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. Chufferpuff

    Chufferpuff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    234
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Weston super Mare
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Me and my partner as well !
     
  2. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,670
    Likes Received:
    3,512
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Hams
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Personally I am not surprised at the outcome. I hinted at its possibility many posts ago. Whilst I have a great sympathy for WSR supporters I must admit I look forward to seeing 4110 climbing the grades on the Dartmouth line - providing I am spared long enough to see it.
    One thing that is apparent is that the PLC are focusing on hard financial facts rather than emotional ones. That should help save the line now and hopefully in the future.
    Despite the attachment 4110 does not appear to have spent very much time in Somerset.
    https://preservedbritishsteamlocomotives.com/4110-2/
     
  3. jnc

    jnc Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    2,646
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Western Atlantic
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I'm confused. If the 4110 group did indeed have the money, how come it wasn't sold to them? The PLC statement made it sound like even with the WSRA's money added to the pot, there wasn't enough ("for a number of reasons, including the actual cash sum that might have been raised, were unable to make a competitive bid").
    I see that 'Ha, ha, your end of the ship is sinking' is still popular in Somerset. Sadly, it appears that this will not change until the ship actually sinks - which is starting to seem increasingly likely: as has been recently pointed out elsewhere, heritage railways cannot survive without a viable fund-raising mechanism. 'Be careful what you wish for'....

    Noel
     
  4. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Could those who are saying they will not now be renewing their WSRA membership like to explain why they are 'blaming' the WSRA for this situation, apart from clearly in certain posters cases, a pre-existing dislike of either the WSRA and/or some of its members?

    From the statement, it is unclear whether the funds raised across 4110 Ltd and WSRA were less than the minimum price (I was going to say agreed, which had been my impression - that WSRplc had appeared willing to let the loco go for that price even though it was quite widely known that a higher bid had been received, but the outcome clearly shows not). In effect, was less actually raised than was pledged?

    It also seems unclear whether 4100 Ltd/WSRA knew that the sum they were targeting was insufficient or not until the failure of their bid was confirmed. If they had been told 'sorry, we just can pass up on an extra £XX of cash' say a week or two back, then they could have tried to meet the external bid. This might have succeeded, or might not - the external bid may have been raised and at some point donors/would be 4110 Limited shareholders would no doubt have said 'enough - we are not being using in an auction' (although that would have helped the WSRplc!)

    Don't get me wrong - the WSRplc Board had an almost impossible choice to make and I wouldn't like to be in their shoes. However, I will be rather blunt. Seeming to encourage an internal 'Appeal' for this one purpose, and then selling elsewhere while not making, as far as I can see any other attempt to raise cash in their time of need from their supporters (the WSRA do at least have other Appeals running, albeit hindered by the destructive wishing the WSRA to fail amongst a good number of outspoken West Somerset Railway 'supporters') does make me wonder how much some of the WSRplc Directors understand the organisation they are leading and the wider world of which the West Somerset Railway is part. I know at least some Directors do understand it very well, but this whole saga seems to me to have achieved what I suspect is a comparatively small short term cash injection at the cost of wasted time, effort and potentially alienated support.

    Steven
     
  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    16,467
    Likes Received:
    13,462
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As a point of principle as a planned giving administrator, I never judge the generosity of donors, nor try to assess their means. My job is to encourage a giving spirit, and to maximise the return on that for the church. And if people can’t, as is sometimes the case, it is important not to make them feel guilty or as though they are being judged.

    Part of that is helping people - supporters, donors, others - to understand when there are costs involved. Much as we rely on volunteers giving their time for free, there are times when we just have to accept that it has to be paid for.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. snappertim

    snappertim Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I largely agree with this posting, and the whole sorry tale does raise some issues in my mind.

