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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. Blackdown Boy

    Blackdown Boy New Member

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    You mean like when you were leading the charge of the reformers in 2016.
     
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  2. free2grice

    free2grice Well-Known Member

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    The sniping continues.

    Let's just be glad that the railway has a better chance of a future than in 2016. <BJ>
     
  3. nine elms fan

    nine elms fan Member

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    Ooh you bitch. meow. :rolleyes:
     
  4. AnthonyTrains2017

    AnthonyTrains2017 Member

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    Looking forward to the spring gala. Any more guests?
     
  5. SebWelsh

    SebWelsh New Member

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    Keep your eye on the WSR Gala Planning Team Facebook for updates when attractions are confirmed.

    Best wishes
    Seb
     
  6. jma1009

    jma1009 Member

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    Hi Mike,

    As you have mentioned me personally, I ought to reply perhaps.

    You have had my full name, potted CV, address, telephone number and mobile number, and email address. I have had nothing back from you other than correspondence via PM on here which has been tortuous; no address, telephone number, or mobile number etc from you. I got a few emails from the Guard's rep; then no further reply. A suggestion by you that the Signallers' Rep would contact me via email resulted in no contact.

    A suggestion from me that I would be quite happy to work on the coaching stock doing woodwork and painting resulted in nothing so far as I recall via our PMs on here. You knew when all my dates were of holiday booked off work, but nothing transpired, and I specifically gave you 'windows' for this. No text messages, no phone calls, no emails.

    The 'window' for my time off work passed. I think this is a reasonably fair account from my perspective.

    Subsequently to all this I looked into what had happened to Andy Norman - whom you must know quite well - and all of what went on. I was not at all happy.

    As you know, I am a former RMT Branch Secretary, and RMT H & S Rep, and am not docile or subservient, and have strong views. As I delved into how JJP had got control of the WSR PLC, and how he dealt with one volunteer in particular, namely Andy Norman, I sort of took the view my face wouldn't fit on the WSR.

    If you can persuade me otherwise (and you have my phone number and mobile number etc) then you are welcome to do so.

    Cheers,

    Julian Atkins
     
  7. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    Quite frankly, for a railway struggling to get more volunteers, if you can't even manage to engage with someone as keen as Julian appeared to be to get involved, I think you're probably stuffed...would love to be proved wrong, but the messages coming out of Somerset are still rather mixed.

    [I won't change the content, but having seen the response below from @aldfort I think it's fair to say that there's more to this than just the above, and while it may be a misunderstanding/communication issue, it's clear Mike tried hard to engage on this!]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  8. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    Surely the volunteers you really want are those who are keen enough get off their backsides and present themselves to do whatever is needed. That way you soon get involved and find the niche that suits you. Waiting to be invited shows rather a lack of initative to my way of thinking. Volunteering in the first instance is about what you can do for the railway rather than what the railway can do for you. The rewards come later, but they come in barrow loads.

    Peter
     
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  9. malcolm imps

    malcolm imps Member

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    All the info will be in the next journal, if you are a WSRA member .......
     
  10. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    I don’t know if anybody else has noticed this.

    For several days I’ve found that images from some of the Railcam cameras on the WSR, when viewed through WSR.org,
    are ‘frozen’, that is to say not able to show live images.

    However, when viewed through the Railcam website ( I am a subscriber), everything is normal.

    I emailed Railcam and have received this very helpful reply, which I have precised. “I’ve investigated this and discovered an error in the way the WSR site is embedding the cameras ........... I’ve emailed their webmaster to explain”.

    Posted for the information of anybody else who has noticed.

    By the way, my subscription to Railcam is one of my wisest investments.
     
  11. Daddsie71b

    Daddsie71b Member Friend

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    Was exactly what I was going to post. This is relevant to ANY volunteer organisation or club.
     
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  12. Ron Sidewater

    Ron Sidewater Member

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    I've just looked at the Seaward Way view, and it's working fine. Nothing much to see of course, a few pedestrians and a few vehicles on the crossing.
     
  13. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

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    Yes, I have never detected a problem with either Seaward Way or Crowcombe Heathfield.
     
  14. Dan Taylor

    Dan Taylor New Member

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    One of many abandoned projects....
     
  15. aldfort

    aldfort Part of the furniture

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    Let me offer an alternative perspective from the point of view of the railway.
    By your own admission you have very limited time.
    Your response to having to attend training for safety critical roles was that you were not sure it was worth you time and effort. Further that you were not sure you wanted to volunteer for the number of turns each year required to maintain your competence.
    I provide you with contact details that would have enabled you to do occasional work on painting etc but you failed to respond.

