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sir douglas

Non member view and thoughts about the Gauge O guild

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5 hours ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

Does G0G do this (like some other societies) purely to reduce the amount of admin needed? Although I’m sure it would be possible to reduce the cost for members who will only get a few months before they have to renew.

 

A reasonable question - to which I wouldn't expect to have the answer.

 

If they were to do this, I suspect they'd probably encounter a lot less flak on this issue.

 

As if to emphasize this point, under current rules (and based on events in a more typical year), I would normally only consider joining the Guild at the one point in the year when the sums really add up for me - "Warley".

 

I could also add that I have considered joining a number of times over the years - always at the same time / place - as I've found some Gazette articles I've encountered very useful indeed.

 

What's put me off each time has been issues relating to getting to their shows.

Edited by Huw Griffiths

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Does the GoG send out a large manual etc. (as EMGS do, for instance - although I believe this is now on CD rather than paper the thickness of a phone book) - it could be that to offer a discount for a "short" membership would actually cost the Guild money.  If so, give a discount on 1st membership renewal, so as to balance the books and make everything fair.  But in any event, it should be made crystal clear that if you join part-way thru' then you don't get a full year's membership

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13 minutes ago, polybear said:

 

Does the GoG send out a large manual etc. (as EMGS do, for instance - although I believe this is now on CD rather than paper the thickness of a phone book) - it could be that to offer a discount for a "short" membership would actually cost the Guild money.  

 

 

The full manual is available on CD for £7.50 plus £1.50 postage. The full printed manual is available for £35 plus £5 postage.

 

However as far as I can tell from the website, the original manual was last updated in 2008. A revision was started in Sept 2017 and out of 12 proposed sections, 2 have been published so far.

.

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Please read this with your tongue firmly in your cheek.

 

I believe the G0G may have styled itself on a craft guild

 

 

However  I had a look at craft guilds and have selectively taken the following from Wikipedia

 

Sheilagh Catheren Ogilvie, FBA, Professor of Economic History at the University of Cambridge.

 

In 2004 Ogilvie argues that guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation. Through what economists now call "rent-seeking" they imposed deadweight losses on the economy. She argues they generated limited positive externalities and notes that industry began to flourish only after the guilds faded away.

 

Could the same be said for 7 mm scale modelling?

 

7mm rtr is coming to the fore as the G0G loses influence, and fewer  modellers feel compelled to join.

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Huw Griffiths said:

Another rule that has, on a number of occasions, put me off joining has been the one about membership "years" finishing on the same date for everyone. What can possibly be so scary about allowing everyone who's paid the same membership dues the same length of membership year - 12 months? Nothing to stop you taking this to the end of the month, if you want. However, if I paid a full year's dues at Guildex - only to find out at a later date that I was only getting 6 months' membership - I'd be demanding satisfactory answers about what had happened to the rest of the year. In other words, I'd feel swindled - and I don't think I'd stay quiet about this, either.

 

Huw.

 

3 hours ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

Does G0G do this (like some other societies) purely to reduce the amount of admin needed? Although I’m sure it would be possible to reduce the cost for members who will only get a few months before they have to renew.

 

Just reading the above, I can't speak for the G0G but I am the membership secretary for a line society.

 

Having different finishing dates for each member is just far too onerous for renewals. Most societies have a fixed term of subscription as this makes the admin easier* and also helps by having a date with which to time events such as the AGM (in our case this follows a short time after renewals) where members attending are members for the year rather than a few days.

Our subs year runs from 1st August until the 31st July the following year, for anyone joining between 1st Aug and the following 31st May they have all the years copies of the Society publications (plus access to the website members only area)  should they be late joiners 1st June to 31st July then we give them the current years publications as well as the following years (BOGOF) although this only applies to first time new members. We feel this is the fairest way to treat those that join during the year, and keeping the admin at a level which isn't too onerous for a volunteer.

 

*= My job for 300+ members takes 25-35 hours at the time of renewals plus a couple of hours a week during the year, 5000+ members is going to be a lot of work so I fully understand the fixed subs year.

 

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3 hours ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

Does G0G do this (like some other societies) purely to reduce the amount of admin needed? Although I’m sure it would be possible to reduce the cost for members who will only get a few months before they have to renew.

And remember that it's a volunteer doing this, often with a full time job and a life. If they chose to give up their time to doing the boring admin work for a club and society, then you can't blame them for choosing the easy option. 

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I cannot agree that renewals would be an admin burden. Use a computer to organise renewal dates and send out emails. Should be simple. Taking a full years subscription for less than a full years membership is basically wrong and it’s no surprise that members don’t renew. 

