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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    There has to be some process though to onboard and train volunteers, to make sure they are proficient and can do the duties they perform . More importantly they can be covered by insurance. Were your family members covered by insurance had they fallen or injured themselves whilst weeding
     
  2. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    If dealing with welcome new applications is beyond the ability of the Trust then you have to wonder what on earth is within their ability.

    Some organisations would jump at the prospect of new applications. Is their 'phone a friend' network of helpers so sparse that they can't (allegedly) deal with increased demand?

    Pathetic.
     
  3. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    AIUI the issue of 'temporary IDs ' has been a feature of WSR Plc practice for many years now, designed specifically for those who will only be 'working' for perhaps 2 or 3 occasions in a year. So this is not really a 'one-off event'.

    Having said that, taken in extremis then someone who only goes to the WSR once a year and only 'works' for a few hours - say someone who goes to help a group at a Gala for a couple of hours one afternoon - is supposed to have a temporary ID for the duration (or so I was informed when I had cause to enquire about this a few years ago). I can understand the 'bureaucratic' reason, but the administrative overhead just to get this ID for a couple of hours always struck me as rather excessive and likely to put people off bothering.
     
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  4. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    Should a group of volunteers consider that the charity controlling the organisation they volunteer for is acting in a way of which they disapprove, then they still have the option to join the charity if they wish to make changes.
     
  5. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    Is this another case where the WSR (and to be fair one major railway I can think of) is marching to the beat and every other line in the country is out of step?
     
  6. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry, singing hymns is currently forbidden under the Government's Covid guidelines!
     
  7. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    As an aside I note many lines adding extra days running as we head into the autumn . Halloween , train of lights and Santa . Most lines especially those with compartment stock seem to have really positive feedback in terms of covid and mitigation measures . Another line I spoke with shared that every day passenger numbers were more than enough to cover costs and put cash in the bank
     
  8. Roger Thompson

    Roger Thompson Well-Known Member

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    It seems to work well enough on the GWSR, Ian - and we get sufficient volunteers to keep the paid staff down to single figure numbers.
     
  9. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    I note a problem with a fast moving thread such as this one.

    In post 31691 I said. "As required, the WSRA then had to ask all donors if they wanted their money back or if they would put it to a different cause in support of the railway."

    This did not stop at least 2 members then speculating about what might have happened to 4110 donations to the WSRA.

    I do wonder if folks wish to spend more time typing (speaking) than they do reading (listening)?

    Can I also record a note of sympathy for Barrie. Those prepared to stand up and work for the good of the railway as directors or trustees are in short supply. Can we all at least agree that:

    No directors = no railway
    No charity trustees = no railway (Yes really - for the reasons Lineisclear has articulated.)

    OK - as you were - listening out. ;)
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    This highlights another bit of non-conformity within the WSR movement. All the four heritage railways that I have been involved with (Middleton, NYMR, TR & KESR) have required society membership to be in place before volunteering. I well remember a conversation I had with a WSR volunteer a good many years ago (well before the turn of the century) when the subject cropped up. He was very vociferous about not needing to have to be a member of any society to volunteer and was very uncomplimentary about the WSRA. The 'them and us' mentality has been around for a long time in Somerset and I suspect that it is still common amongst the railway's volunteer workforce.

    Having said that, if the WSR's SMS allows for casual volunteers and the system for it is robust, then I can see nothing wrong with it.
     
  11. Bionic_Woman

    Bionic_Woman New Member

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    I would be happy to help! Sign me up!
     
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  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    What REALLY needs to be achieved is that all associated with the Railway WANT to be members of the single charity.
     
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  13. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Part of the furniture

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    Mel,

    Thanks for that welcome news. Is this the specially convened meeting for the Railway Family to have preliminary discussions about the Bailey Report, or a general PDG meeting? As it will be 123 days since publication of JB's report I'm rather hoping the former.

    Kind regards,

    Barrie
     
  14. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    Well not, me, that's for certain, as I haven't actually got around to joining yet and now there will no doubt be a short delay. Anyone got any small lemon-soaked paper napkins?
    I suspect the difference is between those who work "on site" and those who work "off site", but I may be wrong.
    Was it not once the case that all volunteers had to be members of the WSRA? I'm sure my membership of the WSRA dates from my volunteering days, but whether it was voluntary
    As one of the two mentioned, I apologise, however, although I try to read every post on this thread, I still see replies to posts I've not seen before. I suspect I'm not very good at starting again where I left off. At least, with Nat Pres, replies go at the end, not next to the post replied to.
     
  15. Barrie the Beer

    Barrie the Beer Part of the furniture

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    Ian,

    Family membership is the answer to your situation, something WSSRT don't currently offer. Existing members would migrate to the new sole charity (WSRT?) if we eventually resolve to go that way.

    As regards WSSRT member processing. I note our treasurer handles membership currently. As the Trust grows it would surely be prudent to appoint a membership secretary. In the event I am elected as a trustee I should like to volunteer to undertake that role.

    Throughout the 1980s I served as membership secretary to the Vauxhall Cresta Club. Membership grew to almost 600 during that period. The database was maintained on my Amstrad PCW8256 (later upgraded to an 8512!)

    I would propose early introduction of membership cards, membership numbers, application forms and some new membership categories to streamline the system. In my Vauxhall days I prided myself in processing new applications same day whenever possible, although my self-employed business demands inevitably took precedence.
     
  16. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    @Bangroad Just to be clear, we do not tolerate abuse against members of the forum. I have removed a post and it’s replies from the thread and the moderators will be discussing further action which will be taken
     
  17. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Surely the answer to this is to have a list of names, addresses, dbs checks where necessary, next of kin. Along with particular interests/abilities etc, with no cost, or very low admin fee to join. Call it "WSR Volunteers", simply for accountability, and to satisfy HSE/ORR insurance requirements.
    Your railway membership charity can be a separate, fund raising/dispersing organisation.
    Some might argue that one who volunteers ought to deserve a vote on things, but in fact they have more of a vote simply by exercising their human right to work for nothing, or not work, as they see fit.
    Lets face it, a million in dedicated funds won't force a project to happen unless people are actually prepared to do the work
     
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  18. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    All true, but I find it hard to believe that the vast majority of railways that rely on volunteers are all wrong in requiring membership of the supporting organisation as a precondition of volunteering.

    That doing so on the WSR may cause challenges during a transition period is not a reason not to do so; it not difficult to come up with ways of achieving that end without charging existing volunteers a sum they don’t currently pay.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Many thanks to everyone who has reported a particular abhorrent post . We are a broad and inclusive forum with a common interest in railway preservation. Poster removed
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
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  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well, it works on my railway, and I've never known anyone seriously question it.

    It feels to me that there are two issues which are being conflated. One is around insurance and induction, which has been dealt with. But the other, more fundamental, question is why would anyone wish to work for an organisation that they didn't wish to join? I have never understood that.

    As for price - is that really an issue, or a smokescreen? Most volunteers will spend considerably more than their subs each year on travel, clothing etc. But if really the only argument is price, give a discount each year to any member who can demonstrate having done a certain number of days the previous year.

    The benefits of having the railway controlled by a single membership body, and having that membership body itself strongly influenced by a strong volunteer body seems so self-evident to me that I can't believe that it is even a matter of debate.

    Tom
     

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