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S&D Railway Trust and Washford Eviction Notice

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Andy Norman, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    This debate about the legalities of what has happened is interesting and may or may not establish who is right or wrong but it won't change anything because taking the dispute to a conclusion will cost money that both parties can ill afford to lose. The fact remains that the plc wants the S&DRT to go. Whether a plc with an entirely different membership of its Board would have the same view is a different matter but that is only a relevant consideration if the whole Board were to change.

    Given the story line of the WSR, it seems to me that a stable set-up has decided that the best solution is to distance itself from an unstable one. You can hardly blame them and who can say what better circumstances and environment may arise from so doing?
     
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  2. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    So, the bully wins.
     
  3. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Point of order, today's plc management wish the S&DRT to go; I would hesitate to tar all who do work for the plc with the brush of that decision.
     
  4. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    True. Nothing beyond that was even hinted at. But the fact remains that this is where things are. Suppose that every paid employee of the WSR plc were to resign tomorrow in protest over the decision then that might cause a stir. The media fall out would probably tip the plc over the edge. But....would it actually move things on? The S&DRT stands a good chance, I think, of finding a new permanent home for its set-up and its loco. And what the WSR plc may be about to find out is that any financial support it might have received will be diverted to support that move. The physical support that they may also have enjoyed will be lost.
     
  5. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    A very valid point . carrying on with your volunteering without registering a protest gives support to the actions of the board
     
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  6. granmaree

    granmaree Member

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    I wonder if the two S&D directors that resigned actually would have chosen to step down the week before the eviction notice or if it was a case of 'my way or the highway' from the plc?
     
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  7. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    The board know that they can behave as they like because there are zero consequences to their actions. They might get bad publicity, they might lose a handful of volunteers, but they know that there will still be plenty who will turn up. Sadly, the only consequence the PLC board can receive is the nuclear option of going bust. It is clear that volunteers can exert no pressure, it is clear that supporter organisations can exert no pressure, it is clear that there shareholder route is ineffective, it is clear outside organisations are toothless, it is clear that public criticism merely results in a circling of the wagons and doubling down that the critics want the line to fail.

    And here is the long term point, IF the WSR survives, then the board will be emboldened to say that the end justifies the means and to carry on unchecked. We see enough of that with the spin that the board 'saved' the WSR and we should all bow down before them, well, that narrative is only going to be re-enforced. So expect more of the same with whoever, falls foul of the board next time.

    A curious decision from a neutral actor given the tone and content of the post concerned. One can only assume that Lineisclear is in full agreement with the argument and attitudes expressed in that post.

    For some reason, Florence Reece is floating around my mind.

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  8. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Whether or not you intended it, you have described precisely why so many commentators on this thread (and most likely, in the wider world) find this whole business so uttlery distasteful and self-defeating. At a time when every single penny counts, how much has it cost for legal advice to be taken? Getting the legal opinion of a suitably qualified solicitor is going to host £100s per hour, money that could and should be being spent on things of much greater importance. Moreover, it demonstrates why many people are reluctant to support the railway; why donate to the PLC when there is quite a good chance that the money will spent on completely avoidable legal fees? It is certainly the reason my money has gone elsewhere. I take no pleasure in saying that and I have no desire to see the WSR fail but how much longer can things continue like this? I have nothing but sympathy for the S&DRT and wish them well in whatever decision they take; personally, I don't think I could stay somewhere where I clearly was not welcome.
     
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  9. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Quite so. When the S&DRT leave, who will be next? Perhaps some of the sycophants, like the WSRA. They remind me of the classroom creep who cheers on the school bully, and then finds that the bully wants a new victim. He won't find anyone in the rest of the class sympathising with him.
     
  10. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Having carefully read posts from certain members here and elsewhere, I wouldn't class the WSRA as sycophants.
     
  11. Keith Sims

    Keith Sims Member

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    If this is a correct report of the situation it could show considerable foresight!
    Consider what might happen if litigation proceeds:
    the S&d lose and are saddled with high legal costs and removal costs...disaster.
    the S&d win and WSR are saddled with high costs which could tip the scales into bankruptcy......Pyrric victory for S&D as with no train service Washford is "out on a limb", away from many potential visitors.
    Perhaps not fighting the case but walking away with least possible costs to a site with more certainty of long term visitor accessibility and assured tenancy looks like a very sensible decision.
    Keith.....who would like to see S&D and WSR survive.
     
  12. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    An even more sensible decision would be for the plc to withdraw their notice to quit.
     
  13. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Agreed. And I also sympathise with those with deep seated loyalties to the WSR who are faced with no good options.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  14. jnc

    jnc Well-Known Member

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    Is that definite, though? I've not seen a formal announcement from the SDRT, though, though, which I'd have expected if the SDRT had decided to relocate. Although perhaps they are waiting until the paperwork on a new location is completed before making any public statement.

    Noel
     
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  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That is an interesting and 'Catch 22' point.

    If the WSR survives with the current people then the Board can indeed behave as you suggest. Although whether they would is just speculation.
    If the WSR does not survive then the situation turns into a 'fire sale' that you could envisage might be financially profitable for whomever decides to step in and salvage something. That, again, would involve speculation as to what the benefit would be and for whom.

    My point is, and sorry for another conundrum, but these scenarios are 'rock and a hard place' ones. It really does seem that nothing concerning the WSR is ever straightforward and that, in itself, must tell all observers something.
     
  16. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    The fire sale scenario is the most worrying - great development opportunities at Minehead old station, and even the Washford yard despite the poor road access - they seem to give planning permission for anything these days to meet house building targets.
     
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  17. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member

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    Especially if a person with significant control in one activity is also a person with significant control in another. Just sayin. ;);)
     
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  18. echap

    echap Member

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    There appears to be a shift in opinion on here that the S&DRT will be leaving. If so, I wonder if the move might be paid for by selling the track and building only to the plc. The plc would have a ready made yard for p-way and the S&DRT would have the funds to move and set up a new home. Not a perfect solution in many ways but one that could help the Trust finance any move?
     
  19. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    That rather requires the Plc to have money available to hand over. Somehow I suspect it doesn't.
     
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  20. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I would be curious as to how the plc could find the funds to afford such a move given the funding crisis faced by the WSR. That would feel very much like discretionary expenditure, and far from essential to keeping the railway open. I would also want payment on the nail given both the apparently parlous state of the plc and the ungentlemanly (at best) attitude to agreements shown by the plc of late.
     
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