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West Somerset Railway Operations

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

  1. D1039

    D1039 Member

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    (The post compared Bluebell and SVR, hence the SVR bit that follows)

    The SVR raises donations and legacies through the Trust (charity), Guarantee company (membership body) and PLC. From the various reports:

    £'000

    Charity
    2017 802
    2016 892
    2015 229

    Guarantee Co
    2017 111
    2016 45
    2015 25

    PLC (excluding specific donations)
    2017 398
    2016 425
    2015 301

    In addition is the share offer income (£2m in 2012, £2.5m in 2016).

    Patriick
     
  2. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    Spot on.
     
  3. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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  4. The Man of Kent

    The Man of Kent Member

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    I think that characterising the loco bid as "4110 Ltd" is in itself missing the point. The bid was put together by PEOPLE, not an organisation. Well known and extremely well respected people who commanded total trust. Inevitably these people had to form an organisation to progress but it was the names at the bottom of the appeal that gave credence. I really hope that these people have not been upset or the railway really will be struggling.

    In their FAQ's they wrote

    Why not purchase through the WSRA?
    The WSRA are aware of our ambitions and we hope that they may yet be able to offer some form of assistance in the future. This is a significant sum of money for which they would probably have to agree expenditure at a Trustee’s meeting, and even circulate the membership. Timescale does not permit this delay.
    We have already discussed with a representative of the Association the continued presence of 4110 within the locomotive Restoration Fund and have received positive feedback.

    It's difficult to think that what came after was the offer of some form of assistance they were hoping for.

    I believe the WSRA has been around for 37 years and runs a loco restoration operation? Given that they do not provide a single locomotive for the plc to use on its services is it any wonder that a different option proved popular?
     
  5. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    The Severn Valley is very much in a class of its own when it comes to success of issuing shares, with recently only probably the GWSR coming close. Elsewhere, for a variety of reasons, Appeals have yielded more than Share Issues. I( suspect Bluebell Appeals of recent years have yielded this sort of sum.

    The underlying problem for the West Somerset is that there is no recent history of large scale share issues or appeals and hence not an active structure or perhaps readily engaged audience for either.

    It seems to be a 'chicken and egg' situation - if you have had success in the past with Share Issues, then you have a large shareholder base to appeal to and which others may wish to join. If you have a large membership, then Appeals are going to work well for similar reasons.

    Share Issues are increasingly costly and time consuming to launch - I suspect that for a private company to seek contributions in the what 4110 Ltd is strictly contrary to Company Law, though I suspect no-one would raise the point. In the West Somerset's current circumstances, I suspect only an Appeal, most efficiently done through WSRA, is practical, given the time-scale necessary for a Share Issue. The WSRplc has raised nearly £2.25 million from shares in the past (the Severn Valley have raised over £10 million), but Share Issues need a rather more specific focus than 'we are short of cash' to have much chance of success - so do Appeals, but a number of targeted appeals which different potential supporters may find attractive are simpler and quicker to put together than a further share issue.

    So, in short - for the SVR - yes, your point (probably) stands but should not be assumed to be true elsewhere and for other lines/organisations, past experience proves the reverse, but, either way, it is at best treading close to the edge of what Companies Law permits to make 'general appeals' for 'the public' to become shareholders in a private company.

    Steven
     
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  6. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Firstly, at this stage, we have no clue whether the 4110 Ltd 'appeal' or the WSRA one has more success - certainly, plenty of people seem to be wishing failure on the latter.

    Am I correct that your main point is that people won't donate to a charity they are a member of to help buy a loco because they want to be able to say that it is, at least in part, 'theirs'? That is, their own literal 'ownership' is more important to them than the supposed reason for that ownership (let us not forget that the whole aim here is to avoid 4110 leaving the West Somerset Railway)?

    I can certainly see to distinction, but I both find it rather sad and wonder if this same enthusiasm will extend to ample volunteers not only for working to restore the loco but perhaps more particularly for the thankless 'behind the scenes' tasks of managing the Company into the future? It is this latter area that those donating to appeal, while not having that same sense of 'ownership', can at least largely leave to others.

