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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. echap

    echap Member

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    Interesting activity at Seaward Way Crossing right now.
     
  2. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I still think this reasoning is flawed. You seem to imply that the 10, upon being elected, would immediately metaphorically hurl the WSSRT to its fate and run away. Its true that they have said they would stand down after their aims were accomplished, but their aims have included protecting the future of the coaches. To me, that would include being involved in setting up the new charity ensuring that it attaches sufficient importance to carriages before going though with the merger. Have you seen anything that suggests that *wouldnt* be the case?
    Edit - epopmte by the post above, would the CC even allow it if that wasn't the case? I really think these fears are overblown, and also feel a bit false given the current parlous state of the carriages.
     
  3. bishdunster

    bishdunster New Member

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    watching on webcam , kettle, Cct Atlas crane wagon and toad, looks like stopped to use crane.
     
  4. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I disagree, I think trustees do need to be getting their hands dirty on the railway actually 'doing' stuff.

    I was a trustee myself for the Swindon and Cricklade Rly for a number of years and once elected you do feel the peer pressure from both working members and other trustees to be seen to be doing all kinds of things for the railway hands on.

    It is one of the reasons why a combined trust wont work for things like historic coaches. Fred the trustee may want to work on wooden coaches, but they will get pressured to do lots of other stuff 'for the railway' dragging them away from said coaches which is never seen as core railway activity.

    There is a place for armchair paperwork trustees but they need to be something like secretary or treasurer or getting grants so this is clear what their contribution is.
    If I was voting for WSSRT trustees I would want to see clear evidence that they are regular active volunteers (not armchair ones) in the trust and have contributed to it already.
     
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  5. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Some people here are going great guns envisaging possible future problems. If the present problems are not overcome pdq there may not be a railway to suffer from future problems.
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Anyone able to explain exactly what is going on? In particular, what the various items of hardware being unloaded from the train are.
     
  7. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The problem in that case is that the bogy person in chief, happens to be a very busy volunteer and on your reckoning should be an easy shoe in, but as very things on the West Somerset are not that simple.
     
  8. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    [QUOTE="toplight, post: 2615347, member: 5578"
    There is a place for armchair paperwork trustees but they need to be something like secretary or treasurer or getting grants so this is clear what their contribution is.
    If I was voting for WSSRT trustees I would want to see clear evidence that they are regular active volunteers (not armchair ones) in the trust and have contributed to it already.[/QUOTE]
    So, what about those volunteers who may spend much of their time producing design specifications, drawings from the relative comfort of their theoretical armchair? Do they not qualify to be considered as regular and active simply because they work off-site for most of the time?
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    The 10s CVs suggest that they all 'get their hands' dirty on the railway.

    Lets see:

    Volunteer for the last 26 years
    Armchair member but former Director of another railway and volunteer on a third.
    Volunteer for the last 46 years
    Volunteer for the last 40 years
    Former Head of Mech Eng at WSR
    Volunteer last 8 years
    Volunteer last 10 years - coming up via tracker
    Volunteer last 20 years
    Volunteer last 40+ years
    Volunteer last 24 years

    So 8 of the 10 are volunteers, the 9th is the former head of Mech Eng and the 10th has volunteering and board experience elsewhere.

    So, how much more do they need to do to prove that they are 'real' volunteers and get their hands dirty?
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    But I wouldn't expect the bulk of hands-on work on these carriages to be completed by trustees anyway, you need far more than that. A larger charity can have a trustee who's brief specifically covers heritage rolling stock, thus heritage rolling stock is always going to be featured at the very top table. Surely a good thing.

    As for trustees being active volunteers, I agree to an extent. I think it is healthy for ordinary volunteers to see their directors "on the ground" so they know that the directors appreciate what things are like on the ground, and conversation can be had in the mess room which may often resolve queries/grievances etc. in a much more friendly manner than is otherwise the case.

    However, I see absolutely no need for that to be prescriptive for all directors/trustees. If you've found someone who has excellent skills you want on your board, but for whatever reason volunteering on the ground doesn't suit, it would seem silly to exclude them, especially given how hard it is to find people willing to take on those top jobs. I would submit though, that good trustees who fit that category would still try and pop in to mess rooms on the odd occasion to have those informal chats, so people know who they are.
     
