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crompton 33

Visit's to your model club

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How often do you visit your model club ? . The last time i went to my club was last November.  Not sure if i will rejoin this year as i've lost intrest in go'ing to a club where most members model Pre 1960's .  When you talk about building a morden layout post 1970's it falls on deaf ear's .  I've been a member at this club for over 4 year's now is it time to move on and just rebuild my own layout as i want it . 

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I go along most weeks, but then I'm not involved with any particular layout so just stand around and drink tea. Chatting to fellow railway modellers is still enjoyable, even if they aren't doing exactly the same as me. Many of the challenges we face are the same, and it's good to meet other people.

 

In my early club days, I liked to take along things I'd built to run on the test track. Most of the people were supportive and offered help and advice. Now I'm the one offering this, it's a good way for me to put something back in.  I also got the chance to help out on other members exhibition layouts, which got me out on the circuit.

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9 minutes ago, crompton 33 said:

When you talk about building a morden layout post 1970's it falls on deaf ear's

 

Not surprised, at least get some 1922 stock on it.

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Would you also include Mornington Crescent on the 'morden layout'? (AM)

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I go once a week at present,  once i retire it will be 2 or 3 times a week.  Our club has a range of layouts set in different periods.  Not all at the club are club layouts.  I'm working on my own, http://broadlandmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/scaranish-n/  set about 1963.

We do have,  http://broadlandmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/broadfield/ which is 1970s 

And Oma park http://broadlandmodelrailwayclub.co.uk/oma-park/ has been run with post privatization stock. See 3rd picture. 

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just about every week, most mondays and fridays of the year and i also go in other times during the week in the daytime to work on our layout

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For me, it is every other Friday...the club meets every Friday. 

 

I know club's aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy going to ours...it has a wide variety of interests and skills (if it's a train, it has at least one member interested... irrespective of country or era).

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I go twice a week, Monday and Wednesday evenings.

But I am a committee member (Building Officer), and we are working

on improvements to our '0' gauge layout at the moment.

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9 hours ago, crompton 33 said:

When you talk about building a morden layout post 1970's it falls on deaf ear's . 

 

I know it's easier said than done, but could you not advertise for new members and try to drum up some support from those with similar interests to yourself? There are plenty of folk out there modelling the 1970s so, with a bit of encouragement, I am sure there are modellers locally who will come along and have like minded interests. 

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I’d say there’s more to clubs than the actual layouts and their potential incompatibility with your own period or area of interest; there is much to be learned about how things are constructed, wired up, and laid out, as well as the sociability, tea’n’biccies, or going over the pub afterwards aspect. 

 

Clubs are are not for everyone, and I no longer partake, but if all you are using one for is a place to run your stuff on the test track, I’d say there’s nothing wrong with that but you are missing out on a lot more that’s available!

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My club has different groups modelling different scales and periods on different evenings, with some overlap. One of the benefits of owning our own building.

 

We have an Open Day on Saturday 13th April, so anyone in the Basingstoke area can pop in to see us for free and sample our tea and coffee and see what we are up to. We borrow the Scout Hut next door so we can put up more layouts for the day.

 

Open Day details

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Clubs do vary considerably in their 'personalities', some can be quite narrowly focused and like to stay that way, others are much more of the aspect 'Do you like trains? If yes come and join in!'. I prefer the latter approach but that is my decision.

As for starting a new layout well that costs money and if there's only one or two interested then it can either attract new people or drop by the wayside, some won't take that risk. Don't get me started on members personally partially funding club layouts to allieviate the money issue that can cause problems too.

 

I have belonged to clubs for a long time and still do, the other members won't always follow your particular interests, but as Johnster so accurately put it above there is an awful lot more involved than just building a layout. Despite my memberships I have always built my own layouts to cover MY particular interests. I do exhibit my layouts and have always found other members with very different interests willing to come along and operate, they do enjoy themelves. too!

 

Are there any other clubs that you could reach? It might be worth a look around.

 

John

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I go about 6-8 times a year. But they do only meet on a monthly basis. (I'm not sure if I'm even a member to be honest - I just pay an attendance fee and play trains, whilst studiously avoiding the blight of club politics as best I can).

