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Non member view and thoughts about the Gauge O guild


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Tales tell it's not the world of One Man and his Cows and Ferret Gymkhanas but the less wiffy world of Bargain Hunt and Chrysanthemum Shows next door in Bingley Hall.

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On 01/08/2020 at 11:59, spamcan61 said:

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


we run a membership scheme at work. Streamlining renewals from anniversary of joining to fixed calendar years (new joiners pay pro-rata to the end of calendar year) saved 2/3rds of the admin time involved in the whole renewal process.

 

Half the time saving was because we could remind all members simultaneously about renewal via mass email as well as the posted renewal.

 

The other half was because we could batch process all the renewal work rather than a small drip feed all through the year.

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I think for some of us the matter of membership being a fixed year in the Guild isn't so much the issue as the fact that for those of us joining at the half-way mark such as Telford, as others have said & I repeat again here was my experience - there was absolutely no attempt to draw my attention to that fact at the time, by the person on the desk who gave me the forms. THAT is what rankles, because if it had been explained, I for one would've done what I've done since - paid the non-member's higher entry fee to the Shows I have managed to get to, which has still been less than the cost of being a member anyway.

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I'm all zoned out with the GOG, a nice fresh modern 7mm group is what is needed today. Think MIOG is that now. No subs or half year tricks on subs, no elder statesmen and stonecutter hierarchy, just normal peeps enjoying modelling like I do and most on here do.

 

The most useful resource the GOG has is the traders websites links and to see that you do not have to be a member.

https://www.gaugeoguild.com/traders/Traders_links.aspx

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11 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

I think for some of us the matter of membership being a fixed year in the Guild isn't so much the issue as the fact that for those of us joining at the half-way mark such as Telford, as others have said & I repeat again here was my experience - there was absolutely no attempt to draw my attention to that fact at the time, by the person on the desk who gave me the forms. THAT is what rankles, because if it had been explained, I for one would've done what I've done since - paid the non-member's higher entry fee to the Shows I have managed to get to, which has still been less than the cost of being a member anyway.

 

 

I joined the EM gauge society 3 months prior to the annual renewal date, the sales pitch was get 15 months membership for the price of 12 months, my joining of the local model railway club was similar, Paid a full year when joined, on renewal a few months later was only asked for a pro rata payment. Both are examples of good public relations/management

 

Now 7mm scale modelling is not a exclusive club for the well off, new blood is always required to, at the worst stop the club from dying, at its best moves the club forward, but its not the physical age that matters but ones outlook and forward thinking, on the other hand don't go too far the other way. A balanced approach is required.

 

Good luck to the society for its future

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Getting back to the OP and ignoring the froth about subs, I do wonder if the GoG’s primary purpose really is to promote the ethos of 7mm or to be a social group for the elderly who share a common interest in trains?  
 

It might claim to promote the scale but is that really the case, the numerous failed initiatives to produce or at least sponsor small scale efforts has always fallen back on the excuse that the Guild is not a manufacturer but what exactly is its purpose other than to self-serve a large number of individuals claiming expenses and producing a rather lack lustre but shiny periodical? 
 

Get back to basics, re-think what it should be doing, reduce the expense-claiming overheads and take time to look at more progressive scale-related organisations.

 

Is that back to the OP?
 

Cheers and Stay Safe
 

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36 minutes ago, Jack Benson said:

Getting back to the OP and ignoring the froth about subs, I do wonder if the GoG’s primary purpose really is to promote the ethos of 7mm or to be a social group for the elderly who share a common interest in trains?  
 

It might claim to promote the scale but is that really the case, the numerous failed initiatives to produce or at least sponsor small scale efforts has always fallen back on the excuse that the Guild is not a manufacturer but what exactly is its purpose other than to self-serve a large number of individuals claiming expenses and producing a rather lack lustre but shiny periodical? 
 

Get back to basics, re-think what it should be doing, reduce the expense-claiming overheads and take time to look at more progressive scale-related organisations.

 

Is that back to the OP?
 

Cheers and Stay Safe
 

 

 

It is back to the OP, and I think you have summed it all up very very well indeed.

 

The Guild has simply lost its way in these modern times. Needs a major re-set.

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A good number of comments have been made relating to the age of the people running the guild.

 

Nobody has mentioned how old they are and at what age you are too old to hold such posts.

 

Can anybody clarify?

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10 minutes ago, Lantavian said:

 

This may answer some of your questions.

 

image.png.c6a049612d5e2c06c43890abad368dc2.png

 

I would have thought that those ages are pretty representative of the hobby as a whole. When is somebody considered "too old"?

 

 

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I don't think anyone can be too old, its just younger people have more energy and are up there with the latest ideas. Thats probably one of the guilds main problems. Needs more of a mix.  They obviously were younger once, (one of them has been a director since the 1990s),  but it has become about a self perpetuating lack of trust.  Older gentlemen who maintain their controlling circle of interest and Just can not let go. 

