I write on this subject with a degree of caution, as it is a complex issue that I have only been following closely for the past few months, and seems to have been going on for a considerable amount of time. the WSRA, which is the main support body of the WSR as a whole, appears to be losing its way, being out of touch with members and the PLC which runs the railway. It would appear that the main problem lies with a number of the trustees and the chairman who are on a personal ego trip. Examples include the botched attempt to purchase the freehold of the railway whilst the PLC was negotiating a new lease from the council which has now resulted in an inquiry into the conduct of certain persons, and the recent WSRA AGM, where almost all the attending members left the meeting half way through in disgust at the way the meeting was conducted by the Trustees. The reconvened meeting was held at a seemingly purposely inconvenient time of Sunday evening, yet still people turned up and still people “voted with their feet” and walked out in disgust yet again. This followed a thoroughly unfair run up to the Trustee elections with evidence of Gerrymandering from existing trustees including ringing up members, sending out extra information that other prospective candidates couldn’t and co-opting a seemingly unheard of person to fill the position who had no reason to be co-opted (usually some sort of special skill like finance). As a result of this, members are calling for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to be held to remove certain trustees.
I shall say no more that that, but leave you with a few links to peruse:
“West Somerset Railway Developments” thread on national preservation forums – arguments relating to current problems start mid-way through – it’s a long read!
“WSRA Trustee Election Hustings” thread on national preservation forums – this thread is now locked but contains quite a bit on the Gerrymandering in the run up to the elections.
“www,wsra-action.org – a campaign for change” – website managed by some of the “reformers” with information and news including a draft EGM document
If any readers have any questions I would suggest either emailing the reform group through their website or on the “West Somerset Railway Developments” thread on National Preservation.