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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    So I think that what you are saying, in summary, is that if you were minded to volunteer on the WSR the website offers partial information and doesn't present it in a particularly helpful manner either. How long has the WSR existed?

    I see that @Jamessquared was too polite to mention that if the WSR needed help to produce something useful then they could always browse the Bluebell Railway pages for advice...........:)
     
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  2. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    Not everyone are Facebook members.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Not quite the point I was making. I think the WSR Plc pages could be excellent if they just fix the broken links, which is a potentially trivially easy fix for the website administrator. (That assumes the “missing” pages exist and have just gone astray during a website refresh - those things happen).

    The incomplete and duplicated information in the WSRA pages I would say is rather less helpful if the aim is to encourage as many people as possible to volunteer on the railway.

    Tom
     
  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Tom's post 22879 mirror's my own experience last August - the WSR PLC stuff for volunteering didn't work online, and additionally I noted the volunteer coordinator to contact was stated to be Mel Hillman - who had much earlier announced on here he would no longer be performing this role.

    As Mike had previously contacted me via a PM, I asked if Mike could help out, which he very kindly did, and it transpired (from what Mike stated to me) that he was setting up the volunteer coordinator role within the WSRA anyway.

    Mike knew that I had 11 days annual holiday in September, plus that I only work part time (being semi-retired), and that outside of that particular block of annual leave could devote 2 days a week to the WSR. So I do not agree with Mike's statement on here (post 22875) that I had "very limited [spare] time".

    At no time did I express any reluctance to undergo safety critical training to Mike or that it was not worth the effort. What I did say was that I did not think I would be able to provide the degree of commitment required for the Loco Operating Department, and this was in the context of discussing suitable roles, and where there were shortages of volunteers. Never did I ever state that "you were not sure you wanted to volunteer for the number of turns each year required to maintain your competence." That is utter nonsense, as Mike knew I had spent quite a number of years working on the railways in South Wales performing safety critical roles, having a PTS card, and undergoing regular assessment, and with special training to work LHCS on an intensive service.

    Mike has taken out of context my own involvement with the RMT Union - this was intended by me as to how I viewed Andy Norman's treatment, as described by Andy on here last year.

    I had posted on here comments about JJP, and had them deleted by the Moderators, and received a 'warning' from the Moderators, when I myself considered my input nothing but 'fair comment' based upon what was already in the public domain. I have seen insipid and impotent replies on here by WSRA directors and ex WSR PLC directors (all active volunteers, I might add) over the last 11 months SINCE Andy Norman had his pass for volunteering removed - with no recourse by Andy to any redress or appeal.

    Anyway, that is enough for the moment. I hope I have adequately replied to Mike's criticisms of me on here.

    Cheers,

    Julian
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  5. joe_issitt

    joe_issitt New Member

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    Can I offer my two cents on this?

    I am based in Norfolk and regularly volunteer on a certain railway in that county. There is a closer railway, and due to work commitments, I thought about volunteering at said railway. I enquired and was told to join the supporting society, and then I could offer to volunteer. I did just that several months ago, ticked all the boxes of the department I’d like to join, and to this day, I haven’t heard anything.

    Luckily, I have another railway to volunteer at, but if I was a brand new volunteer, I wouldn’t bother. Railways have to follow up on these things, otherwise they only have themselves to blame when they have a lack of volunteers
     
  6. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    In what way was this abandoned? From where I'm siting it reached a successful conclusion - albeit with ongoing Coombes Report conclusions still being implemented.
     
  7. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I would myself suggest a preserved railway ought to have a proactive approach to encouraging new volunteers, and not for just 'idiots wasting time', but those who like me have previously volunteered on 2 other preserved railways, and also have also worked on the railways as a career in safety critical roles and are therefore not amateurs.

    I had an exchange of emails with Patrick Wainwright of the WSR, the last of which was as follows:-

    28th August 2019...

    "Hello Patrick,
    I think it might be a good thing if I took up your kind offer of a day with you on the WSR, and as I mentioned this morning [an earlier email exchange] I'm on annual leave 19th to 30th September if you are volunteering during the above dates.
    With best wishes,
    Julian Atkins"
    [My phone numbers I provided and address I have deleted etc for here]

    Never heard a single word from him subsequently, either via email or telephone or mobile or text. Was told Chris Bailey would be contacting me also (I was never provided with Chris's contact details, same as Mike never provided his). No contact whatsoever from Chris Bailey, and I had no means of contacting him.

    What more can you do?!

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  8. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that this sounds like a sorry saga with an apparently poor outcome for both yourself & the WSR whatever the actual reasons are behind all this.
    In answer to your final question I would suggest that a situation like this should become the subject of one further letter - to the General Manager for his information & action.
    Posting on here may or may not be read by the right people and is quite probably not seen as the first port of call for a reliable "litmus" test on things - given the nature of some of the content from time.
    to time. An old fashioned carefully written letter is far more likely to get the attention it deserves.
     
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  9. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    Rightly or wrongly perhaps some of your posts from the past have set your fate at the WSR.

