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Teifi Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Anthony Coulls, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Facebook does give wide publicity, as compared to specialist sites such as NP and Narrow Gauge Railway Enthusiasts. That was my concern, first to counter the conman's propaganda website with its ludicrous portrayal of ripping up the track as "routine maintenance", and later to answer the many queries about "how did it happen?" etc.
    I think I have now clearly laid out the facts about the past management and the present one. This I regarded as a professional duty. The new management have declared their intention of never commenting in this forum. Don't know if they will ever make your "clear statement" on their website but I wouldn't hold your breath.
    Whistleblowers are not popular, as this episode has proved.
    Elizabeth Perry MA MA BLitt AAT
     
  2. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    Guitar.you need to re-read the thread...Ms Perry is not in a position to do any of these things as she is no longer part of the Teifi Team.
     
  3. TVR Observer

    TVR Observer New Member

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    The following is fully documented in the form of minutes and emails which will be published online in due course.

    Liz Perry was: (1) the only person who tried to get rid of Dearing when it became apparent that he didn't have 2 pennies to rub together (2) the only person who voted against allowing him to rip up the track to run the road train and (3) the person who involved the HRA in the person of David Morgan when no-one else would listen to sense.

    Despite this the new management have made her the sole scapegoat for what happened.

    Mcfadzean Cox and Morgan have implied that they consider the fact that she reported her resignation as a Director to Companies House to be an indication that she was in cahoots with Dearing! Mcfadzean has long held a grudge against Liz for being on the board that sacked him in 2006 and Cox knows nothing, but one would expect better from someone with Morgan's experience.

    With the possible exception of Ray Sanderson, all the Society officers who voted to let Dearing do what he did have been welcomed back as volunteers, but Liz was for a while even banned from renewing her society membership, and even after being allowed to rejoin she has been kept in the dark and does not receive minutes of society meetings.

    Liz raised something like half a million in grant money for the TVR and would be perfectly willing to share her expertise with the new regime. She in no way wants the TVR to fail as some people have implied.

    Those who have briefly visited and consider that there has been progress: about 50 yards of track in 10 months? Did you walk the remainder of the decimated track and see that nothing further has been done and that the trackbed is only getting more overgrown?

    I think it's perfectly understandable that Liz (and her fellow TVR founder Richard Nichol) are devastated at what has been allowed to happen and that they are not being allowed to help put things right.

    Liz, I don't think there's any point in you saying anything further on this forum. You know from Mcfadzean's record exactly what will happen, and it's already started with the departure of the Responsible Person. You can help pick up the pieces at a later date.
     
  4. narrowgauge

    narrowgauge New Member

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    I'm a life member of the TVR and have never been sent minutes of society meetings, not even general meetings, so I wouldn't draw anything from that.
    Peter Johnson
     
  5. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    As has been said before. we have no way of knowing if that is the complete and correct story.
     
  6. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    My apologies, I thought she was part of the "new team". If it is true that she was the only one to oppose Dearing lifting the track then not only do I apologise but I applaud her efforts.
     
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  7. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    And we never will unless there is some independent external verification from an acknowledged and respected source, which is not likely in a discussion forum such as this.

    If I wanted to be cynical I could say that everything said in all the posts on all of the threads here and the contents of any of the attachments could also be doubted as nothing is verified.

    Sometimes you just have to read the posts and , judging by the quality, quantity and consistency of the content, make up your own mind (rightly or wrongly) who you chose to believe.
     
  8. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    I agree, but unfortunately I don't think that the "new team" see this as a problem.
    They are asking for money from people, but not reporting the truth. They need £15,000 for their sleeper fund, of which they have currently raised £370 (according to their website at the time of writing).

    Lets face it, in the world of steam locomotives £15,000 is not a lot of money. Yes it is a lot of money to an individual, but in the world of steam, it should be fairly easy to raise that kind of money, especially in a case such as this which should generate a lot of sympathy with rail enthusiasts.

    Now put yourself in the position of someone looking to donate money to the cause. If the managment team wont give a statement to show that the same situation won't (preferably can't) happen again, then you could just be throwing good money after bad.
     
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  9. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I'm not quite sure what prompted this response (Easily confused here - I've waited a long time to be classed as a daft old duffer and now I'm going to enjoy it!) but lets see what I can make of it...

    I don't know what 'they' are "...not reporting the truth." of. If their estimated sum is reasonable and appropriate then any progress towards that total is a help...

    I agree that £15k is not a lot of money in heritage rail terms but it is a lot of money here in West Wales where there are no highly populated catchment areas, no rich pop stars wanting to play and a highly seasonal trade that relies on the weather to bring in the trade (good weather is bad - they all go to the beach!). If they ran an appeal in the rail press they may get a better response but that is their decision. It is not up to those outside the railway to tell those running it what to do. We can all make recommendations and suggestions (and I think, in general, here on Nat Pres most people who post are trying to be helpful and supportive) but they are under no obligation to take any notice of them.

