If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks. The Journal has yet to arrive in the eastern flatlands ( and then due to severe lockdown still in place in this house it won't be opened for two days :( ) I am particularly pleased with the WSRA's view of the need for change of the WSR organisational structure in (1) above and welcome news indeed. I doubt my bleating over the last few years had any impact but I am pleased as punch with this.

    Steve
     
  2. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    4,023
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nr Bridgwater, Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Thanks for correcting me, having rechecked Taunton Deane doesn't quite go to Crowcombe Station, but I'm splitting hairs. I will change my comment to "whose consistency doesn't cover most of the WSR".
     
  3. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,675
    Likes Received:
    3,544
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It seems to me that there are two ways of achieving an increase in support for the WSR.
    The first is for the management to reverse the decisions that are causing complaint on this forum and in other places and re-address these matters after the threat posed by the COVID-19 epidemic has passed.
    The second is for everyone to pretend that there are no problems with any of the recent management decisions until after the threat posed by the epidemic and re-address their complaints then.
    Which seems to you to be the more honest approach?
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,156
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Country
    Perhaps it's more of case of which would be the more useful/helpful approach. If the second course were to be followed, then by the time the epidemic threat has passed (who knows when???) and the various matters are re-addressed, in at least one obvious case the damage will have been done already and become irreversible. No doubt there will be some who will consider that to be the Plc's 'game plan' anyway, but I could not possibly comment on that....
     
  5. pgbffest

    pgbffest New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2018
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    367
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somewhere with a lot of letters!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Nat Pres is already full of ads, we probably don't need another one ;)
     
    Forestpines likes this.
  6. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,729
    Likes Received:
    16,880
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Very good.

    There are those who think lawyers are paid by the word. It may be so. As long as they are the right words there don’t need to be too many of them.

    Does that count as an ad?
     
    Matt78 and pgbffest like this.
  7. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,729
    Likes Received:
    16,880
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Something to read...

    Postie’s just called And now I have some reading material when I have mowed the lawn.

    9A8B46A7-6BAC-42A7-8708-5A157D9E5B4E.jpeg
     
    malcolm imps likes this.
  8. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,722
    Likes Received:
    4,404
    I think a reminder is due as there seems to be some confusion amongst the membership. This is not a thread to discuss the popularity of a local MP, members wife’s or a place to publicly swing your handbags at each other.

    This thread is about WSR operations which frankly means we discuss such things in this thread and not the above. A number of posts have been removed from public view and the moderators will be discussing the content and appropriate action if required. We will not keep reminding everyone of this over and over again so please be warned we will consider closing the thread again if members are unable to comply with this polite request.

    This is not the school playground, so can be behave like adults and have a proper debate without resorting to the personal attacks or posting absolute tosh due to there being no news?
     
    Yachtie, gricerdon, Steve and 2 others like this.
  9. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9,051
    Likes Received:
    6,860
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alderan !
    the sun is shining again . Can I suggest every one takes the opportunity to put down their electronic devices and head off out into it (socially distanced of course) reflect on what you are posting and contributing to the thread
     
  10. brauntonians

    brauntonians New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    51
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    north devon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    here we go again,same old moaners,either donate or keep stum because it would appear that some would like the wsr to fail, i dont and yes i have donated and renewed my wsra with a bit extra, done my bit what about out you?. if you dont like this post heh ho, no i do not live in somerset.
     
  11. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    3,922
    Likes Received:
    3,056
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swanage
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I thought lawyers were paid by time, at least that is what Linklaters used to do to us, 15 minute increments. We soon learned not to ask how their weekend went unless we were prepared to pay for the privilege
     
  12. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    797
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I understand the next PDG meeting has been arranged for later this month.

    Steve
     
  13. Breva

    Breva Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,896
    Likes Received:
    3,120
    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    They'll give you the time of day, but it'll cost you! :eek:
     
  14. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    10,009
    Likes Received:
    16,433
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    For the hundredth time, I don't believe any of those same old moaners wish the WSR to fail, rather some are of the belief that the WSR will fail on its current trajectory unless something changes. You may disagree with that, but to ascribe such poor motives on them (us) is mightily unfair.
     
    Hopgarton, jnc, staffordian and 14 others like this.
  15. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12,339
    Likes Received:
    8,143
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't think any of us want the West Somerset to fail, I do however think that there are quite a few of us that are fed up with it managing to keep shooting itself (rather spectacularly) in the foot without pausing to reload.
     
    jnc, nanstallon, Blue Horizon and 8 others like this.
  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,156
    Likes Received:
    5,694
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Country
    Quite.