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22 minutes ago, Hibelroad said:

I cannot agree that renewals would be an admin burden. Use a computer to organise renewal dates and send out emails. Should be simple. Taking a full years subscription for less than a full years membership is basically wrong and it’s no surprise that members don’t renew. 

Agreed, apart from anything else having renewal dates spread throughout the year spreads the admin burden over the year.

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I believe that much of the routinecAdmin of renewals is done on a paid for basis by Artytype who also provide other support services to the Guild.

 

Jamie

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2 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

Please read this with your tongue firmly in your cheek.

 

I believe the G0G may have styled itself on a craft guild

 

 

However  I had a look at craft guilds and have selectively taken the following from Wikipedia

 

Sheilagh Catheren Ogilvie, FBA, Professor of Economic History at the University of Cambridge.

 

In 2004 Ogilvie argues that guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation. Through what economists now call "rent-seeking" they imposed deadweight losses on the economy. She argues they generated limited positive externalities and notes that industry began to flourish only after the guilds faded away.

 

Could the same be said for 7 mm scale modelling?

 

7mm rtr is coming to the fore as the G0G loses influence, and fewer  modellers feel compelled to join.

 

 

 

 

As a non member, and looking in from the outside this really sums it all up.

 

The problems with the Guild have less to do with at which time of year you join, (although understandably annoying to any individual), and is really all about, 'has the Gauge 0 Guild in its historic and current 'guild' mode served its time' ?, and why does it appear to be so out of kilter with where 7mm scale/fine scale modelling is right now? 

 

The answer probably lies in the fact that the Guild appears to be run by a perpetual turnover of closed shop old directors (one has been there since the 1990s) supported by long standing volunteers who do the donkey work. When they say they are desperate for volunteers, they don't mean to run the Guild,, what they mean is, more of those members who do the donkey work. But as their membership is getting proportionately older they have less energy and are less likely to step up. There is also the huge problem of secrecy on so many levels.

 

I left because there are so many things wrong with the Guild it would take a book to explain it. On the surface it has sleepwalked into being outdated and outmoded. It doesn't reflect what me and many modern modellers want now in 0 gauge and there is little reason to join as you don't have to be a member to model 7mm scale!.

 

There is enough information and friendship on here and other network groups, and most times a google search will have a link to this forum. Even the guild magazine, although well produced, has very uninspiring articles and certainly very rarely anything for the modern image modeller. Thats not because it deliberately has a steam bias, but because thats what the vast majority of the members model so there is little or no knowledge of modern railways.  The product news is months out of date.

 

No problem with anyone who want to be a member and I respect that, but its not for me. As a former member I actually feel relieved to have left  the weight of it it behind and now feel completely free to model without the 'Guild' guiltily conscience looking down on me..

Feels like writing this Ive been on the psychiatrists couch.

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1 hour ago, Hibelroad said:

I cannot agree that renewals would be an admin burden. Use a computer to organise renewal dates and send out emails. Should be simple. Taking a full years subscription for less than a full years membership is basically wrong and it’s no surprise that members don’t renew. 

 

45 minutes ago, spamcan61 said:

Agreed, apart from anything else having renewal dates spread throughout the year spreads the admin burden over the year.

 

I would have to ask what experience either of you have with membership duties?

 

Each member in whatever society creates tasks, simplistically these are updating the database, recording their payment methods and either confirming payment with the bank & card payment facility and paying cheques in to the bank/post office. If there is a website with a secure members only area that also has to be updated. With many renewals come enquiries about such access or a change of address and or phone number and email. Changes in email addresses will also create a change to the website datatbase and access. Members also forget to sign or date cheques or they bounce back creating a charge for the society as well as more work.

 

Over the last 3 years I have kept a log of the time taken to process renewals and it equates to just under 5 minutes per member, If that figure was just 3 minutes per member the time taken for the G0G's 5500 members would be 275 hours ( 34 x 8 hour working days). My experience of membership work during the rest of the year is that it takes longer to process 2-3 applications than it does 10+. 

 

I note @jamie92208 comment that the function is carried out by an outside company,  as with all subcontracted works different renewal dates could possibly be accommodated, but no doubt at a vastly increased cost.

 

As for the comment

Quote

Use a computer to organise renewal dates and send out emails. Should be simple

 

What do you think is used currently ?

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As Jamie has mentioned above, all membership matters are dealt with by an outside commercial organisation, which also has some of the responsibilities for the production of the Gazette - such as advertising and distribution. Whilst this is understandable in view of the volume, as far as I am aware, the general membership has no idea of the costs involved in providing these services as the so called 'Detailed Income and Expenditure' account just published in the Annual Report to members simply has a single figure of £246,784 described as 'Other Costs'. The removal of the secrecy about where the subscriptions are spent is one of the aims of the 'Reform Group'.

