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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    There may be valid reason(s) for postponing the WSRA AGM, but concern that "the technology would be a barrier for too many of Association members" is not the most convincing. Postponement does have the effect of delaying the opportunity for members to hold the trustees to account, whether that is a reason or incidental.
     
  2. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

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    One of the things I've learnt over the past couple of months of lockdown is that technology is quite a barrier to a good number of people. Friends of mine who have had a computer and use e-mail and Facebook regularly and who I thought were reasonably computer literate have turned out to be nothing of the sort and some have trouble understanding simple things like how to click on a link to join a Zoom conference, and then there's those who don't even own a computer, for them the technology is certainly a barrier.

    The suggestion that postponing the AGM is a way of delaying the member's opportunity to hold the trustees to account, is one way of looking at it, and I suspect that that there are those who want an opportunity to hold the trustees to account for things they feel that the trustees have or have not done and are disappointed by the postponement.
    But a lot of companies and societies are postponing AGMs so I'm quite prepared to accept the reason for postponement.

    Personally, I try not to subscribe to conspiracy theories and look for ulterior motives in every decision.
     
  3. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I trust @aldfort and his fellow trustees to have a reasonable idea of their members, and what will work for them.

    From experience, Zoom like video conferencing is a poor imitation of a face to face meeting for something like an agm, and puts a lot of burden on the chair to organise how the meeting is conducted over the business - it’s hard enough with 20odd, let alone many more.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to do a Zoom meeting with that many people, but a "webinar", where most of the participants can't speak but have a "raise hand" button if they want to ask a question or interrupt, works quite well for something like an AGM. For work, I regularly have Zoom meetings with several hundred people in, and when they're done in that format it seems to work quite well.

    Zoom certainly is no good for that meeting format if the organiser is using the out-of-the-box free version - you would quickly hit the maximum number of participants there.
     
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  5. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    Technically correct, Mike C, but the WSR Plc doesn't have any money available for legal fees or track renewal or wages or anything else - in my opinion it is all but bankrupt.
     
  6. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    The view from Station House, Stogumber.

    I am proud of the service of my fellow Trustees have given to our Railway in far from straightforward circumstances recently and was looking forward to connecting with our membership. To suggest that any of the WSRA Trustees are in some way delaying the AGM for improper motives just shows that you dont know us.

    One way to support the WSR at this time is to be a WSRA member. You will receive the quarterly WSR journal, the next edition of which is being put to bed this weekend. If you think we Trustees are doing a fine job and would like to join us, or we are a bunch of idiots and would like to replace us, then stand for election at the AGM. Either way, join the WSRA to have a say. There are likely to be important decisions to make at the AGM. We agreed at the recent Trustees' meeting to release the annual report and accounts electronically as soon as they are available, not wait to send them with the AGM papers, which are likely to be sent out with the following quarterly Journal.

    Sorry to confound those who wish to see conspiracy at every turn. Not our style.

    Help the Railway in tough times. A donation, particularly to one of our reserve funds, for rail renewal or the return to service of 4561, or the construction of weather protection for rolling stock, or any of the other methods for donating to the Railway via the WSR plc or WSSRT. If you cant do that, then watch WSR-TV and spread the word about it and come and visit us when we re-open, as we surely will.

    Lots to do in Somerset at the moment, much of which is not easy, and we have made it harder for ourselves as a community than it should be at times. But that's more reason to engage, not less. At least, that's the way it takes me.

    Robin
     
  7. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Robin,
    I felt sure that someone of your intelligence would be able to tell when to stop flogging a dead horse. I think that most people on NP find the recent behaviour of the PLC morally repugnant and not something that they could support by way of giving donations to the PLC. By supporting the PLC as evidenced in the recent statements, the WSRA and WSSRT will, I believe, have damaged their reputations and I would think this will reflect in a lack of donations from those who are even vaguely familiar with what has gone on. I find it astonishing that you say that you are "proud of the service of my fellow Trustees have given to our Railway in far from straightforward circumstances recently" especially since this period would also cover the PLC's eviction of the S&DRT and the support of the decision by the same Trustees.

    The fact that you (see post 25430) and Mike (see post 25552) appear to be contradicting the PLC/WSRA's own statement/position would not convince me (nor I suspect a great many others) that the WSRA would be an organisation to get involved with.

    Keith
     
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  8. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    I’m puzzled. I’ve seen quite a lot of nonsense about the WSRA here recently. Exactly which words in which statement by the WSRA have I contradicted?

    And in which statements have we supported the WSR plc over the S&DRT? We were, in some small part a catalyst for the externally facilitated process now underway and were thanked by the S&DRT for helping to bring that about. Once again, please identify the exact words from a WSRA statement, not innuendo and comment by others.

    I’m delighted to stand up and be counted for my own errors or omissions - not others’ imaginings.

