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Teifi Valley Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Anthony Coulls, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Forestpines

    Forestpines Member

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    Viewing this as a complete outsider: I'm sure, if you want to support the railway, they would accept donations from non-members.
     
  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    My main point was it appeared they were all working together as a team, one unit with no sign of animosity between anybody just a friendly team working to achieve their aim. That was what I saw during my visit. The only other comment I will make is that you say they aren't open to criticism (or perhaps a better way to word it advice). The railway has received help from numerous railways recently, that I do know as I have seen various sources report this to be the case, part of that no doubt included advice, which they clearly took or the other railways wouldn't of helped.

    The grant issue we do agree on, it's a shame that this situation happened, but does show a commitment from the present team, still pressing on despite the fact they know that less funding avenues are available and that the work will have to be self funded.
     
  3. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Nobody can do anything but admire Ivor Macfadzean's determination and energetic zeal in reviving the TVR. The extension of the track to Riverside would not have been completed without him. But one of the reasons for his dismissal as General Manager a few years ago was that he, rather than the directors, took decisions that should have been taken by the Board, and several Board instructions were ignored. When the fraudster left the scene, Macfadzean again took over. He refused the offer of becoming a director, once again taking over as General Manager. Only 3 directors could be found, since they had to be acceptable to him - and there are still only 3, although standing orders require a minimum of 4. During the period immediately after the fraudster's departure, volunteers anxious to help with reconstruction spent many hours sitting around in the cafe waiting for him to arrive, because he would not allow anything to be done until he was there.
    This insistence on absolute control is what has concerned several longstanding members of the Society. It means the exclusion of those who are not members of a clique.
     
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  4. TVR Observer

    TVR Observer New Member

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    Stupid indeed. Strange then that the only person who, at the meeting on June 18th 2014, objected to that decision, Elizabeth Perry is now ostracised and banned from renewing her Society membership. With the exception of one person who has passed away and one who resigned as Society Chair, all the people who agreed to lift the track are still members, life members in some cases, and show no regret or embarrassment whatsoever for what they did.

    McFadzean will obviously never admit it but he’s now getting revenge for his long-standing grudge against Miss Perry for being on the board that sacked him for incompetence in 2006, and subsequently passed a legally-binding resolution that he should have no future involvement in the Railway.

    The reported behaviour of trustee David Morgan and director Nikki Cox at the Society AGM in March leave no room for doubt that it is personal. A long-standing and sensible member made a suggestion that Miss Perry should receive an apology for her treatment and a life membership in recognition that she was the only person who tried to stop Dearing. Morgan (who only got involved in the TVR due to Miss Perry) objected at high volume. It would appear that he thinks Miss Perry was wrong to publicise that the Railway had been declared unsafe by the Inspector. Cox stated that Miss Perry was not a Society member (untrue at the time) and that she was “still” under investigation by the police! The reality being that Cox would necessarily have been made aware in December 2014 that the police were not treating Miss Perry as a suspect in any way, and that police investigations were abandoned in December 2015. Miss Perry emailed a scan of her membership card to Cox and asked for acknowledgment of her “error” but of course no reply.
     
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  5. TVR Observer

    TVR Observer New Member

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    I don’t know when you visited but since the AGM several previously useful volunteers have stopped appearing at the Railway and in some cases resigned as Society officers. One can only speculate but those with experience of McFadzean’s management will draw their own conclusions as to the reasons.
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    I don't see the point of this discussion, we have no idea where the real story lies, it's an internal matter that will bring no benefit to the railway by airing it here. Like Pete, when I visited I saw only a team trying to get the line up and running again.
     
  7. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    I agree, there is little point in continuing this discussion. The facts have been reported but are still regarded as "only one side of the story" and nothing will change as a result.
    A pity about the grants. Over 30 years I raised all the grant money to finance all the capital developments at the Railway, establishing a relationship with several grant-giving bodies and learning how to slant the applications to fit the particular grant criteria. I also obtained revenue grants to finance jobs such as site manager and volunteer co-ordinator. But my services are no longer required.
    In 2014 I found an efficient solicitor experienced in commercial law who began the process of releasing the Company from the disastrous contract with the fraudster. But those under Dearing's spell threw me out, cancelled any legal action and gave him free rein to plunder the Railway resources. Being familiar with the details of the situation, this solicitor could have dealt with all the legal problems that followed Dearing's departure. But my advice was ignored and nothing was done, for example to sue the timber fellers for appalling damage to the track.
    All symptomatic of the new management style.
    Enough said.
     
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  8. Herald

    Herald New Member

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    I'm sure many of us have great sympathy that 30 years work can be so quickly destroyed. Whilst many may feel these types of discussion pointless personally I feel they act as a very worthwhile warning to others. There are many smaller societies across the UK that due to the advancing years of their members and the high potential value of their non railway assets could fall victim to the unscrupulous. This whole sorry saga like those on some other railways merits wide circulation in the hope that others can learn from it and avoid similar problems.
     
  9. Stan loco

    Stan loco New Member

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    Yes I will second that one. So true.
    People need to be aware and recognize the signs before it is too late.
     
