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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    That is the curse of a board that has squandered trust and credibility over many years, and where it is still impossible to understand whether the WSR is broke and in desperate need of cash, or has sufficient free cash to do good projects like this.
     
  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    What non railway tourist operations are there in Bishops Lydeard?

    As far as I’m aware it has to remain a car park and a business cannot take it on and start charging as one of the conditions of the land is that only a charitable organisation is able to charge for parking there.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Well, at least they’ve got several to choose from …

    Being serious, parking is always an issue for tourist attractions. Given that Bishops Lydeard is the starting point for the greater number of journeys; and is the end of the line easiest to get to by car from much of the catchment area, then securing the long-term parking space seems like a sound strategic move to me.

    Tom
     
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  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Yes I don’t think it’s a bad idea myself. The only thing I personally question is where’s the money coming from? It wasn’t long ago that the appeal was launched as the railway was in financial dire straits, with a maintenance legacy which required several million pounds to put right.

    I’ve still not seen a plan to remedy this, if purchasing the car park is at the detriment of some of the required infrastructure repairs is it so wise? The trouble is that nobody knows the plan so it’s hard to judge.
     
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  5. Miff

    Miff Part of the furniture Friend

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    The District Council is selling it to the railway ‘with use restrictions’. If this sale didn’t occur some future Council administration might decide to sell it to someone else, and not necessarily with any development restrictions. This District Council will be abolished in a few months time, merged into the new Somerset unitary authority which, reportedly, needs to save pots of money.
     
  6. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Without being aware of the specifics of local government reorganisation, that risk of a future change of policy is, with other factors, why I think the WSR taking over the car park to be a good idea.

    My concern is to do with the funding, and how the apparent ease with which the money is being found matches to the wider needs for cash.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  7. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Railways never have enough money for all they want to do, but unfortunately from time to time things come up that are time-limited. All else being equal, buying the car park may not be what you’d choose to spend £50k on now, but if the option is now or never, and “never” introduces unacceptable strategic risk that the car park may be sold elsewhere, losing the car park and possibly gaining a less sympathetic use of the land, it may end up that it becomes important to do now.

    Tom
     
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  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I completely agree, though the reference to above market value makes me twitch. But I still come back to the importance of clear communication with members and supporters when there are otherwise mixed messages going out.
     
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  9. Nantyglo

    Nantyglo New Member

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    I also agree. If all of the above is true, and time really is of the essence, perhaps the railway thought it worth bidding above market value to get hold of such a vital asset.

    This is exactly the sort of purchase that would be ideal for an appeal, even to repay an emergency bank loan after the event: a (relatively) small sum for a well-defined specific purpose, to purchase a single asset of obvious vital importance to the railway, easy to explain to, and be understood by, members, supporters and the general public alike. But, as others have mentioned, the railway has already squandered a large amount of goodwill and potential supporters are now more likely to say “but what did you do with the amount you raised from your earlier appeal when you asked us for a huge amount of money but couldn’t be bothered to tell us what it was for?”
     
  10. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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    If that is the case, then, yes, the Railway needs to buy the car park and toilets while they have the opportunity. However, the way it was reported it suggested that the Railway had made the first approach.
     
  11. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    To be fair to the railway, they may have made the first approach in anticipation of an issue, possibly informed by local knowledge.
     
  12. Snifter

    Snifter Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame that ideas to discuss merging the two main support groups into a single charity were thwarted as they would have been the ideal body to consider the merits of buying the car park. If such a move makes commercial sense then it is easy for a council to arrange cashflow friendly terms for a charity, rather than a commercial entity.

    Anyhow, it's another hot day so spare a thought for those obliged to wear unsuitable clothing such as footplate crews, judges, barristers etc. ............to name a few at random.
     
  13. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    Football mascots, parka demonstrators, furnace operators....

    Met Office is claiming Minehead is going to be 26 Celsius by 9AM. That sort of temperature for the time of day wasn't even what we found when we were in Arizona in April. It would be almost tolerable till about 9/10 AM and then shoot up till the back of 4 and then start letting off.
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Glass blowers, druids, the little chap who, regardless of the weather, always wanders around central Hove with not an inch of skin showing from behind gloves, scarves (plural), 'Parka' jacket (hood up, naturally) and dark goggles. I promise you, I'm not making that last one up!
     
  15. Paul Grant

    Paul Grant Member

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    There is a somewhat known face in Edinburgh on the opposite end of the spectrum spotted in a Gillet, shorts and boots in all weather. I'm not convinced it isn't load bearing at this point.
     
  16. 45045

    45045 New Member

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    Could it be they saw what happened in Leicester, so expect to find a King buried under it. But it will be a bit heavy to run at the moment.
     
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  17. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Don't forget firefighters, ambulance crews and policemen. They can't take the day off whereas those principally mentioned in previous posts can do so.
     
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  18. Nantyglo

    Nantyglo New Member

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    Ah, that’ll be Wandering Wally the Weatherproof Welder. He gets everywhere, but mainly Hove (actually):)
     
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  19. nick813

    nick813 Well-Known Member Loco Owner

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  20. Big Al

    Big Al Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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