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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    I can't help but think the difference between the Llangollen approach and that taken on another railway is the contrast between 'lots of balls' and 'load of b0110cks'
     
  2. Faol

    Faol Well-Known Member

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    Hello Andy.
    Good to hear from you. Please don't expect much from me as this is a bit of a swansong. Yesterday I informed Musgrove that I was discontinuing my treatment. My immunotherapy is overly fond of attacking me as well as teaching my immune system to attack the cancer. It has destroyed my pituitary glands and is having a go at my liver and bowel. Jenny and I want to have a few more good memories before I shunt off to that condemned stock siding in the sky.
    To begin with you are quite right about the ORR report signalling (no pun intended) the minor deficiencies that need completing. However these are not the same deficiencies that were outstanding when you were here active. There is a list and are indicative of what the head of Infrastructure was surveying and working through. In much the same way as the CME (welcome back Andy) is back so is the IE Head in an interim role so I fully expect that list to be addressed. I'm not sure of my ground here but the Seaway Lane crossing has been put back twice by the County Council on the grounds of cutting costs. The design work has to be agreed and signed off by ORR but over the 3 years there have been some significant changes which will need to be incorporated so back to the drawing board I guess.
    If I remember correctly all the bits about which HR policies are written that are pertinent are, in fact, within the Staff handbook now.
    I refer you to my earlier missive, Companies don't wash the dirty linen in public, never have, never should and quite right as it would affect public confidence.
    For exactly the reasons above, customer is king so customer confidence is king.
    This business about how the Board treats people is becoming a bit of a fable. I have effectively been sick for 18 months. The Chairman checks I am OK every now and then via social media. I have not been asked to come back or contribute but I am still a signed on volunteer and a member of the Wagon Restoration Group. When on holdiay just over 2 years ago I was the first casualty of the new broom sweeps clean when I received an email copy of the termination of my Board safety Advisor role. You and I know what happened then. I received an open, frank and honest communication from the Chairman apologising for that termination and explaining he had be lied to. Sadly the cancer struck before we managed to find me a slot back in the business. All I managed was to design a couple of issues of what now is managed by Frank C, though I never called it the Platform. My dealings with the current Board have been very little but I find them willing to listen and quick to act where things need some form of rectification. I can only speak as I find.
    I agree about the few people are a minority in Nat Pres but they seem to take delight in picking at a sore. BUT please do remember the ORR Inspectors and particularly one in particular does read these comments and the overall view created by a minority here does effect a failing picture. As to the list of adjectives which have been bounded around about the 'TEN' I am not prepared to discuss openly on this forum. There are enough hares running that even my trusty old Gatling Gun can't bring down these hares fast enough
    Quite agree as yet again I appeal for the end of the strife and the WSR be allowed to do its job.
    Am on the same number and would welcome a phone call but conversation gets a bit unsteady after about 20 minutes.
    "Live Long and Prosper", by Magellan when he went off to discover America or was it Spock on the Enterprise.
    Keep Safe, Ken
     
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  3. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Part of the furniture

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    Ken, No problem I'll give you a ring to catch up, might not be today but certainly in the next couple. Andy
     
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  4. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Keep safe Ken. While I don't know you personally, I have always found your posts thoughtful and thought provoking and a vital contribution to this thread. Take care.
     
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  5. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Its very sad, that people who have both given so much can end up on opposite sides, yet, can still be friends away from the coal face, the thing is this, if everyone could work together, to find solutions, and to mend bridges the railway could start to recover, From the postings, from both sides, these same groups know each other very well, and in many cases have worked together and worked well together , so where did it all go wrong? even Rodders and Robin have in the past sat on the same committee's and have done good work, now he's calling for her to be thrown out, how did it come to this?
    In Ken's post he explains how mistakes have been made, because people don't always get told the truth, either as a way to empire build by someone, or someone was lead down a path, to protect their own backs, We can only judge on what we hear, and get told, it might not be the full truth , as we later find out,
     
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  6. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    For all the difference in opinion on the WSR @Faol 's post is the heartbreaking one . All the best
     
  7. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    I would like to thank @Faol for reminding us that, even in bitterly fought debates, there are real people involved, who are human, and therefore like us all, are neither all "good" nor all "bad". To have done so within a day of that discussion with the medics is truly impressive; I hope that if I ever follow that road, I would be able to summon half the energy and courage.
     
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  8. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Very true, i wish the best for Ken, and i would imagine anyone concerned with the WSR will do too, no matter what side they are on, human suffering should be above such positions, in normal times would have liked that post, but due to kens health, liking such a post , i feel would not feel right.
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    That's exactly how I felt, on reading it too. As uncomfortably bleak as Ken's situation clearly is, we can but sincerely hope the fine example of fortitude and dignity he displays brings some sense of proportion to the warring factions on all sides.
     
