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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Hmmm... Not very well written though, is it? Littered with spelling mistakes and poor English. I would have expected better from the Chairman, to be honest. And whilst I applaud the seeming turn-around in the railway's finances, if there is really now a £1million cash reserve, it makes the decision to sell 4110 away from the railway look even more short-sighted.
     
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  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    A fully (vac) braked diesel-hauled train on which one or more vehicles has an external handbrake, so no separate brake van required.

    Robin
     
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  3. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    Well it is a Facebook page after all, and FB pages are often littered with poor spelling and English. Anyway, just because someone is a successful business man and a company chairman doesn't automatically bestow upon them a university degree in English spelling and grammar.

    My knowledge of the 4110 story has been gained through the window of NP, and I don't believe I know enough of the actual events to comment on them.
    Likewise, while I've read the accounts report that arrived on my doormat I lack the financial ability to really understand it, so I make no comments.
     
  4. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    Many preserved railways have a membership base from which also volunteers come from, and this membership base is financially and legally inextricably linked to operating and supporting the railway, and in many cases underwriting loses. The Talyllyn is such an example, as is the Bluebell.

    The WSRA and WSSRT have no such links, other than emotional, with the WSR PLC! Currently, the WSRA has no board members on the WSR PLC board as representatives of what ought to be a supporting organisation, and same with the WSSRT.

    Frank Courtney's post 22372 was just platitudes. As Frank is a former WSR PLC board member, and Chairman etc of WSRA, I would have expected more.

    'Aldfort's' posts on here today are reminiscent of the adage "Fine words butter no parsnips". A Vice Chairman of the WSRA ought to have more to say than what is contained in his posts today, other than what amounts to piffle.

    And if Mike is allowed to comment on here presumably on behalf of the WSRA trustees, we still have Robin (who must be 'savvy' to what is going on), still remaining silent apart from a few nice posts of pics, despite as we can all recall Robin previously being very forthright and detailed on this forum.

    One must really query whether certain officeholders and former office holders of positions in the WSR PLC and WSRA that post on here really have any idea about analysing Company accounts of the WSR PLC and what has happened.

    This lack of transparency is stunning in it's magnitude.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Given the current situation, I suggest that those 'In the know' are keen to avoid a further Ex6 style debacle and exercising a level of collective responsibility
     
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  6. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    That consist did not come back to BL or Norton ....it stayed at WN.......09 came back with rail wagons.....
     
  7. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    Tom, I had no intent or never have had of "looking at profit and loss in isolation"

    My purpose was to qualify the headline £803K loss figure.

    Todays West Somerset Free Press carries the headline "Railway faces up to
    £800,000 loss ," in bold on its front page. The article continues on to the
    second page with much detail (accurately stated !) from the recently
    issued 'Report and Accounts' including quotes from the Auditor's
    report. The second page also carries an article based on an interview
    with Plc Chair Mr Johnathan Jones-Pratt.

    I have not been party to any Plc happenings for some 20 months. I
    remember that when I worked ( for a living ) some 25 years past
    I was always of a mindset that if a subsidiary Company was
    going to make a loss, then ensure that it was a 'big one'. It may well
    be that the current Plc Board empathise with such thoughts, but I
    do not know.

    My previous posting attempted to. assess the WSR Plc 12 month
    performance ( P&L as the metier ).ie a loss of c.£450K on a
    turnover of £3.25 million. This is a similar percentage shortfall
    to.figures from other leading Heritage Railways.

    The implication being that whereas in the past the WSR Plc ( unusually
    within the Heritage Railway fraternity ) returned a healthy profit those
    days were now long past. However the percentage level of loss lies within
    the apparent norms for the Heritage Railway sector.

    I have for some years stated the need for the WSR to increase its related
    profitable subsidiary activities and fund raising initiatives. ( the business
    plan proffered to the WSRA Membership at the October 2016 AGM
    limited itself to two activities ie increase membership numbers and fund
    raising. )

    Tom, I first visited the Bluebell in 1963 ( HAL to Horsted Keynes). I have
    followed highs and lows since then. Tom, I am sure your lengthy posting
    was well intentioned but do not be surprised that I placed it in the
    'Teaching me how to suck eggs" category.

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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  8. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    .... and Jon has done exactly as you indicate. His copied post from FB indicates he has piloted the railway through the worst of the storm and at the same time has made progress on structural change. War has not broken out and the Association has focussed on fundraising in support of the railway and funding an agreed programme of work during the year.
    I am also fully re-charged by 60 likes for such an obvious question.
    Who knows what other good things might happen next year?
     
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  9. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I suspect that the barrier to funding is not the number of Charities, but rather the fact that neither of them is leaseholder or operator of the line, nor owns/controls the plc that holds both those roles.

    If the 2 Charities have separate, clearly defined and not overlapping aims, having two could actually work quite well!

    Steven
     
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  10. Another Yorkshireman

    Another Yorkshireman Member Friend

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    If there really is such a cash reserve, I imagine its going to come in pretty handy during the first four months of 2020 with lots to spend it on and scarcely any income.
     
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  11. Fish Plate

    Fish Plate Member

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    Indeed, but you miss the point I am making; I expressly said "away from the railway". The PLC could (and in my opinion, should) have sold 4110 to the group of footplate crew and other interested parties who, quite amazingly, raised over £100k in little more than a month. Instead, for the sake of a few extra £1,000s, the railway has lost an irreplacable asset and blown a huge amount of goodwill from those volunteers who were told "raise the money and it's yours to buy", only for the PLC to change its mind and sell it from under their feet. That is not the way you treat your volunteers under any circumstances, least of all when the railway is in such dire financial straits. So like I say, short-sighted and a very poor decision, IMHO.
     
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  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Does anyone know what the 60's dance or Meet & Greet weekends are about?

    Also I understand why fewer trains are running in 2020, BUT what sort of savings might this achieve. I can see for example that less coal/oil/consumables will be used but how much of the total costs of running the railway are fixed
     
  13. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    The NYMR have long done a successful 60's weekend - perhaps it's something of that ilk?
     
  14. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

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    Details of the 60s dance haven't been released yet, but I would expect a 60s-style dance on the platform at MD in the evening.

    The Meet & Greet weekends are for families meeting children's favourite TV and book characters eg. Peter Rabbit. These have been running successfully for a number of years now.
     
  15. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    There is a brake van within the saloon
     
  16. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    Is the train unfitted or unpiped?
     
  17. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

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    The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust manages to obtain substantial grants without owning or controlling the plc (which owns and operated the line)
     
  18. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Stogumber Station Xmas Cards

    New Batch of 500 cards just received.

    10 cards and envelopes £10 including postage.

    Proceeds to Friends of Stogumber Station

    http://stogumberstation.com/news/

    Stogumber Card.jpg
     
  19. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone else see a ghostly figure in the top right hand corner of that lovely Christmas card? :eek:
     
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  20. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Yes.......spooky!
     
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