Latest News

WHO INSTRUCTED MR PARKER?

 

UPDATE  8/7/18  - 24 days and I am still awaiting a reply to my letters of 14th June to Mr Whitehouse and Mr Parker asking for an explanation.  

 

This is the question to which I have not received an answer.  

 
In the last two weeks a Mr B Parker of The Flour Mill Workshops, a locomotive engineering company in Bream, Gloucestershire, was instructed to visit and value 4160 at our contractors in Llangollen.   This visit was unbeknown to the directors of 4160 Ltd and only came to light when Mr Parker advised our contractors of his visit the next day.   Our contractors were taken aback at this situation and advised us immediately.     We had no prior knowledge of Mr Parker’s visit whatsoever.    Mr Parker purported to be on WSRA business!  
 
If Mr Parker was instructed by the WSRA Trustees, why did they not seek our permission but instead adopted a cloak and dagger approach.   Surely as Trustees of a charity we should be entitled to expect them to act in a responsible and ethical manner. 
 
As I have stated before the actual cost of 4160 as a material asset in the company bears no relation to the share value as our shares are not listed on the Stock Exchange (not traded) and bear no dividends.   As an example, AC Mole & sons, who are the WSR Plc’s auditors, value shares held by the Plc in Severn Valley Railway Holdings at nil value, despite a face value of .25p.   The Severn Valley Railway has tangible assets of £13 million, so how can the valuing of locomotive 4160 have any bearing on the value of our company shares.  In fact, the original WSRA auditors, Albert Goodman of Taunton, still stand by their valuation of 4160 ltd shares.   If you compare the Plc’s recent published accounts, where the auditors write down the shares they hold to nil, to the original audited valuation of 4160 Ltd shares by Albert Goodman, then surely the sale of the shares at face value was good for the WSRA.   AC Mole and Albert Goodman are experienced auditors in railway heritage preservation who understand the complexities of this business especially the resale of shares.   This is why the earlier valuation of 4160 Ltd  that the WSRA commissioned from  Exeter based auditors,  can only be regarded as an ‘unsafe’ opinion.   These auditors admitted they have no experience in the field of railway preservation.   Would it not have been more prudent by the current Trustees to seek the experienced advice of AC Mole or Albert Goodman! 
 
M Crees
Chairman
4160 Ltd

 

ACTION AGAINST 4160 LTD DIRECTORS BY WSRA TRUSTEES

 

Much has been published on this long running saga and I will attempt to lay out the plain and simple facts of the proposed action by the WSRA Trustees (Whitehouse, Stretton, Glover, Greenaway, Power, Sherwood, Garfield, and Lea).   These Trustees accuse Paul Johnson and myself under Section 41 and 42 of the Companies Act that we purchased the 4160 ltd company shares at an undervalued price and in their opinion the shares were worth much much more that the price paid.   This was despite the WSRA’s experienced Auditors valuing the shares two months previously at face value.   Recently an assessment was done for 4160 ltd by an experienced Chartered Accountant with 40 years’ experience in accountancy and heritage railway preservation.  In his professional opinion non traded shares in a heritage railway company are notoriously difficult to value and the only ‘safe’ valuation is that of ‘face’ value.  This opinion is also shared by AC Mole & Sons who are the Auditors to the West Somerset Railway Public Limited Company.    In the Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2017, page 32, the WSR Plc state the following:-

 

“The company held the following shares as at 2017 and 2016: one of £500 in 5542 Limited; 418 of £10 in Dinmore Manor Locomotive Limited; 120 of £1 in Severn Valley Railway (Holidings) plc; 940 of 25p in Great Central Railway plc; and 126 of £1 in North Norfolk Railway plc.    All shares were given to the company and therefore have a nil cost.   As these shares ae not publicly traded and their fair value cannot be measured reliably, they are held at cost and therefore have nil value within the financial statements.”

