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.
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 email@example.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.