    It is also worth pointing out that membership of a Company Limited by Guarantee is legally part ownership and that all such companies, where membership is widely available, should be encouraging that sense of 'belonging' and ownership - a very important factor in successful fund-raising and at a more basic level, volunteer involvement.

    Steven
     
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  7. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Serious allegations - your evidence or is it just what you 'think'?

    As for who the worst enemies of the West Somerset Railway are, well, do you really think that anyone throwing wild but controversial theories around social media might not risk being counted amongst them?

    Steven
     
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  8. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    Read my post. " I think..." "IMHO..." I am just as entitled as you to make my views public. It is your prerogative to deem my views 'wild' and 'controversial'. I have no expectation of you or anyone else agreeing with my views.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  9. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That's all very well, but when Mr Steam Railway journalist comes along to take a look (if he hasn't already) he sees a whole load of bickering and infighting, writes his story and hey presto, once again the WSR is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Nationwide, railway enthusiasts sat reading their magazine are thinking "Do that lot never stop fighting!?" and certainly aren't going to be inclined to donate any money to any appeals no matter what organisation the money is to be sent to.
     
  10. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I would have thought it wise before publishing allegations to have some basis other than your own thoughts.

    One might 'think' that we have a case of 'if 4110 Ltd can't have the loco, we certainly don't want WSRA to have it (so by implication we want it to leave the West Somerset Railway - that will show them!)' but it would be unkind to say so and I am sure (certainly hope) is a mis-interpretation of what is being said in anger on here.

    Steven
     
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  11. mvpeters

    mvpeters Member

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    No kidding, Steve!
     
  12. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    5 days and 14 pages ago...

    Ho Hum

    Steve B
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  13. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    I have made no serious allegations at all. I have simply expressed my take on the situation as I see it, as indeed others have. Am I not entitled to do so ? I have been a member of the DEPG for nearly 40 years and I am a WSR Plc shareholder. I am keen to support 4110 Ltd. directly, but will not support the WSRA purchase/ ownership for reasons I've already stated earlier in this thread. Having been a WSRA member for a number of years, through the 'troubles', I finally lost patience and did not renew.
     
  14. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    You may want to read that post again, in particular the bit before “IMHO”. I read it as an allegation, and do still read it that way. I also accept your subsequent qualifications, but would that you had edited your post to make that clear.

    Meanwhile, you and others appear to miss the material point of what I and others are saying. It is the failure of different arms of the WSR family, and those supporting them, to work together and allow bygones to be bygones that is most damning.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  15. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    I agree entirely with your last sentence. Unfortunately, the WSR 'family' keeps on shooting itself in the foot. One can only let bygones be bygones if there is clear, open tangible changes for the better that can be seen by everyone, not just those close to the coal-face.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  16. Bayard

    Bayard Well-Known Member

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  17. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    There is a certain irony in all this, I think. The P&DSR seem to have been revealed as the potential external bidders, so I wonder if they'll take the opportunity to offer to take 4160 on a long term agreement instead?
     
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  18. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Usually the Dartmouth line hire in for high summer, two train running, when they need to, or for added attraction for enthusiast customers.
    I am not sure that a long term would be contemplated.
    However, once 4160 is ready to roll I am sure there would be a few lines who were aware of the usefulness of this fine locomotive and be pleased to have it on their rails.
     
  19. alastair

    alastair Member

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    So just to understand what you are saying, and given that the PLC have stated that the loco is not for sale to 4110 Ltd,what was said above :


    One might 'think' that we have a case of 'if 4110 Ltd can't have the loco, we certainly don't want WSRA to have it (so by implication we want it to leave the West Somerset Railway - that will show them!)


    is ,in your case, correct?
     
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  20. patriarch

    patriarch New Member

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    It would be interesting to know how many of the approximately 105 financial supporters of 4110 Ltd. are members of the WSRA. If very few, or indeed none, are, then I would suggest that fact would be another reason the WSRA suddenly sprung into life.
     
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