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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Happy to believe all of that but the press must have got a statement from someone at the plc before they published and that is the golden opportunity that was missed.

    Take a look at what I assume are two straight plc quotes:
    "Mr Liddell Grainger claims to support the WSR yet, despite many offers from us to met him to discuss our position, he never comes to us first to air any concerns he might have in seeking to learn the truth from the ‘horse’s mouth’, so-to-speak, and which would be the right and professional approach of an MP of course."

    "Instead, he allows his press advisor and sources to seemingly add up ‘two and two’, but they invariably then get the answer of ‘seven’ by opting for media sound bites and criticising the WSR’s financial performance, but not the actual hard financial facts."

    In other words, "We think our MP is an idiot and his press office is out of control". All of that may be true but he is your local MP and turning a potential PR opportunity into a PR disaster is really clever on the part of the WSR.
     
  2. Downline

    Downline New Member

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    I suspect by the number of public arguments (as I would describe) the WSR Plc has had with the West Somerset MP, they do feel that way. I seem to recall, but cannot find, that ILG requested to meet with the WSR Plc board during the last public argument through the press, does anyone know if this happened?

    But in the current situation, it should be in every businesses interest to keep everyone on side, especially your local MP. Have your MP make a case in parliament for funding to keep you afloat, you could potentially be helping every other railway in the UK out. That would be a good PR opportunity. If the PLC want this support and are not getting it from the West Somerset MP, why don't they approach the MP who covers the 6 miles of the line that is covered by the Taunton Deane constituency? There doesn't appear to be any evidence of disagreements between Rebecca Pow and the current board all over the internet.
     
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  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Diplomacy, sadly, does not seem to be their best hand!
    Why should the MP have to go to the WSR? It is the other way around as it is the WSR which has problems, not the MP. It seem that the PLC thinks everyone else owes them something maybe?
     
  4. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    All own goals probably! :D
     
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  5. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    What is the news on 4160?
     
  6. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

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    I won't spoil Steam Railways news but its well worth getting a copy, in my opinion a set of good articles, well researched with some interesting quotes from the likes of the S&D, ORR & the ex-WSRA Chairman
     
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  7. There was an update on the WSRA website news page last month (April 2020).
     
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  8. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Thank you, Andy. I will order online or buy a digital copy.
     
  9. Maverick

    Maverick New Member

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    I think this months steam railway magazine goes a long way to answer the questions I posed after I received the FOI response from SCC in March. Did the WSRA chairman at the time know the PLC were approaching SCC about enquiring about purchasing the freehold?..and what a surprise, contrary to the PLC press release, the then WSRA chairman has confirmed he did not!
     
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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    https://www.wsra.org.uk/2020/04/

    Found it, Thank You.

    Were the WSRA to succeed in their claim, I wonder what the implications for the agreement with the SDR might be?
     
  11. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Is it just me, or does that £300k profit compare rather unfavourably with the reduction in the locomotive repair fund to the tune of roughly the same amount? Plus all the expensive track work still to do. Being able to say they had broken even would still look good after a £800,000 loss, with the bonus you can then say you've been ploughing revenue straight into infrastructure, rather than this smoke and mirrors approach.
    Nice to see some actual journalism from Steam beano for a change though, contacting ORR directly to confirm that there were no problems with the S&D Trust and showing the WSR's innuendo was totally uncalled for was a nice touch.
     
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  12. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    where was that @Big Al
     
  13. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    The £800k loss had a double winter in it of course (a 15month year) whereas the notional £300k profit had only one - so there is a degree of being economical with the actualité, to be generous, in giving the two figures as if they were directly comparable..

    Railway profits are largely illusory. For a railway of the size of the WSR, claiming an annual profit having relaid about 1/2 mile of track, rebuilt a carriage from the rail up and overhauled about one loco would be a more genuine performance - which is probably the standstill level for a railway 20 miles long with 30+ carriages in service and a loco requirement of about 8 big locos.

    As for the statement in the local press - and accepting that they may have chosen to quote one or two lines from a longer statement - it did come across as needlessly combatative.

    Tom
     
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  15. Roland Bushell

    Roland Bushell New Member

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    I have had concerns about WSR fundraising for some time. The WSR, WSSRT and WSRA websites all have very clear fundraising links which look good and should be easy to use - easier than I remember last time I visited incidentally. But that`s not the point. There`s not enough of them. Since 2007, text messaging has been the most commonly used communications tool - apparently. Which North Yorks, Swanage and Dean Forest seem to recognise with funding via text messaging just one of multiple options available to visitors to their websites. I have said it before, but when raising funds, methodologies must be very user-friendly and if possible, many layered. I appreciate that there may be a very good reason why WSR and the two charities have chosen to use the appeals route they have selected. But I can`t imagine what that might be.
     
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  16. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ot, if they had not actually carried out such w work to have made provision for the cost of the works before striking the figure for profit or loss in the year.

    The WSR is unfortunately like the cartoon character that has run off the cliff, any minute now it will have to look down and assess its true financial situation.
     
  17. free2grice

    free2grice Part of the furniture Friend

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    Quote: ''The spokesperson added better news was on the horizon, as the draft accounts for the railway do show potential for a £300,000 plus profit from the last financial year, recovering from an £800,000 loss the year before. ''

    This reminds me very much of BBC's Dragon's Den. When questioned the entrepreneurs will admit that their company made a £15k loss over the previous 12 months but estimate that in the next 12 months the company will have a turnover of over a million pounds. The next few minutes are taken up by the panel ripping the figures to shreds and the entrepreneurs leaving the den in embarrassment. <BJ>
     
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  18. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    It looks to me that the most important thing for the Plc is to be seen to be right and to occupy the moral high ground. To them that's what PR consists of.
     
  19. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    You do wonder whether just counting to ten and breathing before making public pronouncements might be the best thing to do. The WSR just seems to want to fall out with everyone at the moment, and given current circumstances for the railway and more widely I just cannot understand why they think this is a good idea.

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  20. gwilialan

    gwilialan Well-Known Member

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    Two things spring to mind here...

    The first is that the WSRA rail replacement fund is ring-fenced and cannot be used for any other purpose so I cannot see how including that total it in the 'Save the railway during shutdown' appeal total can be justified. It is not available for general expenditure.

    Secondly, looking at at the "Growth" graph. There is a very close correlation between growth/reduction of cheque donations and the growth/reduction of rail replacement donations. Does anyone know if the cheques were for general funds or were they for rail replacement? Are donations to the rail replacement fund being double counted?
     
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