    With regard to donations you have to look at who is going to donate and how likely is it that they would have any idea of the history? Visitors from afar will probably have no idea of what's happened, they'll just see a railway struggling to right itself and probably try to help. Others may know more of the last years events and would be happy to help get things up and running again. Only a very few, who have been closely involved over several years, will know of the longer history and the personalities now involved and I should imagine that it is only those amongst them who have serious doubts about the current structure who will be the ones who will not donate. You have to remember, the visitors see the railway, they don't see the internal politics.

    What has happened cannot be changed. The important thing is to ensure that these things never happen again. It is only the members who can drive changes by who they appoint to boards, committees etc. at AGMs and if the current incumbents are not listening then it is up to the members to find suitable alternative candidates and vote for change. It's a slow process but I think the railway has learnt over the last two years what happens when you rush into things...
     
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  10. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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    I do not think having two web sites is a good idea......nor will pictures of teddy bears encourage most enthusiasts.
    Neither site is updated nor professional.
    As for asking for funding via the Railway Press ..I know of a locomotive fund wanting about 17k ....and received some £320.00 in donations via that method!


    Nick
     
  11. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    I care too much, I want to see the railway recover, I am a railway enthusiast. I have no investment in the railway at all, but I've been into railways since I was a child and it pains me to see it in such a bad way.

    Getting money is easy if you do it right and in the time they have had £15,000 should be a doddle to get hold of. Its very very simple, image is everything, make it look like a professional outfit and people will put trust (therefore money) into it.

    Here's 2 railway based examples...
    Example 1) Tornado.
    These guys did everything right. Sure there were plenty of nay sayers in the beginning ("they'll never get the boiler" - lol). But if you look at the way they handled everything it was done properly, professionally, and they had done a bunch of homework before asking for a penny from anyone. Even if they didn't know what they were doing in the beginnning (I have no idea what their skills were), they made it look like they did, and I'm sure you don't need me to explain how it ended up.

    Example 2) The Claud Hamilton Group.
    Started by some college students who seem to think that having a website and asking for help / money is all that is required. A quick scan of their website will reveal that they are still looking for an engineering manager, i.e. someone who knows how to build an engine. That position has been vacant on the website for at least 2 years.
    Their home page prominently features an appeal for "£300 to £400" for the buffer beam. For single rectangular piece of metal, they are being awfully vague about the cost. I imagine a quick phone call to most metal suppliers would result in an accurate price almost immediately given the known dimensions.
    So already we can infer that they have no idea how to build it, no idea of accurate costings, and it would appear they are too lazy to make a phone call. I'm not stating that is fact, I am stating that's what it looks like.
    But if you look through the website you can see they already have a name for the loco, a number, and have chosen the colour. This is a prime example of "putting the cart before the horse".

    I could go on for hours about the differences between the 2 examples, and the pitfalls of the CH group, but I wont. Truth be told I would like to see the CH group succeed so I can see a Claud and the B12 side by side, so please don't see this as me trying to rain on their parade. But being realistic, there is a reason why the Tornado group (A1 Trust) has managed to build a loco, raise millions of pounds, and is already well into it's second locomotive. And those same reasons are why the CH group is still to obtain it's first part.

    Translating that to this thread, the operators of the TVR come across as amateur, I'm sorry to say that as it seems harsh, but I am working with what I can ascertain from their website and comments made on forums. As an outsider the website is my primary 'official' contact with the railway.

    As someone with plenty of experience in business management and marketing psychology it just jumps out at me, I can't help but see it.

    So to answer your original question again, I just care too much.
     
  12. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    No doubt we could discuss this for ever and probably never come to an agreement so these will be my final words for now.

    I think you are trying to compare chalk and cheese here. The raising of funds for a main line steam locomotive is always going to attract quality support because of the high profile and the kudos in being able to say "I supported that.". As you say look at Tornado, and then there's the Patriot following on and several other builds planned or in progress. Now compare their profile with the Teifi (Teifi members please note I do not mean any of the following in a derisory or derogative way). It's a small, hard to get to (100 miles past the Severn Bridge!) and it's a narrow gauge line built on a standard gauge trackbed so many may say it is not really a heritage railway. It has (always had) limited funds for any budgets - including advertising - and even if it did have a huge advertising campaign there is no guarantee that it would attract any additional support. Then you also have to balance what you spend your limited funds on, advertising and promotion or keeping the railway running and perhaps being able to improve things a little as well?

    "Getting money is easy..." really? If you find that it is that easy you should set yourself up as a financier for the heritage railway movement - we'd all be beating a path to your door! This is an area with a sparse local population which relies mainly on farming and tourism for income. The great majority of jobs (if you can get one) pay the minimum wage. There just is not a lot of money floating around in the local economy for donations or grants. Attracting inward investment from afar is nigh on impossible because of the small scale and remote location. Perhaps, one day, if my Euro Millions numbers ever come up, you might see the Gwili running standard gauge to Llandysul and then the Teifi running narrow gauge from there into Newcastle Emlyn. That would then be an attraction big enough to raise peoples interest and encourage them to make the long trip.

