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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    I take it you are referring to the CVR? The K&ESR also weedkill safely from a train with properly trained volunteers and did this year a couple of weeks into lockdown. It isnt rocket science and it saves a fortune.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  2. 34015

    34015 New Member

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    Yes.

    Seems odd that you will trust a volunteer in charge of a 250 ton train but not trust a volunteer to do some weedkilling..
     
  3. City of truro fan

    City of truro fan New Member

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    And they keep try to make out I am having a go at the volunteers that got them out of there weedy mess
     
  4. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    I think one D. Cummings has rather tarnished the word 'Disruptor'
     
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  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think it depends who is the object of disruption.

    It is highly unlikely that a disruptor on the board is going to be challenging the old boys club that are management boards. Disruption is something that only happens to the little people below.

    'I am all in favour of disruptors on the board, as long as they don't disrupt me, now back into your box proles and no talking back.'
     
  6. andrewtoplis

    andrewtoplis Member

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    Disrupting is fine if you can embed the changes properly afterwards, rather than just breaking things then moving on! Otherwise things just slump back to where they were before and all you have done is annoyed people.
     
  7. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for answering my question. So new voting shares would be issued and gifted or sold to the new charity.
    Is it not easier to change the aims of an existing charity than set up a new one? ISTM that the problem with the WSRA becoming the new controlling charity is simply because it is the WSRA, the same WSRA that was once run by the Ex-6 who wanted it to be, well, a charity that controlled the Plc, and if the WSRA becomes the new controlling charity, even if it has a change of name and trustees, it means, to the supporters of the Plc, that the other side has won in the long battle for control of the WSR.
     
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  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    It depends on the Board.

    The K&ESR Board, to which I was re-elected on Saturday, has transformed itself over the past two years. It works in an open, co-operative way, not frightened to tackle difficult issues and look at new ways of doing things, alongside traditional approaches and see what is the right forward path. A delight and a priviledge to serve there.

    Robin
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think it is less about the what but the how it is done that is the problem. More often than not 'disruption' is a fig leaf for macho management bs built around confrontation rather than building a consensus to put back together a dysfunctional organisation. I get the sense that some people never got beyond reading the title of Schumpeter.

    The point is that difficult change is always difficult change but it is easier to manage difficult change gradually than it is to try to do it in an instant.
     
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  10. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    The only problem is the heard instinct of typical management disciplines. Get an archetypal management group of administrators, accountants or HR personnel together (lets call them the clean hands gang) and they all automatically assume they are more entitled to manage than anyone else - especially more than anyone from the dirty hands gang who, heaven forbid, "...don't even work in the offices with the rest of us.....". In 49 years working in engineering positions I have (sadly) seen that type of arrogance time and time again.

    I don't particularly like the term 'disruptor'. That sounds like someone who deliberately causes problems. I prefer to use the word 'challenger' as in someone who will challenge the status quo or challenge bold statements to make sure the people making those statements actually know what they are talking about and not just bluffing, and also really mean what they say. Now I wonder where that has happened recently? ;)
     
  11. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Doesn't that depend a bit on whether the board is interested in the development of it's business, or just keeping things steady. In my time as an enthusiast, there have always been railways that have shown, for a time, real progress and development - and I'd bet at least a pint that this is a reflection of the railway's leadership.

    And, reverting back to the WSR, it is that quality of leadership that I'm not seeing at a whole railway level. I welcome the comments of wise folk like @aldfort on how the process of consolidation is operating, and acknowledge that visibility will be limited, but I just don't get the sense of a controlling mind setting out a vision that all involved can support and buy in to. That may be disruptive - I had hopes of JJP for his courage 2 years ago in acknowledging the state of the infrastructure - but it has to draw people in, and unite people around a vision. The tragedy is that this is not what's happening at the WSR.

    A note on "disruptor". I don't care what term is used, but I agree with the usage proposed by a number above, which is of someone who is willing to ask difficult questions, and challenge orthodoxy. But the spirit needs to be that of building and strengthening.
     
  12. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    It didn't hold the PLC to account over Washford, so I doubt they'll bother over anything else.

    Keith
     
  13. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Compare and contrast

    Keith
     
  14. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I mulled on raising that one . The lack of solidarity shown to the S&D trust by the WSR associated charities was one of the most disappointing moments
     
  15. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    My last word on weeding - honest :)

    This, again, highlights a fundamental problem of communications which I've mentioned before.

    Lots of posts here and earlier, many crutical, about weeding by hand.

    It's been quite a high profile job undertaken by volunteers and has raised several quite valid questions as to why it's being done this way.

    Is it that the WSR has lost the trained staff able to undertake the usual spraying?

    Is it so cash strapped it can't afford to buy the chemicals or run the kit?

    Is it managerial incompetence?

    Why did the plc not think to put something out praising the volunteers and explaining why this was being done by hand?

    Ok, it's a minor issue with everything else which is going on, but to me, it's just another example of them shooting themselves in the foot when they could have outlined why it was necessary and made a virtue of the extremely hard and thankless work put in over many weeks.
     
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  16. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

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    All too common, unfortunately. And it's not just the management level, it is a hangover from the old division between those who could read and write and those who laboured manually. The world long since moved on but there are still those, including many in the education field, who don't understand that science and technology are the key areas. As these antique attitudes seem to prevail in this country, so that we don't even train enough plumbers or sparkies, let alone all the various engineering professions, it may explain, at least in part, why we no longer have many productive industries.
    To be fair, Accountants and Engineers speak different languages and sometimes a translator is needed. The best Manager I worked with in the manufacturing field had degrees in both Engineering and Accounting (!) and seldom had trouble bringing both "sides" together. I have done the same at a lower level but, at times, it can be difficult to explain why something is very important to one party but hardly rates for the other.
     
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  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    To be fair to the Plc, as I recall, they have done some of those things, they just got buried pretty quickly with the spoil from all the other holes they've dug themselves! I think there has bene praise for those volunteers, and it was also explained that, the situation having been allowed to get as bad as it was, hand-weeding was supposedly more effective, as the weeds had got so big that pulling them up was the only solution, spray alone wouldn't cut it.
    As far as I know there was never any explanation as to why the predicament had arisen in the first place though, other than a rather unsatisfactory vague excuse of lockdown preventing weedkilling.
     
  18. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    You may well be right Alex. Things move so quickly it's not easy to keep up!

    My first port of call when I want to confirm something is a visit to the Railway's official website and I couldn't find anything there among the news items.

    But re-reading the first edition of The Platform, from June of this year, I did note that whether the railway was running or not, work was expected to start in early autumn on the full replacement of Seaward Way LC...
     
  19. burmister

    burmister Member

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    I volunteer at a neighbouring line and just listening those volunteering at both they give the impression that the the K&ESR has indeed improved. All organisations tend to vary around a mean over time to cope with changing circumstances and heritage railways are no exception. Those that do not simply fade/self destruct a simple fact of life. Like the GCR the next huge challenge for the K&ESR will be amalgamating two railways together seamlessly. As a WSR shareholder for decades I see the challenge for what/who ever is running the WSR is to learn the real basics of how to manage itself as one entity with a mix of permanent and volunteer workforce.
     
  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Yes... The accountants and Account-u-speak. Often used to confuse the unknowing and justify their 'superiority' e.g. "If you can't understand what we are saying you obviously are not capable of being management." They were very surprised when I started challenging their figures and assumptions in their own language (Thanks to RSA evening classes at local adult ed. :p:))
     
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