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Teifi Valley Railway

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

  1. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Indeed, one only has to look at the history of known people within the movement who have engaged on here, they rarely bother staying long....
     
  2. SpudUk

    SpudUk Well-Known Member

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    The fact of the matter is that regardless of whether the TVR officially chose to engage with the conversation on NatPres, it carries on without them regardless. And not only does that mean there are discussions about their statutory failings without reply, but there are posts from individuals who, even fully aware of these statutory failings, chose to become members to support the railway and were terribly let down. That has a significant impact on those who are active within the community and who, by the virtues of geography, are able to support the TVR and may thus be put off by it
     
  3. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Perhaps prompted by this discussion, today there is an excellent series of pictures on Facebook to show the progress of work on Sgt Murphy. I don't think anyone on this forum has ever criticised the work of the volunteers. But once again the point has been missed!
    I have sent an email to the TVR today offering to help with bookkeeping. But the drawbridge has been raised ...
     
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  4. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    I feel you are still missing the point about the concerns expressed on here. Some of us remember the TVR when it was fully operational before the so called 'saviour' and the wood man came along. I don't think any of us look to blame the volunteers for any of what happened then, it was a management disaster compounded by a lethargic and remote Trust body who did little to oversee what was going on and, apparently, just let it all happen.
    Since then I have seen (and have) nothing but praise for the volunteers slowly raising the railway from the ashes back to where it is now and looking forward to what it could be. Unfortunately there are still serious concerns about both the management's integrity and the Trust's ability to independently oversee and ensure the proper operation of the railway. Please remember that these concerns date back to before and during the serious problems and that there are people with genuine concerns that date back that far who are still around as are some of those who were supposed to be controlling the railway then and basically just let it happen.
     
  5. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    The TVR disaster was a gradual process and the first step was an entirely normal Agreement between two parties which would benefit both. The Company needed someone to run the cafe and had plenty of unused space in the Yard. Dearing wanted to expand his successful discount foodmarket by selling plants and had experience of running a business. He was also very interested in how we ran a tourist attraction and felt there was great potential for expansion.
    To start with, all was well. The Company paid nothing for the complete renovation of the cafe and the installation of modern serving facilities, customer furniture, china and cutlery. Staff appeared to clear a site in the Yard to erect 3 polytunnels which were filled with plants for the garden centre. Rent was paid on time.
    What went wrong? The answer lies in the character of the chairman of the Board. RS had run two or three failed businesses in Rochdale before moving to Wales and had been General Manager of the TVR for several years before leaving to run a local kitchen fitting Company. This also failed and he returned to the Railway. He was by now desperate for commercial success and unhappy about the not-for-profit nature of the TVR Company, which meant that no dividends were paid to shareholders and no individual could make money personally. A more "commercial" attitude was required and in talking to Dearing he found it. Their discussions led to the suggestion that Dearing take over running the whole railway and they set about a propaganda campaign to persuade Society members that this would save the TVR. They quickly realised that the Chief Trustee Edward Fitzwilliams was a key figure and concentrated particular charm on him. To cut a long story short, the propaganda worked and longstanding members were convinced to the extent that they passed a vote of no confidence in me as Company Secretary for finding a solicitor to issue an eviction notice to Dearing and removed me from all my posts in Society and Company. I called in David Morgan from the HRA but to my surprise he fell under the spell as well. Fitzwilliams was an easy target as his age advanced and it was shocking to watch him being manipulated in this way.
    I am curious as to who is meant by those "who are still around" as nearly everybody involved then has either died or moved out. I fervently hope it's not RS ...
     
  6. Devonbelle

    Devonbelle New Member

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    The experience Ross had is identical to my experience - I paid my initial subs in 2019 and went several months before I heard anything; then I did after a chase up from me (late Dec 19 early Jan 20) and nothing since, no magazine, no membership card, no welcome letter. The contrast couldn’t be greater than my experience with joining a model railway society in Autumn 2019 - which saw a welcome letter within two weeks of my sending money, back copies of magazines and great magazines since.

