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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Hmmmm....
    There is a train in the background with a hodge-podge of carriages, suggesting a one-off train like an excursion.
    a. Possibly these are all the passenger conveying vehicles little Minehead could scrape together for this many people at once, or
    b. These are the hotels' own vehicles for bringing back their guests.
    Interesting to see that each of the conveyances has a couple in the driving seat, rather than say a coachman. It makes me think that the couples may be the hotel proprietors, and that the vehicles are private, and not say professional like omnibuses or cabs.

    Any other ideas? Nice postcard BTW!
     
  2. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    Many wealthy people would have had carriages like these as well. Perhaps guests gathering for a social occasion.
     
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  3. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit blurred, but it looks to me like the train in the background is a sprinter bringing holidaymakers to Butlins.

    The chap in the foreground is probably from the local Chamber of Commerce, welcoming them all to Minehead...
     
  4. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    My guess would be a summer arrival, needing extra carriages than the usual branch trains - even maybe a through working from London - bringing people for their long summer holidays by the seaside. The horse drawn vehicles would be those of local carters and larger hotels.
     
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  5. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    On the question of volunteering.
    Who would the volunteers be working for if not the WSRA?
    Can they work for the company WSR without being a member?
    Is there another organisation involved?
    Are they covered by insurance if they are working and not a member?
     
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  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I believe they all work directly for the PLC. As you say, I was always told membership of our trust was for insurance reasons.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
  7. This has been covered several times. My understanding: anyone directly working on (or for) the Railway is a "staff member" and issued a staff ID by the Plc who maintain the staff list. It is possible to be a member of no WSR organisation and still have a staff ID - after all it is what that person brings to the Railway by way of skills and time that is more important. Anyone in an operational role will be covered by the Plc's rules and regs and insurance whilst on duty. Depending on the duties undertaken, the individual will be required to gain appropriate competencies. Fairly simple really. Membership of the WSRA and/or other groups is encouraged of course.

    Steve
     
  8. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    Presumably as an economy measure customer facing volunteers no longer get an official name badge hence the proliferation of scruffy paper ones. It does not create a good impression with customers. How much did the unwanted new beware of trains signs cost in comparison? Sadly more muddled thinking.
     
  9. Ferguson

    Ferguson New Member

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    I feel that this query should be answered by The Chairman of the Association or the previously mentioned PLC Director, Mr Grellier who is in charge of volunteer matters.

    As I started this, so I will finish. Volunteers generally start by approaching the relevent department of the PLC by direct approach or through an organised recruitment day. The PLC then organize and run induction courses in the general running of the railway including safety matters and coverage by insurance when signing on.


    If the job is safety related, the applicant will not be allowed to begin work until completing a safety on the railway course and be issued with a Personal Track Safety (P.T.S) Competency Card issued by the PLC. After completing a set number of signed on days(normally 6) that person will be issued with a PLC Working Permit allowing them all privileges of the railway.

    There is also a Rules and Regs. book which has various sections which that person must know depending on the job done. This is issued by the PLC.

    As you can see, all this is done by the PLC to ensure the safe running of the railway in all grades.

    The association does not take any part in the recruit's training and therefore it does not become necessary to join.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  10. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    In fact this raises an interesting insurance question for other railways. The WSR position is simple enough & those who are regular volunteers are working directly for the PLC almost as if we were employees covered by the PLC's insurance when we sign on.

    "Elsewhere" folk belong to one organisation (the supporting, often charitable one) but are actually working for another organisation (usually a PLC) which run their railway.

    So is it clear who is insuring them or is this actually a minefield?
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I do accept that because it's "different" to the way I know (and, to be fair, most other places) I am more likely to think that our way is "right"! And you're right, being a member of one organisation who supplies volunteers to another might seem a little complicated. But still, I think the main advantage is it stops a charity and plc diverging too much as they're bound together by the volunteers.

    Another (small) thing; if a Plc had a share issue would war volunteers be eligible for EIS tax refunds? Because I don't think it applies to employees if that company, but our volunteers would be ok as we're members of the trust, not the PLC. I equally accept that might just be another good reason not to do share offers rather than that volunteers should be member software a charity though!!

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  12. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    The previous SVR share issue to the recent one included EIS eligibility. I don't recall any mention of employees being ineligible for the tax refund. That said the EIS scheme is in any case unsuitable now?
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    It does look that way. Are SVR volunteers not members of their trust? If not then clearly I'm talking rubbish - sorry!
     
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  14. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    At the SVR as soon as you sign on you become staff and subject to the rules and regs in exactly the same way as paid staff. The rules define staff as "Paid or volunteer workers
     
  15. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    SVR volunteers must be members of the SVR Company Ltd

    The railway is owned and run by Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC

    It all seems to work ok
     
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  16. Andy Williams

    Andy Williams Member

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    On the SVR, in order to carry out volunteer work, you have to take out membership of the SVR (Guarantee) Company. The original Severn Valley Railway Society morphed into the SVR(G) company when the SVR(Holdings) PLC company was established. The SVR(G) company has a substantial shareholding in the PLC company.

    Andy
     
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  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the Bluebell, the SMS makes clear that all lines of responsibility end up with the PLC board and therefore volunteers are working as staff members for the PLC (who hold the insurance). From a safety point of view, there is no distinction between volunteer and paid staff. However, the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society rules make clear that volunteering is one of the privileges of membership of the BRPS, the inference being that only BRPS members can volunteer. The Company is majority owned by the BRPS and it the society that defines company policy.

    It seems to work OK; TBH, I’ve never known anyone seriously question the Society membership requirement for volunteers as being in any way onerous.

    Tom
     
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  18. Paul Whitehouse

    Paul Whitehouse Well-Known Member

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    This is all absolutely correct, and no change is proposed to it. The point I made was about the recruitment of volunteers, not their (unpaid) employment.

    Paul


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  19. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    The business plan, a hard copy of which was given to all WSRA Members attending the WSRA AGM on October 2016 concentrated on two priorities.
    ie "restore membership numbers to previous levels and beyond"
    and "restart general fund raising activities" and "establish a group charged with raising funds for the restoration to working orders locomotives Nos. 4110, 4561 & 7821".

    These are I submit still the key challenges for the WSRA if it is to fulfill its past claim to be the major support group on the Railway. The issue of volunteers and Association Membership is I suggest a side issue. Energy is best directed in recruiting more Association members, they are our potential future volunteers.

    Speaking personally I was a WSRA member sometime before I could commit to becoming a regular volunteer. A not uncommon route I suggest.

    Michael Rowe
     
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  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    If there is nothing else running at that time of night wouldn't it be easier to run with a whole line possession?
     

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