Saturday 31 October 2009

Smoke from the Bonfire!

Play rained off last week, but a team of 9 (yes 9!) turned up for duty today. I hope Henry Howard - GWR Chairman, who came along to give a pep talk, was impressed!

Spent an enjoyable day cutting back the boundary line towards the volunteers cabins. This is somewhat in anticipation of building the 850ft platforms required for 10 coach double headed trains. One has to hope that someone in a high place feels able to justify and deliver such a grand scheme. From a volunteers point of view its setting an unassailable mountain to climb which is daunting, especially when no money at all is being made available to fund the Broadway Project.

Regrettably the project, despite the best efforts of Alan Bielby, finds itself stagnating now, having no apparent strategy, or ordered plan and lacks a trusted champion. From a volunteers point of view all seems to be smoke mirrors and clandestine dealings.


Unknown said...

Dear Bill, As one of the GWSR Board, may I comment that whilst you are entitled to your own personal opinions, your reference to Mr. Howard is unfair and unwarranted.

As a Board we have a duty to you are valued volunteers not to squander you hard earned time and money in these incredulous hard financial times, and ensure the longevity of the whole railway not just Broadway.

The Board are planning for the long term, which takes time to sow, so that what ever big or small is built in the short term will fit in with the overall grand plan and not simply tacked on and made up as we go along - or jeopardize any future funding requirements and mechanisms.

We have a Master plan of which the group have been part of and we shall soon be ratifying it into the overall GWSR plan to talk to the local authority, gain support and seek financial backing. Money has to be found and spent wisely.

There are a huge amount of potential synergies with up and coming schemes in Broadway, but also potential clashes if go too far too quickly.

I should also warn that not everyone wants the railway back in their backyard and so as a group we need to be together united developing our long term plans and strengths. If we continue develop things in a professional and constructive way we will get backing sooner rather than later, we as a Board wish to get to Broadway in a timescale that everyone will benefit rather than have to wait for an eternity in fits and starts.

The plan will take time but speed things up in the long run - stick with us on this.

The Board are here to support you and hope that we can all enjoy our hobby, not just now but long into the future.

Darren Fairley
Property Director GWSR

Bill said...

Dear Darren,

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I appreciate you have taken time out to compose a detailed and heartfelt response, and perhaps covered issues that I did not fully understand. Therin lies part of the problem for volunteers, in as much that communications (in my view) seems to be fragmented and very much on a 'need to know basis' . Very often this leads to the Chinese Whisper syndrome.

I believe the Broadway Group, under Jim Graham's watchful eye were making a modest but fulfilling contribution to the re-awakening of the Broadway site. I cannot see that it could have been judged as going too quickly.

Nevertheless, it was not my intention to offend anyone. I will adjust the title of the blog entry. As a newcomer to the GWSR it was intended to keep the blog light hearted and informative. I will try and keep it in that vain in future!

Bill Britton

A loyal Volunteer

Unknown said...

As another regular Broadway volunteer I understand both Bill's frustration and Darren's top-level perspective. My problem is not understanding where & when Broadway fits into the big picture. Encouraging words are fine, but we need to see a plan and timescales. Alan Bielby has reported on a range of issues to be dealt with, and I hope the Board will support him by responding constructively to that. If surveys are needed, tell us when they're going to be done. Of course money is a problem, so show us the plan to raise it. In my experience, any project depends for its success on commitment to a plan and a timeframe. It can be revised and updated, but it must exist and be visible to those involved in it. If all we hear at the 'sharp end' is that there are lots of difficulties and dependencies, and no money, it's going to be difficult to keep the team together.

David Bowie

Unknown said...

It is interesting to see these comments as someone who is too far away to work in this railway.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire railway has one on the most exciting prospects that I can see in a heritage railway...
The long & short term prospects of the line is massive (going all the way to Honeybourne is one of them!)
The bridge at Laverton is going to be completed & the extension to Broadway going on from there, & what's more a station being built at Broadway.

I just want to say big thanks to the volunteers who work on this railway, it's exciting stuff..!

G.P. van Willigen said...

To all the hard working people at this railway-track to be: I am amazed to see the amount of work you put in these project. I, from Dordrecht (Holland) dare to say that I never in my life saw so much perseverance to realise such a big project. I am deeply impressed and wish you all the support from earth and heaven you need. Including better weather conditions! God bless you all!

Yours sincerely,
G.P. van Willigen