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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    A bit too soon to be making plans I think.
    We don't yet know if the WSRA has raised the money, or how many of the original pledges will be or have been transferred to the WSRA appeal.
    :Morewaitingisrequired:
     
  2. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

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    Plus the WSR have previously stated that 4110 would be restored in original condition and not converted into another mogul.
     
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  3. HerstonHalt

    HerstonHalt New Member

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    The WSR (plc) are trying to sell the loco. Although it's hopefully staying within the WSR family, it won't matter what the WSR (plc) previously stated if they don't own it any more.

    Sent from my SM-A300FU using Tapatalk
     
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  4. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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    As it was a Taunton based engine and worked the Minehead branch in BR days, it should be left as a 2-6-2 T as it will be 100% authentic for the line.
     
  5. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps you should read the latest published WSRA accounts and you will see that they ample reserves to pay for the loco without any donations.
     
  6. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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    It would be nice to think that all or nearly all the money has been transferred. If so any excess over the purchase price would go to the Loco Restoration Fund giving an immediate £20,000 boost to that fund plus any donations still being received.
    That bonus could then be best used to benefit the railway by completing the restoration of 9351 so that it can be returned to steam for the 2019 season. This would be a great saving to the plc in the coming year and beyond.
     
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  7. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    There might. But I understand that 5193's tanks and bunker were rotten and would have needed to be replaced, so conversion was actually a bit easier than restoration as a tank engine.
     
  8. huochemi

    huochemi Member Friend

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    You can buy more things with air miles than you can with reserves, which are intangible and effectively a figure to make the balance sheet balance. You are mixing concepts. One could note there was only £144,000 in cash in the charity at the end of 2017, but without knowing intervening movements, it is guess work to try and estimate whether the WSRA has the free cash. It would also be a pity to waste the opportunity to raise funds while there is a time pressure incentive.
     
  9. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't do me any good. I'm no good with figures, balance sheets and accounts are a foreign language to me. :)
     
  10. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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    [QUOTE="It would also be a pity to waste the opportunity to raise funds while there is a time pressure incentive.[/QUOTE]

    Nor would there be any advantage in prematurely announcing that the objectives of the fund have been achieved if in doing so you cut off a welcome source of funding.
     
  11. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    Peter, perhaps you should read the synopses of WSRA Board Meetings of 18/12/2018 and 14/1/2019
    (amongst other places to be found on Mr Edge's website) let alone my posting on this site
    No.15667.

    The WSRA has a real challenge; to step up its fund raising activities times ten at least. The 2016
    Business Plan ( a copy was given to all Members attending the October 2016 AGM) concentrated
    on two issues ie increasing Membership Numbers and especially fund raising dramatically.
    The overall objective in the longer term predicated the Association would assume a financial
    position whereby Membership fees cover 'day to day' WSRA overheads. All donations (minus any costs
    directly attributable to said donation) are then available to support the Railway (particularly
    heritage and educational aspects). Good for the greater Railway and reassuring for donors.

    I suggest this is even more relevant 27 months on.

    There is much to do !

    Michael Rowe.
     
  12. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    It seems the Loco Restoration Fund, having raised about £58,000 in its first year (2017) has been largely abandoned. Something less than £200 added in the whole of 2018 ! I really think we need some explanation for this before being asked to contribute to another scheme.

    Also concerning is that the WRSA letter refers to the Company being in "dire straits", and the proposed "urgent" sale of 4110 to raise funds supports this but there is no explanation on the Company website (official or unofficial) of what has happened or why.
    A few months back I posted the following on a thread relating to another railway: "why the need for secrecy ? Openness costs nothing and hurts nobody and avoids "the lurid conjecture and speculation that circulates". It should be unnecessary for members and supporters to have to contact Trustees or Directors (who must have better things to do with their time) for reassurance when a simple statement explaining the problem would have sufficed in the first place.
    This is similar to the problem that has arisen with the WSR PLC where a failure to explain what is going on with the Board membership has given rise to much speculation and some very genuine concerns about the overall management, much of which could have been avoided by being up-front in the first place.
    Boards in volunteer organisations should be aware that withholding information, unless there are genuine personal or legal reasons for doing so, is unwise and often counter-productive. If information is withheld, there will inevitably be speculation, some of which may be malignant if there are personality clashes involved, and the organisation as a whole will suffer. Be up-front and honest, even where mistakes have been made, and the Board will be respected and the organisation strengthened."