 

As an example, the Great Central Railway plc have net assets of over£ 2.5 million but despite this their shares are still valued at nil by the WSR Plc Auditors.  So how can it be that 4160 ltd shares be worth far in excess of face value when their asset value is a fraction of that of the Great Central Railway.   So Section 41 and 42 of the companies act does not apply to this action because the shares were sold at the correct audited value. We now have three independent, heritage preservation experienced professionals state that shares in locomotive companies are very difficult to value.  So why is it that the WSRA Trustees have a conflicting opinion to the professionals?   One can only come to the conclusion that the Trustees want to gain some control, if not all, of Four One Six 0 ltd business.  This control is against the express wish of Four One Six 0 Ltd shareholders.

 

 4160 ltd has not traded for two years and has no income other than a small peppercorn hire for the diesel shunter engine.  We are now in the middle of a heavy overhaul of 4160 and have limited capital available, so the cold hard fact is that we may not have enough capital to complete the overhaul.   We still do not know the exact extent of expenditure to get the locomotive back into traffic.      So how can our shares be worth even face value?

 

Surely it is not good governance for Whitehouse, Stretton, Glover, Greenaway, Power, Sherwood, Garfield, and Lea to proceed to court on this unsound accusation when the financial implications will be far reaching.   Our counsel has advised us that this could potentially be a 5 day hearing with likely costs in the region of £100,000.   What concerns me is that statements made in letters to Mr Johnson and myself from the WSRA’s solicitors, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, contain gross inaccuracies.  So, whoever, is briefing the WSRA’s solicitors appears not to be in possession of the documentary evidence.  This brings into question the statement made by the WSRA Trustees that they have a “reasonable chance of success” in this court action.  If this statement of a “reasonable chance of success” comes from Bates, Wells & Braithwaite and there are inaccuracies in their briefing, are they basing their statement on inaccurate information?

 

I would hope that the WSRA membership do their own research into these claims and form their own opinion when they are asked to vote to approve funds for court action.   Have the WSRA even done a Risk Assessment on this, or ever thought about the implications of losing?   Would the potential £100,000 lawyer’s fees not be better spent on restoring 4561 and 7821 locomotives that appear to have had no work done on them since the new Trustees took over two years ago when they began this legal action?

 

Below is reproduced the Chartered Accountants opinion on the 4160 ltd share value.

 

Mike Crees

Chairman

 

6th  June 2018

 

“Valuing shares in companies that are not listed is very complex.  What anything is worth, is best determined by what someone is prepared to pay.   The normal rule of thumb method is based on the dividends paid.   Since no income can be paid in Four One Six 0 Ltd, we fall back to looking at asset value, although this has certain drawbacks.

            Looking at the latest accounts, the Balance Sheet appears to value the company at £223,328.   The accounts appear to be in the micro-entity basis and there are no details of the shares issued.   However, it is not a simple matter to determine the individual share value by dividing the number of shares into the Balance Sheet value.

            Firstly, the Balance Sheet needs to be re-valued by substituting current day values for the assets.   Here, again there are difficulties.   The engine itself, must obviously be an extremely attractive loco for a reasonable Heritage railway.   However, once again I return to the premise that an asset is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.   4160 is currently undergoing a major repair.   I do not know how much that restoration is going to cost or in deed if the company had sufficient funds to complete the repair.   In full working order, the loco might achieve a good six figure sum.   However, a buyer for the engine in its current state, would discount the value of an operational engine by the amount he perceives it would cost to bring the loco back into use.   Perhaps, therefore the amount as shown in the accounts maybe realistic.

            However, the Balance Sheet may not be a good guide to the overall valuation of the company since the funds held may not be sufficient to complete the repair.   This could mean that the shares are next to worthless.   If there are sufficient funds to complete the repair then the loco could be valued at the possible worth of an operational engine.

            Even if it was possible to evaluate a positive value for the loco and cash, there are still issues in the simple maths of dividing value by the number of shares.   In order, for such a calculation to provide a valid valuation, we have to consider the holding of individual shareholders.   A shareholder would have to be able to realise the assets of the company in order to achieve the net asset cost.   This would mean the shareholder would have to control at least 85% of the issued share capital.   The value of shares in any lesser holding must be reduced to allow for the inability of the shareholder in achieving any value out of the company.   I am sure that there are no holdings of such a size that can bring about the realisation of assets.   Therefore the shares valuation on an asset basis has to be discounted considerably.   Maybe the discounted valuation will reduced each share to nominal value or even less.

