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West Somerset Railway - Removal of the PLC Chairman and related matters

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by rodders154, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    What does that say for those of us in the ‘within 200 yards’ category?

    Answers on a post card, please...

    Robin
     
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  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Yes, a postcard. Otherwise the thread could get locked again! :D
     
  3. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    Michael

    Another correction

    I thank-you for your kind comments about "your splendid miniature Railway equipment businesses" but note you infer that I have retired form said business.

    This is not correct.

    I would like to assure you and the customers of my the business that are observing the WSR saga from all corners of the world (except North America and Russia -sorry folks) that I have not retired from the business.

    I will agree with you that I watch my cash flow like a hawk, you try and get a discount on steel rail!!!

    You will be please to hear that we have a workshop with plenty of work, cash in the bank to pay staff and suppliers, plenty of stock to provide a rapid response.
    You may be comforted to learn that I have discovered the basics of business from the shop floor and with my own resources, have built on success, been straight with suppliers and customers and have a reputation of good standing in the miniature railway work .

    I may not have attended a 6 week course in corporate practice in the US but despite that feel confident that the progress of business thus far has been successful.

    You have no doubt confused the sale of another business that has resulted in my having more time available for the WSR, it was a Win Win situation really !!

    See you next week

    Jeff Price
     
  4. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I should probably not reply, but which is it? Is 'Cash King' or not?

    The reason I ask is that when I pointed out that the WSRA had generated cash in 2017, you said this has to be 'set against' an incomplete attempt to analyse trading performance, which concluded with a rather serious accusation from you of there being 'missing cash' (two different amounts of how much being quoted). On what do you base your statement that that the WSRA's problem is 'cash being consumed'? The Cash Flow Statement in the 2017 Accounts shows modest sums, totalling about £67k, as having been generated in both the last 2 years.

    A quick examination of the same document for the WSRplc shows cash and bank balances reducing by £295k, so may I suggest that the WSRplc has both a problem with shortage now (allegedly - although it is pretty much the one thing everyone agrees on) and has been using it up at quite a rate over the past couple of years. The main reason has been considerably more Capital Expenditure than the WSRA has needed to make, as one would expect with the respective assets and commitments of the 2 organisations.

    Perhaps the other point of note is that the cash generated by the WSRA does not cover the cash used by WSRplc. In other words, 2 of the main players in the West Somerset Railway family have been net users of cash in both the last 2 years. That is the real issue that the whole West Somerset Railway family need to be focused on, I would suggest (from over 200 miles away!)

    Steven
     
  5. Herald

    Herald Member

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    Site closure would certainly help with looking inwards and keeping problems to oneself. As nobody in Somerset seems to think advice from elsewhere worthwhile one wonders why people from Somerset started posting and why anybody with good experience of similar railways elsewhere bothers to offer advice?

    Of course others might think that by posting and providing a full explanation of events and requirements help and cash might be forthcoming. This site has previously promoted one railway projects and obtained help and cash for the railway.
     
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  6. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    A few pages back, we had a statement from Frank C that there was not a financial hole. Are we now to understand it was a terminological inexactitude ?

    Please note that I am within the 200 mile limit.
     
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  7. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Having checked the map I've discovered that I'm less that 200 miles away even in Sheffield! I can in future however restrict my comments to when I'm at home in Cheltenham if members feel my opinions might be worth more then.
     
  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    I guess 'Eric', when he mentioned 200 miles never realized it would create so much mirth/ridicule (take your pick). Anyway, it has served to remind folk that there is intelligent life north of Bristol. :D
     
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  9. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    One of the privileges of being asked to assist with legal and other matters across the whole heritage movement (aircraft as well as railways) apart from the opportunity to sample (and work) on dining trains all over the country (!) is to see how much innovation there is and to see how different ways have been found to solve most problems facing the movement. The trick is to transfer that good practice.

    Robin

    CD03D1F2-F958-4936-A8D2-F2E51D4D68DC.jpeg
     
  10. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    There was not and is not an immediate cash crisis, which is what I understood was being implied. To talk in vague terms such as "financial hole" means different things to different people, and in my view is unhelpful.
    Frank
     
  11. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    For the purpose of avoiding a vague term, what do you mean by "immediate" ? Would that be 2 months, 6 months or a year ?
     
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  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Of course at the moment we still dont know why things happened just that they did
     
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  13. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    Snifter
    I am sure you do not expect me to get into a detailed discussion about the PLC financial position - good or bad - on an open public forum. If you have a detailed question I suggest you contact our Finance Director and he will decide what can reasonably be provided.
    Frank
     
  14. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

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    Take your pick!

    immediate
    [ɪˈmiːdɪət]
    ADJECTIVE
    1. occurring or done at once; instant.
      "the authorities took no immediate action" ·
      instant · instantaneous · on-the-spot · prompt · swift ·
      current · present · existing · existent · actual ·
      recent · not long past · just gone · occurring recently
    2. philosophy
      (of knowledge or reaction) gained or shown without reasoning; intuitive.
     
  15. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I can fully understand caution in responding to questions about a Company's financial position. At the same time, hopefully anyone can understand that the stakeholders of any Company where doubts have been expressed about the health of the finances, which includes the Company's workforce (especially when a large majority of that work force are unpaid), would welcome any update that may be available, such as some trading information, even the vaguest of hints as to plans to deal with the situation or at least some sort of timescale as to when such updates may be available. The longer there is no update and the less information that is made available, the greater the assumption of problems and the extent of them.

    I can quite understand from own experience that when there appears to be a problem, it takes time to both quantify the problem and bring forward viable solutions, especially as these no doubt involve external parties such as banks. Incomplete updates or vague talk of problems can be unhelpful and cause needless panic, especially if the existence or extent of a problem is only recently apparent. Personally, I always preferred to offer solutions when detailing any 'challenges'.

    All that said, what we seem to have here is warnings from (ex-) Chairmen dating back nearly a year, what in the circumstances of the 60103 visit can only be described as disappointing trading results (again containing warnings) and only the vaguest of declarations about how the situation is being addressed, while the Board has found the time to remove its Chairman without replacement, we are assured not due to personalities or grudges but without any real indication as to what was the reason.

    No-one has a right to expect any discussion on a public forum from those 'in the know' but plenty of people (volunteers, staff, shareholders, other interested parties) do have a legitimate expectation of answers on the present financial situation, the outlook for winter cash flow and what the WSRplc Board are (finally some may say) going to do about it, and, I would suggest given how long there have been the warnings of the need for action, that expectation has considerable urgency.

    It is, however, good to see some engagement here from the WSRplc Board leadership although, again, I stress this forum has no 'right' to such engagement (others, however, do).

    Steven
     
  16. Jeff Price

    Jeff Price Well-Known Member

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    To reflect on some local Minehead wisdom, I would offer the following observation

    "I don’t pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about. – Arthur C. Clarke"

    Born in Minehead, just over 100 years ago, lived his latter years in Sri Lanka, bit of a visionary.

    Not sure if the 200 mile limit applies or not

    Jeff
     
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  17. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    But is there intelligent life south west of Bristol? Some of us over 200 miles away do wonder.
     
  18. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    There definitely is once you are south of Whiteball Tunnel, I can confirm it. ;)
     
  19. Eric Tyler

    Eric Tyler New Member

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    Somerset, known here as Darwin’s missing link. Can’t work out why.
     
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  20. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Given Arthur Clarke's final resting place would it be appropriate to ask if the 200 mile limit applies on the horizontal plane only or does it also apply to the vertical plane.
     
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