    The PLC, as I understand it,having encourages 4110 to raise funds for the locomotive, then made public a policy decision to only sell to WSRA within the WSR "family" on the basis that the core steam fleet should be internally owned. As a policy I fully understand the philosophy behind this i.e. the WSR is fully in control and in an ideal world I would support it. However I would suggest that it is a huge ask for a Heritage Railway such as WSR to do everything "in house". It has a legal obligation to run a safe railway with all that implies for infrastructure expenditure, as well as try to develop covered accommodation for rolling stock, volunteer facilities etc. etc. This is a hugely capital intensive enterprise.

    4110 seems to have fallen foul of this policy, which has little if anything to do with the WSRA.

    It seems as though the need for immediate cash is paramount hence the sale off the railway. In the SR article , which may or may not be accurate, the WSR chairman has indicated that cash flow is worse than at first thought. In the absence of figures we can only speculate, which I am not going to do! However the question I would like answering is whether or not the 4110 group were dealing on a level playing field? If external bids were [say] £150K, were the 4110 group asked to match it? I was not asked to pledge more but merely asked to confirm it was still valid.

    In summary it would appear as though the red lines, laid down by the PLC policy has denied 4110 coming home, except for the odd day at a gala FOC which is a very poor substitute. As posted earlier heritage railways ignore their heritage at their peril.

    Lastly and perhaps most importantly of all, I am sure this has gutted many dedicated WSR volunteers and supporters. We have been asked to not deem it a defeat. Yes it is, just as much as the Irish were battered by England last night, or in turn the English by the Windies!
     
  7. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,218
    Likes Received:
    2,173
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I don't understand the logic of those saying they will terminate their WSRA membership and donate directly to the PLC. Which organisation has suddenly (it appears) suddenly discovered that they are in dire straits? That doesn't exactly personify competent management to me, and their handling of the offer for sale of sale of 4110seems to have been badly bungled if they were hoping to keep it on the railway. It's the last place I would donate to. The WSRA, on the other hand, does at least seem to be trying to put its house in order.
     
  8. green five

    green five Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,127
    Likes Received:
    1,678
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    What a thoroughly depressing thread this has become. How has one of the premier Heritage Railways in the UK ended up in such a big mess? Well, many of the reasons have appeared in some form or other on this lengthy thread. Hopefully lessons can be learned going forward from this point.
    The current situation brings back rather unhappy memories for me of the MHR tearing itself apart many years ago. Attending the MHR AGM's at that time was a very unpleasant experience which made the MP's bickering in the Houses of Parliament look like sensible grownups!
    Fortunately the MHR came out of the other side in much better health after necessary changes. I hope that the WSR is able to do the same and bounce back as one of the railway Preservation gems in the UK.


    Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
     
    Landshrew, evilswans, Romsey and 17 others like this.
  9. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,218
    Likes Received:
    2,173
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Plenty of railways have been through the process, it's just that most of the upheavals have pre-dated internet discussion groups. Thus the evidence is there that, rather like heathland after a fire, they will bounce back given time.
     
  10. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,630
    Likes Received:
    16,431
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Meanwhile, back at the coal face, funds towards the Station Sign Castings continue to come in. We now have around £1,400 of the required £3,200.

    Further donations, of any size, welcome.

    I also thought I would leave this here...

    The role referred to is the Community Engagement Officer, paid for as part of the £95,700 grant obtained from the Hinkley C Community Fund by the WSRA working closely with the WSR plc.

    Robin

    7167C209-FDFF-46ED-9AAC-0132FAB5B93D.jpeg
     
    aldfort and Yorkshireman like this.
  11. Yorkshireman

    Yorkshireman Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    5,045
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Comfy chair occupant!
    Location:
    No moaners please!
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Whilst Just Giving is fine for modest donations personally I would not use for large ones. The flat percentage fee does not reflect the costs that JG incur. Every penny donated direct to the charity helps fill their funds.
     
  12. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    10,630
    Likes Received:
    16,431
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Barrister
    Location:
    Stogumber
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Very happy to accept funds directly as set out above.

    Robin
     
  13. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    933
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Swindon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I think the answer to that question is somewhat obvious Steven!

