indeed.
     
  6. Piggy

    Piggy Member

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    No he's not, a volunteer accepting the rules of any organisation is still a volunteer who can walk away, a conscript can't.
     
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  7. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw New Member

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    For those who don't know John Snell was, a volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway in 1951, and also the General Manager of the RHDR for 30 odd years. If you want to selectively pick quotes
    I realise the word conscript can be misinterpreted however the point obviously being made is that a volunteer, once having done so, is in the same position as an individual undertaking paid employment, and both have to do as they're told, neither are conscripts in the strict sense of the military application, both can walk away.
    Regards
    Martin
     
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  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    But volunteers are far more likely to walk away than employees if treated brusquely.
     
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  9. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Here is a sobering thought for all WSR supporters, past and present.

    This thread was opened in 2007 by David Randles who we should all know has over the years contributed in a massive way to promoting not just the WSR but also the whole main line steam movement through his separate website detailing all planned steam charters, loco movements and related information. In the 13 years since then there have been a massive number of posts currently approaching 33,000.

    Six years later, in 2013, the Bluebell thread was started by Tom James who is also a stalwart of NP and an active supporter of the Bluebell. Whilst the Bluebell thread has only been running for roughly half the time of the WSR thread, the number of posts are currently under 4,000 - i.e. just 12% of the WSR.

    What has been gained by the WSR in that time? What has the Bluebell achieved in half that time? I'm not talking about the locos and the lines. They are different and will remain so. I am talking about the sense of direction by each and how each thread has helped contribute to the life of each line and its, shall we say, well-being.

    How many people in West Somerset are hanging their heads in shame at present? (That's just a personal comment and representative of nobody else or organisation. But it is a very sad comment.)
     
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  10. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Even though, If your a volunteer, you will still need to be governed by the rule book of that railway, to ensure you have the necessary qualifications, to operate machinery, hold a valid PTS, if your job, takes you near or on running lines and sidings,
    So you should not be treated any differently than a paid employee, if you find yourself breaking any of those rules, you should expect to be treated the correct way, asked to explain how an incident happened, etc, and only to be disciplined once a full and fair process had been gone through, that means having a fair grievance and appeals process,
     
  11. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    True but I suspect that JB Snells point was that being a volunteer does not entitle one to do as you please. Not every volunteer understands this and I am sure we can all remember people who didnt understand.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  12. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Of course, it is a careful balance that must be struck.
     
  13. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’m not so sure that is universally true. People put a big emotional input into their hobbies (as is obvious from this thread): somewhat perversely, that can make it harder to walk away from a volunteer role that you are very invested in than a job you are doing as a living rather than a passion (obviously dependent on the state of the economy). This thread seems to present examples both of people who have quietly gone elsewhere to continue volunteering; and those who absolutely haven’t despite perhaps having been badly treated.

    Tom
     
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  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's true, I'd very much be like a limpet on a rock! It's perhaps more applicable to the volunteers who volunteer as "something to do" rather than because they're railway enthusiasts per se? That's probably an overly crude division, and one I'm cautious not to make too often as it can be damaging.
     
  15. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    I’m convinced there is an underlying truth....that the volume of postings on social media is inversely proportional to the health of the railway concerned.
     
  16. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    At last, something I can wholeheartedly agree with you on! :)
     
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  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Don’t...

    You’ll set them off.

    We’ll end up with a long tedious post from the girt dog of langport claiming they and their good friend are being libelled by the song and the song writer is exaggerating their role in events.

    This will then be followed up by a forensic discussion of the burning of the girt dog’s tail, was it burnt, singed, or did it go up in flames? Plus, a recounting of the times other invaders raided the town and how a wandering local saved the day.
     
  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I trust you are not then going to act as eyewitness fact checker...
     
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  19. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Dr David Randles is a very clever chap who was a member of the core Reform Group. He has many claims to fame amongst which was playing football at the North Pole. He travelled there by Royal Navy submarine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    He probably regarded playing football at the North Pole as more likely than sorting out the WSR
     

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