If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 62440

    62440 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    64G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer



    I agree. The purported turn-around was never going to be more than a short term fix. The fundamentals remain to be addressed. In particular the idea of an overarching charity is not dead - it’s just that its time has not yet arrived.
     
  2. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    There are a lot of very fair comments and note that I suggested "holding your nose" if you donate your hard earned cash. Supporting the railway is possible without approving of the way it is run.

    My one good reason would because you want the railway to survive.

    If dislike of the PLC and the way it's run is more important than that then, as Big Al suggests, Let it Go.
     
  3. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    14,784
    Likes Received:
    9,111
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The problem is two fold, you have people who just hate others and they think they must win, and see those they despise lose, and then punish them for daring to oppose them in the first place, and second you have others who want to be powerful, and won't give up their power, because without it, they are nobodies,
    Whilst this continues there can never be any kind of solution, because people won't come together, It takes a brave person to admit, " Iam part of the problem, " and steps a side for the good of the railway, so that solutions can be found .
    My view is that for a solution to be found, the entire board of the PLC, and that of both the WSRHT, and WSRA need to all step aside, to allow a new supporters organisation, and Operating company to be set up, a steering committee set up to run the railway, and both trustee organisations wound up replaced by a single supporters organisation, with none of the current trustees being able to stand for election for 5 years, to allow new thinking, and ideas.
     
    ross likes this.
  4. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Over the hills and far away
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Several posters have given their reasons for not wanting to donate directly to the PLC under its present management, and they mainly revolve around a perceived lack of trust.
    However, WRT your final two sentences advocating shareholding may I draw your attention to the observation you made in post#30042 on 24 Aug last ? "Shareholders in a company are not wholly toothless but their ability to influence its direction and control is very limited" which followed on a long discussion about the rights (or lack of them) of shareholders to influence company policy. In view of that observation how do you see the shareholder's voice being heard as you suggest ?
     
    ross, MellishR and Mike S like this.
  5. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    10,695
    Likes Received:
    4,427
    The railway is bigger than the plc, I agree. However, the question to me is does the railway, having been brought low by the actions of many and the inactions of many have a good case for being rescued? Is the railway actually rescueable or is it actually just a money pit * which due to mismanagement in the past and the fact that is arguable it wasn't the right line to be preserved ** will never return to its past glory days.

    * I know virtually all heritage lines suck in cash, but there is a point beyond which the sources it attracts money from can no longer be milked.

    ** I realise that the selection of which lines should be preserved is not the best example of objective, rational decision making, but there are a number of features about the W SR line that strongly argue against its original selection.
     
    johnofwessex likes this.
  6. THE MELTER

    THE MELTER New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    54
    Occupation:
    ENGINEER
    Location:
    BLACK COUNTRY
    Perhaps the answer is to Set up a WSR rescue fund for the inevitable and predicted outcome.
    As it grows it can be used as a carrot rather than a stick, if they want this ready cash to bail themselves out
    They must do “X” if it goes under use it to buy the PLC off the administrator
     
    MellishR likes this.
  7. staffordian

    staffordian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,338
    Likes Received:
    1,916
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    The Potteries
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I appreciate your comments and perspective, but feel that it misses key points, some of which others have alluded to.

    My first thought is that yes, the underfunding is historic and not simply an issue on the WSR, which makes me even more puzzled as to why the then new chairman should think (or state) that he had turned things round, when clearly this is nothing like the case.

    And more crucially, help and support should be a two way street. In return for support (and that support really should be focussed on a specific objective to be successful, not just a "we're really struggling and will be for the forseeable") the railway should be demonstrating that it too is doing all it can to facilitate this process. Such as accepting the need for a charitable arm to control the plc.

    And being proactive in offering as many services as practicable, such as an idea I've seen suggested elsewhere, using the QB stock as static dining at one or more of the stations.

    And finally, getting a PR expert who can emphasise the positives and highlight even small incremental improvements, to keep the line in the public eye and show that their donations are actually doing some good.

    I see little evidence anywhere that the plc are doing any of this; they seem to feel they have a God given right to proceed as they see fit, a God given right to be handed unlimited donations without strings or any quid pro quo, and no need to comply with normal conventions of decency, openness or fairness.

    It's hard to hold one's nose and contemplate handing over money in those circumstances, no matter how laudable the theory of that might be when it seems the plc are not doing whwt they can to ensure the line's survival. Or to put it bluntly, no amount of donations will save a line which apparently does not wish to do all it can to assist in that survival attempt.
     
    ross, MellishR, jnc and 5 others like this.
  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,427
    Likes Received:
    13,441
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I do hold my nose at times when I give - but I still have to have confidence that what I give will be well and appropriately used. Indeed, my NYMRHRT membership (last visit 2016) sometimes feels a little that way - I disagree with aspects of the strategy, but have confidence that it will be used in line with that strategy and for what it's said it will be used for.

    In the non-railway part of my life, I used to give to Action Aid. After a while, the linkage (always a little hypothetical) between donation and recipient was weakened, and Action Aid became indistinguishable from other aid charities. I lost confidence that the use of the money that had been part of their appeal, and marked them out from other charities, was so focused. The result was that I stopped giving.
     
  9. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,110
    Likes Received:
    3,468
    Probably a leading question that I shouldn't ask, but what aspects of the NYMRHRT strategy do you disagree with? I'm curious.

    Peter
     
  10. Lenny

    Lenny New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    72
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Finance Manager
    Location:
    Croydon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The problem with that solution is that the railway will lose some very good, experienced people who would be of great value going forward.
     
    MellishR likes this.
  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,427
    Likes Received:
    13,441
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It’s been rehearsed previously on here, and is a distraction, but the emphasis on volume over history.

    I use it as an example of where support may be despite reservations, but with confidence in the overall management.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
     
  13. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    5,383
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    While there are clearly issues over how effective any new structure might be, it seems to me that the WSR has a massive 'Culture' problem in terms of how people are behaving
     
  14. Lineisclear

    Lineisclear Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    575
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Shareholders do in most cases have a vote at General meetings. While there is no legal requirement for a Question and Answer session at such meetings it is normal practice to offer a platform for expression of shareholder views/concerns.
    However, the main power is that those collectively owning the required percentage of shares (normally 5%) can table motions at a General Meetings which the Company must allow to be voted on. The point I was trying to make is that the more shareholders there are who would like to see a change of direction the greater the chance of being able to achieve it.
     
  15. Railpassion

    Railpassion New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  16. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,427
    Likes Received:
    13,441
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  17. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    796
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Alton, Hants
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
  18. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,278
    Likes Received:
    2,312
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    When there is a vague appeal for money, just to keep going rather than for a specific project, it is extremely likely that the begging bowl will come out year after year.

    The WSR is a superb branch line for scenery, country stations beautifully restored and gradients to tax locos. I'd hate to see it close. But I have serious doubts about its general viability with the present set-up. Unless the present plc board is prepared to engage constructively with the Railway's supporters, I don't feel like handing them any of my hard earned bawbees.
     
  19. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    17,428
    Likes Received:
    16,297
    Location:
    1016
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    .........and just as useful somewhere else.
     
  20. Railpassion

    Railpassion New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    42
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Leeds
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Perhaps the plan is to drive the railway onto the rocks forcing administration. After this, perhaps a buyer comes forward called West Somerset Transport Solutions?
     
    Great Western likes this.

Share This Page