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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    Are you suggesting that the work should be praised regardless of the results, just because it is being carried out by volunteers? If the results speak for themselves, the "forensic discussion" of which you complain can only be, at worst, unnecessary. Some may even find it illuminating.
     
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  2. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I do admire those who have a mastery of numberyness. Not my strong suit. The WSR appeal does seem to be a little unclear. Could I ask- had they not included hoped-for savings on the gas bill as income into the fund, how much actual money have they raised so far?
    This simple soul can't really see how money that won't have to be paid out in the future for bills which have not been presented for utilities which have not yet been used, can be regarded as income. Maybe its an everyday norm in the accounting world, I don't know. I would have thought it might help in a financial forecast, but in real terms, it's not actual money in
     
  3. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's because you're right - it isn't income. However, if the issue is a gap between projected income and projected expenditure, then it is reasonable for management purposes to treat both as contributions to closing that gap. What feels awkward, at best, is the public presentation of this projected cost reduction as though it's income in the appeal. It looks and feels odd, and draws attention to questions of form over questions of substance. Given the recent(ish) history of the WSR, I'm not sure that's quite the path I'd have chosen to take.
     
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  4. 32110

    32110 Member

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    From @D1039 analysis I think it is £19,993 in 7 weeks.
     
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  5. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I think, generally, (and it probably doesn't need repeating for most) that the WSRHT as is and the WSSRT as was has not showered itself with glory.

    1. Failure to condemn the 'Notice to Quit' of the SDRT from Washford

    2. Failure to 'join in' with the Bailey Report; wanting to remain a stand alone charity; and by implication retain it's shareholding in the WSR PLC

    3. The involvement of Steve Williams, acting Chairman, in instituting the withdrawal of some ID cards of volunteers by the WSR PLC when he was also a Director of same

    4. What would appear to be on the face of it handing over Trust money to the PLC for specific track work at Blue Anchor which hasn't yet been undertaken, and a reluctance/refusal on here to provide an adequate explanation

    5. And perhaps more glibly being more concerned with model railway layouts than making any serious attempt to restore a collection of GWR coaches it is the custodian of, save for one imported from the USA many years ago

    The alleged suspicion is that the WSRHT is beholden to the WSR PLC; indeed as I recall it does not have a proper lease for the Broad Gauge Museum/Goods shed at Bishops Lydeard, or for the museum at Blue Anchor.

    One might further explore what object of the WSRHT trust was to be achieved by donating to the WSR PLC a sum to replace rail and points at Blue Anchor to be of "bullhead rail". And whether the small museum of their's at Blue Anchor should even extend to such matters as the ambit of their interest is the museum itself. They have never had a lease such as that for the SDRT at Washford in respect of Blue Anchor. Just sub-renting ad hoc a room so far as I can gather.
     
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  6. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Surely then, the £12,800 anticipated saving comes off the top-meaning "we need £487,200.00" instead of "please give us £1/2mil". It doesn't change the amount required, but does look as if the PLC are thinking pro-actively. It would also appear more honest. The current strategy does not.
     
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  7. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    When people are so defensive about answering a simple question, I feel less inclined to reach for my chequebook.
     
  8. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    There is a perfectly legitimate question in the public domain.

    I could e-mail the WSHRT for an answer & put it on Nat Pres, however this may take several weeks - not that this is intended as a criticism of the WSHRT but the reality of a small volunteer run organisation.

    A non specific response along the line of 'suitable arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the funds are only used for the specified purpose and will be refunded to the Trust if the work is not done' or words to that effect would in my opinion be more than sufficient.

    My (para)legal mind may be inclined toward drawing a negative inference.
     
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  9. Vulcan Works

    Vulcan Works Member

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    I can cheerfully report that Peak Rail’s appeal has been similarly vague! PR’s homepage has a link to a page stating a target of £250k with an “urgent priority of around £60,000 plus” for Austerity ‘Royal Pioneer’. That’s your lot, no breakdown of items, no ‘sponsor a part’, no updates.

    Appeals for general funds with few details of the aims and priorities are a public relations challenge, some railways with a good communications and marketing strategy do manage it. WSR’s appeal has been a modest success so far and at least you’re getting fairly regular progress updates. Also there’s a lot of chatter and debate, sometimes tetchy but at least it is a debate!

    Looking at best in class railway appeals, I think WSR needs some professional marketing help, a prioritised list of what the funding is for, and a united, focussed approach by the Plc and associated groups. A very tall order!
     
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  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Charitable status might help as well.
     
  11. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Careful now Robin, someone might run off and complain that dangerous ideas are being shared.
     
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  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Charitable status - the idea that dare not speak its name…
     
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  13. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Could be worse, you might have got the Spanish inquisition, and the, Comfy Chair :eek::eek: ,
     
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  15. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the WSRA currently has ring-fenced funds for locomotives, carriages and track renewal, where donations may attract gift aid. It seems wiser to donate to one of these funds than to the PLC appeal, whose purposes are vague and which does not qualify for gift aid.
     
  16. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Except those funds are ring fenced, as you say, and can't be used for other purposes. An overhauled loco still needs a railway to work on.
     
  17. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    I wasn't expecting that.
     
  18. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps they should launch a "Railway Rescue Appeal", ring fenced for allowing them to buy shares in the PLC - that way the PLC gets iots cash, the WSRA gets more influence via a greater shareholding.
     
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  19. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Quite correct. The WSRA approach to track / infrastucture works has been to buy materials and retain ownership of them until they are installed.
     
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  20. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    A pity perhaps that does not include a catch-point then...:)
     

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