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. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,172
    Likes Received:
    3,182
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Why would anyone supply ideas for change to Ian when he is part of a group that took vindictive action against the last people who stood for change?
     
  2. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,653
    Likes Received:
    16,513
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Michael

    I always support integrity.

    This is all hot air with the present WSR plc regime.

    Talk as much as you like with whomsoever you like, but dont come to me for support until the integrity issue is sorted out.

    Others, of course, may be more flexible in their morality.

    Robin
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    22,223
    Likes Received:
    42,705
    Location:
    215
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It’s a remarkable Damascene conversion to the idea of an overarching charity, but given that, why did you actively block attempts to implement the Bailey proposals last year?

    More generally, long-term followers of the thread will know there have been many good ideas around structural realignment on the railway going back for a decade. Ideas aren’t the issue (and if they are, go back and re-read this thread). The issue is a singular lack of willingness from those running the railway to do anything other than kick those ideas into the long grass.

    Tom
     
    MellishR, Yachtie, 35B and 6 others like this.
  4. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    WSSRT Trustee
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Robin, you are right, indeed we have "an answer". John Bailey proposed an outcome, but what he didn't do was to provide the practical, detailed steps to get there. The "plan" is missing. That was part of the issues last year where you had a plan to get there which others did not align with.
    Then there was another plan which seemed to have a six-fugure sum attached.
    The devil is in the detail and what I believe would help now is for a detailed workable plan to be assembled to get from now to the vision that JB described. I suggested using this forum positively to create that, rather than this forum going round and round in endless circles regurgitating the same old stuff.
    @jnc kicked it off, I suggested developing the idea. With a fully worked out and costed plan, you are heading in the right direction.
    Ian C
     
  5. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    10,930
    Likes Received:
    6,583
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Hammer, nail and head come to mind.
     
    35B and jnc like this.
  6. 62440

    62440 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2020
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    64G
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer

    Surely it’s open to folk on this forum to contribute ideas rather than go in for ritual bitching and squealing?
     
    Greenway likes this.
  7. Downline

    Downline Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2020
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Why does the WSR not have its own internal forum dedicated to producing a workable plan?

    It appears to me the railway has been given a solution, but has put zero effort, and isn't going to put any effort in any time soon, into finalising that solution.

    Again, the reason I expect no effort has been, or will be put in, is due to the loss of power some people will face.
     
  8. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    2,221
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Titfield
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Initially, when I read this, I almost choked. Surely if the freehold is secure(which it is) and the lease is secure (which it is) then the route is secure. The last thing any preserved railway needs is additional debt, especially one which is having trouble making ends meet.
    HOWEVER- your last paragraph suggests "that SCC might be persuaded to transfer the freehold at nil cost", which materially affects things. Is that credible, though, or just wishful thinking? (I would wish for it too). Currently, if things go badly wrong, SCC have clean hands, and could reuse the land in a number of ways. If they gave it away, and things still went agly, they would be blamed for losing the asset which was then sold to pay WSR creditors, and SCC would lose their ability to gift a cycle track to the community*.
    If SCC were to cede ownership to NWC, would it benefit them to maintain an interest in NWC? They would have to appoint a paid employee(s) to serve that interest which might simply be viewed as a drain on the taxpayer.
    I am not trying to shoot down the idea of owning the freehold, but it appears that you put it as a prerequisite for NWC to be viable. I am not so sure. Land ownership carries as many liabilities as benefits, and I doubt very much that changing politics at SCC will affect the line. Any councillors will not want the publicity if they were accused of "jeopardising the future of local railway"

    *Cycle routes really are popular. I have heard many dozens of people comment that B&NES council are a absolutely lousy shower of **** but the one thing they have done well is the S&D two tunnels cycleway. It really is an attractive idea for any council, even if if wrecks any notion of a route being re-instated ever
     
    echap and The Dainton Banker like this.
  9. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,653
    Likes Received:
    16,513
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    No

    The devil is NOT in the detail.

    It is in the desire to walk the path by, in my estimation, two blocking individuals.

    Mike Thompson spent much time (as a WSR plc Director) late last year and early this developing a plan until he learned that he had been taken for a ride and his Chairman wasnt interested in walking the path. He did the honourable thing.

    I have spent some time over past days working on an 'event' across the whole heritage railway movement for 2022 and have just sent out the minutes for the steering group of fairly senior folk who have all got together to make something good collectively to help our movement put the Covid years behind it in a small way. You will appreciate that it is at an early stage and so cannot be shared ATM. So my effort will be on things that will bring positive progress to our movement. Not hot air, although I reserve the right to call that out as such.

    I have no idea why you are not facing up to reality on this.

    Robin
     
    Miff likes this.
  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7,447
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Surely the first step has to be for the PLC & WSSRT to join the WSRA and indicate their support for Bailey, & that it is their intention to implement the recommendations?
     
