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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's absolutely fine. Personally, I don't think a myriad of Facebook groups, especially if they're private, is ideal, but I appreciate they're easiest to set up. It's difficult to put your finger on quite what is wrong with the WSR's public output, but I can't help feel that it is wrong nevertheless. I mean no disrespect to those who do update various things, @malcolm imps , @Steve Edge , even @FrankC , even if the latter's is a bit pravda-ish, they're all good and in theory ought to be great. But I just get a sense that they're not quite hitting the mark.
    I dunno, I'm rambling now! But clearly the WSR's public image is currently dreadful, and something needs to change above and beyond what is currently being done to improve that. Demanding I just shut up on NatPres I don't think will solve it either, despite what some people have suggested...
     
  2. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's not the content, but the tone. When you realise that @Steve Edge's excellent site is totally unofficial, see little "official" online from the plc about how the railway's developing, and find that the Facebook groups are private, it all feels a little bit inward looking and as though there's no desire to reach out more widely.
     
  3. baldbof

    baldbof Part of the furniture Friend

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    Thanks for that viewpoint, but may I suggest that it might be worth providing a link in the Plc's web-site to some of the other sites to give a more comprehensive picture of what is going on just in case Joe Public and his wife are seeking that little bit extra information and who might be unaware of the other informative web-sites. It's disappointing, to say the least, that the Plc doesn't seem to have picked up on the benefits of positive, public promotion and communication. What's the old saying ? - "It pays to advertise".

    Edited to add; just found a link to the WSSRT's Gauge Museum but its under the heading of "Education"
     
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  4. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Poor Dr Foster
     
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  5. FrankC

    FrankC Well-Known Member

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    If I'm only Pravda-ish I'm obviously going to have to try harder. I was aiming for the real touch of authenticity.
     
  6. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    OTOH, because @Steve Edge 's site is unofficial, it escapes the air of Pravda that would cling to an official site. Someone once described reading an in-house newspaper (it was in the last century) as like drowning in warm syrup.
     
  7. D6332found

    D6332found New Member

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    I think anyone who posts on this thread should pay £5 to WSR or a charity of choice. 35000 poostings and rising
     
  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Several of us paid £12..... :)
     
  9. D1002

    D1002 Part of the furniture

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    The charity I would choose after reading the posts on this thread:
    54FD7969-9FF7-441D-A196-40BC969C2824.jpeg
     
  10. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    Plc AGM.

    The paperwork issued for the AGM included a 'Letter to Shareholders' about "the launch of a consultation process on transformation of the WSR PLC to create a new parent charitable structure for the railway". {my emphasis}.

    In the opening preamble, in reference to the Bailey report, the letter states: "This report recommends that the WSR PLC considers transforming itself into a new structure with a charitable parent and an Operating company working as a 100% owned subsidiary". {my emphasis again}.

    Well, having read the Bailey Report yet again, and with a copy of it in front of as I write, I consider that claim to be very misleading. Not only does the Bailey Report NOT say that, but the author actually specifically recommends against it! To quote from his comments at the end of paragraph 5.5 :-

    "I would not recommend trying to transform the PLC into something else nor, with its current shareholding structure, is it a suitable vehicle to act as the operating company for a Charity..."

    and then goes on (also in 5.6) to recommend creating a new charity and a new company and leaving the old one dormant.

    Just to confuse the issue further, in Item 5 of Appendix 1 to the 'Letter' it is suggested that the day to day operating could be delegated to the operating company "...perhaps by the transformation of the existing PLC into the operating subsidiary". Not only does that also ignore what Bailey wrote in 5.5, but it contradicts the Letter's opening claim about transforming itself into both a charitable parent and an operating company.

    So what does it really want to do, and why is it apparently ignoring Bailey's specific caveat?
     
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  11. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Rybak rybaka vidit izdaleka.