            An easy guide, would be to look at a similar company if it has had any disposals of shares.   It maybe slightly ironic to look at the Wadebridge situation to find a comparison.   This company changed into a charity and therefore no dividends could be paid.   However, the Mid Hants are buying the shares at nominal value.   Obviously, Mid Hants is doing this to acquire the loco for its fleet unencumbered by the original company.

            In conclusion.   There are so many questions arising that there is no real conclusion.    So, one can only fall back on the nominal value of the shares (face value).

 

Those WERE the Days

Barrie Woods

 

“In brief the book describes my activities along with my friends who as a train spotter in the late 1950s  travelled extensively during those years to 4th August 1968, when steam finished on BR.,   We used many forms of transport such as Mini buses, Coaches, Trains, Bicycles, Motorbikes, Cars, even Hitchhiking and Ferries!  Many amusing incidents occurred through the period which are included in the book, such as a contretemps with a herd of Bullocks, our coach catching fire on the M1, the Castleford ‘Snow’ incident, some strange overnight encounters, hitchhiking a lift on a 9F and of course run-ins with various Shed Foremen!  There are many more stories. (See attached photos of cover and inside pages)


During the period I visited over 600 Locomotive Sheds, Works and Railway Scrapyards in doing so I recorded over 21,000 steam engines. Details of these two aspects are in appendices to the rear of the book.  

 

Your loco, 4160, features in the book, it was noted a number of times during my travels, as do many others including all the resident ex-BR steam locos on the WSR line as well as others across the rest of the country, so there is a lot of local interest to be found within its pages.

 

I’m sure this publication will appeal to your many visitors as it will bring back many happy memories of those halcyon days before we had computers and mobile phones!”

Barrie Woods

 

The book can be obtained from Barrie himself at barriewoods124@gmail.com.

 ISBN no 978-0-9564820-3-7.   Price £19.50 including postage.

Size A4.   Cover: full colour.   Pages 185.   Photographs 100+ black & white, all previously unpublished.   Appendix 1 – List of Sheds, works & scrap yards visited (over 600).  Appendix 2 – List of all locomotive notes during the period covered (over 21,000 all in chronological order, with sheds and dates included).

 

On the second reprint of this book there is a chance to get a window on a bygone age that possibly moved us all to become interested in steam locomotives.   There is two mentions of 4160 in the appendix in various locations.   This book is remarkable in detail and the author must have travelled hundreds and hundreds of miles to different sheds as a young boy.

Mike Crees

Chairman

4160 Ltd

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

 

4160 goes International!      Our web visitor statistics show us that we are attracting visitors from all over the world.      It seems we have regular visitors from far flung corners of the globe that are interested in the information on our site.  But it remains that the majority of our ‘hits’ are from the UK.    Below is just a few of the countries that are regular visitors to 4160 web site.  Nothing from North Korea yet but we are thinking of asking ‘DT’ to mention it to Kim Jong-Un at the meeting next month.

 

Africa, Ukrane, Russia, South Korea, Pakistan, Bulgaira, Equador, Madagascar, USA, France, Germany, China, Philippines, Lithuainia, Algeria.

HOW MUCH IS FOUR ONE SIX 0 LTD WORTH ?

 

We understand from the 16th April Minutes of the WSRA Trustees that they are obtaining a second valuation of 4160 Ltd to try and establish yet again a true value of the shares that were purchased from them several years ago.   We have  recently been supplied with an assessment of the pitfalls of trying to value heritage railway locomotive shares, this was carried out by an accountant experienced in railway heritage business.   Reproduced below is an extract from the assessment.

 

Valuing shares in companies that are not listed is very complex.  What anything is worth, is best determined by what someone is prepared to pay.   The normal rule of thumb method is based on the dividends paid.   Since no income can be paid in Four One Six 0 Ltd, we fall back to looking at asset value, although this has certain drawbacks.

