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sir douglas

Non member view and thoughts about the Gauge O guild

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57 minutes ago, SvenL said:

What agenda of the Reform group was it that you didn't like? 

 

The finescale only element and the notion that the Guild being made up of white blokes of a certain age is a weakness that needs to be addressed.

 

O Gauge has a long history and the fact that people keep the historic side of the gauge alive is something, in my view, to be applauded and not discarded.

 

There should be room in the Guild for all forms of O gauge, from the tinplate collector to the person who utilises the most modern RTR equipment. As soon as anybody wants to exclude a particular group, especially when phrases like "Some of us have moved on from playing with our trains on the floor" are used to denigrate what they do. I have no personal interest in the coarse scale side of the hobby but I do enjoy seeing the models on display at the Guild shows. I feel it is important to be reminded where we all came from and how far we have come in our modelling.

 

Discarding history has been in the news a lot lately. I don't support it there or in the Guild.  

 

The demographic problem is frankly ridiculous.

 

We were told that it was a weakness that most members are white blokes of a certain age.

 

My "dipstick" for these is to reverse the terminology and see if they still work as ideas. If anybody said there were too many young, black, female members, they would by, rightly, torn apart and even possibly prosecuted. In my mind, I do not judge people on age, sex or colour. I ask "Are they good people?".

 

Yet the Reform Group have assessed the membership, including me, of being a weakness because we are too old, too white and too male.

 

So why should I vote for people who see me as a "weakness" because of my age, sex and skin colour? 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

The finescale only element and the notion that the Guild being made up of white blokes of a certain age is a weakness that needs to be addressed.

 

O Gauge has a long history and the fact that people keep the historic side of the gauge alive is something, in my view, to be applauded and not discarded.

 

There should be room in the Guild for all forms of O gauge, from the tinplate collector to the person who utilises the most modern RTR equipment. As soon as anybody wants to exclude a particular group, especially when phrases like "Some of us have moved on from playing with our trains on the floor" are used to denigrate what they do. I have no personal interest in the coarse scale side of the hobby but I do enjoy seeing the models on display at the Guild shows. I feel it is important to be reminded where we all came from and how far we have come in our modelling.

 

Discarding history has been in the news a lot lately. I don't support it there or in the Guild.  

 

The demographic problem is frankly ridiculous.

 

We were told that it was a weakness that most members are white blokes of a certain age.

 

My "dipstick" for these is to reverse the terminology and see if they still work as ideas. If anybody said there were too many young, black, female members, they would by, rightly, torn apart and even possibly prosecuted. In my mind, I do not judge people on age, sex or colour. I ask "Are they good people?".

 

Yet the Reform Group have assessed the membership, including me, of being a weakness because we are too old, too white and too male.

 

So why should I vote for people who see me as a "weakness" because of my age, sex and skin colour? 

 

 

 

 

I would have thought that such an issue would have been a very good discussion point at either of the two Zoom meetings that the Reform Group  candidates held prior to the AGM.  They were all there waiting to take your questions.

 

Did you log in to air what was a pretty serious grievance?

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13 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

We were told that it was a weakness that most members are white blokes of a certain age.

 

As a membership officer in another society,  I see the weakness as being a narrow age group.  It does mean that unless the Guild attract members that spread the age demographic it will literally die in a few short years.

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Oh my. 

What the reform group has said is that the membership need to  cater for the younger people too. More and more people like modern image trains and RTR. 

There are many of them that think there is no room for them in the guild.  

 

The reform group has never said they want to get rid of certain aspects of 0 gauge. 

I wish you would have read the actual 

Campaign document.  

 

What the reform group has emphasised 

is that the guild leadership need to be more open including and transparent 

 

Sven

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Happy Hippo said:

To be fair to the G0G management committee, and as Jeff has already pointed out, all the proxies were spilt equally between the two candidates for the various vacancies.

 

An interesting way of doing things, and certainly fair to all candidates, but surely it just means that every single undirected proxy vote was a complete waste of everyone's time ! 

 

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1 hour ago, SvenL said:

Oh my. 

