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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates New Member

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    Just to confirm, we "the ten" have not withdrawn our nominations. And therefore we have not been 'quashed' as the article supposes. We still await the revised date for the WSSRT AGM.
     
  2. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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  3. Chufferpuff

    Chufferpuff New Member

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    Excellent news ! Its not a decision to be made by the chairmen, its for the members to decide with a democratic vote !
     
  4. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It seems so. A case of an over-excited reporter probably. A pity they don't have the same journalist covering the same topics, the previous article was written by someone else who went to the trouble of getting quotes from both sides. In fact I'm surprised that they don't have a specific "WSR editor" given the frequency of stories where the railway's internal strife is the subject!
     
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  5. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Agreed , extremely biased reporting. Stating that it is ‘an underhand bid to wrestle control of one of the charities’. No attempt to speak to one of the ten and report the reasons they are doing what they are doing.
     
  6. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    You might want to consider who the readership of the local Somerset press are. For the greater part they live locally, are probably aware of all thee frequent fiascos concerning the WSR and will probably know how many local businesses are people are suffering financially due to the present closure of the line. After all they are the ones who keep the paper in business.
    A number of the candidates and WSR supporters do not live locally are presumably are not local newspapers sales target.
     
  7. Mike S

    Mike S New Member

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    And what a great shame it is that someone like your good self with not only an obvious interest in the coaches but also having youth and enthusiasm on your side is no longer standing for election as a WSSRT trustee.....

    Anyway, look forward to seeing you next week at Toddington to push on with 3850 a bit more.... :)
     
  8. WSSRTcandidates

    WSSRTcandidates New Member

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    Let us hope, in the not too distant future, that a healthy culture of respect, honesty, trust and accountability will prevail at the WSR. This will then encourage more disaffected people back to the WSR where their enthusiasm, energy and talents can be harnessed in a 'safe' environment towards such excellent projects as the WSSRT's heritage coach fleet and many other things. As we said in our initial statement, some people/organisations in the WSR family are further along this journey of cultural reform than others. Cultural reform requires leadership from the very top.
     
  9. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    We do indeed hope for that, but I'll believe it when it happens.
     
  10. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    So they will suffer even more if the Plc goes bust and that closure becomes permanent. Apart from COVID, the railway's current woes are almost entirely due to a policy of ignoring problems in the hope they will go away. The continuation of that policy, albeit with different problems being ignored, is not going to provide the WSR with a long term future.
     
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  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I object to the use of the word "policy" - it implies planning and forethought, when the evidence strongly suggests that the ignoring of problems is far less considered. Now, if you were to suggest the operative word should be "custom"...
     
  12. ross

    ross Member

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    I see certain issues as far as engaging apprentices to help with restoring rolling stock, but as I consider, it seems that they are the same issues hampering the whole WSR.
    When we look at the SVR, we see a railway which was largely saved by Birmingham factory workers, people with engineering jobs and minds. Working regular hours, and living in a culture where tinkering with mechanical things was a) an acceptable pastime and b) part and parcel of running a car/motorbike on working wages. (Yes, massive over generalisation, apologies)who then retired on decent company pensions.
    Outside of Taunton, the WSR operates in a sparsely populated area. People working in farming have little spare time, (certainly no assurance that tuesday evening next week will be free). I spent enough years farming to know that the farm takes everything from you, and leaves you with little freedom or inclination to do anything but sleep and grumble about your back.
    A lot of moneyed people in the area tend to be "retired to the country" types, many have their own interests and commitments, and many have retired at the top of their industry. Some therefore are compelled to be in charge of whatever bowls club, gardening society etc. they join. Those that might be keen to get involved with a heritage railway are likely to not come from a trade/practical background, due to the high cost of retiring to Devon/Somerset, they are more likely to have had a white collar career.
    Youngsters looking to the carpentry/joinery courses at the college, whether Taunton or Bridgwater, will likely be heading towards construction carpentry. There are many small joinery shops in the area, but the bulk of day release college attendees are site carpentry/joinery students, rather than bench joinery. Historic railway carriage restoration is unlikely to be seen as relevant to the skills they are seeking. High Wycombe with its furniture making might be more relevant, but its a bit far. If the WSR were trying this route, they would not only have to provide covered workshop space, but tooling, toilets, changing rooms, rest areas etc. up to modern standards which will cost many tens of thousands.
    So, there you have it. Those with time and money lack skills.
    Those with time and skills lack inclination.
    Those with time, money and inclination are too busy squabbling about who is in charge, and trying to keep the blue collar lot in their place. And the other lot. Can't let the other lot get the upper hand.

