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SVR General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by threelinkdave, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Steve, this is a discussion forum, we’re allowed to disagree every now and then, :)
    We (myself and Ms 37401) are a possible result for there being a result in the downturn of the SVR’s membership.
    We haven’t renewed ours since 2020 simply because we haven’t been able to go and see family in Worcestershire, but we have however used that spare cash to put towards the railways that are local to us over in Anglia. (A certain railway with appropriate motive power for the region has done rather well from us)
    As I say I’m rather heartened to see that there are those of a younger age keeping the flame burning.
    As someone who literally got their hands dirty in various roles as a teenager at the SVR, I’ve been thinking lately if I could offer my skills in my day job to do something on the hospitality side for any heritage railway.
     
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  2. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    There's an upcoming UKR excursion from London KX to the SVR on Saturday 23rd April : Is anyone able to say whether there will be any visibility of 4930, 4150 and/or 82045 on this day please? (from safe standpoints naturally)
     
  3. gwralatea

    gwralatea Member

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    ditto, I've let my SVR membership lapse* because I can't justify it for anything other than sentimental reasons (I started as a volunteer at the age of 9 and worked there until I was 20) and I simply don't get up there now. In the meantime, I've kept up my membership of the one on my current doorstep and just done my PTS to start as steam crew.

    *as indeed since the pandemic and the cost of living screw I've resigned my membership of Chinnor, Didcot, the Talyllyn and the Great Central. The ones in my sig continue to, er, benefit from my subscription!
     
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  4. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    I don't know, but everything will be moved (or being moved) out of the way at Bridgnorth because of the imminent roof and crane works. I think I've seen one of the groups (4150? 82045?) say they're being moved to the end of Hollybush Road Sidings for the duration. All unofficial
     
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  5. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    Responding to this and a number of preceding posts. There are probably almost as many reasons for the decline in membership as there are members who have left. Older members passing on, less new blood coming through, people saving money, people no longer visiting because of Covid, people becoming shareholders and therefore letting membership lapse, people including volunteers becoming dissatisfied with the railway, and so on. On that was mentioned at the last AGM IIRC was the *effective* ending of Footplate Experiences since Covid (participants got a membership automatically as part of the price but it was often not renewed).

    Edit: *Temporary*, see comments below
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2022
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  6. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Just glanced at the Bridgnorth webcam and this was happening

    upload_2022-4-11_17-11-15.png
     
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  7. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    Footplates arent ending. They have been postponed at the moment due to the coal situation. With our reduced running days. The footplate ex's will run on the days we arent running a service train.
     
  8. Robin

    Robin Well-Known Member Friend

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    Sure - I should have said "temporary" ending of FEs. The point being that once FEs were paused by Covid, former participants were letting memberships lapse without being replaced by new members from the same source, hence they contributed to the overall decrease in membership numbers. Probably not a big factor in the decrease, but enough for it to be mentioned at the AGM.
     
  9. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    I wonder how many previous to covid let their membership lapse? It sounds like a number that actually stays constant. Say 100 ( I know its more but for ease) people per year do Footplates. Gain a 1 year membership out of it, forget they have it and let it lapse the following year. The next year another 100 people do the same?
    As far as I know, those who booked FEs in 2019 were given a choice of whether to keep their booking until such time we cab resume them, a refund or other tickets.

    It was mooted that membership should go up. I for one have no issue with it. The one small gripe I have is those who bought lifetime memberships, say in 1972. Paid what they paid then, which would have been a considerable amount back then but then have not paid either a annual or 3 yearly fee since. I would argue 50 years is a lifetime.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I guess the point being made is that if you have 100 people doing a footplate course who then let their membership lapse, and the following year another 100 have a course and a one year memberhship, it is basically a stable situation for the membership. Have a two year (or whatever) break and the number goes down by 200 people. With any luck, when things go back to normal you recover those numbers after a couple of years, after which you are back to the former level.

    Tom
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It’s the same debate as for shareholdings - a trade off between income at the time, and the cost of maintaining it.

    My own view is that a life membership is an agreement, and needs to be honoured. My kids were given NT life memberships when they turned 5 - it’s a reasonable expectation that they should get 70 odd years out of that.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  12. I. Cooper

    I. Cooper Member

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    ...and I would argue a lifetime is until the person concerned dies!

    Perhaps all those on the forum over 50 years of age would kindly like to be rounded up and executed, as they have now reached the end of their lifetime and are no longer eligible to live longer? :(
     
  13. Graham Phillips

    Graham Phillips New Member

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    Regarding membership numbers, the new Ultimate Pass (replaces the former Loyalty Pass or Annual Pass) includes membership, so that may increase the numbers from people who wouldn't normally become members, but just want a train ticket.
    https://www.svr.co.uk/unlimited/

    Membership on its own is currently £25 per year, with life membership at £500, so that's 20 years to break even, not allowing for inflation. https://www.svr.co.uk/membership/

    For what it's worth, the industry standard for a 'Lifetime Warranty' on a bicycle frame is ten years.
    It's a big step from a bicycle manufacturer saying "You can't reasonably expect a frame to last more than ten years, we're not going to refund or replace it", to an organisation saying "We thought you'd be dead by now, you'll have to start paying from now on"
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  14. Southernman99

    Southernman99 Member Friend

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    I think you miss my point or I didnt word it correctly.

    A lifetime membership is £500 for an ordinary and £700 for joint. A yearly membership is £25. 20 years as a member is not a lifetime.
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I could see certain objections from the life assurance industry, among a few others. :Pompus:
     
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  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    But what was the buying power of that at the time it was taken out?
     
  17. Graham Phillips

    Graham Phillips New Member

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    As a comparison, annual membership of the National Trust is £76.80 with lifetime membership at £1845, which is 1:24.
    English Heritage is £66 or £1580, which is also 1:24
    The SVR's 1:20 isn't far off the two biggest businesses in the heritage industry.
     
  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    FWIW, the Bluebell memberships are £30 (annual) and £900 (life), so 1:30 on that scale. Partners of life members can though get it at half price; there is also a reduction in the life membership fee for those over 65.

    Personally I tend to think life should mean life; it is up to the relevant boards to ensure they set the figure at a level they consider appropriate. One thing I have noticed in several organisations is that there is sometimes a reluctance to change membership fees for several years; then when they do finally have to put them up, they go up a long way which causes disquiet. I often think you would be better increasing by a small amount in line with inflation each year rather than nothing for five or six years and then suddenly having to increase by 25% or so in one go.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2022
  19. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    SVR now offering their own Photography Workshops, yet charters too much of an inconvienence........
     
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  20. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    Well it is a pure photography course that happens to use the railway. No lineside access, no insurance issues I suspect over and above any regular day.
    Not sure of the relevance of your comment, two totally different things.
     
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