 

Mike

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I am a member of several railway related organisations and as far as I recall, they all have a fixed renewal date. I am not sure about MERG. Their renewal notice is an individual one which says "Your renewal is due on...." so I don't know if there are different ones or if everybody has the same.

 

If the GOG made a major push to cover more modern railways, I am sure the very same people who criticise i for not covering more modern times will also be the first to criticise it for treading on the toes and trampling all over what MIOG is trying to cover.

 

If there is already a separate society to cater for such things, why should the Guild duplicate their areas of interest?

 

The vast majority of people who model post steam seem to rely  on the ever growing and top quality RTR models now available. I would argue that these people do not need technical advice or guidance from the Guild. Almost every modern layout  have seen has been mainly RTR on Peco track. I don't know what support such modellers want or need. Unless it is that they want more RTR items featured in the Gazette and at the shows.

 

My preference would be fr the Guild to stick to the more constructive minded members and for the modern, mainly RTR based layouts to be under the MIOG banner.

 

There are plenty of Guild members who do model the post steam era and I have seen both diesel and electric layouts at Guild events. The present Gazette has articles on 3D printing in metal and diesels. Hardly pre-historic.

 

When I see names like Nick Dunhill and Tony Geary appearing, maybe they ain't as young as they used to be but they are hardly the decrepit dinosaurs people are trying to make them out to be! I look at what people like them are doing and it makes me think that the Guild is in good hands. Watching their builds progressing in RMWeb is far more inspirational that any RTR model will ever be to me.

 

 

 

 

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I think the difference between the G0G and MIOG is that the Guild is a fully subscription based, whilst MIOG is a free Facebook group of like minded individuals. I am a member of both, and would willingly have subscribed to MIOG if they had such.

 

That MIOG managed to put together an excellent first exhibition last year is credit to their forward thinking and planning without recourse to committees, events teams, and a wad of cash to hire large exhibition centres.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

The vast majority of people who model post steam seem to rely  on the ever growing and top quality RTR models now available. I would argue that these people do not need technical advice or guidance from the Guild. Almost every modern layout  have seen has been mainly RTR on Peco track. I don't know what support such modellers want or need. Unless it is that they want more RTR items featured in the Gazette and at the shows.

 

My preference would be fr the Guild to stick to the more constructive minded members and for the modern, mainly RTR based layouts to be under the MIOG banner.

 

There are plenty of Guild members who do model the post steam era and I have seen both diesel and electric layouts at Guild events. The present Gazette has articles on 3D printing in metal and diesels. Hardly pre-historic.

 

 

Oh dear. An explicit "modern image isn't modelling" stance helps nobody, in any scale.

 

I am not active in 7mm myself , but I do note that the major source of 7mm diesel loco kits , JLRT, went under a few years back. Other than RTR what options exist? It's an issue in 4mm, where there never have been buildable loco kits (I don't really count MTK and Q - other than as "aids to scratchbuilding" in the sense that they made people give up on the kit feeling it would have been easier to scratchbuild..)

 

Judging by the historic availability in 4mm I would be astonished if a good selection of contemporary or recent rolling stock was available RTR in 7mm and no doubt the bulk of it would have to be constructed.  You might be surprised at the actual origins of a lot of models you assumed were RTR. All the structure work, infrastructure, signalling etc would also need to be constructed. For better or worse, you are pointing towards a big-loco-centric, non-scenic vision of 7mm

 

And regardless of any questions of the management of the GOG , ceding S7 to a specialist society, then ceding everything from the mid 60s onward to MIOG / DEMU risks salami-slicing away a "market " of potential members , segment by discarded segment, at a time when apparently there is concern in GOG circles about a declining aging membership

 

Taking the stance that 7mm is for the heirs of W.S Norris, G.P. Keen, James Beeson and Bernard Miller is exclusionary on the worst possible criterion - that of personal resources (money and time)

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RTR is unbelievable quality and value today in all scales.   A lot of people, especially in modern image 7mm scale,  get their fix from after market modifications and repaints. Thats going to be increasingly the way. Frees you up to create all the other nice stuff you need with all the 3D models and laser cut materials.

 

For the record.  JLTRT re-surfaced as MM1.

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2 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

 

Oh dear. An explicit "modern image isn't modelling" stance helps nobody, in any scale.

 

I am not active in 7mm myself , but I do note that the major source of 7mm diesel loco kits , JLRT, went under a few years back. Other than RTR what options exist? It's an issue in 4mm, where there never have been buildable loco kits (I don't really count MTK and Q - other than as "aids to scratchbuilding" in the sense that they made people give up on the kit feeling it would have been easier to scratchbuild..)