    As someone who is proud to have been a volunteer on the WSR (albeit intermittently these days) since the days before it ever re-opened (indeed, I sometimes meet staff there who were not even born when I started <gulp>), I would be feel most offended if someone were to suggest that I wanted the railway to fail. The problem is that it would appear - as others have said already - that various parts of the 'railway family' seemed to have developed a tendency to shoot themselves in their organisational feet at the worst possible moments. Are we who support the railway supposed to keep quiet and say nothing, just keep pouring money into the railway coffers, and hope that somehow it will just all magically get better? We are 'moaning' - if you want to use that term - because we care about the railway and want it to succeed - why on earth would we want it to fail after almost 45 years of toil has brought us one of the best heritage lines in the UK ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
    malcolm imps, jnc, Romsey and 18 others like this.
  17. RichardBrum

    RichardBrum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2019
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The WSR exists because people didn't 'keep stum'.


    For some reason at the WSR, there seems to be a complete lack of understanding about the real world.
    The two support organisations are asking the public for money. They are also registered charities, & so want to take advantage of the gift aid etc.
    You don't get to do that & not have to be transparent about how your spending the funds, or how you operate, etc etc
     
  18. DragonHandler

    DragonHandler Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West London
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Curiously enough, I read mine after a bit of gardening. A good issue with lots of interesting articles.
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    23,501
    Likes Received:
    46,990
    Location:
    LBSC 215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    If I could inject a very cautious note of optimism into the discussion (and it is more cautious because of Covid, which puts a very severe strain on the railway in the short and medium term).

    Five years ago, I - probably like many people - made a written submission to the Coombes Review. Included within it was the following passage:

    A vision for the future

    Finally, I would set out my vision of what the future may look like:
    • The WSRA transfers its retail, catering and restoration functions to the WSR PLC, as the primary operational body on the railway
    • Shorn of commercial distractions, the WSRA then concentrates on maximizing its charitable fundraising, from members and pursuing grants
    • The charitable objectives are re-written to demonstrate explicit support for the West Somerset Railway (see Appendix)
    • In exchange, the PLC re-calculates the benefits package to members of affiliated support organisations so that those benefits can be provided at no cost to the support organisation (and they are in effect provided at marginal cost by the PLC)
    • A mechanism is found whereby the WSRA, as the railway’s primary support organisation, becomes a key contributor to the railway’s strategy, in a way that is binding on the PLC as the executive body responsible for delivering that strategy
    • The WSRA Journal is rebranded the WSR Journal, reporting on activities across the railway from all bodies, and with an independent editorial board drawing representation from across the railway.
    In the longer-term, I believe the railway should look for further structural rationalization with the objective of creating one primary support charity, and individual groups such as the various Friends groups becoming restricted funds within the overall charity umbrella, rather than administratively separate groups.​

    Looking from afar, as far as I can see, the score card looks like:

    Point 1 - underway
    Point 2 - underway
    Point 3 - completed
    Point 4 - ??
    Point 5 - weak, as far as I can see, in fact the primary weakness on the railway: the members have no say in the strategy
    Point 6 - completed
    Point 7 (the structural re-organisation) - seemingly being actively considered, though clearly early days.

    Of my seven points, two have been achieved; two are underway; one is being considered, two have seemingly little progress. So is it perfect? Well, clearly not, but sometimes if you get too involved in analysing every step forwards and backwards, you miss the bigger picture of which way is the direction of travel. And to me, the direction of travel is, slowly but inexorably, unravelling the flawed duplication of roles that existed in the "old" WSR structure, so that there is a greater clarity of function between commercial operator and support organisation.

    My list was compiled with the picture as it was five years ago. Times have moved on; some things have become more clear, notably the worsening financial picture and greater clarity about the condition of the infrastructure. Then there is Covid-19 on top, which provides a severe stress test of the overall resilience of the railway family. Possibly if I wrote a similar list now, it might have some other points, though the over riding one about separating operations from fundraising, with members providing strategic governance, stands. And on that I'd give a somewhat muted two cheers; the third cheer would be a concrete move towards the members being seen as the driving force of governance for the railway's strategy.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  20. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,681
    Likes Received:
    2,438
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Somewhere in the UK
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    At least continuing on that particular trajectory means you end up continually firing an empty gun at the remains of your feet...
     
    Jamessquared likes this.

Share This Page