            Looking at the latest accounts, the Balance Sheet appears to value the company at £223,328.   The accounts appear to be in the micro-entity basis and there are no details of the shares issued.   However, it is not a simple matter to determine the individual share value by dividing the number of shares into the Balance Sheet value.

            Firstly, the Balance Sheet needs to be re-valued by substituting current day values for the assets.   Here, again there are difficulties.   The engine itself, must obviously be an extremely attractive loco for a reasonable Heritage railway.   However, once again I return to the premise that an asset is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.   4160 is currently undergoing a major repair.   I do not know how much that restoration is going to cost or in deed if the company had sufficient funds to complete the repair.   In full working order, the loco might achieve a good six figure sum.   However, a buyer for the engine in its current state, would discount the value of an operational engine by the amount he perceives it would cost to bring the loco back into use.   Perhaps, therefore the amount as shown in the accounts maybe realistic.

            However, the Balance Sheet may not be a good guide to the overall valuation of the company since the funds held may not be sufficient to complete the repair.   This could mean that the shares are next to worthless.   If there are sufficient funds to complete the repair then the loco could be valued at the possible worth of an operational engine.

            Even if it was possible to evaluate a positive value for the loco and cash, there are still issues in the simple maths of dividing value by the number of shares.   In order, for such a calculation to provide a valid valuation, we have to consider the holding of individual shareholders.   A shareholder would have to be able to realise the assets of the company in order to achieve the net asset cost.   This would mean the shareholder would have to control at least 85% of the issued share capital.   The value of shares in any lesser holding must be reduced to allow for the inability of the shareholder in achieving any value out of the company.   I am sure that there are no holdings of such a size that can bring about the realisation of assets.   Therefore the shares valuation on an asset basis has to be discounted considerably.   Maybe the discounted valuation will reduced each share to nominal value or even less.

            An easy guide, would be to look at a similar company if it has had any disposals of shares.   It maybe slightly ironic to look at the Wadebridge situation to find a comparison.   This company changed into a charity and therefore no dividends could be paid.   However, the Mid Hants are buying the shares at nominal value.   Obviously, Mid Hants is doing this to acquire the loco for its fleet unencumbered by the original company.

            In conclusion.   There are so many questions arising that there is no real conclusion.    So, one can only fall back on the nominal value of the shares (face value).

 

As you can see there are considerable problems caused by rushing in and making hasty valuations of specialist heritage railway companies.   One additional factor is that more and more locomotives are being rebuilt and coming into service this means the golden age of high prices for locomotives is over.   The recent announcement by the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Minister for the Environment, that he intends to legislate against non- smokeless coal burning is another warning to the industry that locomotives might have restricted use in the future also the availability of obtaining good quality steam coal is another factor.  This may mean that the financial value of locomotives could be again significantly reduced as they will not be able to operate in their original fashion. 

 

As we understand it the current WSRA Trustees are now considering taking legal action against myself and Paul Johnson in order to recover the shares that we legally purchased from the WSRA in July 2015 .   We understand they have received legal advice that states they have a reasonable chance of succeeding in their action.     We have also received legal advice that is in direct contradiction to this.   So   we would ,respectfully advise, Geoffery Garfield, John Glover, Rodney Greenaway, Mike Lea, Nigel Power, Mike Sherwood, Simon Stretton and Paul Whitehouse to very carefully consider the implications of an unsuccessful legal action for them personally as Trustees.         An unsuccessful legal action could lead to costs and damages and would also   damage indvidual trustees reputations within the Association and the railway.

 

Mike Crees

Chairman

29th April 2018

 

 

GOVE ‘MP’  STEPS IN

 

New legislation on non-smokeless coal is being discussed by the Minister of the Environment Michael Gove.    This proposed legislation could seriously affect all steam driven locomotives, traction engines, buses and everything that needs ‘steam coal’ to function.  The Chairman, Mike Crees, has recently written to Minister of the Environment, Michael Gove MP, to ask how they propose to deal with steam locomotives under this legislation. He say “the legislation is still in the discussion phase and we are awaiting a response from the Minister of the Environment”.   