What the reform group has said is that the membership need to  cater for the younger people too. More and more people like modern image trains and RTR. 

There are many of them that think there is no room for them in the guild.  

 

The reform group has never said they want to get rid of certain aspects of 0 gauge. 

I wish you would have read the actual 

Campaign document.  

 

What the reform group has emphasised 

is that the guild leadership need to be more open including and transparent 

 

Sven

 

 

 

 

 

I did read it.

 

That was what it said. I wouldn't have dared make something like that up.

 

The brave new Guild was going to be a purely finescale organisation, which has been backed up by some comments on the Guild Forum. Things  like "Some of us don't play with our toy trains on the floor anymore" from Reform Group supporters show the attitude for what it is.

 

The white, male, age 65-75 demographic of the present membership was seen as a weakness. It is in the agenda in those words. If it is, then almost every model railway and model engineering group has the same problem. If it had just mentioned the age, I would have let it go and even agreed but to bring the sex and ethnicity into it was a step too far.

 

I don't like myself and my friends being described as a weakness because we are white, male and of a certain age!

 

It is as if the Reform Group are saying "We want more members but not ones like you because white males of your age cause the Guild to be weak."

 

Not the way to win me over I am sorry to say.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

Things  like "Some of us don't play with our toy trains on the floor anymore" from Reform Group supporters show the attitude for what it is.

 

This does sound rather rude and dismissive.

 

1 hour ago, t-b-g said:

The white, male, age 65-75 demographic of the present membership was seen as a weakness.

 

This is a bit of a strange one. As someone outside G0G I have, however, seen similar sentiments expressed elsewhere. Obviously the age range is a potential weakness in the sense that any group eventually needs younger members to ensure the long term future of the group itself, although perhaps if the main concern is to ensure that the group continues rather than ensuring that its members get something worthwhile from it then other questions need to be asked.

 

The ethnicity and gender aspect seems unlikely to change much and appears to be the same in most model railway groups. I would hope that they have phrased it more in the sense of ‘we value our current members but we should also be appealing to a more diverse audience’ (which should not be especially contentious) rather than ‘we don’t want any members in the demographic that currently makes up most of the group’ (which seems at best to be a strange way to go about things).

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2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

did read it.

 

That was what it said. I wouldn't have dared make something like that up.

 

The brave new Guild was going to be a purely finescale organisation, which has been backed up by some comments on the Guild Forum. Things  like "Some of us don't play with our toy trains on the floor anymore" from Reform Group supporters show the attitude for what it is.

 

I'm a bit confused, did the reform group agenda actually say that, or was it a comment from a member who supported the reform group? 

2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

The white, male, age 65-75 demographic of the present membership was seen as a weakness. It is in the agenda in those words. If it is, then almost every model railway and model engineering group has the same problem. If it had just mentioned the age, I would have let it go and even agreed but to bring the sex and ethnicity into it was a step too far.

To be fair it is a weakness.  I belong to a club and a society (several) where the age range is spread over a much larger demographic, they are overwhelmingly male.

Personally I do think you've read a bit too much into the 'White male' part. The Guild must have the information to hand to create the statistic and it is therefore a factual report of the membership.

 

2 hours ago, t-b-g said:

It is as if the Reform Group are saying "We want more members but not ones like you because white males of your age cause the Guild to be weak."

 

That is a somewhat unusual way of looking at it, I can't say I see it that way.

 

From what I have read here and elsewhere I do think that the reform candidates had nothing but the Guilds best interests at heart, I realise that you have a different viewpoint to them, but I do wonder that the Guild that you joined and like, won't be around for too long without people such as them.

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8 hours ago, chris p bacon said:

That is a somewhat unusual way of looking at it, I can't say I see it that way.

 

Yes, surely it’s possible to want your membership to be more diverse and yet still value the individual members who are in ‘majority’ groups. On the finescale point, did they want to do this because there are already other groups (HRCA etc.) that are more focused on coarse scale?

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Surely, the aim of the Guild is, or should be,  to encourage more people to join.

