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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    oh dear I have upset the usual suspects . so Steve what do your prefer ..... We let the Railway carryon, on its current journey which may result in a llangollen scenario under the current leadership , or the volunteers encourage change

    as so many have shared talk on here changes nothing , membership can't change anything , shareholders have limited options . we've danced for years and nothing changes
     
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  2. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    What we would prefer is for you to stick to moderating and cease your unhelpful crusade from the sidelines.
     
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  3. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    @richards quite rightly asked a question . The answer I gave is an inelegant but effective solution if the volunteers of the railway were minded . You may recall the positive change brought on your other line many many years ago

    Clearly if there is no appetite or the volunteers are happy with the status quo then it is a non starter

    Now , nail your colours to the mast . Do you 100% support the eviction of the S&D trust from the WSR . Do you 100% support the WSR management and its less than stellar performance

    Do you support the persecution of volunteers who stood for the WSRST against the management

    and finally what would you do to resolve the myriad of oft highlighted issues the WSR has

    You of all people should be a voice of reason in the chairman's ear. Your experience and knowledge guiding the chair to do the right things . You can't have a jolly boys day out on the footplate and pretend all is well

    Come on Terry , lets hear your side
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
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  4. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Everyone, moderators included, is entitled to take part in discussions and air their views within the rules of the forum.
     
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  5. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think that whenever it had been presented, or however it had been presented, the fact that it was an explicit challenge to the PLC and posed the very real risk of the WSRA and WSSRT share holding being united, meant that the PLC and their allies were not going to stand for that. We saw the delay in the WSSRT AGM, the opening and closing of new membership applications etc, the subsequent actions against the 10 show the mindset of the current board and their allies. If there had been an open challenge rather than the late declaration - then we would have seen the same delaying or closure/opening of membership etc. So IMO whatever way was attempted the end result would have been the same - counter action by the pro-PLC faction and action against those who challenge the status quo.
     
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  6. 1472

    1472 Well-Known Member

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    As you might have gathered I don't regard this as an appropriate place to discuss such things. As you have indicated on another page of this site posting, both on here and sites like facebook, is little more than hot air or pub talk whichever you prefer. If folk are genuinely looking to influence change then actual involvement in the railway through shareholding, volunteering, standing as a Trustee or Director are the only ways.
     
  7. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    And what if you can’t do that because the thought police withdraw your ID card and effectively ban you because you put your neck on the block to try and make change?
     
  8. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    As you quite rightly point out, the reaction of the incumbent trustees would have been the same if the candidates had announced their candidature in good time, so why did they cast doubt on their motives by carrying on in what looked to be an underhand manner and so surrender the moral high ground at the start?
     
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  9. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    My experience is that, when people insist on exclusively talking about rights, they are on shaky ground, ethically.
     
  10. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    I would dispute that becoming a shareholder in any Heritage Line gives you any say in how it is run. Very much like a shareholder in any small are large PLC has no influence either unless you are one of the major shareholders.
     
  11. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    @1472 he's nailed it and recent evidence shows exactly what happens when you stand against the status quo . I have volunteers on the WSR talking to me privately about the climate of fear the railway has created
     
  12. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Well that sort of tactic would certainly assist in the downfall of the line.. Is that what is suggested?
     
  13. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    no , just a change of direction. excuse the pun but it is a lever that can be pulled to encourage the change desired
     
  14. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

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    So let me get this straight. Is it "encourage change" (as you say above) or "withdraw labour" (as you said earlier). There is a difference. Especially as the latter will close the line. For good. And could you clarify - when you say "we", are you speaking as an active WSR volunteer? Just helps to know if you are within or without.

    Steve
    wsr.org.uk
     
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  15. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

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    I've said it before, I will say it again, the WSR, most likily is beyond saving from its self, dissenters are silenced, shareholders are not interested, most unless they are working members, or active members else where, won't know ,or i suspect care, the PLC have complete control it really has become JPP'S own train set, because he holds the power of the board, and can do and say what he likes, with no fear of being held to account for it, this is what having a weak board actually means, he becomes the defacto boss , even though he is supposing answerable to the board. the railway can only rush headlong until it reaches the inevitable disaster that awaits it, its not if, but when the insolvency notices go up,
     
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  16. RailWest

    RailWest Part of the furniture

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    But does not 'volunteering' then also include the ability to withdraw that labour in an effort to 'influence change'?
     
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  17. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    We as in everyone , members, volunteers, customers , commentators . you have highlighted the pointlessness of the discussion here so the "we" covers us all

    you interpret my withdraw labour as absolute and permanent . Its not that , just long enough to elicit the change desired .

    I come back to my earlier point . @richards asked the question. I gave an answer which is an option .
     
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  18. Steve Edge

    Steve Edge Member

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    No, no. You do not speak for "all". You speak for yourself. Only yourself.

    Preventing the line from operating would close it.

    And exactly what "change" do you desire? If you actually have a post-strike plan, what is it?

    Your "answer" to @richards is indeed an option. An extremely harmful option.

    Steve
    wsr.org.uk
     
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  19. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Because they wanted the advantage of surprise. At the time, the depth of hostility, or the lengths the incumbents would go to, were unknown.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. 242A1

    242A1 Well-Known Member

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    Pages and pages, thousands of posts; it might be time to walk away from this one.
    The WSR sees itself as 'special' as 'different', so special and different that the established norms of running a preserved, or if you prefer heritage, railway cannot be put into practice.

    The roots of this notion of "specialness" go back a long way and we have to look back to the 1970s and the original plan to be a commuter line offering year round services with a limited summer season steam service being run alongside the established commuter schedule. A special beginning which was to fail. The commuter service never materialised.

    The line failed to carry sufficient traffic to allow it to remain open in BR days and closure was recommended in the 1963 report though the line lingered on until January '71. And lack of traffic remains the issue today. Not enough income from customers to cover the costs of running the line and this in spite of the contribution made by much in the way of skilled and unpaid labour.

    Could Minehead ever be a sufficiently attractive enough destination to draw in sufficient visitors? If the historical record is anything to go by the answer is no.

    Are there enough population centres of a size large enough in close enough proximity to the WSR to allow for the numbers of day visitors to provide what might be termed life saving traffic to the railway? Well if we look at the likes of the SVR and others the answer has to be no.

    What we have is a preservation anomaly. It sits in an area which though a holiday destination does not draw in sufficient visitors to provide it with sufficient support. And the local population density is too low to provide much support either. Some heritage lines have sufficient unique features to allow them to overcome what might be termed 'local difficulties', the WSR does not feature on that list.
    The length of the line is a double edges sword and not a particular advantage but the line is what it is.

    The line is recognised as a candidate for reinclusion into the National Network and this will probably the sole hope for survival in the longer term. Railway operating has moved on a long way since the 60s and 70s. Centralised signalling and train control in addition to automatic crossing barriers allow for significant reductions in staffing requirements. The line would be adequate enough for purpose if it took the form of the Newquay branch for example. It would come as no great surprise if the Council forced the issue. It would be regrettable considering all the work carried out by volunteers over the years but it isn't as though there is a shortage of GW themed preserved lines and the supporters would have to follow in the steps of the S&DTRT but finding a new home ought to present few problems unless an influx of WSR toxicity was deemed to be totally unwanted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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