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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Anne C-B

    Anne C-B Member

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    You were asleep.
     
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  2. 60044

    60044 Member

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    It was earlier this week, I believe. The reason for the queuing is safety - because the platform is narrow departing passengers aren't allowed onto it until most or all of the arriving ones have left. With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to have allocated this platform to Northern Rail services and connected the run-round loop to platform 1 which is better suited to the greater numbers. I doubt whether Northern ever has the volume of passengers to result in overcrowding! Presumably this option was not considered because it would have complicated access to the Bog Hall sidings, although long term it would have made far more sense.

    That ought to be enough on the NYMR in this thread save to say that the original point is one that I have made regularly - if the WSR is to survive it needs a lot more passengers!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
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  3. Maunsell907

    Maunsell907 Well-Known Member

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    There is obviously much to be learnt from one Heritage Railway observing how other Heritage
    Railways operate, especially as with the WSR when times are hard.

    The NYMR annual financial statements for year ending February 2018 can be viewed
    on the Charity Commissions website ( based on previous years when the NYMR
    has filed to the CC at ten months, the 2019 accounts will be available on the CC
    website end of 2019, or you could view now via Companies House if you pay )

    The NYMR's structure embraces a charity which owns trading activities,
    mainly the Railway operation ie the structure many would wish for the WSR.
    ( But none of us appear to know how to achieve that )

    Some figures from the 2018 accounts are perhaps instructive :
    Income:£7.71 million includes:
    Railway operation: £3.91 (expenditure £4.73 )
    Subsidiary operations £2.16 ( this includes, shops, diners, footplate experience, etc )
    Donations and legacies : £1.63

    Some other figures may be of interest ie wages and salaries: £2.49
    Traffic receipts (Railway operation ) £3.21 plus special events £695K
    Subsidiary operations : Diner ( I think equivalent to QB ) generated £736K,
    catering £556K, shop sales £412K, footplate experience £282K, car parking
    £99K.

    Assuming the attributed costs to various activities ( they can be found
    under the various notes ) are accurate an overall view might be
    actual running trains produces a loss of £820K, this is balanced
    against a profit on subsidiary operations. ( The diner appears to
    be especially productive )

    The overall balance of income over expenditure matches donations
    and legacies. ie income £7.7 , spent £6.1

    Creditors are £2.65 due in one year, £ 1.8 (£1.305 bank loan ) due longer.
    Overdraft £909K. Loans and overdraft secured against Railway assets etc.

    What do I think the WSR has to learn ( if it doesn't already know) ?
    Increase subsidiary operations ( between 2017 & 8 NYMR shop revenue
    declined, diner revenue increase more than compensated ) and, to repeat
    the old mantra legacies and donations.

    Easily said.....

    Michael Rowe
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  4. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Sorry for the delay in replying; I’ve been on the trains all day.

    If you visit the official WSR website and click on ‘News’ you’ll find an entry there dated 14th September.
     
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  5. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Well-Known Member

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    Michael

    You and I don’t always agree and that’s not always a bad thing as healthy debate should be positive, here I agree with your thoughts totally regarding how to finance a heritage railway in modern times. Add into the mix that NYMR Fund Raising for major infrastructure work has been circa £10 Million recently and the three things Legacies, Donations and large scale Grant Fund Raising makes the difference of either moving forward or moving backward.

    As a part of the Fund Raising Strategy I promoted last year, legacies & donations were covered in some detail (plus I introduced a local expert in this field to the WSRA) as well as the grant fund raising I have been talking about on here recently. Experts in this field; SPARK, a not for profit, charity funding support organisation who I worked with during my time said exactly as you are saying here and the NYMR have achieved and they passed this message strongly with me to the WSRA & PLC. SPARK were respected enough in this arena to be promoted by Somerset Community Foundation (they also do the same thing plus administer the HPC Community Fund), surely they along with you and the NYMR can’t all be wrong ?

    Again I still wonder, why when the new PLC Chairman was appointed I was then suspended from Volunteering and having a voice (other than on here) and SPARK are no longer involved with helping. Apart from me losing a hobby I enjoyed for just trying to help it makes no sense to me to not engage with the Community who can provide these things in enough quantities to replicate what’s happening on the NYMR (overcrowding problems and all!) The PLC Chairman who directly stopped these things happening in my opinion has a lot to answer for, unless of course he has a viable alternative he has not shared ?????
     
  6. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Just catching up so apologies if this has been covered since:-

    At the AGM the shareholders have the opportunity to approve or reject any person standing for election. Should the shareholders reject sufficient candidates that there would then be less directors than the minimum stated in the Articles then the Board has to propose other candidates and continue with another election asap after the AGM until such time as the necessary minimum number have been elected.

    If insufficient directors are elected at the AGM the Board's abilities to make decisions or do any business is severely restricted until such time as the minimum number of directors is appointed. Basically it boils down to they can do what is necessary to obtain the minimum number required but little else. .
     