 

The banning of the use of coal or restrictive use of coal is something we will have to face, if not now but in the future.    It could come in the form of licencing per tonnage of coal used per annum, but under the slogan “The polluter must pay”   it would be naive to think we will escape this legislation in one form or another.    At worst we could be banned from using steam coal altogether.

 

4160 board has always been innovative in their management of the locomotive, we were the first to introduce water treatment for our boiler nearly 30 years ago, this has now become common place. We also put a single point greasing system in the locomotive which ensured increased maintenance efficiency.  It could well be that in the future we will be forced to look at alternative methods of firing the boiler.  

 

Over the last few years there have been problems in obtaining good quality steam coal now that UK collieries are closing down.    It has meant that coal has had to be sourced from abroad, and in recent years’ coal has been imported from Russia.      In the current climate of relations with Russia this could well cease.  

 

M Crees

Chairman

 

23 April 2018

 

NEW CHAIRMAN

At the last board meeting of 4160 Ltd, the chairman, Andy Chatwin, stepped down after nearly 20 years of service to the company.

Andy says “I have now been a chairman of the company for 20 years.   I have been considering for some time to step down as chairman and handing the reins over to another director.   I have now decided I will now be resigning as chairman.  I am naturally rather sad to be making this decision but I think 20 years is a good enough tenure for anybody. 

Another important consideration is that my interest in rocketry, astronautics and my connection with the British Inner Planetary Society are now taking more of my time.  However, the whole field of heritage railway is still very close to my heart and for that reason I will remain as a director of 4160 Ltd.”

At the meeting Andy was thanked by the directors for his substantial contribution to the company.    He was presented with an engraved lead crystal tankard by the directors.

Andy Chatwin proposed Mike Crees as the new chairman and this was carried unanimously.   Mike Crees is not unfamiliar to the post having stood in for the previous chairman Malcolm Rowe.  Mike Crees has nearly 25 years experience as a director of 4160 ltd so brings a wealth of experience to the post.

10th March 2018

 

The pictures below were taken by Mick Prior in February 2018 and show the boiler restoration so far.

GENERAL MEETING

A successful annual general meeting was held at Minehead in early December.  The Board would like to thank those share holders that attended the meeting.    Earlier in the day a draw was held at the company's accountants in Minehead and the winner has been contacted, the verification process is now under way.  This draw was for the original painting by the late artist Don Breckon   "Coasting Home".    

December 2017

Malcolm Mitchell recently supplied this very early photography of 4160 on the way to Tysley, she was accompanied by a Castle Class locomotove.   One of these two locomotives ran a hot box and  had an unexpected stay at Horton Road to use their wheel drop.    This  photograph was taken at Gloucester at the very start of 4160's life in preservation.   

The photograph was reproduced here by kind permission of Malcolm Mitchell.

 

PURCHASE OF 4160 LTD SHARES

 

In the recent WSRA’s 2017 AGM Minutes reference was made to two of 4160 Ltd Directors regarding their share purchase from the WSRA two years ago. 

 

The WSRA’s Chairman Whitehouse stated in his Chairman’s Report “Counsel also advised that the question of the shares in Four One Six 0 Ltd was more clear cut.   The court could be asked to make an order to void the transactions, on the grounds that both purchasers would have been aware that the Association was a charity and therefore required to obtain a proper value for the shares.  Such an action would lie only against Messrs Crees and Johnson.  Counsel  would draft a letter to be sent to them. “

 

Mike Crees recently stated yet again, that these shares were purchased from the WSRA two months after they had been valued by the WSRA’s Auditors.  These Auditors had worked for the WSRA for a number of years and were familiar with their business, unlike the company that the so called reformers employed to value Four One Six 0 Ltd.   The shares were purchased at the WSRA’s Auditors valuation.  He went on to say that the reason for purchasing these shares was to protect the company and shareholders from the fate that has now befallen the WSRA.  Where the WSRA new trustees are intending to relinquish control of their assets, one of these assets is six million pounds worth of land at Norton Fitzwarren into the control of the WSR Plc and the Steam Trust.   The day to day control of the stone re-cylcing contract at Norton Fitzwarren and the Quantock Belle have already been transferred to the  WSR Plc.  