    Robin
     
  9. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Robin, I already mentioned that this was in post 25430, but here it is for you:
    My apologies - it is a PLC statement not WSRA, however it seems very obvious to me from the above, that you either don't agree with the statement as issued or you were never consulted about it - either way, it doesn't strike me that the WSRA are all pulling in the same direction. Why was the WSRA name even included on the statement if they hadn't been consulted? What are the WSRA doing about it?

    I quote directly from the joint PLC/WSRA/WSSRT statement on the WSRA website
    I'm not sure that it could be any clearer that the WSRA are supporting the PLC rather than the S&DRT. Stating "regret caused to the members" is a bit like apologising to the person you've just deliberately shot!

    There's also your comments in post 25509 regarding the setup of charities and PLC railways. Why is this not being shouted from the rooftops? Why is the WSSRT not being consulted about merging? (or if it is something being considered, why aren't you telling the greater public - "look everyone we are trying to fix the WSR support system"?)

    Whilst I'm sure Mike (Aldfort) can speak for himself, he also seems to disagree with the PLC asking charities for money with no specific project (exactly what the PLC did with the S&DRT), but yet the WSRA are not rocking the boat about this.

    Sorry Robin but I think there are a lot of issues to be resolved on the WSR before you'll see people flocking to give money or volunteer for committee posts.

    Keith
     
  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Its good to get some clarity and accuracy into the discussion. I accept your apology.

    You ask some good and sensible questions.

    Anyone who has followed WSR affairs over the past decade will have no doubt that I am quite prepared to 'rock the boat' when it is the right thing to do.

    Robin
     
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  11. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    There has been so much posturing, in fighting, power seeking and waiting 'till the right time' with the WSR family, that by the time the right time comes along, there won't be a railway left.
    Will you stand to be counted and answer them?

    Keith
     
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  12. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    As an outsider but also an observer and therefore reading this thread for two different reasons I am prepared to accept that not everything on here will be as explicit and clear as everyone might like. To my mind there are two reasons for this:
    1. The current business between WSR plc and the S&DRT has a legal dimension to it that limits what might be said publicly.
    2. Were other partners in the West Somerset community to have concerns over the wider situation, they would definitely not be 'going public' with their thinking and actions on here.

    So it's all a matter of who do you trust most in this scenario? That's a decision for individuals and that may well affect the stream of donations to the railway. It's impossible to believe that the key players in all this are unaware of these factors so I just don't understand what this ongoing chuntering on here is gaining.

    Outsiders probably have to wait for 'smoke' to appear - white or otherwise - and I'm not thinking of locomotives in this context.
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I think some of us are just surprised that now isn't the right time to 'rock the boat'. Not for personnel change, (yet), I accept that that's going to cause an awful lot of disruption at a time when that really could be done without. But at least reverse the S&D decision, as that is already causing a hell of a lot of disruption as well as generating a lot of bad will at a time when you're in competition with every single other heritage railway for survival donations.

    Your subtle hints on these pages in recent weeks have been welcome though, they were slightly more encouraging than the WSRA position as stated in the joint letter that @ghost quoted. The resolution mechanism put in place is to be welcomed. To that end, is it possible to know a little bit about that? Is it arbitration or mediation, and will it be binding? Will it have to wait until lockdown measures are further eased to allow a face to face meeting, or is some thought going into doing it via Zoom or other preferred choice of online group call?
     
  14. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes.
     
  15. ghost

    ghost Well-Known Member

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    Regarding point 1 - I fully accept that and have never asked anyone to breach any kind of legal agreement or discussions. That said, progress statements can be issued to keep people informed such as "We are in discussion with party X regarding the recent problems" or "We've had several meetings with Joe Bloggs and progress is being made"

    Regarding point 2 - I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. There have already been concerns raised by others in the WS local media, which I'm sure has alerted partners that things are not all rosy.

    The "chuntering" as you describe it is discussion and examining/challenging the statements put out by the various groups - it's what discussion forums are made for!

    Keith
     
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  16. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    What I'm saying is that I have accepted that everything said officially and on here in a semi official manner by whomever will be limited and probably incomplete. Discussing it just raises more questions than answers simply because of that and the fact that on this Railway, for a reason known only to those within it, nothing is ever clear. Don't ask me why.
     
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  17. Downline

    Downline New Member

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    If I was to read this post and not read the following posts, I would categorise this as one of the comments regularly referred to by the WSR Plc about Nat Pres - Full of people who want the WSR to fail. Please don't provide them with more ammunition
     
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  18. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    Surely there must have also been a concern not to deprive members of the opportunity of attending the meeting in person? It is not as if members' memories are so short that they are likely to forget any dissatisfactions they may have between now and August.
     
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  19. brauntonians

    brauntonians New Member

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    my wife and i have renewed our wsra membership with a bit extra, gift aid box ticked as well, also a few weeks back we donated to the wsr as we would like to see trains running again, it would seem not by all, if you do please donate, as they say every little helps
     
  20. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Please don't encourage the grammer police!
     

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