  10. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    Andy, have another look at what was actually written - this is emphatically not what was written or intended to be read into what was written. No one is pretending that there are not things to do. Having been in the hot seat, Ken well understands the subtleties of ORR communications, and his interventions here have been very helpful. Like everyone else, we all offer him our sincerest good wishes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  11. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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  12. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member Friend

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    ''I am sorry and saddened by the news today of the passing of long serving WSR volunteer signalman Dr David Randles on 26 October 2020. The private funeral will be held towards the end of this month. Many will remember David working Minehead Signal Box in particular and also his fine websites covering the WSR, the GWR and more recently the mighty uksteam.info My own early website efforts in the late 1990s drew invaluable inspiration from David's legendary work and he was always happy to advise and guide''.

    I've always considered David to be such a friendly and knowledgeable person, in fact a real gentleman. RIP David. <BJ>

    Many thanks to wsr.org
    Details kindly provided by a close friend of David
     
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  13. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    With all due consideration to 'Faol' and his medical circumstances that will I'm sure have many praying for him including myself tonight,

    We have the ORR letter, and it is in wide circulation, and it is pointless Frank Courtney putting a gloss on it that isn't there.

    I'm still waiting for the WSRA YouTube film on Seaward crossing - this was anticipated some considerable weeks back!

    Back in March with 2 or so days before lockdown the 2020 train service was due to start and advertised - no mention then of problems with Seaward crossing.

    It's not rocket science, and it's all about taking people with you rather than give them some flannel that ultimately doesn't convince. It's about transparency and honesty and being up front with those who are already, and those who are considering becoming engaged on so many different levels.

    I have previously linked on here JJP's presentation to the HRA (it even got a private positive comment from a Moderator on here).

    When you compare JJP's HRA presentation with the recent ORR letter widely circulated, there are valid questions to be asked even taking a very objective view.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  14. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    After I had gathered all the material, I was asked by the WSR plc NOT to produce this, and in the light of the comments in the ORR letter, it would seem that the final configuration has become uncertain, so what I have may need to be updated.

    Robin
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  15. Faol

    Faol Well-Known Member

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    It has been a sad few days, not for me but news of the passing of 2 great WSR guys. Firstly David Randles, a good friend and as already stated a true gentleman and Humphrey Davies another good friend and PLC Board Member colleague, great driver and an accomplished model engineer, mainly 5" gauge and a great 00 modeller. May they both Rest in Peace and swap many happy stories.
     
  16. Muzza

    Muzza New Member

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    Hi rodders154,

    From my point of view, the ship has already sailed on that one. Although I live on the other side of the world, I am a member / contributor to a number of UK based heritage railways and societies.

    Sadly, the events of this year have made the chances of me contributing to the WSR come very close to zero.
    I understand that it is a wonderful railway and that many faithful volunteers and contributors have worked very hard to make it what it is.

    But I cannot get over the actions of those in charge who have

    - evicted a long term tenant (& member of the railway family) a year or two into a new long term lease.
    - not been able to articulate what the reasons for that eviction are.
    - insulted the society in question, calling them a "cuckoo in the nest"
    - intimated that the ORR had issues with how the society ran their site (proved to be false, I understand).
    - informed said society that they intend to default on an overhaul agreement for a locomotive that has been well used.

    I have no idea of what agreement the two parties have come to since and it is possible that both sides are happy with the result.
    But I have seen no contrition on the part of the WSR PLC for their actions. It is even possible that they were justified, but any attempts to explain appear ham-fisted and only make the issue worse.

    There is no way I could give to a cause that is managed by such an organisation until such time as they fully explain their actions or apologise and make restitution.

    You will probably not miss my donation - but you did ask what it would take.
     
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  17. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

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    Such sad news about David and Humphrey. David was the instigator of this thread and a major financial contributor over the years to the railway as well as a volunteer. I could count on seeing David at nearly all the galas I attended be it the SVR or MHR or many others. When I last saw him he was in poor health.
    A true railway man.
     
  18. rodders154

    rodders154 Member

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    I don't have any position on the WSR anymore. I am not on any committees and don't have any influence with anybody. All views are my own personal ones
    It is not my railway in anyway other than being concerned about its future.
     
  19. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    You did ask the question to which @Muzza replied!

    Meanwhile, a general question from me. What are the issues at Seaward Way? And in particular, how is it that this replacement has seemingly gone backwards to the point that the basic design seems to be being challenged?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  20. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Please do take note about the level crossing. I presume that the WSR currently has an agreement with the Highways Authority, ORR and the local council about the crossing.
    I understand that revised/new level crossings are generally frowned on these days and the alternative bridges are flipping costly to say the least. Any delays in processing this project or changes to the operator/structure/ownership might lead to one or more of the entities involved reviewing their policies.
    In the nicest possible way I just say whilst you have this agreement just get on and do it. Things change so quickly in this world and what was once taken for granted is no longer certain. With the working crossing in operation there are no arguments.
     
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