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  10. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    As one of those who said that it is an internal issue I will say I don't disagree the back story of how the railway ended up in this position should be and has been told. My point was that chapter has finished, people are attempting to re-build the railway and if you visit, as an outsider, there are is no evidence of these internal issues mentioned and it's not something that the forum can influence. It's also one word against another tbh, where as actions such as lifting the track had clear evidence. Mention of disquiet has been made in some posts, I saw none of that on my visit, not saying that it didn't happen but how would we know and to most outsiders I guess the primary concern was the railway was rebuilt by a good team and had a viable future which it seems is happening. (Posted with Mods hat off as it is my personal opinion).
     
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  11. TVR Observer

    TVR Observer New Member

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    One could also argue the pointlessness of making sweeping uncritical statements about the qualities of the new team based on one brief visit, whilst rubbishing an observer who sees most of what really goes on.

    The state of morale amongst the thinking members of the team is low, due in part, as has been said before, to the lack of discussion and communication allowed by the management, in particular Cox.

    To be more specific about the departures I mentioned in post no.365 on this thread: these were not easily replaceable casual workers, but intelligent people who dared to hold a differing opinion to that of the management. 3 people have recently left the post of Membership Secretary: without naming names, firstly a long-serving member who left because he knew he couldn't work with Cox, his replacement left after a furious argument at the January Society meeting, and his successor (a solicitor I believe, who was also the main track-laying volunteer and responsible for most of the progress to date) also appears to have left. A lady who, along with Cox, was appointed as a director in November 2014, resigned as a director because she was being “kept out of the loop”, took up the post of Society Secretary, but has now resigned. The Chief Engineer/Responsible Person left for vague “personal reasons” 12 months ago, reappeared earlier this year, but now seems to be again not appearing at the railway. He used to read this so maybe could update us if he wants to.

    Questions need to be asked and answered about several matters. The ones which immediately come to mind are:

    1. Why has a claim not been made against the Professional Indemnity Insurance of Dearing's loggers? Surely this could hardly fail.

    2. Why have 2 limited companies been set up at the Railway's address with Cox as sole Director/Secretary and Cox and McFadzean as the only shareholders? These being “The Busy Bee Cafe Limited” which is the new name of the Railway's cafe and “Razzle Rugs Limited”, no idea what rugs have to do with the Railway. Hopefully all is above board, but from those I've spoken to neither the Railway's Shareholders or the Society members have been told anything about this, and as I say questioners will be ignored or shouted down.

    To defend the posting from Liz Perry which started this recent discussion, how frustrating do you think it must be, knowing that you were the only person who was correct about Dearing, yet the only one who has been ostracised? Not to mention the slanderous statements about police investigations and more recently being falsely accused by McFadzean of making derogatory personal insults about the management, of course when asked for an example he did not reply.

    Despite the apparent paranoia of the management there are to my knowledge no people who wish ill of the railway. Miss Perry for one only wanted to pay her membership fee and had no wish to get involved in the running of the railway other than to advise if needed. She's seen it all before. Other people possibly myself included could help financially but not while the persistent sniping about the “previous regime” continues and if there is no communication or questioning allowed. Whatever their business plan may say, their guaranteed income (memberships) doesn't even cover their insurance costs, so if they survive they'll be dependant on donations for the foreseeable future as they have been for the tracklaying to date. Are those who have made one brief visit interested in helping in this way?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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  12. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Active Member

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    This seems like the West Somerset Railway Association disaster in miniature. An imminent collapse seems more than likely, and then maybe we could see the transfer of the line to the northern part of the Gwili's territory...
     
  13. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    An imminent collapse didn't seem likely when I was there, when we arrived we were the only people, but we were a bit early and were soon joined by others. As we were leaving there was a coach arriving which was full. It certainly was busier than I expected.
     
  14. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    No doubt questions need to be asked, but not here. It's pointless.
     
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  15. Matt78

    Matt78 Active Member

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    Well hopefully the northern part of the Gwili territory will be standard gauge one day to complete our own dream, in the meantime I wish the Teifi well with all their aims and ambitions. Looking from a short distance, they seem to have done well so far to relay and revitalise the site.

    Regards

    Matt
     
  16. bantamd14

    bantamd14 New Member

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    I am keen to visit the Teifi Valley Railway as my last visit was nearly 20 years ago!
    Incidentally when I was there, I saw an unidentified black 0-8-0T of 750mm/2'6" gauge, possibly a Herschel?
    Does anyone know what it was and where it is now?
    Thanks in advance.

    Bantam D14
     
  17. kscanes

    kscanes Part of the furniture

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    Possibly Polish Resita 764.423 (recorded at Ystwyth Valley RPS, Henllan, Dyfed, from 8/1996 to 8/2001). If so it was later at Welshpool; the remains (frame and wheels) went to Austria 7/2016.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  18. William Fletcher

    William Fletcher New Member

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    That's the one.
     
  19. bantamd14

    bantamd14 New Member

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    Okay thanks for the information regarding the 750mm loco.
     
  20. Elizabeth Perry

    Elizabeth Perry New Member

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    Does anyone know what progress is being made putting Kerr Stuart Sgt Murphy back together again? The boiler came back from its refit at the end of 2014. Last year there were pictures on the Teifi Valley Facebook page of successful repairs to the damaged front buffer and it was said that work would continue during the winter shutdown. No news of the boiler being lifted back onto the chassis yet. With Alan George's certificate running out, the loco will be needed ...
     

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