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Severn Valley Railway to launch £4,000,000 share issue.

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by geekfindergeneral, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. hassell_a

    hassell_a Member

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    As requested, posted on your behalf in The Other Place: SVR-Online Forum :: View topic - Bridgnorth Station redevelopment
     
  2. blandford1969

    blandford1969 New Member

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    Plan B is much more in keeping with the station and does not over power it. Of course since the spec is different it does not include the volunteer accomodation which is badly needed.

    I read with interest the paper has been sent to all the Holdings Board Directors (which I assume includes the two G Board Directors who sit on the H). I hope that all those who are present at the meeting when the revised plans are shown are also shown plan B and given the chance to choose between them.

    Hopefully as many members as possible will talk to the Directors before the middle of Feburary and make their views known.
     
  3. tigger

    tigger New Member

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    Kevin, I have sent you a PM.
     
  4. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    blandford1969: Re the volunteer accommodation, the original proposal for the purposes of the share offer was a sort of futuristic "tube" like building situated above the approach road to Bridgnorth station, ie opposite and just north of the boilershop.

    A suggestion seen along the way in these discussions, and which to my mind would be more in keeping with the site, is to erect a row of "railway cottages", as volunteer accom. There must be a prototype somewhere like in the Swindon railway town, or at least Adrian Vaughan will be well able to point the SVR to a suitable design. Concrete raft, timber frame for speed, modern inside clearly, but clad in a suitable brick skin to a GWR design. Lay some granite setts in front of them and you might even be able to make some money as an occasional film set.....

    46118
     
  5. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Volunteer accomodation at Llanfair Caereinion is based on the concept of a C19th railwaymens hostel. It benefits much from the exceptional skills of the bricklaying contractors involved but, even taking this factor away, the building is a definite addition to the scene.

    P.H.
     
  6. tigger

    tigger New Member

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    These are the directors who will have authority to make the decision: SVR Holdings Board

    The 'steering' committee comprises the core group (Phil Howl architect, Jonathan Symonds consulting engineer to SVR, Nick Ralls GM, Paul Taylor contract project manager, Chris Thomas) and representatives of certain departments based at Bridgnorth - ie Ian Walker works manager, Tony Bending, Steve White, Chris Walton, plus shop, bar & buffet managers, all chaired by Neil Dancer (retired Birmingham Council chief civil engineer).

    Project timings:
    9 Feb - Project Steering Group will see & discuss revised plans, influenced by consultants' report/proposals re HLF application
    19 Feb - H Board - for authority to proceed with plans accepted by steering group
    March internal publication - reveal of revised plans to volunteers
    July onwards HLF submission at stage 1
     
  7. blandford1969

    blandford1969 New Member

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    Thanks Tigger, I too would like to see more traditional looking volunteer accomodation (that is modern inside) as that at Bridgnorth is tired and in the winter very cold!
     
  8. gios

    gios Member

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    Three thoughts on Tiggers post.

    1. The timeline appears firmly set, with no mention of a submission of plan 'B'. In fairness I guess it is rather early, but.....

    2. The response both here and at the Other Place shows 100% support for plan 'B". Are there any supporters for the original plan 'A' or its, as yet, unreleased plan 'A+'. It would be good to hear your views.

    3. It appears the H Board will give authority to proceed with their plans before the membership will see details.

    Has nothing been learned from the initial launch, which followed a similar pattern to the dismay of the membership.
     
  9. b.oldford

    b.oldford Member

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    Isn't the timeline for grants etc based on obtaining planning permission?

    If there are objections from Bridgnorth residents that might include real alternative designs isn't it possible that the PP procedure may be severely delayed?

    Would the H Board risk causing feelings ranging between disgruntlement and wrath of many of the very people it needs to run the railway?
     
  10. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    If that timeline is the case then it does appear so, and if that is the case then this is surely a huge mistake. Again communication and clarity from the SVR arer conspicuously absent, those in charge must be aware of the feelings of supporters both here, the other place (& I to find its registration process baffling), and presumably via other communications that they are receiving. Given the strength of feeling that is becoming ever more evident then I would have thought regular updates on the current thinking, or the quoshing of unfounded internet speculation/views/misassumptions etc would be desirable.

    But the problem is that the railway is in danger selling its soul in the chasing of grant money, which means that given the errors already made in not consulting the membership before the launch of the share offer/redevelopment scheme that time is now of the essence. IMHO the railway has seen grant money on offer and thought what can we do with that, rather than thinking what do we need and how do we best fund that.

    The railway have once chance to get this right, I would argue that a slower period of development funded by members/shareholders is a better process than a grant funded scheme which will irrevocably destroy the environs of Bridnorth. As others have said, if the railway misses this particular grant boat there will be other opportunities to obtain such funding in future (when or how much remains unknown at this stage, but they will come along). I urge the railway to take stock of the situation and do not alienate its loyal supporters any more.
     
  11. tigger

    tigger New Member

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    Anyone who would like to register on the svra-forum SVR-Online Forum :: Index please send me PM, and I will send you the link. It is kept hidden due to the high level of spam registrations, but new users are welcome.
     
  12. Lingus

    Lingus New Member

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    At the other place
     
  13. 84A

    84A New Member

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    Good question - I have thought about this a little myself. Would the people who contributed based on the original plans/designs for SteamWorks (and associated add-ons) automatically accept the modifications of, say, a fairly radical overhaul such as that proposed in Plan B? For instance, there has been talk on the disabled access to Platform 2. If people originally contributed with the intention of seeing the new footbridge installed at the north end of the station, how would they feel if such a proposal was shelved altogether?