 

Most of the MIOG guys look a generation younger to me and do things differently on line.  Perhaps guild members and some others actually need the act of paying a membership fee and the comfort of 'officially belonging',  and all that brings with it.  Nothing wrong with that in itself, but maybe that won't be the way 'societies' exist in the future, who knows.

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E

6 hours ago, fail safe said:

I'm all zoned out with the GOG, a nice fresh modern 7mm group is what is needed today. Think MIOG is that now. No subs or half year tricks on subs, no elder statesmen and stonecutter hierarchy, just normal peeps enjoying modelling like I do and most on here do.

 

 

Elsewhere I have suggested that in the event of no improvement within the G0G, then a 7 mm Society might surface, very much, as you say along the lines of an internet based forum, without the heirachy involved with the current G0G.

 

However, although it was a popular suggestion, one has to look at where it would fit into today's environment.  MIOG is  Facebook based, so would it be worthwhile to create yet another Facebook group as there is also the 'official' G0G Facebook page and the Not the G0G Facebook page as well as MIOG.  now I believe the 'Not the G0G page' was set up after the G0G  decided Facebook was not for them, and the 'official' page was created  when it was realised that it was successful.

 

If it did occur then I'd see it as a web based forum, but at what point do you stop?  A 7mm society automatically debars both Continental and US  0 Gauge due to the scale differences, so if you wanted to hang onto those modellers, you'd still need to use  0 Gauge somewhere in the title.  Plus of course, any web based forum is going to need to be set up and would need some form of admin team to run it  and more importantly it's going to need some form of funding. 

 

Moving away from G0 to 0G is also moving away from the smirks that often occur when you mention you are off to the G0 show!

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1 hour ago, Happy Hippo said:

However, although it was a popular suggestion, one has to look at where it would fit into today's environment

Ah yes I agree and thats why I said  'MIOG is that now".  I'll stick with them, as its not like belonging, more like agreeing on interests.

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3 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

I would have thought that those ages are pretty representative of the hobby as a whole. When is somebody considered "too old"?

 

 

The average age of my local club is 55.

 

Age is isn't important, it's whether someone has the faculties to carry out a task. I know of lazy younger people as well as older with energy. 

 Only in the last couple of weeks I've answered some enquiries from a couple of our members who are in their 90's, both of them still very sharp and very IT savvy.

 

Never dismiss someone because of age.

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People are "too old" to be in charge of things when they think they know it all, look down on things beyong their area of interest, and are  very resistant to change. Hence it could be a flexible number depending on someone's personality & outlook.!!! 

 

The hobby as a whole has been 'doomed' since before I was even born - 53 years ago!! :rolleyes: :tease:

Edited by F-UnitMad
Added clarity.
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10 minutes ago, chris p bacon said:

The average age of my local club is 55.

 

Age is isn't important, it's whether someone has the faculties to carry out a task. I know of lazy younger people as well as older with energy. 

 Only in the last couple of weeks I've answered some enquiries from a couple of our members who are in their 90's, both of them still very sharp and very IT savvy.

 

Never dismiss someone because of age.

 

I agree 100%. That is why I am not impressed by a number of derogatory age related comments regarding the officers of the Guild.

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9 hours ago, fail safe said:

 

 

I'm all zoned out with the GOG, a nice fresh modern 7mm group is what is needed today. Think MIOG is that now. No subs or half year tricks on subs, no elder statesmen and stonecutter hierarchy, just normal peeps enjoying modelling like I do and most on here do.

 

The most useful resource the GOG has is the traders websites links and to see that you do not have to be a member.

https://www.gaugeoguild.com/traders/Traders_links.aspx

 

I understand the enthusiasm for the informality of groups such as MIOG. But having been a member of a Society that had no proper structure, I can see the down sides as well.

 

I would always go for a properly constituted Club with a well-defined set of rules and procedures and, of course, financial controls. If the scale of it becomes such that it needs to incorporate, then that is fine as either a company limited by guarantee or a community interest company. Proper rules about who is elected to the "committee" are a major part of this. I don't have an issue with a rule that keeps people off the "committee" for a few years (I even proposed such at one club) but not more than three years. And probably good to arrange for a rotation of personnel i.e. nobody to be on the "committee" for more than 10 years.

 

I am a little surprised that the GOG Chairman is directly elected. Usually better to elect the board/committee and then for those members to elect Chair and Vice-Chair from among their number.

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55 minutes ago, chris p bacon said:

The average age of my local club is 55.

 

Age is isn't important, it's whether someone has the faculties to carry out a task. I know of lazy younger people as well as older with energy. 

 Only in the last couple of weeks I've answered some enquiries from a couple of our members who are in their 90's, both of them still very sharp and very IT savvy.