    Robin-ova
     
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  12. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

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    I can help with that. The report suggested the PLC would be unsuitable as the controlled operating company if it retained its current shareholding structure. The essential point is it must be controlled by the new charity. If there are other shareholders that control is diminished. During the considerable amount of work that has been done in fleshing out the re-structure proposals the problem of the operating licence has come to the fore. Transferring that to a new entity could be problematic. The easier quicker option is to leave it with the PLC and to transform the current shareholdings in the PLC to non voting shares. All of a new class of voting shares would be held by the Charity. Existing PLC shareholders will have the option of voting membership of the Charity though the precise details of that will be subject to shareholder approval. I know Robin has a different view but my understanding is that if all voting shares in the PLC are owned by the Charity it would be legitimate if , as has happened to other heritage railways this year, funds are needed to cover costs such as the operating wage bill, for the parent charity to provide such support. The prohibition on a Charity covering such costs for a partially owned subsidiary is why, exceptionally, some grants of public funds have been made direct to operating companies rather than their parent charities.
     
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  13. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    It certainly looks if there are brown plastic or earthenware pipes either side but these will only collect at the joins. I was thinking more of land drainage pipes with perforations every few cm. with either a geotextile wrap or you car even get a geotex 'sock' for the pipe these days.

    Obviously you know your patch far better than I do, I'm just very surprised to see standing water in those shallow trenches in the cess.
     
  14. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    Grust' lyubit druga
    Rossov
     
  15. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Но где поезда :)
     
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  16. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    Nikakikh poyezdov. Dostich' nulevoy proizvodstvennoy tseli legko.
     
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  17. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

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    I suspect that, if there is a move from voting as shareholders of a company, with one vote per share, effectively, to voting as members of a charity, with one vote per member, the larger shareholders would be fairly unhappy about it, whereas the smaller shareholders, like myself, would be delighted.
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    On the communication front: speaking Russian is generally not a good way to get a message across to an English-speaking audience. You can take that statement literally or metaphorically ...

    It doesn't feel like one of the WSR's current strengths, but like many things on heritage railways, it is one of those things that takes a combination of skill, energy and teamwork. Those things tend to ebb and flow; certain railways and organisations seem to do very well for a period, and then it tails off - often that is down to some change of personnel behind the scenes. Even the best communication leads are dependent on a flow of information "from the coal face" as it were - a sometimes under appreciated point is that people who have just spent ten hours digging out muck in the wet and cold may have a shower and hot meal as higher priorities on getting home than sending off an article with six well-chosen photos and 400 carefully written words to their comms director or newsletter editor!

    Tom
     
  19. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the key to the GWSR's success at least (and I'm pleased to say we do often get cited) is that many hands make light work. Each department has its own blog, most with several contributors all with direct access. thus if I or @Breva get run over by a bus tomorrow, we only lose a small percentage of reportage. It also means the "flow of information" as you put it is quite short. And because we do our reports so often, it doesn't take as long to work out what to include and what not, and trying to think what you've done, because you're only reporting on a day or two at a time.

    Obviously other railways are just as successful with other models, the monthly newsletter covering everything is quite common and perhaps guarantees better exposure of all activities to a wider audience. But as you know Tom, that requires someone to put in lots of time to tie it all in together above and beyond the individual reports.

    You can see the WSR is trying, but it's still not quite hitting the mark.
     
  20. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    A(nother) monthly newsletter co-editor writes:

    Respect. Yes to both, in spades. I'm also a fan of @Steve Edge and his site. I would add that what works for one railway doesn't always transfer across: the blog hits the spot for me but the key is getting the many hands as enthusiastic contributors and that's not true on all lines.

    From this thread, there's training and track work in hand at the WSR to be shared. A learning for me this year is that when news is quiet (a lockdown) is a time to be active and engage with potential contributors and audience.

    It sort of brings me round to WSRTV. It's above my pay grade (£0) whether YouTube's a good use of resources but I've noted that much material was added, but it seems to have gone quiet lately.

    Patrick
     
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