 

Four One Six 0 Ltd has always been an independent company and the Directors and shareholders wish to maintain that status.    This intended legal action graphically illustrates the type of character that is now infiltrating the world of railway preservation and seems to be prevalent on the WSR.     In the past folk would not have even contemplated legal action against a fellow preservation organisation, there was a different spirit with a more respectful attitude.   Unfortunately these Johnny come lately characters bring to the railway a toxic attitude,   let’s hope this type of character are in a minority in future years.

 

The irony of all this  is that these are the very same characters who created the environment that prompted Mike Crees and Paul Johnson to purchase the shares in the first place to protect their company.   These shares are still held by the two directors of 4160 Ltd and they both state that is where they will stay.       They have had overwhelming support from their shareholders in this regard, who support the company’s desire to remain independent.

 

Four One Six 0 Ltd shares are not traded on the stock exchange and pay no dividend, it is a private limited company.  Shares currently are issued at a £1 each.  It is a private heritage railway company and cannot be valued or viewed as a commercial company would because its sphere of operation is small and specialist.   Paul Johnson, who has been company secretary for 25 years said “when 4160 ltd shares come on to the open market from a deceased  shareholders estate, they have never realised more than one third of their original value”   This reflects the company’s trading value.

 

Mike Crees says “the company that the reformers employed to value Four One Six 0 Ltd stated that they had never valued a heritage locomotive company before which to me speaks volumes and is probably why they came up with an over inflated value.   This company did not contact any of the Directors to ascertain a proper perspective of the company’s trading position.   If they had done so we could have advised them of the unique trading world that  Four One Six 0 Ltd operates in.”  He then went on to say, that the WSR Plc hold shares in two locomotives and in their Financial Report they clearly state these shares are very difficult to value and are normally valued at par.   I would remind you that the Plc are a company for profit.   If they wished to sell these shares they would be sold at par (face value).

 

 

 

UPDATE ON HEAVY OVERHAUL

 

The heavy overhaul of the boiler is going very well.     Below are the latest photographs by kind permission of Michael Prior.  

 

11th November 2017

UPDATE ON HEAVY OVERHAUL

 

4160 is well into its second heavy overhaul at Llangollen Railway.   At this point the copper welding on the fire box is progressing well but there is still a lot of work to do.   One of the country’s leading copper welders has been brought in to carry out this work.    Preliminary inspection of the frames has given us an indication of the amount of work required to bring the locomotive up to an acceptable standard for entering traffic again.   We are now discussing with Llangollen the scheduling for this work to be carried out.   Director and Company Secretary, Paul Johnson, still continued to be a presence at the Llangollen workshops to monitor the progress.  

 

Up to date the board are pleased with the progress of restoration work carried out at Llangollen.

 

On reflection, when the board was considering the contractors to carry out this heavy overhaul, it was seriously considered that the work could be undertaken by the Associations workshops at Williton.   However, at that time, the PLC were threatening to remove the Associations lease on their workshops rendering them unable to have capacity for commercial work.  Also, there was the added threat of redundancies amongst the Association engineering staff which would have seriously hampered their capacity.      At this time, also, there was a hard core of ruthless reformers circling, who were determined to destabilise the Association Trustees.    It would not have made good business sense to risk a long term project in these circumstances.

 

24th July 2017

2017 GENERAL MEETING AT LLANGOLLEN

 

The 2017 General meeting was held at Llagollen on 10th February 2017, those members that were able to attend were given the opportunity to view the locomotive whilst undergoing it’s second heavy overhaul in preservation.    The business of the meeting went smoothly apart from an issue concerning proxies from two shareholders.   However, the directors were able to remedy the potential problem and made sure that the two shareholders had a voice at the meeting. 

 Mike Crees told us that earlier in the day the Directors had a very successful and constructive meeting with the Chairman of the Llangollen Railway, Peter Lund, and the General Manager, Kevin Gooding.   They also met with Graham Elwood, who is the head of engineering.   “We were treated with utmost courtesy and had a most productive meeting.  We hope to be able to give a more technical update soon”.   