    It seems that the Board situation has now been resolved but a financial problem has been revealed. If the Company and the Association want the support of the heritage rail community at large they need to clearly identify the problem and give some indication of the actions (and costs) needed to tackle it. ( I appreciate that some of the problem may not have been fully quantified yet.)

    Mike
     
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  13. daveb

    daveb Member

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    True, but if it looks like the objectives will not be achieved in the required time, it would be better to encourage additional donations than not, surely? As it is, we have no idea, and there are now only nine days to go.
     
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  14. Steven Harris

    Steven Harris New Member

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    Therein lies the essence of the problem. How many appeals have withered on the vine? There is a wall of potential goodwill out there but until the Association shows that it is worthy of support and can get things done then little will be forthcoming. The damage from the past still hangs over it. I myself am not a member yet I buy the Journal at BL. I have yet to be convinced that the Association is worth joining and I fear there are several scores of people out there that share the same view.
     
  15. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    As a long-term supporter of the GWSR and especially the Broadway station build and extension, and one of those who "live far away", I have to agree with Keith that the brilliant series of blogs kept many of us informed and involved. What "Chuffington" seems to be unaware of is that this ongoing communication enabled his railway to fund not only the two embankment replacements but also the Broadway extension - a figure all up in the region of four/five million quid - in a period of some seven years. Other railways I know of are struggling to raise quite small sums, simply because they are not publicising their needs. In fact I have withdrawn my support from a couple because it is impossible to find out what they are doing from their websites. There really is no need for most to go to the extent of the GWSR but it shouldn't be too hard to post an update every two or three months along the line of "we've replaced x number of sleepers and laid the base for our new shed".

    Mike
     
  16. daveb

    daveb Member

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    I understand your point, but this is a good example of the self-fulfilling prophesy I mentioned a few pages back. You won't support the WSRA until they can prove that they can manage without your support. There has been a complete change at the top, a new team in charge, and relations with the PLC is now good (ignoring last summer's problem which was an unfortunate hiccup). Yes, there will be people who will never trust the Association again after the ex6+1 years and that's a pity.
     
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  17. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

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    I have been saying much the same ever since the EX 6 +1 were evicted. We all know how much damage they did and it is disappointing that more progress has not been made. IMHO both the WSR PLC and the WSRA need to appoint a professional, probably paid fundraiser and a professional paid PR otganisation. How ever well intentioned the boards of both organisations just have not had the proper expertise required. This is nothing unique to them and often afflicts organisations run by well meaning amateurs. They have to change and strong, effective leadership is needed. The succession of chairmen of the PLC illustrates this only too well. Sacred cows and elephants in the room need to be dealt with quickly and effectively. That also requires strong minded and well qualified boards. Within the limits of commercial sensitivity openness and communication between boards and supporters is crucial. There are signs this is improving but more is needed. Time to step up to the plate or step down is my message.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Why do you think a professional fundraiser is required? How many railways with successful track records in fundraising have one? Have you checked?

    That feels to me a mechanism to add an administrative cost to a process when no cost is needed.

    My hunch is that (a) there are a number of necessary pre-conditions to successful fundraising, which are much more about culture than whether or not the person leading the effort is a professional or not and (b) within a large membership organisation, there are almost certainly people who already exist with appropriate transferable skills who given the opportunity might well volunteer in a very effective way.

    Tom
     
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  19. daveb

    daveb Member

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    According to the latest board meeting synopsis (and previously mentioned in this thread), the WSRA have co-opted a new trustee with responsibility for fundraising.

    Edited to add: I see that the 9351 reassembly blog has now appeared on the WSRA website - see https://www.wsra.org.uk/category/9351-blog/

    Edited again as URL has changed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  20. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    So why didn't they do that in the first place?
     

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