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sir douglas

Non member view and thoughts about the Gauge O guild

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On the Guild Forum its is being debated the outsiders view of the guild and the guild organized exhibitions to get better understanding how to better promote the guild and its exhibitions to non members and potential future members. i have no connection or endorsement officially by the guild or any of its officers other than being a member and the information sought is in regards to "the reform group" a portion of the membership and 4 of which are standing for office in the next AGM that wish to improve the stagnating membership numbers and the mismanagement of the guild funds

 

Please give your honest thoughts, positive and negative are both wanted but of course nothing outright offensive or slanderous, we want the views of anybody that isnt a member of the guild, particularly anybody that is or was a potential future member, we do not seek current and ex members as we already have a good understanding and would have bias view one way or another

 

i don not wish to be inflamatory to the guild or its current officers when writing this, but at the same time stating the aims of the reform group, im trying to be impartial

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Do you really mean that the Reform Group wish to improve the stagnating membership numbers and the mismanagement of Guild funds?

 

Or do you mean the the Reform Group wish to encourage more members to join the Guild and improve the way that the Guild's finances are managed?

 

As a member of the Reform Group, I can assure you that we have no intention of carrying out the former, but are keen to implement the latter!

Edited by Happy Hippo
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yes apologies for that not being clear 

 

the the Reform Group wish to encourage more members to join the Guild and improve the way that the Guild's finances are managed?

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The Reform Group want to improve not just the way the finances are managed, but to improve all the aspects of the way in which the Guild is managed, including being open with and accountable to the members. At the same time we know that the Guild's image needs improving and the Guild as a whole moving away from being steam centric. It's 50 years since steam finished on BR, many diesels have come and gone, and the Guild needs moving into the 21st century.

 

Jim

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I will jump in as a non-O Gauge modeller*, who has nevertheless observed over recent years that the Senior Scale is increasingly accessible by virtue of increased trade support, including RTR. RMweb has increasing numbers of 7mm scale layouts, large and small, so the market is there - and if the hobby "professional" body wishes to remain relevant then it needs to move with the times. My observation of many voluntary organisations is that a tiny percentage of members actually stand for office, and they are there for the glory. Engineering a good clearout occasionally is a necessary part of keeping the society alive and well. 

 

*I admit to owning a number of On30 (i.e. 1/48 scale RTR models) and did once attend Guildex at Telford. It was a few days after 9/11, and I was late, due to getting on the wrong train at Wolverhampton, always embarrassing for a railwayman. My excuse was that I had just had a txt from a young lady who holds dual UK/US citizenship and who was clearly feeling a bit disorientated. 

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I know little about the guild but to better promote it I would suggest allowing (part of) the website to be viewed by non members.

i say this as I was/am a big fan of Albannach which was on this forum. The user decided to stop updating on RMWeb but I was told that it was on the Guilds website. I tried to search it but was told I needed to log in first.

I appreciate certain areas may need to be restrictive but access to the website is likely to be a good way of gaining interest in the gauge and adding new members.

It’s a good way of showing off the skills of those involved already.

Regards

Mark 

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Nearholmer.

Sorry don't know your christian name. But as a GOG member I agree with what you say. What changes would inspire you to join?

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I'd like to thank Sir Douglas for starting this thread.

 

I am one of four people who are standing for election as Directors for the Gauge O Guild  Board on behalf of the 2020 Guild Reform Group. I am standing as Chair. Our aim is to make the Guild a more relevant, attractive and inclusive organisation for all modelers in 7mm scale [any gauge, age, period, skill level] to join.  

 

In our view, the Guild needs a culture change, a refresh, a more contemporary offer for members and approach. Of course, there are those who disagree, but we're offering a choice the members wouldn't otherwise have. 

 

I am including our 'Agenda for Change' document as a download here, it has much more detail on our 'Five Ideas' for change and the evidence of why change is needed. Our approach is to be open, transparent and democratic. 

 

You can also join our private group on Facebook [free], open to everyone who is interested who answers 3 easy questions: 2020 Guild Reform Group. 

 

Dava

 

2020 Guild Reform Group. Agenda for Change 7-20.pdf

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1 hour ago, N15class said:

What changes would inspire you to join?

 

N15

 

That is actually not an easy question to answer.

 

My interest in 0 gauge is in 1950s Bassett Lowke and modern "tinplate" in the same spirit, so coarse, rather than fine, wheeled, and I am a member of the Train Collectors Society to serve my interest in the history of the hobby, and participate in the Northants & Rutland 0 Gauge Group, a "train running" group that caters to all 0 gaugers (a good few participants are G0G members, but many aren't). I'm also a member of my local MRC, but not a frequent attendee.