20th February 2017

 

POSTINGS ON NATIONAL PRESERVATION FORUM

 

UPDATE 6/2/2017:  We have now been supplied further information from the 4160 Ltd board concerning this matter.   It appears that Miss White served on a committee under Ian Colby at the time she made the remarks about the 4160 Ltd directors.   She gave her ‘official’ title as Operations Development Officer but the Plc only confirmed that she served on a small committee as a member under the Chairmanship of Ian Colby.  That comittee was disbanded in late November and an Operations Committee was formed to carry out the recommencations of the Colby Committee and the Plc confirmed that Miss White would take no further part in the Operations Committee.   However, there was an official Press Release on 23/05/2016 stating that Robin White was appointed Operations Project  Manager, this Press Release was published in the National Heritage Press and other publications.     The Plc has now stated to the 4160 Ltd Board that this Press Release was an error and that Miss White was never a Manager or Officer within the Plc at this time.   Apparently there is a protocol in place regarding Plc press releases on their web site and to outside media.  So how did this error happen?  Even Miss White was under the impression that she held this position in the Plc and went so far as to say in the Press Release “I am very excited to be taking on this role for the WSR in which I believe I can make a significant contribution in the coming months”.  In the Plc Press Release even Paul Conibeare, the General Manager, appeared to be delighted that she held this position.

We asked the 4160 Ltd Board to comment on this stranger than fiction situation.   Mike Crees said “this is an extraordinary situation, we have this documented in emails from the Plc, so how can this sort of thing happen?  Producer Peter Rogers and Director Gerald Thomas of the famous Carry On films would have loved this as a script. ‘Carry On Up the Railway’ perhaps!  As a final twist to this saga I received an email on 4/2/17 from Mr Pateman who is head of governance within the Plc, where he states that "there is currently no holder of such a post which has only recently been created as part of the operations review.”   It would appear that there is a post but it is currently unfilled!

 

UPDATE 17-11-16:  We understand from the Directors of 4160 that in correspondence received today the WSR Plc has not distanced themselves from the untrue and libellous statements made by Ms White under her offical title of "WSR Operations Development Officer".    The Plc have even denied that she is an employee  and therefore only a volunteer.  

 

UPDATE:  As we understand it at the moment the two 4160 Ltd directors have in the last few weeks contacted the WSR Plc regarding these postings by a senior member of their staff.   The two directors have requested that the Plc board distance themselves publicly from these postings.   As of 16th November nothing has been forthcoming and the posting still remains live.

 

Recently postings were made on the National Preservation Forum by Robin White, who was an employee and legal advisor to the WSR Plc.   These postings were materially incorrect and potentially libellous.   The incorrect portion of the post is given here.

 

Those now held unlawfully by the 2 ‘gentlemen’ who hold them

 

She alludes to the purchase of 4160 Ltd shares from the WSRA.  We would like to point out that these shares were lawfully purchased from the Association Trustees under the terms of their Articles and as valued by their Auditors.   They are still held by the two 4160 Ltd Directors to safeguard the shareholders interest and the company. 

 

In the posting Ms White also refers to:-

 

Whether the Plc directors (or anyone else) will have anything to do with 4160 under its present ownership when restored is a matter for them.  Speaking absolutely personally, I try to avoid doing business with such folk, so the return of 4160 to the WSR (or anyone else) must, at least, be in doubt.

 

4160 Ltd has traded for 20 years with the WSR Plc and had a good mutual working relationship for that period.    These statements made by this Plc volunteer potentially bring this working relationship into jeopardy.   At the last 4160 Ltd AGM in December 2015 the Directors agreed to look favourably to bringing the loco back to the WSR after its heavy overhaul.   However, in the light of these latest statements by Miss White,  the board of 4160 Ltd have been forced to review the return of 4160  and the future home of the Class 09 shunter.

 

The 4160 Ltd Directors have expressed this as a matter of deep concern to the Plc Board regarding these libellous and malicious statements by Miss White.

