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Club v Stand alone

5738 Views 47 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  neil_s_wood
Is it worth belonging to a model railway club? Let the debate begin…..

Have you found the 'Club clique' extremely hard to break into?
I do wonder, as sometimes encountered, the 'old club members' who don't want newbie's or aren't to pleased to pass on their skills etc.
While the overall picture is one of gaining vast expertise from those who have been club members for many years, in reality often it is found that your efforts are scorned upon as being 'below club standards' etc.
You can often be placed under pressure to give up your weekends to help out with layout operations and use your car as a vehicle for club use in transporting layouts and members to from exhibitions etc.

As a 'stand alone' modeller one can gain information, expert advice and even watch demonstrations etc.
Magazines, books, videos/DVDs and the internet all offer a wealth of help guidance and knowledge.

What a stand alone doesn't have is first hand one to one debates, but even this is now taken care of via forums like this one!

So, is club life worth the hassle??
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After reading all the previous, my club (of which I am a member) - Hull MRS seems the exact opposite. I joined as a 14 year old and ended up staying. I am currently in my 24th year of membership. Whenever someone new comes through the door, they are welcomed, shown around and asked what gauge they model. They are then directed towards similar modellers. They are told of the various club nights, other interests, what exhibition layouts we have and which pub we go to! Absolutely no pressure is put on anyone to join or produce models. We have members who come just to chat.
We also used to have a large fixed 00 gauge layout, which seldom got operated. After an "interesting" meeting, it was decided scrap it , along with the fixed groups such as n gauge, o gauge, etc. Now, if someone wants to build a layout, they get together with a few others, come up with a proposal and put to to the committee for funding. We have found this is a much better approach and someone with a minority interest is more likely to build a layout. Some of you will know layouts from Hull MRS - Walker Marine, Reighton, Kyle of Tounge, Rushenden Metals, Chessington Chalk Lane, Sheepwash, Alloa Goods - the list goes on. All built after we changed our rules.
Yes, we have had people who come and go, but on the whole most stay. Perhaps that is why our membership is 70+ (numbers, not age!)

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Glad you were made welcome. As regards attending the Hull Show, you would need to talk to our exhibition manager (Malcolm Scrimshaw). If you drop me a line off list, I'll explain more.

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