 

Judging by the historic availability in 4mm I would be astonished if a good selection of contemporary or recent rolling stock was available RTR in 7mm and no doubt the bulk of it would have to be constructed.  You might be surprised at the actual origins of a lot of models you assumed were RTR. All the structure work, infrastructure, signalling etc would also need to be constructed. For better or worse, you are pointing towards a big-loco-centric, non-scenic vision of 7mm

 

And regardless of any questions of the management of the GOG , ceding S7 to a specialist society, then ceding everything from the mid 60s onward to MIOG / DEMU risks salami-slicing away a "market " of potential members , segment by discarded segment, at a time when apparently there is concern in GOG circles about a declining aging membership

 

Taking the stance that 7mm is for the heirs of W.S Norris, G.P. Keen, James Beeson and Bernard Miller is exclusionary on the worst possible criterion - that of personal resources (money and time)

 

Please don't put words in my mouth. I never said that!

 

All I am suggesting is that the modeller who uses more RTR may not need as much technical support and advice from the GOG as much as somebody who doesn't use RTR. So they will probably benefit less from joining the Guild.

 

I have seen some super modern layouts and really enjoyed watching some of them. One or two have really taken me back to my trainspotting days in the blue diesel period.

 

All I am saying is that there is already an organisation called MIOG to cater for such models and modellers and that by the very nature, RTR needs less by way of technical support and advice. Things like fitting DCC and sound are more MERG matters than related to 7mm modelling.

 

I laugh when I see comments about the membership of the Guild "aging". The whole railway hobby is doing that. "New" modellers are more often of retirement age and looking for something to do when they pack in work. The number of youngsters interested in railways generally and the hobby of building models is tiny. Individually, we are all aging! It is pretty much inevitable and getting concerned about it changes nothing!

 

Go to any model show, railway, engineering or suchlike and look at the exhibitors and traders. then tell me that aging is a unique GOG problem.

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6 hours ago, 009 micro modeller said:

 

Does G0G do this (like some other societies) purely to reduce the amount of admin needed? Although I’m sure it would be possible to reduce the cost for members who will only get a few months before they have to renew.

 

Certainly, other membership bodies struggle with this question.

 

Some find it easier to handle all renewals on the same date. Others prefer to spread the workload over the whole year. Whichever option is chosen, I do think it important that no joining members feel short-changed.

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Some clubs offer a pro rata membership scale for those joining at other than the single membership due date.

 

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just for example for my curiosity, how do other country wide clubs/societies handle their membership admin on a similar scale such as EM, 16MM, 7mm or MRC?

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21 minutes ago, sir douglas said:

just for example for my curiosity, how do other country wide clubs/societies handle their membership admin on a similar scale such as EM, 16MM, 7mm or MRC?

 

"Joining the EM Gauge Society

The membership year runs from 1st September until 31st August. Members who join after the 1st of May will receive 15 months membership valid until the 31st of August the following year."

 

From the GoG website joining page:

"New members joining from November 4th to February 28th/29th pay the full subscription which then lasts until the subsequent February 28th/29th. This is non-refundable - see rule 8.1"

 

As for Rule 8.1 - well, there isn't one.....

Section 8 reads as follows:

8. ACCOUNTS
The accounts of the Company for each year will be prepared from the Company’s records by a professionally qualified accountant or firm of accountants who shall provide a report thereon.

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56 minutes ago, sir douglas said:

just for example for my curiosity, how do other country wide clubs/societies handle their membership admin on a similar scale such as EM, 16MM, 7mm or MRC?

 

I can’t remember how the 009 Society works, I have a feeling they changed it slightly a few years back. But I can check the month and year that renewal is due as it’s printed on the address label on my 009 News envelope, next to my membership number.

 

Perhaps one way would be to make the renewal date the same for everyone, but only offer the opportunity to buy the remaining number of months/quarters until next renewal, changing the cost accordingly.

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When I joined the GOG circa 1990 the fee was for 18 (ish) months to expire at the end of the subs year

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3 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

Some clubs offer a pro rata membership scale for those joining at other than the single membership due date.

 

 

Exactly what my old MRC used to do. Your first year membership was pro-rata the month you joined (with a 1/12th reduction for every month closer to the annual renewal). After the first year the renewal date was the same for everyone. 

 

Hardly rocket science to say that if you are a new member joining at Telford/Stafford you only pay X/12ths of a full year membership. Really don't see why this is so difficult, after all it's only the first year. 

 

Alternately, have the annual renewal closer to the Telford / Stafford show. 

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