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Posted (edited)

I think the problem is with the committee . N gauge and the OO layouts have been taken down . The only layout members can run trains on is Toytown. This is a OO layout  4ft by 5ft with Hornby code 100 track DC only . There are over 45 members you go on a club night there may be 10 of us there . The last AGM only about 27 members turned up.  On top of this they are building a new OO finescale layout Good i hear you say well no . A group of eight talked about what they wanted on the new layout in the end it was agreed . I was one of the eight not my era but said OK . work started One chap in charge  some track was down and tested we put some ballast down one chap made the Arches . Then platforms where made from wood and ply plus some brick walls . Then the chap that was over see'ing it fell out with one of us that member left the club . The next thing he said he did not like the look of the platforms he broke then up.  The chap that had  made the arches left as well as he broke some of them never to return . as for the ballast well the same thing not to his standards so more of us walked away from thr layout.  We had a committe meating about it he was told to change his way's  3 weeks later he was the same now there are only two working on that layout .  Do i want to go to a club where there is little to do plus it's a 24 mile round trip for me. Gripe over

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Sounds very similar to the club I joined over 30 years ago. One guy plugging away at a layout and scaring off anyone who tried to get involved.

 

What did we do? Ignored him. Some people built their own layouts, most of us just stood around drinking tea and chatting about trains (mostly). It was still pleasant to visit, we just didn't do much modelling down there.  Things changed over the years, and now the main focus of the club is building club layouts. 

 

As for the committee being the problem, why not get on it (easy enough most of the time!) and make some changes? You tend to get out of a club what you are prepared to put it. To be fair, it looks like the committee has got the measure of this particular member, just no way to control him. TBH, if you are going to avoid groups where there is a pain in the backside, you'll be on your own most of the time.

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I went to a club once.  Or maybe twice.  But decided that I didn't really like doing my hobby at a set time every week with people I didn't have much on common with.  

 

And anyway, I'd never want to join a club that would have me as a member...

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I spend some time years ago with a club, and learned much, but eventually decided that it wasn't for me.  I still see the guys at exhibitions and get on well with them, but have no desire to revisit the experience.  Nowadays I suspect that I would find the stress levels associated with preparing a layout for exhibition and actually exhibiting it, which was the fundamental raison d'etre of that club, far too much for me.  It's a hobby, and thus I avoid parts of it I don't enjoy.

 

And, like JDW, I'd not want to be associated with any club that'd have me as a member...

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After about 20 clubless years, I was encouraged to join one about 18 months ago.

In that time, we have changed venue, got some new members (younger members too:- the entire hobby is crying out for these) & those working on the large OO all wanted to rebuild it so we drew up some proposals & the club agreed we should do this (this was originally planned, started & abandoned largely by members who have now left & ran very poorly, which I was unable to fix.

I seem to be on my own with marking out the boards but I desperately want to get others involved at this stage because I don't want to be going off on a tangent like Crompton describes.

Those who work on the layout chat about it all the time on a FB chat & several of us go to the pub after club night, so this helps to create a good vibe at the club.

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I've been a member of a few clubs over the years. The one nearest to where I live I had to discount on grounds of accessibility (though they were a friendly bunch).

 

Currently get along sporadically to the Leamington club, though haven't been very involved with any layouts there as most are either out of my scale interest or pretty much finished, so i'll plod on slowly with my own stuff. I tend to go along with Natalie so we can share the costs/driving etc.

 

Recently joined the Warley club too, as it is near enough to warrant it and I tend to go to their show every year anyway. Not been much there as yet, but seemed friendly and welcoming enough thus far.

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Posted (edited)

Having read the OP and subsequent replies, there are a few thoughts that come to mind.

 

We're a curious bunch in Worthing in that we seem to have morphed into a one gauge (OO) club over a period of time. Our interests though are very diverse, covering pre-Big Four through to ultra-modern image (2010 onwards); we also range across analogue control, hybrid (DCC and analogue) and totally DCC-operated.

 

We are lucky in that our club's committee is open-minded about what we build (planned, costed and submitted to the committee), as long as it meets a general set of principles regarding quality of workmanship, running and general 'displayability' (that's stuffed up the spellcheck). The more important point is that whenever we need help with any aspect of building a layout, there are friendly faces who can, and do, offer advice and guidance and our committee is willing to work on that basis, rather than saying what must and must not happen.