  11. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

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    Could add:

    3 are longstanding volunteers in the Loco Department.
    2 are longstanding volunteers on the Quantock Belle (indeed pretty much ran the show for many years).
    2 are longstanding volunteers in the Ops Department (I think) - including the bogieperson in chief.
    1 was a former HoD and also did a bit of volunteering when time allowed (which wasn't much).
    Only 2 have not been 'actively' involved on the WSR but have/are certainly active volunteers on other heritage railways.

    One of the above has also recently raised £250k for a station restoration (not on the WSR) which hardly involved being on site at all with any other volunteers.

    It goes without saying that, if elected, we would all commit real time and energy to the running of the WSSRT.
     
  12. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates Member

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    Yes, agreed with all that. Being seen to do work is as important as doing good work.
     
  13. Andy Moody

    Andy Moody New Member

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    Looked like items of S&T equipment including a Point rodding stool, so probably for work in connection with replacement of level crossing?
    Loco was 7822 "Foxcote Manor"
     
  14. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the future is not 100% knowable with guarantees, but if you are concerned that a 'new charity' might not be that interested in coach work, surely that is equally the case whether that 'new charity' is the wholly new one envisaged in the plan the PLC, WSRA etc have pledged into, as it would be in a merged WSRA/WSSSRT charity?

    If you think the coaches would be better cared for if the WSSRT continued to exist as a separate entity, that may be (although I think the argument that having a lot of independent charities running around, given the WSR's history, and reputation, would be an overall negative for the line has merit), but how would it fit into the new structure? In any event, if a 'new charity' were to be formed, it would almost certainly take over the PLC, so the WSSRT's shares in the PLC would be extinguished anyway? So if they're going to go, no matter what, the WSSRT might as well dispose of them now, and get 'out of the firing line' (since it's only its PLC shares that have brought it into contention now).

    But it will be a while until any new charity (of any plan) can be put together, and in the interim, the 10 have indicated that coach work is important to them (I don't know if it's in their platform; as a non-WSSRT member I haven't paid close attention); I just have a vague memory of statements to that effect. I'd think that is significant: if they want to retain their standing with the members (as I would expect they would), I expect they'd know they'd need to follow through on that. (And I gather that my memory was correct, so at least one member of The 10 seems to have genuine interest/concern in coaches, so it won't be just 'well, we said we'd do it' to motivate them to action.)

    To be quite blunt, a expressed concern that The 10 will have a negative impact on coach work seems to me to be just more FUD - especially in light of the condition the coaches have already been allowed to get into.
    Ah, thank you for correcting my misapprehension; I know even less about coaches than I do about engines! :) I'd only seen them semi-covered in tarps, in those pictures. Hopefully they will get the attention they need and deserve in the near future, no matter what the outcome.

    Noel
     
  15. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    There are some places where it very much is
     
  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    The problem is that the existing WSSRT hasn't got a very stellar record with the coaches to date. It's all very well promising jam tomorrow, but, as has been pointed out, at the current rate of progress, most of the coaches will have passed the point of no return by the time work could start on them. Thus it is far more likely that a change of personnel, plan, whatever, will produce a better outcome than carrying on as before. It's a pretty low bar to clear.
     
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  17. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    The problem with that approach is that you limit your pool from which you can draw your trustees to those who have the ability to do hands on work. Not everyone is practical, especially those who have chosen a white collar career. There is little evidence that a good blue-collar worker will make a better manager and lots of evidence that they will make a worse one. You don't need to be good at doing something to know how it's done.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
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  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    That is a harsh judgement, which understates the work done in recent years. I believe there are good reasons, in line with the approach of "the 10", for change, but do not see dismissing the work done previously as one of them.
     
  19. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    The problem is that no-one sees the effort, all they see is the results and the results don't look impressive to anyone unaware of the backstory, which is most people. In any case, I am not dismissing the quality of the work done, which I am sure is excellent, I am merely pointing out the quantity in relation to the total amount required, which is a matter of fact, not opinion.
     
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  20. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

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    So let me get this right (people dont normally like what I say) when the 10 become trustees then the whole of the world will be so full of gladness that they will be forming a Que outside Williton woodworking tools in hand to rebuild the coaches.

    No, I think not either.

    I suggest that the only way that these coaches will be done is via an outside contract. With all the other things in the list (Rail replacement, 7821, 4561 etc) I would surmise that they will never be done whoever is in charge. If it is then I wont live long enough to see it of that I am sure.

    BTW anyone who wonders about the steam trusts record on coaches only has to look at the sleeping car but unfortunately that took a good many years and it was largely due to the outgoing chairman
     

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