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West Somerset Railway General Discussion

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

  1. Hampshire Unit

    Hampshire Unit Well-Known Member Friend

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    Agreed, it is about positive experiences, in whatever form they take. Staff/volunteer interaction with visitors is certainly a great part of that. It must be cheaper to keep your public facing people happy than buying in a load of coal, or gallons of oil, or paying the electric for the month.
     
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  2. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Almost certainly, since not keeping them happy might mean not paying those bills at all.

    It worries me greatly that this truth may not be as widely understood as it should be. Far too often right around the heritage railway world we are given examples some well known and others not so of people not understanding volunteers or volunteering. Very sad.
     
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  3. howard

    howard Member

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    At one time the railway on which I used to volunteer had a new GM who was obviously used to telling his staff to jump and to them asking how high. He was quite shocked to be occasionally told to piss off! He also seemed to have a problem with anyone who wasn’t management, treating a lot of them like dirt. He was talking down to a Guard one day when I took him to one side and pointed out that before retirement said Guard had driven a V- bomber carrying nuclear bombs , followed by 25 years as a 747 pilot.
     
  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Epiphany or waste of breath?
     
  5. aldfort

    aldfort Well-Known Member

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    I think there are a lot of good points raised in this thread but to be honest I find most of them applicable to the whole heritage and preservation movement.
    It's AGM season on the WSR and I, along with many others, will look to see strong and cooperative leadership from the various boards.
    Having said that I think it was John Harvery-Jones who commented that there are thousands of books written on management and hardly any on leadership.
    ...and to be clear good leadership is the thing that is going to make the difference. Our movement is going to struggle going forward, that will result in tough decisions and it will need strong leadership, something it seems that is a bit like unobtainium in the modern world.
     
  6. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    All my comments were general. In fact I almost apologized to the WSR for hijacking the conversation.

    I agree with Aldfort that leadership is what is required. It is very hard to find and very hard to do.
     
  7. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    Surely it is irrelevant whether they were a pilot of a 747 or a milk float. There is no reason to talk down to anyone.
     
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  8. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Quite agree - but it's also quite instructive of the assumptions that the GM in this story was making about someone in that role.
     
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  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Like @21B, my comments are general, but triggered by the WSR yet again acting as something of a canary in the mine.
     
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  10. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Peace does seem to have broken out on the WSR, but for much the same reason as in some countries. The people who were trying to change the structure and leadership a few years ago either were thrown out on their ears or have been keeping their heads well down. What remains as clear as mud is the financial status. Was it or was it not necessary to sell a loco in indecent haste to avoid receivership? Does the infrastructure need half a million p.a. to keep it fit for use or not? If the WSR had a serious financial problem a few years ago when most heritage railways were doing OK, what are its prospects now, with much of the population barely able to afford essentials, coal in short supply and very expensive, etc?
    Edit: corrected a typo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
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  11. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Resident of Nat Pres

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    One obvious point is that any railway needs to be spending a certain amount per mile on infrastructure - earthworks, track, bridges etc. While it is possible to defer this for a year or two, or spend several years worth in one go eg the NYMR's bridge replacement programme, if the money isnt being spent then you are in trouble.
     
  12. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Regarding the Financial status of the WSR, I read within in my AGM pack in the Report and Financial Statement that the External Auditor and a Director signed off the reports on behalf of the board on 22 September 2022 ( pages 14 17 and 23). There must be a simple technical accounting explanation for this I would feel but as a non accountant does this mean these reports can be changed up to that that date in spite of being published for the AGM?
    B
     
  13. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Pardon?
     
  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think the explanation is commonly known as a "typo" if it really said September.
     
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  15. D7076

    D7076 Well-Known Member

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    The audit report should be signed off on the date of accounts approval or shortly after and not distributed as final before that date .
    Someone would have a rather eggy face and a lot of explaining if between now and the date of the audit report an event occurred which caused the company to fail ,not already covered by any qualifications on the audit report .
    This could be anything such as the bank calling in any short term debt ,a major debtor going bust or a material claim against the company it’s unable to meet .
     
  16. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Typos I can understand. I make plenty myself. But was this one only in posting #42892 or was it in the report itself? And what was the actual date of signing off?
     
  17. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Well as I type this I have the Statement Booklet open on page 23 and it says Alexandra Shore for and behalf of AC Mole etc 22 September 2022. Also eleswhere on pages 14 and 17 ( may be others) JJP says he has signed on behalf of the board dated 22 September 2022. To have multiple pages give 22 September 2022 as the sign off date led me to think it must be an accounting practice rather than a typo hence my question.
    I have no idea when the actual date was only that the Bluebell Accounts booklet for example has page copies that are handsigned signed and dated hence my question about the WSR booklet.
     
  18. D7076

    D7076 Well-Known Member

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    Hope no significant events before 22/9 then .Effectively distributing accounts before they’ve been approved by the board .
     
  19. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman Member

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    Unless it teams up with Butlins or English Heritage to do something, I really doubt that people will want to visit the line.

    Especially if they keep rising ticket prices to cover losses, this society is becoming more weary on how much they spend these days.
     
  20. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Post-dated cheques I understand, though they must be rare things nowadays. Post-dated accounts???
     

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