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7027 Thornbury Castle

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by svrhunt, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. 6024KEI

    6024KEI Member

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    Agreed - if its a constituent group then it is the responsibility of the main charity board but that's only possible if communication works. If the 4709 group have gone off under the radar and done this without reference back to the main board (and the GWS statement at least hints they were in the dark) its in the territory of dealing with the aftermath and realising that you need to tighten controls. In any form of management you try and put the right processes in place and the right people in positions but inevitably its only when they do something you never expected that you realise you were wrong.

    That said if 7027 has been bought privately, then there's not a lot GWS can do about that. They may now want to have a say as to whether 7027's boiler is used in the way suggested but it doesn't necessarily get 7027 back in line for a restoration as a Castle.
     
  2. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    9F boiler (92214) onto extended castle frames to give TGB .... no one will spot the difference
     
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  3. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    None of which has been undone. I am sympathetic for the volunteers who put their time in if they were specifically doing it for want of restoring another Castle but the point I'm trying to make is nothing has actually been destroyed, just reused.

    Maybe the GCR fallout spurred it on, but putting 7027 up for sale after a bit of restoration isn't anything new. Have the 4709 Group even said what their plan is for the rest of the components yet? Maybe it's spurred enough interest now to get a charitable group together to actually take on the other remaining components and make sure they have a plan beyond the will of one person.
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't normally pick people up on grammar, but in these two cases I will, specifically to clarify "disinterested". I suspect in each case (and certainly the first) the poster meant "uninterested". The two words have very different meanings, so worth clarifying. (Disinterested means “without a vested interest.” Uninterested means “not showing interest" - so I think the sense in the first quote would be uninterested).

    Tom
     
  5. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    point taken but still better than I couldn't give a t...
     
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  6. Mr Valentine

    Mr Valentine Member

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    Funnily enough I originally wrote 'apathetic', but other phrases are available...
     
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  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    To a point. However, the way I see it is that a partly constructed 47xx exists; and a partly restored Castle exists; but there is only one boiler between two locos.

    For both locos to have an operational future, a new boiler needs building (and an existing one will in any case need extensive restoration - they always do).

    So while you are correct in principle that nothing of the Castle has been destroyed, my very strong suspicion is that by taking away the boiler, you essentially park it in the "too difficult" camp. The practical outcome of which will be it essentially gets abandoned: restoration skills are in short supply, and I doubt there are too many people willing any longer to take on a loco of that size without a boiler. My sense therefore is that while it is nice and easy to make statements that nothing is destroyed in this move, my hunch is that to all intents and purposes it consigns the Castle to a life in the weeds at the end of a siding, while still ending up with a loco that isn't actually an example of a 47xx. Come back to me in five years and show me I am wrong ...

    Ultimately, I'm not massively interested ;) in the fate of either, but I am interested in governance around heritage railways, and I am interested in the capacity concerns within the sector. There are probably quite a number of locos around the country that have a bleak future simply because more has been "preserved" than can ever realistically be restored and protected, but I'd suggest that 7027's future has just become that bit bleaker, whatever the warm words of a press release might say.

    Tom
     
  8. zep108

    zep108 Member

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    hello
    what a mess this has become i just feel so sorry for craig swinchcombe and his team who have put in all the hard work , the progress has been imense. i remember having a look at it at crewe it was in a bad state i never thought anyone would take it on
    they must be gutted to have worked that hard on her - for me personally i hope now we might see 63601 back in action sooner
     
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  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    who was funding that ? .....
     
  10. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    Apparently some Italians want it to bung a new-build Franco Crosti boiler on it. They made an offer that couldn't be refused

    Sent from my XQ-BT52 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    They must be, because the clear implication is that the 4709 group is under the umbrella of GWS, and I would assume a restricted fund. Therefore, if you had donated to 4709, that donation must go through GWS and be allocated to 4709, as must any Gift Aid claimed on that donation.

    When I had cause a couple of years ago to look at guidance on Restricted Funds, what struck me was the way that this guidance treated them as though they were to all intents and purposes a separate charity, even though part of a parent organisation. I was looking through the lens of church fabric and general funds (don't ask!), but the issues also apply in a situation like this.