    I too have been a union branch secretary, I have several learned publications to my name in my chosen field many years ago. I've been cited in "current contents" (that meant something 40 years ago - doubt it does now) I was also part of the editorial team for the Project Management Pathways publication, again a few years ago now. I'm sorry to tell you Julian that this is all history and about as relevant as yesterdays newspaper. I'm not docile either but I know better than to chuck unsubstantiated accusations about. Your training from your union days must have taught you to obtain all of the facts of a matter before opening your mouth? Mine certainly did.

    In the here and now I volunteer on the WSR as a fireman, which I am proud to do and I serve as a trustee, elected by the membership of the WSRA, which I am also proud to do.

    Tell us what you do to support the heritage rail movement in the UK?
     
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  16. Blackdown Boy

    Blackdown Boy New Member

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    Can you two go and get a room somewhere
     
  17. big.stu

    big.stu Member

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    That would appear to be a firm but fair rebuttal, and (unusually for this forum) a chance to assess the matter from both sides. I have apologised to Mike for my earlier comment, as it is clear he did indeed try very hard to engage on this...
     
  18. pgbffest

    pgbffest Member

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    That's the nail hit firmly on the head there. There are still a number of people who believe that you can turn up and start doing stuff - those days have long gone. We need your contact details, but we need to prove that you've been through some suitable induction process. We need to ensure that you have received adequate training for the job, examined in the job by somebody deemed competent to assess. We need to ensure that the training regime is documented, the training is recorded and then have somebody ensure that the training given matches what is on the paper. Once you are qualified you need to be routinely assessed practically and theoretically every x years. You therefore need to ensure that you commit enough time to demonstrate that you are still competent (some people could come back after five years and you wouldn't know - others could be five weeks and you definitely would!).

    All of that surprises a lot of people and yes, it does put many people off. However, if you don't set it straight at the start then you either end up with somebody getting disillusioned halfway through or you end up with the boys from the ministry coming down to ask you to bend over and then tell you that it is going to hurt you a lot more than it is them!

    Needless to say, there is always stuff you can do which doesn't involve lengthy training processes - but there are getting fewer and fewer!
     
  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    One comment to make about being a prospective volunteer on the West Somerset Railway (hopefully accepted in the spirit it is offered!)

    If I look on the company website, I am very quickly led to this page: https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/volunteer So far, so good - the website navigation to get there is pretty intuitive from the homepage (Home --> Support Us --> Become a volunteer - it could hardly be clearer), and I would say that that pages is a model of being clearly laid out, and also gives a clear overview of the breadth of roles available. The only problem is that all the links are broken - what look like links to further information on each role just give a 404 error. Similarly, there is what potentially might be a very interesting document: "Questions to consider sheet", also a broken link. My assumption is that that document would actually be very useful for a prospective volunteer - better to find out before spending lots of time if the role you have set your heart on actually involves antisocial hours, a minimum number of turns, hard conditions, medical requirements and so on.

    From the WSRA homepage, the navigation is more or less clear, though you have to scroll a long way on the "support us" page to find a general link to "Volunteer your time" (https://www.wsra.org.uk/vacancies/). That page I would suggest is less well written: there is a very brief pre-amble with contact details for how to be an adult volunteer (with the same email address as on the PLC page, but no link to it), but the rest of the page is very specific to just a few particular roles. Knowing a little of the structure of the railway, it appears that those roles are primarily volunteers for WSRA, rather than West Somerset Railway, activities: Quantock Belle staff, or WSRA Rally helpers, but not what you might expect of how do I become a driver / signalman / work on the track etc. It sort of looks like that page is advertising places where there are specific vacancies - except it says nothing about carriage maintenance, for which there is a separate page asking for volunteers.

    Without getting into the ins and outs of structure, I would suggest that the page on the PLC website just needs the links being sorted out, beyond which it is very clear. On the WSRA page, I would suggest that it simply references the information on the PLC site. Even if the WSRA is now formally taking the lead in provision of volunteers, it is not especially helpful to have separate, differing sources of information about how to sign up; nor for one of the two sources of information to have a very restricted list of the potential opportunities.

    Tom
     
  20. Snifter

    Snifter Part of the furniture

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    Eh ???? Were the objectives not achieved i.e. removal of the 6+1 ? Replacing them with ourselves and implementing Coombes were never part of the plan. The former happened through serendipity and from where I stand, appears to be one of the better aspects of the WSR at the current time. It was never intended to be a takeover and had it been so, I'm not sure I would have been so comfortable playing my part.

    Brian
     
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