 

Never dismiss someone because of age.

 

Churchill was 66 (?) when he became Prime Minister in 1940. He did OK.

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Hi,

 

This thread has a rather odd ebb and flow, it started with an honourable intention but after the discussion had become somewhat circular the interest turned to the peculiar subscription policy of the GoG. Not much else was discussed, the issue of expenses and the number of entitled persons claiming them seems to have been largely ignored and now we have settled on the chesnut of ageism, no doubt a few frothing comments will ensue whilst the the elephant in the room continues to be invisible.

 

To those who believe that the GoG is a forward looking institution, I salute you for your services to the community but to those brave souls within the Reform Group, you have my respect and support. I hope, for the sake of the GoG's future that you succeed. Whether you do, is entirely how you fare against an institution that is united against change in any form. 

 

Good Luck and Stay Safe

 

    

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The symmetry of the Vintage Motorcycle Club and the GoG is stunning - same issues, same hierarchy of 'elders', same freeloading trips to meetings that could be done on line, same stuck in the mud attitudes to change, and failure to recognise that the year changes each year....you can't stand still.  I have left the GoG, I'm still in the VMCC because the local group is good, but the organisation IMHO is in effect verging on corrupt. 'SNAP'.

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There is, I think, a problem that clubs, guilds, societies, etc are ptone to which tends to appear to be an age related issue but actually isn’t.  A club type organisation forms by general agreement among it’s founding members and legitimises/formalises itself by the usual structure of chaired and officered committee.  The founding members delineate the purpose and aims of the organisation, and the organisation opens itself to new members who agree to the orgs rules and conditions of membership.  All is fair and above board. 
 

But the founding members are, at this stage, coeval with the committee, which means that they are in a good position to ensure that new committee members are ‘one of us’, and this over time a cabal forms which runs things in a way that suits themselves.  The ordinary members are either not interested in getting involved in that aspect of the org, or are dissuaded by the cabal, or mount a coup removing the cabal but inevitably forming a new cabal  Because this sort of politicking takes time, those involved tend to categorised as old, and age is held responsible for an issue more correctly the result of internal org political shenannigans. 
 

Tis is one of the main reasons I left the club I was involved with some tima ago and have avoided this aspect of the hobby since.  

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47 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

I agree 100%. That is why I am not impressed by a number of derogatory age related comments regarding the officers of the Guild.

 

I'm not 'old' but I have been involved in running a society for a few years, and it's really time consuming. And a lot of that time is spent on boring admin stuff.

 

So I'm not surprised that many people in such roles are over the retirement age, simply because they'll have the necessary spare time, and maybe fancy doing a small amount of 'work' after retirement. The flip side is that your committee then ends up not being a representative cross section of the membership. I can't see how you solve that challenge. 

 

1 minute ago, The Johnster said:

 The ordinary members are either not interested in getting involved in that aspect of the org, or are dissuaded by the cabal, or mount a coup removing the cabal but inevitably forming a new cabal  

 

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” 

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27 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 I don't have an issue with a rule that keeps people off the "committee" for a few years (I even proposed such at one club) but not more than three years. And probably good to arrange for a rotation of personnel i.e. nobody to be on the "committee" for more than 10 years.

 

Fine in theory, but I am a member of a club with similar rules that has twice found itself in crisis because perfectly able chairmen were not allowed to stand for another term and no one wanted to take over from them.

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36 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I understand the enthusiasm for the informality of groups such as MIOG. But having been a member of a Society that had no proper structure, I can see the down sides as well.

 

A couple of other points related to this. There is only so much that a Facebook group/online forum etc. can do. Things like member-exclusive kits and parts (which most of the specialist scale/gauge societies now do on some level) and making deals with manufacturers are likely to be much easier with a properly constituted group, even if only because it makes it easier for companies to understand who they are working with.

 

Also, I seem to remember a couple of situations a few years ago where online forums (for specific gauges or niche interests, as opposed to more wide-ranging sites like RMWeb) rapidly fell apart because of disagreements between different contributors, and a society with some oversight over the forum might (in theory) have provided better ways to resolve this. For others there have been issues with hosting bills for forum sites (which a more formal society could fund from membership fees). I use Facebook and am definitely in the ‘younger’ category of railway modellers but find forums easier to use than Facebook when searching for older content, since they are organised into threads.

Edited by 009 micro modeller
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but the GoG employ Artitype to do some of the day to day admin.. what does the GoG committee actually do?

 

I don't care how old you are.. but if you are unable to add value why be on the Committee other than

1  Being a Very important person?  (with your own badge!)

2  Having an all expenses paid trip out to meetings and events?

3  Stand around at shows with your badge and do s1d all to do anything to actually help to put the event on?

4  Wielding a particularly nasty method or two of dissuading members from taking over 10 or 2) above??

 

Baz 

 

 

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