    Ultimately, the Trustees &/or Directors (a quick glance at the GWS website suggests a charitable company structure may well be in place) have the legal duties to the organisations purposes. As such, their duty is to the well being of the whole organisation, and the fulfilment of its purposes and they are ultimately jointly and severally responsible in law. If their governance structures allow a major decision to be taken, which has adverse effects on the organisation as a whole, and they do not exercise control over that decision, then there is a significant failure of governance and control and they may be failing in their duties. In particular, I'd be concerned here about the possibility that a retired trustee might be acting as though still authorised to make the major decisions, and beyond the control of the board. That raises the spectre of them acting as a "shadow" trustee or director, something that I understand raises legal issues.

    Like @Jamessquared, I have relatively little interest in 7027 per se; my interest is in the wider issues this apparent decision raises. I certainly know that if, on the bodies where I am a trustee, a subsidiary body made as significant a decision without consultation with the board as a whole, I would be considering my position.

    PS - all of the above is based on experience and training but IANAL applies.
     
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  12. zep108

    zep108 Member

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    thought 63601 was a nrm loco
     
  13. 61624

    61624 Part of the furniture

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    Isn't the stated plan for "Thornbury Castle" to become "Thornbury Star", and wasn't there a "Hall" boiler available for 4709 that could go the other way to 7027's frames in exchange for 7027's boiler?
     
  14. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Not necessarily. To turn the bottom half of Thornbury into a Star you need a Swindon No.1 boiler, and there are quite a few of those lying around, not all of them on locos that are likely to need them any time soon. A spare one has been found for the Grange.

    As the resources do not exist to restore, overhaul and operate all the surviving steam locos, nor would there be the traffic for all of them to haul, filling some gaps in the surviving classes seems worthwhile, even at the expense in some cases of losing one member of a class that does survive. There are at least two other Castles with no prospect of any imminent return to traffic, one at Didcot and one at Tyseley.

    I agree that there could be some messy governance issues, which may need to be looked at. But still, if the legal owner has chosen to sell to the Night Owl group, and those individuals have contrived to raise the purchase price, it's not clear to me that anyone has done anything wrong, even if many observers don't like it.
     
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  15. std tank

    std tank Part of the furniture

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    Yes it is.
     
  16. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I think the whole sorry saga required someone, somewhere asking “are we cutting our nose to spite our face”…

    In essence a locomotive capable of restoration and partway in the throes of it, is being sacrificed for a new build.

    This is a new scenario railway preservation hasn’t faced. Of course there’s going to be debate and some anger. We haven’t faced this before with an active restoration.

    I’m minded to say that the 4709 Group should think carefully about their next steps.

    Please don’t misunderstand me - it’s not a threat - but an observation that their actions will be judged and become part of railway preservation history.

    They may find that this decision - likely made with the best of intentions - comes across in a way that will sour relations with other groups and organisations.

    Or - counter point - it might lead to a working locomotive that entertains the visiting public. At what cost, is likely up to the individual to decide.
     
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  17. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    Having just visited the Night Owl Project Website I found the following under "company information", a link at the bottom LHS of the web page which elicits donations:
    • Registered Company Name : Great Western Society Limited
    • Registered Company Address : Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7NJ
    • Registered Company Number : 00899248

    The evasive release from the GWS today is simply an ill thought out smoke screen.
     
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  18. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    it is , however the overhaul and possibly that of 70013 was being funded by someone , who quite possibly is pursuing an exit strategy for all their GCR interests
     
  19. MPR

    MPR New Member

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    And new front frame plates, new inside and outside cylinders, altered main frame rears, new driving wheels, coupling rods, new cab.
    Or you could put a standard No.1 boiler onto the 47xx, like the prototype 47 actually carried.
     
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  20. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    I'm really dismayed by the news about 7027. I've followed the fate of this loco for years. How many times have we seen it languish unloved, then change hands with promise of a new dawn only to be cast aside again? I find it difficult to accept that anyone with a passion for steam would want to destroy a loco that has survived this long after Barry, even though there are several other extant members of its class. I use the word "destroy" intentionally. A locomotive is more than a sum of its (recyclable) parts. It has an identity. It carries within it an extensive social history including those who built it, maintained it, drove it, fired it, travelled behind it . . .

    Of course, it's none of my business what people do with the things they own, but I do wonder about the mentality and (lack of) heart of some of them.
     
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