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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch New Member

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    Not running any trains and still plenty of combative comment.
    There are other heritage railways who just get on with it.
     
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  2. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    It is also a bleedin' obvious point that has been completely missed by the WSRA. That's why 4110 Ltd were able to raise so much money so quickly: the money was going to buy the donor something tangible in the way that a donation to the WSRA is never going to. The WSRA should have realised this before they put so many peoples' backs up with their ill-considered e-mail. The timing may have been forced upon them, but they should have realised the problem that caused and moderated their language to suit. They should have been asking the 4110 Ltd supporters to perhaps consider donating money to the the WSRA instead, not saying "send your money here, now".
     
  3. 3855

    3855 Member

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    Ribble Steam Railway?!
     
  4. jnc

    jnc Member

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    Ah, that ever-popular WSR activity: 'Ha-ha, your end of the ship railway is sinking..."

    The PLC is asking that this be done through the WSRA. Isn't that enough? Who is this engine supposed to be for, again?

    For once, the management of the two bodies have, modulo some process/timing hiccups, got it right. To quote that truly wonderful line from 'Pogo' - 'We have met the enemy, and they are us.'

    Noel
     
  5. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    Remember it’s not the WSRA’s decision to whom the loco is sold, or at what price. The WSRA are offering a perfectly acceptable and rational solution that fulfils the objectives of the 4110 supporters. If people want to get angry about this whole affair then it’s not the WSRA they should be getting angry with. People need to focus on the ends and not the means I feel.
     
  6. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I feel sure that if this was the original proposition and a company had not been set up in the interim people would be quite happy with this arrangement. As it is, it's now all got rather messy. No one comes out of this smelling of roses frankly, which is bad for the railway as a whole, as usual.
     
  7. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

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    It is clear from the earlier post by @aldfort that 4110 Ltd have been supported and kept in the loop by the WSRA all along.

    It is also clear from the letter to the PLC Chairman from Mr Ridduck of 4110 Ltd, that they were given the chance to come on board with the joint PLC/WSRA initiative several days in advance of the PLC/WSRA joint statement. But the 4110 Directors chose to err at that point, and continue with their own fundraising. Note that this letter appeared earlier on the 4110 FB page.

    It therefore couldn’t be clearer to me that the error of judgement, sadly, lies with the 4110 Directors.
     
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  8. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    The 4110 directors have been successfully fund raising for weeks to save 4110 for the WSR, when there was no apparent interest from the WSRA. I don’t think they can be blamed for not immediately ‘coming on board’ when told this news a few days ago. They clearly have reservations about the WSRAs ability to purchase the loco.

    The WSRA certainly aren’t blameless in this. If they had stated their interest weeks ago, there wouldn’t be this mess now. Also the language used in the WSRA statement ‘now pay your pledges to us’ rather than ‘ please consider making a donation to us instead’ was very ill considered.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Given the earlier post from @aldfort, I think that is somewhat unfair to the WSRA.

    However, what matters here should not be a post mortem of who said what to whom and when, but a focus on the locomotive and its relationship with the WSR.

    In a parallel universe, the idea that a supporters organisation would fundraise for the benefit of the railway, and that the two parts of the organisation would be completely aligned, should not cause surprise. Only in West Somerset could this be turned into a cloud.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  10. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    How much was/is in the company pot toward the restoration? One chap reckons he was buying company shares by direct debit for months specifically for the restoration, were they separate from the general shares?
     
  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    The only permission they need to 'release' funds raised for that purpose to buy a loco is that given by the donors precisely for that purpose!

    And no, a Charity does not need its members specific permission for every expenditure it makes, as long as that expenditure can be shown to be in pursuit of its Charitable Aims, which the members have effectively authorised by becoming members.

    This whole episode has left me fearing that the West Somerset Railway will indeed fail, because it seems too many of its supporters prefer to wage out of date battles and see conspiracies to justify their dislike of certain organisations (or possibly the individuals involved with those organisations) and engage in power struggles rather than step back and ask what actually helps in these difficult times. Some people, bluntly, need to grow up.