    Unfortunately, the directors have not handled this well at all in not consulting the membership in the correct manner before publishing proposed designs. Once again, it goes back to my earlier post regarding membership discount cuts. The railway no longer appears to value membership - a membership which is responsible for producing far and away the best designs to date. The railway needs to get its act together and fast.
     
  14. Lingus

    Lingus New Member

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    More than a week has passed since Plan B was made available at the other place to the great unwashed. It is notable that there is a distinct wall of silence is emanating from the design team. It is likely the publishing of the Jameson, Redfern, Simpson design has caused more than a little consternation and disarray within the design trio/quartet and they are unsure of what response to make. How long should this lack of communication be allowed to continue before the supporters of the concepts of Plan B discuss and decide upon the next action?

    http://www.bridgnorthstationplanb.co.uk/
     
  15. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    Right, I know I'm way behind the times on this one, but is there a link to the what the original plans looked like? I've searched the threads but cannot find the elusive link!

    Plan B does look rather nice.
     
  16. tigger

    tigger New Member

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    Link to original plans: http://www.svrlive.com/Documents/MASTER PH 4.pdf
    Link to SVRLive SteamWorks page: SteamWorks Archive 1
     
  17. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    I can certainly see why it got the response it did, much more of a museum (like the goods shed that formed @Bristol, and the renovated M Shed) than a preserved railway. Plan B does appear to be more sympathetic.
     
  18. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    The January update on Steamworks makes for interesting reading, page 6 of the link: http://www.svrlive.com/Documents/EXPRESS POINTS 02.2013.pdf

    I must be honest, I find my thoughts on the plans at Bridgnorth extremely fluid. I like the appearance of Plan B, but I think we must wait and see what the changed Plan A looks like.

    I think the board has the best interests of the railway at heart. The artist impressions of plan A have proved a spectacular faux pas, but we must remember that that is what they are - impressions. Heaven knows I don't care much for them!

    But I think that the biggest issue here is communication. The lack of crystal clear updates from the railway (and sometimes a seeming lack of empathy) is what produces the vacuum that worries can thrive in. The rebuttal of offers of assistance is bewildering, and I think if one thing has been learnt from the current situation it is that a conservation plan needs to be drawn up for the SVR and its various locations.

    For now, I am waiting to see what the redeveloped version of Plan A looks like. If it makes only minor concessions to our rightful concerns as to what the plans will do to Bridgnorth, I'll be speaking up.
     
  19. gios

    gios Member

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    Well as of today I understand that the old 'Heritage Buildings' group has had no response or acknowledgement to its submission. That unfortunately says everything about the lack of communication. It could also be an indication of present thinking at the top table - I really hope I am wrong on this.

    The Railway has already had the resignation of one well known and much respected member, who has fought hard to preserve the ethos of a Heritage Railway. I hope in time he will reconsider and not be the first of many.
     
  20. geekfindergeneral

    geekfindergeneral Member

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    There is some pretty vicious internal debate within the Board membership right now about how to get un-impaled from Plan B, especially as a LOT of money has already gone on professional fees and the dodgy Xanadu prospectus – far too much to just draw a veil over as it wipes out the next three years feeble profits if it has to be charged to the P & L Account.

    A desperate half-baked suggestion to claim that no-one remembered seeing Plan B back in 2002 was touted but a roll-call of who was around back them and still is sinks that little fantasy without trace, and creates a vacancy for Fall Guy.

    That there will have to be an execution is not a debate, but exactly who gets kissed on the back of the neck by Madame Guillotine (and when) is being anxiously and very hotly contested. The jury is still out – the leading contenders for an early exit who have publicly pinned their reputations on Plan A are Chris Thomas (one of the semi-detached old school Directors and a passionate proponent of Project Xanadu but also holds the Operations portfolio, which is a hard post to fill when the Vice Chairman is specifically debarred by HMRI from doing the job again and no-one else on the Board wants it) and the General Manager (a vital hand-maiden to the permanently quorate “Gang of Four” which might be enough to save him – although his beheading comes with a £52,000 a year cashback bonus in saved salary costs, whereas Mr Thomas is free).

    “Killing” a Director or General Manager is easy – killing the right one is much more complicated. There are 11 votes on the PLC Board – two belong firmly to the “Gang of Four”, four are old school semi-detached and in extremis loyal to each other, the rest will probably vote with their consciences.It will be a close-run thing. The Holdings Chairman has never experienced SVR in one of its famously fissiparous moods – it’s been a while since the last one. He will be looking primarily for an option that does not spatter the public good name upon which his other Directorships and public appointments depend. He’ll be lucky to find one. The stench from concealing Plan B while splashing out on expensive consultants is overpowering.

    If anyone cares, GF-G likes the £52,000 cashback option very much and would commend it to the Board as a short-term solution, but offers a cruder and more brutal permanent alternative – defenestrate the lot of them, and hand the entire railway, bank mortgages,infrastructure and loco overhaul encumbrances and liabilities included, to the untainted Charitable Trust for a nominal £1. The shareholders lose their money but that has all been burned anyway, and they know it. Collective responsibility and accountability in action. Simples!

    Best regards

    GF-G
     

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