  11. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,379
    Likes Received:
    1,932
    I'm puzzled by why you say ‘apart from’? That seems to me the best way to achieve this. @Lineisclear has suggested, in this thread, one key step to achieving this would be if shareholders’ plc travel concessions continued when they transferred to (life?) membership of the new charity. And travel concessions would not be a consideration for a major proportion of the shareholders (SCC, WSRA & WSRHT), although obviously the structure of the new charity, and the terms of its future relationships with other WSR stakeholders (including the HT if it wished to remain separate) would be. The new charity does not necessarily need to own 100% of the plc shares. Over 50% would be enough to ensure perpetual control (e.g. The Ffestiniog & WHR Trust fully controls the historic FR Co. but doesn’t own 100% of the shares).

    Since you asked another scenario (but not as good as the above) for the charity acquiring the trading arm is if the plc got out of trading and reduced itself to a 'Network Rail' type role as infrastructure provider. It could sell all public trading activities (including marketing & selling train tickets) to the new charity, just as the WSRA sold its own trading arm to the plc. The sale proceeds would be used to improve and maintain the railway infrastructure therefore no reason why this deal, and future trading activities, shouldn't be within the objects of the new charity. If some trading activities are considered non-charitable they could be placed within a wholly owned subsidiary co. - again as the WSRA charity used to do.

    Everyone seems to assume a new charity must be a democratically controlled membership organisation but, since democracy has never been part of the WSR tradition, perhaps they could also consider a structure similar to the Ff&WHR Trust - which in addition to controlling and managing two very successful lines has long been one of the most effective fundraising organisations in the railway presevation world. Trustees are appointed in a non-democratic way but the supporting membership charity (FfR society) is always guaranteed a degree of influence at the top table - they have a right to nominate one trustee and sit on the appointments panel for all other trustees. It seems to work.

    That's my three suggestions, two of them previously posted in this forum but all of them serious possibilities if the will was there. No doubt others may have better ideas - what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  12. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,689
    Likes Received:
    3,528
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Hams
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    No one trusts anyone else seems to be the order of the day, It does look like nothing will ever be achieved whilst some of the leading lights are still in position. This is not PLC only: it affects all the WSR players.
    A radical shake up is another answer.
     
  13. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,653
    Likes Received:
    16,513
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I wish I (or the Railway) had a £1 for every time I have seen comments like this. For my part it isnt about personalities, its about behaviours. If you believe in, and act with, integrity, honesty, humanity and community we will get on fine. If your behaviours show otherwise, then...
     
    Roger Thompson, MellishR and D1039 like this.
  14. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    10,930
    Likes Received:
    6,583
    Occupation:
    Nosy aren’t you?
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Robin, your comment about roasting some sacrificial cows to me, sounds like that there’s still scores to settle on both sides.
    Compromise sounds like a dirty word in Somerset but until it happens…. What will change?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  15. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    3,418
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I am sure that "all right-thinking folk" endorse the broad approach of the Bailey plan, however, the devil is in the detail. That is where you start getting disagreements. Look back at this thread and see the arguments that developed over the detail of the plan amongst those who were in favour of it. Alternatively, consider Brexit: a majority of voters voted to leave the EU, but they didn't necessarily vote for the deal we ended up with, because that information wasn't available at the time.
     
  16. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,591
    Likes Received:
    3,418
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It's more the case that there are a few players that trust no-one and a few that no-one trusts. I doubt the railway would collapse if they all went elsewhere.
     
    The Dainton Banker likes this.
  17. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,653
    Likes Received:
    16,513
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A bad analogy because you could vote for any Brexit you liked, without knowing what you would actually get.

    If 'a detail' is that two individuals are blocking progress, then I agree with you.

    The Railway is likely to collapse if they DONT go elsewhere. As with the implementation of Coombes to the WSRA I would never be a barrier to progress. It will be recalled that I followed the recommendation and didnt stand for office for several years. Now ask the WSR plc Directors if they would agree to the same?
     
    MellishR likes this.
  18. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,653
    Likes Received:
    16,513
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Perhaps a bad choice of words. There are several WAYS things are done on the WSR that would have to change. Even those who currently stand in the way of structural progress have a volunteering role in which they would be valued. I wonder if they have the modesty, humility and courage to accept that?

    I know that I have much to be modest about!:D

    Robin
     
  19. ikcdab

    ikcdab Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    WSSRT Trustee
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Was it really like that? The trust stated it wished to remain independent but supported the bailey proposals. What we were against was an obvious takeover of the trust and an attempt to subsume it into the new charity.
     
  20. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7,447
    Likes Received:
    5,655
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Would the trust be willing to state publicly that it would use its shareholding to help implement Bailey?
     

Share This Page