    Whilst I’m keen to support the TVR; I’m underwhelmed with my experience which I thought a one-off until I saw the experience Ross had. I wish the railway well but they need sort themselves out. My renewal date for my membership subs has come and gone in 2021 I assume my money isn’t wanted.
     
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  7. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    News today that Gavin Foster, one of the longtime volunteers at the TVR, has died. He contributed not only physical work in clearing the trackbed for extensions but also administration of the Company as a director.
     
  8. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    RIP.
     
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  9. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    With the internet full of Santa trains there is not a word from the TVR.
     
  10. Herald

    Herald Member

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    I've no idea of the profile or numbers of volunteers but many smaller societies have quite sensibly considered the risks of promoting Santa which tends to involve expenditure on presents, mince pies and other seasonal goods which may then be wasted if Covid tests leave them short of staff or repressive governments bring in restrictions. Probably a wise managerial choice with plenty of evidence from elsewhere of the difficulties which can arise.

    Like others I have fond memories of the line years ago and can only hope 2022 brings it better fortune.
     
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  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    Given the location, I suspect that there might be a limited market for Santa's
     
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  12. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Plenty of booking chitchat on the Facebook page but no pictures this year. No Accounts (Due end September 2021) either.
     
  13. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Back in October, you said that your offered to help with bookkeeping but haven't heard back. Maybe your stream of negative, critical posts on here may have contributed to their decision ...
     
  14. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Simple solution : do the Accounts on time.
     
  15. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    TBH there's no evidence anywhere that they are capable of anything in the way of a decision ...
     
  16. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t really see what is negative about identifying a problem and offering to help to resolve it. Unfortunately the impression I get (as a complete outsider) is that they don’t want to be helped.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Or care that something as fundamental as the accounts is outstanding. I wonder what they have in the way of a safety management system?

    Tim
     
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  18. ikcdab

    ikcdab Member

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    I think that's far too harsh. I don't think anyone could call Elizabeth's few contributions a "stream of negative, critical posts". If so, you haven't read the WSR thread.
    All she has done is point out some obvious failings.
     
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  19. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Really? Perhaps you should reread this thread-Elizabeth has posted 216 messages (usually one a month) virtually all of which are negative regarding the railways current management.
    Has it occurred to you that perhaps people are 'pointing out some obvious failings' on the WSR...
     
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  20. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Much on 'the other thread mentioned' concerns purely subjective viewpoints and opinions, therefore not remotely comparable with the very specific issue of compliance with legislation under which any business operates.

    Reality check, peeps: The overwhelming bulk of @Elizabeth Perry 's posts reflect a completely valid concern with the ongoing cavalier attitude by the line's management towards what (it evidently still needs emphasising) is a statutory requirement, NOT merely whingeing about some 'nice to have optional extra', or the curiosity of us lot not adequately being satiated. Rest assured, when (not if) HMG run out of patience, they won't be expressing any dissatisfaction with pointed posts on this thread.

    Unless fingers are extracted, this issue, which isn't going to go away (does the phrase statutory requirement need reiterating?), has the capacity to bite this line and bite it hard. A 'shoot the messenger' approach serves no-one. Does anyone suppose Elizabeth, who clearly cares deeply for the TVR, felt the need to 'go public' on here as a first attempt to ensure records are adequately being maintained? Or enjoys having to make the same point, over and over?

    Watching the TVR rise from the ashes under the current team has been quite a revelation. Am I the only bystander who feels it'd be a tragedy to see all the hard work, by so many dedicated volunteers, come tumbling down because of some inexplicable failure to heed repeated reminders about the bits which aren't optional?

    For any still harbouring any lingering doubt concerning the nature of a statutory requirement, I trust these definitions, coined by neither Elizabeth nor myself, are helpful:

    statutory / of, relating to, or having the nature of a statute prescribed or authorized by statute (of an offence) recognized by statute subject to a punishment or penalty prescribed by statute Derived forms of statutory statutorily, adverb

    requirement / something that is mandatory or necessary—it's something you need to have or need to do. Requirement is most often used in official contexts in which achieving a certain status requires you to perform certain actions or have certain things, such as documents.
     

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