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An interesting thread - I agree with most of what has been said above. I visited by local club when I returned to the UK six years ago but somehow my interests (which included Japanese and Chinese outline) did not fit in.

The "clique" thing was there - competition between interests maybe is healthy (it ensures layouts get built etc.) but what I saw certainly did not feel healthy.

A couple of years ago I got into garden railways and later joined the G-Scale Society and found a very different type of organisation. I've joined the Sussex and Kent Groups of the Society and have found an "openess" that did not exist in the local MRC. I put it down to the fact that "G-Scale" itself is a mishmash - you've got Harz, Saxon and Swiss narrow gauge (roughly 1:22.5) outline, US-outline (1:29 or 1:32), UK Narrow Gauge (1:18), live steam, battery, radio control, analogue DC, digital DCC all running on 45mm track. For meets we normally have one dcc track and one analogue track so that any combination of the above can run. Later this year another spanner will be thrown in the works when Aristocraft/Bachmann introduce their 45mm Cl.66..........Still not yet sure if I will get one of those - all I would have for it to haul are some US-outline freight cars but, then again, it might look good hauling a rake of Furka Oberalp/Brig-Visp-Zermatt/MatterhornGotthardBahn panorama cars on a special working........maybe I will buy one......

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