    And finally I'd ask you not to knock the amateurs. Not every railway has (or can afford) highly skilled professional support staff, even as volunteers. I would guess that at least 75% of volunteers on heritage railways are 'amateurs' and without them many of the railways running today simply could not exist.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  13. Guitar

    Guitar New Member

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    Please don't take any of this personally, it's a friendly discussion on a forum, no need to stop.

    So is Bala Lake Railway, and they recently launched an appeal for £3 Million. What's your point? (seriously, I am asking)

    Very easy, if you are prepared to work for it, either brain or braun.

    I certainly wan't knocking the amateurs, I 100% agree they are the backbone of heritage railways, and I salute every one of them. But I did make the distinction of saying that the TVR management team looked like amateurs, not that they are amateurs.

    None of this is meant as a personal attack on the TVR team, I'm sure if I met them they'd be lovely people.
    I want to see the railway succeed, but they are going about it entirely the wrong way in terms of the image they are sending out via their posts on here, and the official TVR website(s).

    Open question to everyone, if I wanted to speak to the person, or persons in charge of the TVR railway right now, who should I speak to?
     
  14. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    There's a world of difference between the Bala Lake and the TVR. Bala Lake is in a very touristy area and is much more accessible to the major conurbations of the Midlands. The TVR is a local project in essence run by the local community. Internet Forums, railway enthusiasts and magazines are not really for them, they have to plough their own furrow.

    The project I am involved with in Ireland is similar. It is reliant on and sponsored by local people who largely know almost nothing about railways but are doing it to promote tourism in their Town and area. It too is hundreds of miles from major population centres. You can't apply mainstream preservation norms to either railway.
     
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  15. Anne

    Anne New Member

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    I am a volunteer at the TVR and trying to help promote with the new .wales website and Twitter.

    I am not a professional webmaster by any stretch of the imagination, this is something I am learning as I go along, and hopefully improving on all the time.

    I am grateful for feedback, in any form and this is what prompted me to apply to join these forums and post on this thread. Constructive criticism is a great teacher and I appreciate people taking time out to tell me like it is.

    I haven't been involved with the railway for long, and to be honest I have little idea of what went on with the previous management, but I do want the railway to succeed, and I do want to build a web presence that will help it to succeed.

    In defence of the teddy bears.. it was a graphic used to promote a Teddy Bear's Picnic, which I stored in the archive section in the hope that visitors to the site would get an idea of the kind of activities and events that are arranged at the railway. As some have said in this thread, the railway at Henllan relies a lot on holiday makers and local families with children for support, the more we can build support, the more the railway will grow, and then we will be attracting the railway enthusiasts alongside the local people and holidaying families.

    This is important to the community, and I note that going back to the first few pages of this topic people were up in arms about the tracks to Pontprenshitw being ripped up.. A lot of people in that community are working really hard to put the track back now - please give them a break.

    I try and update the website regularly, I try to keep it interesting, and I have tried to make it interactive so that society members and visitors can log in to the galleries or the Railway Tales page and post their pictures, articles and stories.

    Any suggestions are gratefully taken on board, I have tried to produce a professional looking website and without knowing exactly what is unprofessional about it I cannot improve. I personally do not think that the website is the place to post official statements about management old or new, some may disagree, but the website, and the Twitter, and also the Facebook (which I cannot take credit for) are advertising tools, promoting awareness of the railway, not only as a railway, but also an important part of the local community.

    Please note, the views above are my own and not the railways, I'm just a volunteer..
     
  16. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    Hi Anne.

    My opinion, lose the "due to the activities of the previous management of the line. We now have a new team who are working hard to put things right,".

    "intend to reopen part of the line during Summer 2015." Err. Isn't Summer over? It feels like it.

    "The next meeting is on Wednesday 12th August at 7pm in the Railway Cafe." which is long past.

    "Following this the July meeting will be on Wednesday 9th September, also at 7pm." which is also long past, and never made sense.

    I think more could be done on the subject of what can be currently viewed in relation to Rolling Stock and Locos. I'm sure others will have further advice to offer.
     
  17. Anne

    Anne New Member

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    Hi Ken

    The website I set up is teifivalleyrailway.wales - the one you mention above is the old .org one which will be expiring later on this year.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts on the .wales site.

    I am hoping to transfer much of the information on the .org site over to .wales including the rolling stock, history and postcards section.
     
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  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Anne, welcome to the forum. Thank you for some insight to what us happening at the moment and thank you for taking the time join us. I look forward to hearing on the progress made at the railway so please keep us updated.
     
  19. Robkitchuk

    Robkitchuk Member

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    Hello Anne, I believe the .Wales site looks far more professional than the previous pages. One thing I would suggest is a page showing your locomotives, carriages and wagons, like the one on the old site. Providing a short history of each vehicle, I know I like to see this on railway websites.
     
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  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R New Member

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    DOH!

    Got it now, much better, except the Home page requires a lot of scrolling. "Free Parking and Disabled Access to All Areas" would convey the same message whilst cutting back on the 'white space'.

    Similarly, Opening Times and Opening Hours could be combined into the same block of text.

    The site is not clear as to whether prices are per journey, per day, Adults/Children, etc.
     
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