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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I see no reason why the new charity shouldn't be asset owning, nor any reason why there should be three overarching railway charities. That is the difference between the WSRA and the DEPG and other loco owning groups. They are not alike.
     
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  2. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    That in itself is a risk. It's happened to stock on other lines where the host railway has said (I paraphrase): 'it is clear that the owning organisation doesn't have the resources to restore these item(s) with any degree of rapidity. Please remove them'.

    Patrick
     
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  3. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

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    Come on everyone, these are exceptional circumstances. We have received a lot of positive feedback on the wssrt AGM from people happy how it was run. Questions were posed beforehand and were not filtered in any way and full answers were given to all. The WSRA AGM was different in that it was a semi-virtual event and those in the room could ask questions. Those that zoomed in could only respond by text, not by voice.
    The WSSRT AGM was run from the BL goods shed office where the wifi is dodgy, so we dared not try to do too much. No volunteers came forward to help us put on a more whizzy event, so it was what it was.
    You really do need to stop seeing everything in such a negative light.
    Ian C
     
  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Now that is nonsense. The technology allows you to do whatever you want.
     
  5. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I didn't join the WSSRT AGM, but was not at all surprised by those stipulations. I spend my working week doing video- and voice conferences on Teams, and also have out of work engagements using Zoom or Teams. My experience is that any meeting of more than a handful of people, even if they are familiar with the technology and each other, is difficult to chair and very prone to confusion when you allow for a combination of individuals' delayed reactions, plus latency in the connections. While people talking over each other on Teams is a pain, the way that Zoom only allows one voice at a time can be extremely confusing. A parish AGM run in virtual mode was a very odd experience, and I was glad to have been present in person rather than Zoom.

    While it's reasonable to have concerns over ulterior motives, the decision as outlined by @ikcdab seems to me entirely reasonable as a fair compromise for what could have been a very tricky meeting.
     
  6. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    You should know better than to expect to be able to ask any questions you want.
     
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  7. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    It would be a great help with this if you could persuade the Boards to start working and communicating to all the members in a positive and proactive manner.
    I, for one, am getting tired of just hearing reason why things cant be done... especially when that relates to answering questions about what is being done to ensure the railway can recover from the current situation
     
  8. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of things financial can help me out here.

    I am assuming that during this period of non-running the WSR has still been paying for overheads: insurance, electricity, equipment, security. What other costs is the WSR likely to have occurred since trains last ran and how have these and other overheads been paid for?
     
  9. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    No Alex the WSRA of which Robin was Chairman at the time

    Others know better than when the WSSRT got involved and to the best of my knowledge Robin never had a Trustee position with them?
     
  10. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    I didn't say that that was the way it was going to be, under the Bailey plan, I said that I thought it was a good idea if the new charity didn't get distracted by owning heritage assets. It would avoid the railway ending up with three charities, all essentially the same, all competing for the same funding from the same donors to the confusion of the donor organisations.
    I see a very good reason, clarity and simpleness of purpose. It has long been established that it is better to have three people, or organisations, each doing one of three different things than having them all doing all of the same three things, all slightly differently. I wasn't suggesting the WSRA are like the DEPG and other loco owning groups now, of course they are not, but suggesting that it would benefit the railway if they could become more like them. However, this being the WSR, I am not holding my breath.
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Robin was apparently a trustee from 2006 - 2009, and as far as I was aware, the heritage carriages project was always the responsibility of the WSSRT, not the WSRA, even if they happened to share some trustees at the time. Obviously I wasn't around at the time, but that was what I had gathered was the situation since.
     
  12. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    There really does seem to be a "Somebody Else's Problem Field" around these carriages. I very much get the impression that many in the heirarchy of the WSR don't feel the need to worry too much about progressing their restoration, because, if they rot past the point of no return, it's not their fault, it's Robin's fault for collecting them in the first place.
     
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  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    But they're suddenly cared about a great deal if it suits someone's argument at the time...
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you're going to go for a 3 organisation model (which has by no means been agreed as *the* solution, merely *a* solution) then I think you've got things back to front anyway. It should be the charity that holds the assets including the operating company, and the non-charitable society which is the membership organisation. I thought that was how it is at the Bluebell. I apologise to @Jamessquared if I've got it wrong even after the umpteen times he's explained it to us!!
     
  15. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Completely wrong, Richard. Carriages nothing to do with the WSRA.

    That is correct.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the WSRHT plan to outshop a carriage a year...
     
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  16. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Indeed so. It takes longer than that to renovate a decrepit bogie coach to a decent standard in a well equipped workshop staffed by skilled people. It is very easy to say but this process needed to start twenty years ago
     
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  17. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I have no doubt that the WSRHT will have no problems in getting volunteers thanks to all those new members who joined in the last few weeks. Because obviously it was out of a love of carriage restoration, museums etc that they suddenly decided to join the organisation.

    Looking forward to seeing Williams et al getting their hands dirty as we were told trustees need to do.
     
  18. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Well, quite, if the organisation that controls the Plc does not own assets (apart from the Plc shares, which aren't really an asset, being worth £nil on the open market), then it does not need so much to be a charity. On the Bluebell, it is the non-charitable membership body that controls the operating company, AFAIR.
     
  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Oh bother, I had a feeling I'd gone off somewhere!
     
  20. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Right- I'm not arguing with what Andy says. He raises a good point.
    A new charity really must begin without baggage-but how? If the WSSRT members do not fancy the WSRA trustees, or any of the famous 10, or the ex-6 and the WSRA do not want the WSSRT board, and we also say that no-one on the PLC board can be a trustee of the new charity, that excludes an awful lot of the people who might be inclined and available to stand as trustees. Many of us who have never served on any of the boards have already shown ourselves to be partisan in one way or another, and it might cause stress if we were proposed as trustees.
    Would it be best for the new charity to begin with a core board of people on secondment from the SVR, GWSR, Mid-Hants, Bluebell (they are all in the south, other railways are available), and would these lines be willing to loan good people to help out the WSR?

    Are we all to be invited to join a new charity, fronted by nobody, with its aims as yet unclear. Then when sufficient members have joined, we propose trustees, hold an election, and get the ball rolling? How do we set the required number of members for this election process to begin? Who will chair the initial stages, without history, baggage, feud, favour or interest, ensuring fair play and honest election?
    Unless a bunch of us travel to Salisbury and kidnap co-opt Tom and get him to sort it all out.
     

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