 

I think also that in any club, there will be gaps between when you can be involved in building any layout. We currently have an example with Loftus Road. It is now fifteen years old and there is very little we can do with it, except to add more detail. Therefore, we are now lending a hand with building Luttrell, which is a Minehead-based steam layout which will be totally DCC operated. Certainly not my sphere of interest in terms of era. However, there are advantages to this. We can lend the Luttrell team our knowledge of building layouts to a reasonably good standard. The quid pro quo is that we are now learning about total DCC operation (MERG and touchscreen operation for all aspects),  with Chris A and Peter B showing us how the stuff works. Later, when the scenics need to be planned and put in place, James, Mark and Martin may well help here, so there is a further sharing of knowledge. This also helps members to know when their skills will be called upon. In the interim, that may be a time to look at carrying on with a personal layout. I'm building one, James has his Didcot-themed layout in mind and John H is working on a box layout as well. Watch this space as they say!!!

 

Regarding overbearing members, don't be afraid to tell them that they are being unreasonable - they may not like it, but tough. No member is bigger than the club they belong to - even if they own the club! If it is a problem, tell the committee. If the member keeps being unreasonable, keep telling the committee. If they are making life unbearable for other members, causing potential members to leave, then the committee must act in the interests of the club. If it fails to do so, then that may be the time to look around for other clubs to join.

 

There is much to benefit from, where clubs are concerned and I have to admit that if I had not joined one, I know that my socialising skills, tea consumption (and modelling capabilities) would not have scaled the  foothills of the South Downs like they have!

Edited by Harry Lime
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Our club is very small - not more than ten members. We have over the years, before my time, built several OO layouts using Peco track and set in that indeterminate post nationalisation era when steam and diesels can run, "somewhere in the country", though just before I joined about five years ago work had started on a new OO layout using soldered track - still the same era but definitely "somewhere in the south end of the North wales coalfield" - ie local to us. Most members contributed, whatever their own interests, as we all have different skills.

Th new layout is a complete departure. We wanted some thing of local interest, and decided on an unbuilt branch of the Bishop's Castle Railway - in 7 mm finescale. So now my workbench has 7 mm wagons under construction and no doubt will soon have other things - even though my modelling interest is completely different, pregroup south Wales in EM. In fact currently none of our members models in 7 mm, everything from N to LGB via the Talyllyn Railway, the Snailbeach District Railways and the Soupworks Railway.

We make sure everyone is involved, whether it is building baseboards, building stock, improving the scenery on the previous layout - some very skilled members here. I think that it the secret of our "success" - we all have different interests but we all have something to contribute and manage to work thing so that each member can make that contribution.

Jonathan

 

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1 hour ago, corneliuslundie said:

some very skilled members here. I think that it the secret of our "success" - we all have different interests but we all have something to contribute and manage to work thing so that each member can make that contribution.

Jonathan

 

 

that's the main thing about the wakefield club too, we have our own interests, british O, american O, O16.5, OO, P4, EM, HO, HOe, On30 or G but we all help each other out where ever we can. it does help that we all have a good sense of humour and get along. some people have come and gone and had a falling out over something and that's fine, they've gone and found another club that they fit into. over the past year or so we've had new members that had tried another certain nearby club and found their members to be un welcoming so they came to use instead

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After retirement we relocated to the Outer Hebrides for a number of reasons and I was a member of two clubs which I miss of which I was a founder member of one. Now I struggle with my modelling for many reasons apart from the camaraderie age reduces memory and my only contact with the hobby is the forums and the four popular model magazines so my advice would be stick with the club tou are a member of it's suprising what you subconsciously learn.

Having said all that I would not change my life style for the world

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Some members have been talking about a OO brake away group. If things don't change before the sub's are due and one of them is on the committee .  It's just a shame things get like this in some clubs. 

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16 hours ago, JDW said:

I went to a club once.  Or maybe twice.  But decided that I didn't really like doing my hobby at a set time every week with people I didn't have much on common with.  

 

And anyway, I'd never want to join a club that would have me as a member...

You shared the same hobby. That sounds like something quite significant in common.

How would you know what they were really like if you only went once or twice?

 

The second statement makes you sound like you have a low opinion of yourself.

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