    These unrestored carriages are, in the current WSR situation, WIBN. Not impossible, but really not on the priority list for the foreseeable
     
  13. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Resident of Nat Pres

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  14. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Maybe not suffer as much as you think. Many tourist areas have had to change their ways of encouraging tourists and their money in the past and long before Covid-19 . Torbay had quite a large number of holiday camps in the Borough in the past, most have gone and replaced by houses. The tourist industry has survived because there are many entrepreneurs prepared to take a chance on new ventures. Covid had been disastrous for some people, while others seem to have adapted quite well with new variations on their business methods. West Somerset would survive without the WSR, after a brief period and without doubt those who see an opportunity there will take it. The old GWR developed some of the area and BR kept it going but eventually times overtook it and the line closed. Butlins never closed although it had relied on the old railway to a fair degree. Like most progressive businesses ways are found to overcome things; if not they fail.
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a really informed comment on where the workforce might come from in my view. Of course there is a place for people wandering along the track and pulling out weeds but the fact that this activity received the recent publicity and pictures it did hardly instils any confidence in whether serious stuff is taking place on the line. It takes me back to when I used to scrape layers of grease and other crud off running gear before the real engineers could get at the moving parts. Useful but hardly critical restoration work.
     
  16. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Well-Known Member

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    But that requires some imagination Alex!
     
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  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    In the form of fresh new, young, trustees?...
     
  18. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Member

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    The HPC Community Engagement Project was in a large part intended for and targeted toward Bridgwater & Taunton Colleges, the project included engaging them to enable their trainees/apprentices (whichever word people want to use) to be able to be involved on a large level. It was fully scoped within the Project and I spent many hours and a lot of meetings with the Colleges working out how to do all of this, they were keen and they wanted to engage as others have described here. It was all sorted, scoped, costed, arranged and KPI’d within the project.

    The colleges have Carpentry, Metalworking, Mechanical and Engineering Courses. Workshops full of kit and about 350 students going through these courses at any one time, all looking for real tangible work to do which is available in spades on the WSR. Additionally as a Community, not for profit organisation the WSR would have been a great sources of projects which the College could promote themselves and freely contributed toward, whereas privately owned projects are ‘out of scope’ for them, as the owner of a GWR 4-6-0 found out.

    The Colleges were looking forward to doing everything people say here: Loco work, wagons, coaches, track work, infrastructure, building and a whole host of other things. HPC funded the Community Engagement Manger to facilitate the relationship between the Colleges and WSR for 2 years and host visits plus other things right down to paying transport for both bringing Trainees to the WSR and bringing projects to the Colleges.

    All of this of course was reversed and scrapped when the latest PLC board came into power, for reasons I still don’t understand other than many from the 3 Boards played a part in its undoing after they had initially agreed. Another broken agreement, another set of lost opportunities, a failed Grant Funded Project and the Colleges really upset, and then when people in the community such as the local MP & Headteacher asked questions as to why, more threats and press statements along the lines of ‘cuckoo’s in the nest’ and worse aimed at individuals who were just trying to help. Needless to say all the people concerned backed away from the WSR.

    The HPC Project was much more than £96k of funding. What a lost opportunity.

    Sorry if this post sounds angry I’m not, I’m just very, very sad about it.
     
  19. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Your fish and chips still come in newspaper?
     
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  20. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Always was worth a read however.
     

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