    You have previously volunteered at two other preserved railways. To save any further stress for yourself would it not be easier for you to return to those? <BJ>
     
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  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Stogumber - Cattle dock progress.

    The brick wall at the southern end of the structure has been rebuilt and shuttering is now in place to cast the missing section of concrete ring beam.

    The shuttering was cut up in either the smallest workshop on the West Somerset Railway, or the only workbench with a roof I have ever seen...:D

    Good work chaps.

    368F378C-BF0C-4B59-AE4F-CFA862A066AE.jpeg 37F39D20-EB78-4714-AF82-4FB08A9FEE2F.jpeg
     
  11. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I’ve enjoyed many of Gils cakes, washed down with mugs of tea at that roofed workshop!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  12. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    I have only just read your posting. My understanding is that at the beginning of the
    15 month financial year 2018/9 the then GM and FD were elected to the Board as
    executive directors ( rather than their previous associate status ). Their remuneration
    was then correctly shown within Directors salaries rather than within staff salaries as
    in 2017.

    I assume your posting was with mischievous intent. AFAIK this was all correct
    procedure.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  13. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Is it the same team that organising the 1960s day as the 1940s weekend
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Surely in the absence of an explanation which has now been forthcoming it is a legitimate question to raise?
     
  15. Dan Taylor

    Dan Taylor New Member

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    Struggling to understand the logic of this.

    So let me get this straight,
    You are saying because someone has a differing opinion on a situation, Of which they are entitled to, That in some way disqualifies them from giving their time, services and expertise for free to an organisation.

    Just because they have a differing opinion and don't toe the party line.

    A differing opinion on a situation surrounding a preserved railway,

    If it turns out they are a neo-nazi, some kind of phobic towards any gender, etc, You might have a point.

    But to disqualify someone for having a different opinion, Staggering.
     
  16. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Surely railway work is team work and if you choose to be at loggerheads with the team's way of doing things then you are not going to achieve much in contributing towards the common goals. Much better to find an alternative team/railway/hobby where your input will be constructive rather than destructive. It is as simple as that.

    Peter
     
  17. Dan Taylor

    Dan Taylor New Member

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    Who said anything about being at as you put it "loggerheads" with anyone.

    X might like sugar in their tea, Y might not like sugar,Z might not like tea at all.


    It isn't something to fall out over and or cause friction within a team.

    Just because you don't share the same vision,

    You don't have to like who you work with, whether you have the choice or not it's not mandatory.

    Doesn't mean you should need to find somewhere else to contribute to,
    If you enjoy doing what you are doing regardless of if you don't agree with someone's view, it shouldn't matter.
    Does it not occur to you that someone might disagree with the way, their choice of organisation to volunteer for is heading.
    But judging by the grief you get on here for having a differing view, just keeps their opinion to themselves and gets on with the work regardless.

    End of the day it shouldn't matter as long as it doesn't become an issue.

    No one should be bullied or intimidated into changing their opinion, Just because X says , Y's opinion is wrong.
    or for that matter for saying they don't entirely agree with something.

    Have you not thought that someone who wants to give up their time for free, To the WSR in this case might have done some research, ended up speaking to people and reading this then thought, Actually I don't want to get involved in this. or felt too intimidated to , After reading someone was fired from a volunteer footplate role for having an opinion and voicing it.
     
  18. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    We all know what assume means and you are incorrect as it was a genuine question. The conclusion is that the wage bill for "normal" salaries therefore increased by a far greater amount than shown above the relevant numbers in the accounts.

    You suggested earlier that I use my professional experience to create some business plans that would assist the WSR and I responded that I had already done so. I'll leave you to put two and two together.
     
  19. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Sorry but you are the one who referred to not toeing the party line. This suggests to me that you are not going to be a very constructive team player. We are all volunteers and as such we can choose who we want to work alongside. You are not going to be very welcome if your arrival is going to be disruptive to the team. Being a volunteer does not give you any god given rights - there are those volunteers who manage to fall out with almost everyone around them and then claim that no one likes them. Well thats life I'm afraid. A good team is one that gets on well together not one that is riven by dissent. Don't join if you do not share the teams aims.

    Peter
     
  20. Dan Taylor

    Dan Taylor New Member

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    What are you talking about? Are you on or from another planet? Where has anyone mentioned God given rights. Aiming to disrupt the team. You are completely missing the point, Whether you are being serious or being obtuse for the sake of being obtuse I can't work out.

    So you are saying if you like cleaning locos or want to help with the preservation of a certain example,if you don't agree with everyone you have to work with, then don't bother. I'm sorry but you can't agree with everyone. I think you are being obtuse for the sake of it, others may agree with me others may not , doesn't make me wrong.

    But your view everyone should agree with your view or jog on, is the reason why people don't want to volunteer and would choose not to work with you, cause they wouldn't want to be dictated to by some jumped up little dictator like yourself what you think everyone should think.

    You are part of the problem not the solution and I feel sorry for anyone who has to volunteer with you if that's what you choose to do.
     

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