    An ill conceived badly timed and handled intervention which it has now been proven not to DELIVER

    Credibility is becoming something on an issue for the WSRA I suggest

    It would appear that I am now one of many in not renewing their subscription as I understand there are others who have not published the fact on here

    So WSRA get your act together so we can rejoin PLEASE!
     
    tracker and nine elms fan like this.
  14. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    933
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Swindon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    We all hope so!!
     
    Ferguson likes this.
  15. lochness8

    lochness8 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Businessman
    Location:
    Weston super Mare
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I should imagine it will be quite a relief for the WSRA to have received your resignation! Maybe you will now stop banging on about how useless you think they all are, although I am not optimistic.
     
  16. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Hang on a minute - I thought the last position before the sale elsewhere was that 4110 Ltd were going to be the purchasers, with WSRA acting as a 'clearing house' for donations towards purchasing up to a 20% stake. Prior to the 'WSRA intervention' (which was announced jointly by the vendor - WSRplc - and WSRA with WSRplc saying that the only internal bidder they would sell to was the WSRA, so which of these two parties actually initiated this 'intervention' cannot, I would suggest, be readily judged from this statement), we were told that 4110 Ltd had 'the necessary funds', which appeared at that time to mean £100,000 (or £120,000 and sort the VAT later, again unclear perhaps, although 4110 Ltd did state they were now VAT registered).

    It was made clear there was a higher external bid, but appeared (and I cannot recall if it was actually ever stated) that WSRplc would accept the lower price to keep the loco on the line. Hence, with the announcement this will not now happened, either:
    1. 4110 Ltd was not able to turn all the pledges into cash or
    2. WSRplc decided it couldn't afford not to accept the higher offer.
    I could perhaps see that it may be claimed that the WSRA involvement may have deterred some who had pledged, although I actually don't see why when largely matters appeared to have reverted to 'Plan A'. We are told that the problem with people donating to the WSRA was they wanted the £1 = 1 share' satisfaction of 'owning' a part of the loco (or, to be more accurate, a part of the Company that owned the loco). That appeared to be where we were back to - want to own a share in 4110 (Ltd), buy shares direct, not bothered but want a bit of tax relief, donate to WSRA'. Best of both worlds, actually!

    WSRplc were the owner and it was their choice who to sell to - and their responsibilities are to their entire business, and they have had to take a view of what is best overall. This they have done - 'cash is king'.

    Don't see how the WSRA involvement will have affected that, certainly in the present wider circumstances. WSRplc and WSRA are working together, so why would WSRA involvement affect matters?

    It is absolutely your choice not to be a WSRA member, but if it is based purely on what has happened with 4110, I would suggest that you take a step back from the emotion and disappointment of the immediate aftermath of the announcement and consider whether it is fair apportionment of 'blame'.

    Indeed, for the longer term good of the West Somerset Railway, I would encourage everyone to take a deep breath and consider whether apportioning 'blame' at all helps secure that future or threatens it further at this present time.

    Steven
     
  17. Triumph 2500S

    Triumph 2500S Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    933
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Swindon
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Valid point I will now leave it to others to debate this subject
     
    lochness8 likes this.
  18. stephenvane

    stephenvane Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    399
    A great shame that 4110 has been lost to the WSR. However for 4110 itself perhaps the best outcome. It’s now likely to be restored relatively quickly (maybe next contract job at Cranmore?) Rather than rusting away for years in the hands of the WSR plc, WSRA or GWR 4110 Ltd in the hope that one day cash would be found to restore it.
     
    Landshrew, Fish Plate, 45076 and 7 others like this.
  19. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    918
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    One would hope that it visits the line once restored.

    The headshunt will look empty.
     
    Triumph 2500S likes this.
  20. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2017
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    347
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Mothball Bishops Lydeard to Williton for a fixed period of 2 to 5 years so that finances can recover.
     
    Ferguson likes this.

Share This Page