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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    As you say, Tom, this suggested approach to the end goal does seem to be relatively simple to achieve. The big unanswered question for many seems to be 'why not simply use the WSRA?' My gut feeling is that there is too much bad blood and antagonism on the WSR, as a whole for this to happen. I think that it essentially boils down to the long held ambition of the WSRA and its supporters to control the railway, something that they have tried to do in the past by buying the freehold and were still trying to do last week by acquiring the WSSRT shares. From past conversations, I get the impression that there are a significant number of people on the other side, both PLC and volunteers who do not want this to happen. That may be wrong but, as I say, it is an impression gained over many years. Having a new charity, with a constitution that is purposely written to benefit the Railway wherever it is needed overcomes this problem and more. In the short term it will involve new blood, which has to be good. Whether the WRSA choose to merge with the new charity or maintain its independence would be entirely up to them but, as Tom says, it makes most sense for them to merge.
    I am less certain about the WSSRT and the need to merge. I do think that they could have an independent role looking at and funding niche projects away from the mainstream operation of the railway.
     
  2. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    I see absolutely no point in having both a 'new' charity and the WSRA - to what end and benefit would that be?

    Whether you create a new charity and then the WSRA folds itself into that, or the WSRA is simply transformed into the new charity, does not really bother me provided that (a) if the former is chosen, then the 'folding' process is done asap thereafter and (b) everyone agrees to just get on and do the d*** thing without any further delay :)

    But whichever route you choose, you are likely to end up with a situation that most of the members of the new charity will be current members of the WSRA. So logic would suggest that - without any predefined constraints or 'gentlefolks agreement' - the same groups of people may well offer themselves as potential Trustees and the voting will be done by very much the same group of members. So I'm not really sure how this perceived need for a 'clean sweep at the top' will be achieved in reality.
     
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  3. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Surely the "longheld ambition to control the railway" was more the intention of the Ex 6, for what may or may not have been nefarious reasons. the upheaval in the WSRA was achieved by making the greater membership aware of the behaviour of the people who supposedly represented them. Provided the whole membership is involved fully in the election of trustees that shouldn't happen again.
     
  4. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    I think it goes a lot deeper than the Ex 6, a lot could be blamed on them, but not everything.
     
  5. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    This is not a point that has been raised, except, possibly by @Jamessquared , but I think it is important that the new charity (C3) is not distracted by owning any assets or doing anything outside of being a membership body, controlling the destiny of the railway and fundraising. Since the WSRA has assets, that makes it unsuitable to be transformed into C3, as it would have to divest itself of them. A better plan would the WSRA to continue, perhaps via a change of name and aims, with everything it currently does, except being a membership body for the railway, a bit like the WSSRT, in fact, or the DEPG or any of the locomotive owners based on the line. As @Andy Norman has pointed out, this might give it problems in fundraising, but, importantly, it wouldn't give it problems in fundraising for the WSR, because it wouldn't be fundraising for the WSR, it would just be fundraising for itself and its own particular projects and needs. Also, as the WSRA, or its successor in title, became further still from the Organisation that Tried to Buy the Freehold to Control the Railway, people would gradually stop viewing it as the railway equivalent of the NDSAP.
     
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  6. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    So not only is the PLC being very tight-lipped, both about why the job wasn't completed some time ago and about when it will be completed, but the whole subject is now classified.
     
  7. 60044

    60044 Member

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    One possible solution, if a new charity has to be formed, would be for the WSRA and the WSSRT to evolve to be come the equivalent of NELPG and the LNERCA on the NYMR- one focusing on locos (and museums) and the other on carriages.
     
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  8. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Black projects ;)
     
  9. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    I think the PLC are still sitting in their rocking chairs, watching and laughing at the bun fight going on outside. :D
     
  10. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Possibly, but if resolution is underway, silence about the details of the work may be better while issues are fixed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Otryad spetsnaza?
     
  12. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of what the Bailey report said, does the Plc consultation actually say whether the new charity (C3) is proposed to be an organisation open to general membership; and how Trustees would be elected or appointed?
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    A bit like West Coast Railways, then? Except for a few who seem to think it is their God-given right to know everything that is going on, people are generally happy to let them go about their business in silence and be pleasantly surprised at the things that happen. Why can't the WSR PLC be allowed to do likewise?
     
  14. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    More about the Plc AGM....

    I have just received the Plc's letter sent to those Shareholders, like myself, who asked to attend the virtual Q&A session. Two things have now come to light:-

    1. Contrary to what I interpreted from previous details, the actual AGM will a closed session. The results of the votes will be given to Shareholders at the start of the Q&A session. So it appears that Shareholders will not be able to observe the actual AGM.

    2. The Q&A session will consist apparently of someone reading out each pre-submitted written question and then given the Board's answer. It will NOT be an interactive session, there will be NO opportunity for online attendees to ask questions during the session.

    So why bother to have an online &A session anyway? They might just as easily send out all the questions and answers by e-mail, which apparently they will do in due course anyway.
     
  15. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I'd say WCR is the exception rather than the rule, because it doesn't rely on public donations. So Mr Smith can say "sod the enthusiasts" to his heart's content without it affecting anything. The WSR cannot do the same, because it is reliant on public goodwill. The fact that at present it has little goodwill and finds itself in the doldrums is not, I think, a coincidence. The current situation with the crossing is the current management's fault. Various comments from people professionally involved say so, and there's no reason to think they'd by lying. Given that, I don't think it unreasonable that "the natives are restless" and would like some answers.

    That said, and I say this as a reader of this thread as long as anybody, I think some folk are sounding a little overly cynical about the setup of this new charity. I don't think there's any reason to believe membership would be a closed shop, nor that the trustees won't be elected by the membership, even if co-options are used to appoint people to specific roles, which I don't have a problem with on principle.

    And then having said that...

    Oh dear... :rolleyes:
     
  16. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    This is exactly how the WSSRT AGM was run. There was absolutely no opportunity for 'live' Q&A because the technology apparently wouldn't allow it...

    Although it was interesting how live Q&A was possible at the WSRA AGM, also done via Zoom.

    I expect both the PLC and the WSSRT AGM have been orchestrated by Steve Williams, as he is a Director of both.

    No debate - just how they like it!
     
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  17. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Nor do I think that it is any secret that the WSR Plc would like to be in the position of WCR and not be reliant on donations of time and money, so I don't think that it is a massive speculation that the Plc is, at present, uncomfortable with being beholden in that way to maintaining good public relations.
     
  18. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It is perfectly possible for participants to ask questions during a Zoom meeting, There is an option within the software for a viewer to "Hold up their hand" , which displays a hand symbol on their picture, and the meeting host can then invite them to speak. Rubbish to say "the technology wont allow it", Zoom is videoconferencing software after all, and the essence of a conference is that all attendees can, if permitted by the chair, speak.
     
  19. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Bailey 5.10 (h) said:

    Patrick
     
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  20. Wriggley

    Wriggley Member

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    Well quite. The laughable excuse which I heard was that they (the WSSRT) would have to have engaged third party external consultants at great expense to make that work. No wonder they've found it difficult to replace a level crossing!
     
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