 

The distinguishing features of both TCS and NAROGG are their inclusivity as regards what participants are "allowed" to collect/run, and their clique-free sociability, so that probably gives clues as to what I value in a group.

 

If there was a G0G branch near where I live (I don't think there is, although there are a fair few members locally), and it was peopled by cheerful, broad-minded types, united by a love of model trains, I might consider signing-up.

 

A random thought: is part of the problem for the G0G that it has largely "done the job it set out to do"?  It has aided the re-establishment of 0 as a mainstream scale, helped promote the existence of healthy trade support, established (mostly) workable track/wheel standards, and helped to encourage very high-fidelity model making in 7mm/ft scale. Might its role now need to change somewhat, so that instead of seeking to "lead from front and centre" it acts as an umbrella for a set of largely autonomous groups both local and SIG (special interest group)? Perhaps individual members ought not to join G0G, but the local group or SIG of their choice, which in turn affiliates to G0G. If the G0G "ruling council" was made-up of delegates sent by groups, it might remain firmly grounded in grass-roots interests.

 

Kevin

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's significant that this thread has already attracted posts from half of the Reform Group members standing for election, and, if I read correctly, two members of the GOG who support their aims. There has as yet been no post from a GOG member defending the current running of the GOG which tells a tale - I suspect such people are perhaps less likely to be habitués of RMWeb. I have the impression that the EM Society went through a similar process of being dragged unwillingly into the 21st century, and has prospered as a result. But I may be wrong: I am not a member of either of these organisations so my observations are necessarily uninformed.

 

But, @Happy Hippo, I thought stagnant pools would be your thing?

Edited by Compound2632
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I think that every organisation needs rejuvenation from time to time. Stagnation and getting into a rut is all too easy. New blood, fresh ideas and a reboot all help to keep the organisation relevant. It's sometimes a pity that long-standing incumbents rarely see this and cling onto power at the expense of the organisation. Without knowing any of the details, I support the GOG reform from that point of view alone.

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I have been  Hornby O centric (?) since 1973,  which makes it unlikely I will need the GOG and find the HRCA adequate for my needs.  I have given up the TCA, my only other membership which had very little about Hornby for obvious reasons but at the time I was actively collecting American outline of which I have enough.

The GOG as others have noted, always gave the impression that it was a bit old fashioned even though a lot of it was all about old fashioned trains; those that were too expensive for me to consider.

The HRCA on the other hand was all about Hornby trains that I could equate with, not some exotic foreign made 3" gauge model which cost a fortune.

There are some who figure the HRCA could do with a makeover with more involvement from its members, so it would appear other railway groups suffer similar problems.

      Brian.

 

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11 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

But, I’ve never felt moved to join G0G, despite being into old-fashioned 0 for quite a while now.


Why?

 

Hard to put a finger on, but it gives out a vibe of being full of grumpy, often argumentative, old men with axes to grind, and an inflated opinions of themselves.

 

The very name, “guild”, speaks of exclusiveness not inclusiveness, even if it is actually trying a bit to be inclusive.

 

Nothing wrong with a closed guild for craftspersons, with entry standards etc, to represent a particular type of model maker.

 

Nothing wrong with a broad-church, scale-centric society with inclusive objectives.

 

 

 

9 hours ago, N15class said:

Nearholmer.

Sorry don't know your christian name. But as a GOG member I agree with what you say. What changes would inspire you to join?

 

When I got interested in model railways again, around 2000 and started going to exhibitions I came across both the EMGS and S4Soc. demonstration stands.  On numerous occasions I discussed the various aspects of both gauges;  I soon came to the conclusion that, whilst the EMGS felt much more approachable, I was usually left with the feeling that the S4Soc. was "elitist"; a similar feeling was often (not always) experienced when talking to exhibition layout operators.  I think part of the issue may have been due to the "If it isn't P4, it's just WRONG" message.  I'm a firm believer that what is right for one person may well be wrong for another, irrespective of gauge etc.  I joined the EMGS.

Now?  I'm a member of both the EMGS and S4Societies - over the years the latter seems to have undergone a real change and is, I find much more friendly, approachable etc. and all too willing to pass on knowledge.  Which do I model in?  Neither - my interest lies with 00-sf, having been seduced by far too many RTR whilst still in the "planning" stage to make conversion a sensible option.  There's a mountain of kits too....

 

 

1 hour ago, SteveyDee68 said:

Well, you asked for non GoG member’s views...