 

In the posting Miss White then went on to state:-

 

unlawfully obtained shares

 

These shares were purchased lawfully like any other share transfer in any other company and to state they were unlawfully obtained is libellous.  By making such wildly inaccurate statements in a public forum, it can only put more strain on the relationship between 4160 Ltd and the Plc and add to the turmoil already on WSR. 

 

Llangollen News

4160's  inverted  fire box under repair at Llangollen Railway Works in November 2016.    

(photo by kind permission of Michael Prior)

Photographs Wanted

We would like to create a 4160 picture gallery on this web site.  If any one has copyright free  pictures of 4160 new or old, in any location,  email them to info@4160ltd.com.    Please give the location of the photograph, date and any other interesting details, including your name.

DRAW FOR THE ORIGINAL DON BRECKON PAINTING OF 4160 COASTING HOME

 

Over 30 years ago Don Breckon was commissioned to paint a picture of 4160 entitled “Coasting Home”.   The original has been stored with the company’s bank,  prints were made and sold to raise money for the restoration of 4160.  All these prints were numbered and signed by Don Breckon, but with the passing of time many people who owned these prints could have moved and therefore our original list of owners could be out of date.  

It was always envisaged that we would have a Draw from the original people who purchased the prints directly from 4160 Ltd.  The prize in the Draw would be the original painting of “Coasting Home”.    Only the owners who purchased their prints directly from 4160 Ltd and signed by Don Breckon are eligible to enter the Draw.

Anyone owning an original “Coasting Home” print needs to contact our registered office at 4160 Ltd, 2 Warden Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5DS, giving the print number for vertification and purchase date together with their contact details.   The Draw closes on the 1st October 2016.

 

The Draw has now closed.  

Second Heavy Overhaul  - 28th February 2016 - In January 2016 the loco left the West Somerset Railway and was transported to Llangollen Railway for its heavy overhaul, its second major overhaul since restoration.     Up to that point it had run on the West Somerset Railway for 20 years, 10 years longer than the original agreement.   Paul Johnson has been to Llangollen several times to work on the engine alongside the Llangollen engineers.     He helped remove all the gauges for storage awaiting inspection and recalibration.   The boiler has been lifted out of the frame and the tubes are being removed.   Further inspection  on the boiler will continue into the next few weeks to establish the amount of work required.  

Share Purchase - To clarify the situation regarding the purchase of 4160 shares from the WSRA.  There has been an enormous amount of misinformation supplied to the Heritage Railway Press, the members of WSRA and the public in general.   We now need to clarify the situation with the facts not speculation.    A protest group that has surfaced over the last few years stated their aim to change the WSRA's role within the West Somerset Railway, one of their aims was to remove assets belonging to the WSRA and transfer them to the WSR Plc.   To clarify the situation, 4160 Ltd is a wholly independent company hiring a locomotive to the West Somerset Railway Plc, the directors take no remuneration from the company and there is no dividend paid to shareholders.  In 1990 the WSRA purchased a holding in 4160 Ltd, and for many years it was never an issue.   However in 2015, when the protest group were trying to remove the Trustees from the WSRA, this put at risk the integrity and independence of 4160 ltd as the shares were an asset of the WSRA and could have potentially been sold to anyone outside the railway.    The WSRA Trustees and the majority of 4160 Ltd Directors believed that this might well happen if the Trustees were removed at the EGM called by the protest group.  Two Directors of 4160 Ltd, who have 32 years and 24 years’ service to the company, approached the WSRA Trustees with a request to purchase the shares to safeguard 4160 ltd.  The WSRA Trustees approved the sale of the shares as within their Articles they are charged with the responsibility of protecting railway heritage artefacts.  The shares were sold at the full face value as agreed by the WSRA  Auditors and registered with Companies House.    This action secures 4160 Ltd independence and any threat from a hostile takeover.     Many letters were received from 4160 Ltd shareholders supporting the action by the two Directors.   The above is a factual account of the events surrounding the sale of the 4160 Ltd shares owned by the WSRA.          

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