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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Jill Jackson

    Jill Jackson New Member

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    Certainly significant. Not a quick job
     
  2. D1002

    D1002 Part of the furniture

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  3. Jill Jackson

    Jill Jackson New Member

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    But why is it being done before it has hauled any trains?
     
  4. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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  5. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The loco is now under the care and maintenance of the MHR and they are acting with due diligence and checking things? I dunno but other well run railways would do this. At least, the NYMR would.
     
  6. Jill Jackson

    Jill Jackson New Member

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    So no trust in WSR report then?
     
  7. big.stu

    big.stu Well-Known Member

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    It's been suggested to me that the condition it arrived in may be the result of it being put back together in a hurry, and that it needs some fettling at the very least...
     
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  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I wouldn't necessarily jump to that conclusion. It's likely that it says in their Safety Management system that all arriving locos should have some sort of exam, it may be that this is part of it. Alternatively, it may be as @big.stu says, put back together in a hurry, or perhaps simply bolted back together so no bits got lost on the way, and there is still a little work left to do. I'd be cautious before deciding this is another stick to beat the WSR over the head with, not least because actual volunteers on the ground did the work.
     
  9. Lplus

    Lplus Member

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    What report was that?
     
  10. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    If you want something doing, ask a busy woman...

    Among the supporters of the WSR and the photographic community, isn't there a video editor who can help?

    Good luck with the tribunal. 5 days suggests a fairly complex case.

    Patrick
     
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  11. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    Robin has just had a big win which has cropped up in my legal circles, so I suspect she is much in demand at the moment!

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
     
  12. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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  13. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Anyone else notice how the n-tilde character in "mañana" escaped from post 31893 and time-travelled to appear extraneously near the end of the previous post?
     
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  14. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think the greatest missed opportunity within John Bailey’s work is the failure to look more widely at the heritage industry, railways and other organisations, and to think about how the lessons of comparable lines, museums etc could be learnt and applied to the WSR. It is clear that there are a multitude of different organisational forms, institutional history and memory.

    Other lines have had problems in the past, it seems likely that in some cases there are strong parallels, or potential lessons and solutions,

    What strikes me as odd is that there has been no attempt to look at how say the MHR, FR, GCR, SVR etc etc have extricated themselves from organisational problems and to look for examples of best practice to guide the WSR. Instead it seems to be a rather limited view that doesn’t extend beyond Pickering.

    The MHR for example had some difficult years, but they seem to have been doing something right, what did they do, could any lessons be applied in Somerset? Is there something in the society/management relationship that changed, what changed, how was it changed, how and why did it improve things? It seems like Somerset Exceptionalism is infectious.

    Other than being long and county exceptionalism, I am struggling to see why the NYMR is a suitable template.

    Ironically, had I been tasked with trying to work out what to do in Somerset, my first response would have been to high tail it out of there and to go to Porthmadog, Ropley, Sheffield Park, Rothley, Bury, Sheringham and Toddington etc and to ask as many people as possible what are you doing right and why does it work, as well as what could be improved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  15. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Methinks the answer lies in their internal communications and involvement with the local community - but the WSR seems to antagonise / polarise loco support with the S&DRT being an excellent example of the Plc's "problem"
     
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  16. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Kind of you to notice. An important case which extends legal protection to a small number of folk with complex gender identities. The person really deserving of praise is my brave client who brought the case.

    As the most spectacular example of thread drift, I wonder if I could ask for a little help? It is widely being reported that Boris’ government is about to renege on a commitment to reform the Gender Recognition Act to assist such individuals.

    A signature on this petition:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/peti...d66zOHnCwG5kZT3jqyXY1A0sY2KObdL-z-URPbDyF5-jc

    And/ or a share of the petition on social media would be much appreciated.

    Now back to the trains...
     
  17. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    The excellent team at Minehead provided an extremely thorough report on the condition of 53808. There is nothing untoward or unexpected happening with the locomotive and nothing that reflects badly on the WSR team.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
     
  18. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Part of getting to know a new locomotive would involve checking it over especially after a road journey. One would expect that to happen as a matter of routine irrespective of how extensive any handover information may have been. You can't do that just on a 'visual'. We know it looks good; that's not the point.

    People should really give the WSR a break on that one.
     
  19. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    @Monkey Magic - It may surprise you that I agree! There are other ways of doing things and I explained that in my report.

    You need to see that report in context. I was asked to facilitate discussions between the PLC and the S and DRT . Not to arbitrate but simply to help the parties arrive at their own agreed solution as an alternative to a Court decision. With regard to what was clearly a major bone of contention, the future of 53808, that proved to be possible. Final agreement regarding Washford is still being negotiated but, as the Trust has announced, it has concluded that its public benefit objects can best be achieved elsewhere. In the course of those discussions it became clear that the tension between the PLC and the Trust was symptomatic of structural problems within the WSR community. I apologised for exceeding my brief but volunteered my suggestions as to how those problems might be overcome. Those suggestions were sent as personal comment to the people who had helped with information in connection with the facilitation role. No one commissioned a report. It was simply a volunteered suggestion. To my surprise it seemed to find universal support amongst its recipients.

    I'm sure there would be individuals or organisations that could undertake a comprehensive study of the merits and disadvantages of alternative structures. I suspect it's unlikely they would do it for free.

    The recurring theme is frustration that the wishes of members, and especially volunteers, are not reflected in the decisions of those running a heritage railway. Whatever structure is adopted there's a perfectly understandable expectation that mechanisms are in place to ensure those wishes are complied with. In a simple unincorporated society that's not a problem. The Committee / Council or whatever group of elected individuals runs the society do so for the benefit of its members. Unfortunately, as the railway grows, it becomes imperative that they are protected from unlimited personal liability so the society becomes incorporated in some form. Some become charities in order benefit from tax privileges . For member centric heritage railways this is when tensions arise. The Directors of a company have statutory duties that override the wishes of its shareholders. The Trustees of a Charity are duty bound to run it for public benefit not in the interests of its members. ( You don't become a member of the RNLI for instance to get priority on being rescued at sea!). As a practical example imagine members vote at an AGM that they and their families must have unlimited free travel on the railway. That could mean a member financial benefit greater than the cost of membership. The trustees would be right to refuse to implement the decision because it would involve the charity being run for members' benefit.

    In a normal company if you don't like the way it's run you vote with your feet. The dilemma for heritage railway members and supporters is that witholding donations or not volunteering undermines the very thing you want to preserve and the opportunity to enjoy your hobby. So it's not surprising that they look to corporate structure for solutions. Because incorporated bodies are not designed or intended to be democratic there's an inherent conflict. As has been pointed out that conflict is not unique to the WSR. It's endemic because limited liability structures are not wholly suited to heritage railways.

    The real protection for members'/ volunteers' interests is more subtle. Heritage railways depend on their members for voluntary donations and on their volunteers for practical support. The success of any structure depends not on whether its tries to embed controls on the decisions of directors and trustees but whether it creates a sense of belonging and contributing to an entity that values the people on who it depends. The key to that is two -way communication. Get that right and your structure becomes almost irrelevant. Whatever structural model the WSR decides to follow effective communication will be the essential driver of success.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2020
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  20. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    Apologies Big Al. That should have appeared as a response to Monkey Magic's earlier post.

    You'd think I'd get it right by now!
     

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