  7. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Well-Known Member

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    Just to add to my post, I thought it right to give some confirmation to my claim that I had promoted this type of funding and perhaps let others know of some of the ideas I collated (not my ideas, the ideas of experts). I do this as I have in the very, very recent past received another very insulting email from somebody in the WSR Leadership telling me in effect, I'm wrong and to shut up (again) as nobody is interested in what I have to say so I feel I have to defend my thoughts and efforts.

    On the attached document under 'The Fundraising Environment" item 5 Covers Donations & Legacies.

    Attached is the Fund Raising Strategy I developed as a way forward from the HPC award in order to build upon it. You will see its dated 25/10/18 as it was presented at a WSRA Board Meeting on the 29/10/18. If you look at the WSRA Board Meeting minutes on the WSRA site you will see I presented it and minutes/comments were made. As a result of this the WSRA Board formally agreed this as the way forward. Given the dates it’s ironic that exactly a year later nothing has changed other than a few local changes such as the online donations page for the infrastructure work which gained £80k (plus £20k Grant Funding) and whilst this has to be welcomed, it’s not £1 million plus or a long term solution.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
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  8. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Anyone know whats operating on Saturday? WSR+ shows 9351 ex BL but not the ex MD loco
     
  9. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member

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    Andy,

    From what I understand, over the years you have made a huge contribution to the WSR. It appears that the railway has treated you very badly in return. With your knowledge of preservation, especially in the field of fund raising, would it not be a good idea to volunteer at a preserved railway that would greatly appreciate your work? No longer would you have to defend your thoughts and efforts at the WSR, instead you could channel your energy into new projects and therefore receive praise from a new organisation. Although it will inevitably mean travelling further afield there can be no better way of achieving peace of mind. Good luck in whatever decision you make. <BJ>
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Just out of interest and nothing more, on the WSR, if there are equal or less candidates than places, does each candidate still have to be elected by a majority or is there no ballot?
     
  11. Robin Moira White

    Robin Moira White Nat Pres stalwart

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    All shareholders have the right to vote 'for', 'against' or to abstain in respect of each candidate. To be elected a candidate must achieve more 'for' votes than 'against'.

    The vote will be on a show of hands unless a poll is called for (by two or more shareholders or by the Chairman of the meeting). In that case, the number of shares of each shareholder is counted.

    Almost correct.

    But a Board with less than 3 Directors can make itself an effective Board by co-opting additional Directors. There does not have to be an election until the next AGM.

    Robin
     
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  12. jnc

    jnc Member

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    This most likely interpretation I can put on this is that they must think they have the answers to what ails the WSR? (Since they don't need your ideas.) Whether the right response is to give them a chance to get on with it I don't wish to get into, but how long do they get to see if their approach works?

    Noel
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    I think that in all the hundreds of posts we’ve only ever had Andy’s side of things and in any disagreement there are two sides. Until and unless we get the other side of the story we can never reach an objective opinion.
     
  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    True, but the fact that he states he wasnt given 'Due Process' and nobody has contradicted that is rather disturbing
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Would it be acting professionally for someone to go on a public forum and give chapter and verse on the circumstances relating to an known individual?
     
  16. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    It would, but there are ways of saying “it wasn’t so” without breaking confidences.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. Forestpines

    Forestpines Well-Known Member

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    If the shareholders reject enough candidate Directors to leave the Board with less than three, can the Board co-opt the candidates the shareholders have just rejected?
     
  18. The Dainton Banker

    The Dainton Banker Member

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    If the "known individual" has raised the issue publicly themselves then they have indicated that a public answer will be acceptable.
    Nothing difficult about that.
     
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  19. Andy Norman

    Andy Norman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was removed because I would not take some actions which the new Chairman wanted me to take and I was very uncomfortable with being involved with. So I was removed for something I didn’t do as opposed to something I did do. No process, no right of reply, no appeal, not even a notification of suspension, just removed from WSR Systems which I had to find out for myself when I couldn’t book a Firing turn. If there was two sides to the story and for the sake of argument if I had done something which was out of order the WSR has good and long standing HR Policies which I should have been put into and not just removed out of hand. I don’t feel that just because you are the Chairman the rules don’t apply to you. I’m not alone in this, others were treated the same way, some just kept their heads down, some just quietly left and some were let back in when they agreed never to post anything on social media again, none of them are happy.

    The question is even in tough times is it right for one Volunteer to decide to remove another Volunteer from enjoying his hobby just because he can and nobody will stop him? Is this a part of the West Somerset problem where ‘taking people who don’t agree with you out’ is the accepted norm rather than all working together for the greater good and is this the way the WSR needs to move forward in order to get more funding from the Community and have more people Volunteering?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  20. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    On Steve Edges website 9351 is shown as a rostered locomotive tomorrow working a BL service. Mind you, it’s been shown as that all week but hasn’t run since having brake problems last Saturday.

    I believe the loco is still at MD so if it trundles past my window today en route to BL I’ll post on here.
     

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