    I am not saying that every party (or possibly even any party) in this is on the brink of a Noble Peace prize - from information available, it is difficult to judge (to this outsider) where the obvious delay in making clear that the present owners of 4110 would prefer and indeed now will only sell the loco to the supporting Charity and not a new Group (which would have far less safe guards against ending up with West Somerset Railway members' money funding a loco that ended up elsewhere) arose.

    What is, however, clear is that, certainly amongst those who post here, rather than calmly saying 'OK, what best achieves securing the loco's long term future on the West Somerset Railway, increases the chances of restoration and provides WSRplc with much needed cash, some 'supporters' would rather look for the malice intent in every action of those they have a pre-decided dislike of, even going to the extent of stating as if known and proven fact some very wild guesses necessary to turn their show villain is exactly that, even when known facts make no case for such a judgement.

    'A house divided against itself shall not stand'.

    Steven
     
  12. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    I feel that I have to ask the question "what do we hope to achieve by posting here?"

    We can discuss the situation, we can air our opinions, we can make our own suggestions about how things should be done, we can complain about how things are being done but ultimately it's not going to make a bit of difference. All it does is present the view that the WSR is permanently in a state of some sort of civil war.

    I think that it would be far better if those who had strong views on the matter sent a personal e-mail to the trustees and directors of the WSR plc, WSRA and 4110 ltd I suspect they will take more notice of e-mails than postings here on Nat Pres.

    (and, yes, I do realise that some will have already done that, but in that case surely all that's needed is a posting to say you've done that, there's no need to stoke the fire on here.)
     
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  13. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    The 'official' Appeal for the loco was under the WSRA, as I understand it - part of the wider Loco appeal which generally seems to have been felt not to have been a huge success.

    Anybody buying shares not issued against a prospectus has no say over what the money is used for other than an element of 'moral duty' which, despite certain Companies Act 2006 provisions, seems to count for nothing in business these days!

    You might just think about that in respect of a hypothetical company which attracted share money to buy a loco to run on a given Railway, but which over the years sees a change of senior personnel and ends up maybe deciding to issue more shares, 'swamping' the original ones, to get restoration finished, or has somebody come along and say (transfer your shares to me and I can get the loco restored more quickly) and suddenly finds a majority now wants the locos to go elsewhere.

    Steven
     
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  14. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    On that basis, NO appeals will raise anything because people want 'a part' of what they are supporting - 'a part', incidentally, that members of a Company Limited by Guarantee effectively have anyway. Yet 'other railways' manage to raise massive funds (Bluebell are experts) from donations, often without any 'benefits' being given.

    Another case of 'its different in Somerset'? This could look like people are 'supporting' the West Somerset Railway only if there is something in it for them, which I am sure is a very unfair comment but difficult not to be a conclusion reached based solely on what is being said here.

    Steven
     
  15. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    The same could be said about virtually every other thread on this forum. We are all just discussing and expressing our opinions on things we have no control over.
     
  16. twr12

    twr12 Member

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    Bluebell Railway has the benefit of being in the stockbroker belt. They have an appeal and money rolls in.
     
  17. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I suspect that you rather over simplify things in respect of the Bluebell (the sheer hard work involved and indeed where their members live!) but my point is that people GIVE money to other Railways without, apparently, having any need to feel they get part ownership in return. Where they or that Railway are located is surely irrelevant to that altruistic generosity?

    Steven
     
  18. Keith Sims

    Keith Sims Member

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    I believe that this whole debacle shows up the inability of the Railway management to
    a) address conflict and do something about it quickly
    b) to communicate adequately with stake holders in a timely manner (as a shareholder I have not received any "official "word that the company is in serious financial difficulties) a direct and honest call for funds when the plc decided to close down until April might have produced a meaningful inflow of cash. With all that has happened since I guess a lot of hands will stay in pockets and money will be difficult to come by.
     
  19. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they do, but generally they give larger sums to share issues.

    The last SVR Share Issue raised £2.4m - do you really think that an appeal for donations would have raised anything like that amount?
     
  20. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I am only aware of the stakeholder/shareholder/staff meeting taking place on 2nd February at Taunton because Steve Edge posted details on his website.

    WSR Plc are in possession of my email address yet I have had nothing from them.

    Yet another example of the lack of communication and respect shown to those who the Railway depends on for support.

    Guess I know where I'll be on February 2nd.

    Stef.
     

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