 

Maybe that was just the branch I happened to visit, but going on several occasions it was always the same.  One time, I took my dad along and nobody spoke to him and he didn’t get to run his loco.  And he was a GoG member who had been going for years!  He had to go into a care home at Easter 2019, but had stopped attending meetings before that - I’d say to him about going and he’d say he couldn’t be bothered.  A telling comment by my mum has been that not one of the GoG group have ever telephoned to see how he is since he stopped attending, or to find out why; as she says, as far as they know he could be dead, but perhaps that is how the Guild at a local level view drop off in numbers - natural “wastage” due to death among the membership?

 

I took him to Guildex at Telford a few years ago, and there was much more of a “buzz” with so many modellers in attendance.  But many of the exhibitors seemed very, very serious.  I felt like the odd man out because I had questions to ask about everything I saw - so many simply seemed to stand in awe, an attitude that seemed to be encouraged by the exhibitors! (Or were they just concentrating?!)  A few did happily chat, but that seemed to be the exception.

 

Steve S

Modelling in OO

(But holding onto all his dad’s O gauge models for sentimental reasons...)

 

Thanks for posting this Steve - sorry to hear about your Dad.  If there was ever a reason not to join a Society (sorry - Guild...) then you've summed it up perfectly.

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Posted (edited)

I was a member of the Guild but left when it was obvious that some people treated it as a way of getting a free weekend in Telford for both themselves and their wives.

 

The Guild is out of date..the RTR available means that people no longer need kits to get a layout up and running quickly. Standards are more likely driven by manufacturers rather than the Guild.

 

Telford is a lead weight around the Guilds neck. The footfall for the last one was lower than the second one organised at Halifax quite a few years ago.  Is it a case of "we can't changes" or " I am not missing out spending a free weekend in Telford or Stafford where I can strut around and look important"?

 

Like a lot of Societies times have moved on  and they need to change.. it's the dread words of the reviews who start with "It comes in a box which you can/cannot store the finished model in"

Baz

Edited by Barry O
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I was a member briefly prob 30 years ago and it had its elitists then to ‘youngsters’ with small locos. That said there were also several really friendly guys who I still see at shows and a couple who are friends. It put me off the Guild then and with friends in the trade I never looked again. 
There is a basic question to ask, and it’s not just the GOG but others groups like the 009 Society and the Swiss Rly’s Society, what do you offer that the internet doesn’t?

That’s where the local groups come into play to get the personal help and fun. The modelling articles and layout features are good but stuffy magazines or websites full of text group reports don’t make it look fun to try. Photos of people in groups running trains and enjoying themselves looks more welcoming.

I can ask a question here and have a fair chance of a useful answer within a week, I can’t see the GOG forum so why would I join just to see it? Like some others do maybe an open forum section for layouts but restricting the more technical skills and trade news sections to members gives a way in that people can then be invited to local group meets and see what else it can offer?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Barry O said:

a free weekend in Telford for both themselves and their wives.

 

That strikes me as a limited aspiration! Or am I missing something? Probably not, at their age...

Edited by Compound2632
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1 minute ago, Compound2632 said:

 

That strikes me as a limited aspiration! Or am I missing something? Probably not, at their age...

It wasnt just being their..it was to do with self glory...as in I am a senior person in a company...

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1 minute ago, Barry O said:

It wasnt just being their..it was to do with self glory...as in I am a senior person in a company...

 

Understood. Big fish in small pond. I was just being naughty. Telford - it's hardly Davos, is it?

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Just now, Compound2632 said:

 

Understood. Big fish in small pond. I was just being naughty. Telford - it's hardly Davos, is it?

It is nothing to do with where it is..it is to do with what people think it is and how they are "in charge" of a Company...

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Just now, Barry O said:

It is nothing to do with where it is..it is to do with what people think it is and how they are "in charge" of a Company...

 

Sorry, you're taking my levity too seriously. But I can understand that, if you are frustrated with these gents.

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If a group of O Gauge modellers would like to run a Society, why not start a new one, rather than launch a coup in an existing one?

 

Such power grabs usually end badly, with splits and factions. Some of the comments on here are already very unpleasant.

 

The Guild isn't perfect but they put on good shows and have a really good magazine.

 

I really feel for people who take on unpaid volunteer roles running such organisations, often with no special ability other than being willing and keen. They certainly need thick skins.

 

I am a relatively new member but quickly became aware of some of the political back biting that goes on in such organisations. It is a shame as over the years, the Guild has worked wonders in keeping 7mm modelling alive. Every such organisation needs to evolve and recent issues of the Gazette make it clear that those running it are fully aware of that.

 

I just hope that any infighting or coup attempt doesn't do more harm than good.

 

If the powers that be get a free weekend in Telford as a reward for their efforts and time, I don't have much of a problem with that. I would happily offer them that as a gesture of thanks for the work they do.

 

 

 

 

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