 

Not just finescale people, or not just younger people, or people who will alter the existing demographic.

 

Anybody who models in 7mm scale should be welcomed with open arms. Not just people who will change the balance in the Guild.

 

It is almost as if the next step would be to encourage a few older members to leave, to get the average age down. Perhaps ditching the coarse scale element might do that as they are often fairly "old boys".

 

The Reform Group Agenda specifically states that the Guild should go ahead as a finescale group and defines finescale as having a back to back as a  minimum of 29mm.

 

The comment about people playing trains on the floor was from somebody who clearly wants the Guild to be finescale only but is probably from a supporter of the Reform Group rather than an official statement from the group. It was not a lone statement. There are others about how having coarse scale represented in the Guild is holding it back.

 

I have no problem at all with anybody who wants to broaden the appeal of the Guild to encompass more RTR, more modelling of the modern scene, or more modern technology.

 

I do have a problem when it is to be achieved by ditching other elements to make the Guild seem a more "modern" organisation.

 

What next, ban pre-grouping models as they look too old fashioned?

 

 

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the effort by the reform group  was about including more peolpe not exluding them, they never said anything like "Some of us don't play with our toy trains on the floor anymore", the point was that the course scale was being looked down by the "in" crowd of the current guild, the modern image scene was also somewhat looked down on by the majority 1960's steam clique and the reform group wants to make sure all groups are welcome and included

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25 minutes ago, sir douglas said:

the effort by the reform group  was about including more peolpe not exluding them, they never said anything like "Some of us don't play with our toy trains on the floor anymore", the point was that the course scale was being looked down by the "in" crowd of the current guild, the modern image scene was also somewhat looked down on by the majority 1960's steam clique and the reform group wants to make sure all groups are welcome and included

 

That is not what the agenda says. The agenda says the Guild should move forward as a finescale group and defines finescale as a back to back of a minimum of 29mm.

 

If I have misread it or misunderstood it then I will be the first to say I was wrong and to apologise.

 

The comments from people on both sides on the Guild Forum tend to back me up, including an admission of an "unexpected backlash and maybe we misjudged that" from a Reform Group member.

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6 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

The agenda says the Guild should move forward as a finescale group and defines finescale as a back to back of a minimum of 29mm.

 

 

The Guild Standards have been around for many years - in the original Guild Manual (as revised in February 2000), the following back to back dimensions were given

 

Prototype   31.28mm

Fine scale  29.0mm

Coarse scale 28mm

S7   Min 31.2mm Max 31.3mm

 

There has been a gradual process of updating parts of the Manual and in the new current version (September 2017) the following back to back dimensions are given

 

Prototype   31.26mm

Fine scale  29.2mm

Coarse scale 28mm

S7  Max 31.33mm

.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Mike Bellamy said:

 

The Guild Standards have been around for many years - in the original Guild Manual (as revised in February 2000), the following back to back dimensions were given

 

Prototype   31.28mm

Fine scale  29.0mm

Coarse scale 28mm

S7   Min 31.2mm Max 31.3mm

 

There has been a gradual process of updating parts of the Manual and in the new current version (September 2017) the following back to back dimensions are given

 

Prototype   31.26mm

Fine scale  29.2mm

Coarse scale 28mm

S7  Max 31.33mm

.

 

 

 

I hadn't seen the updated figures, so thanks for posting them.

 

I am new to O gauge and haven't actually finished anything for myself yet, although I have built some wagons and carriages for others a few years ago, before the 2017 update.

 

Do Slaters axles and wheels give a back to back of 29mm or 29.2mm? I suppose they can be packed out with a 0.1mm shim each side if necessary.

 

One of the problems of talking about back to back dimensions is that you always get the "expert" comments about variations in flange thickness and telling us that we shouldn't be using it but I tend to find that if I stick to one standard wheel profile and one standard back to back, that pretty much covers it! Having a consistent back to back has worked for me for many years in EM so I don't need telling otherwise.

 

Whichever version you look at, old or new, there is only one that falls outside the Reform Group "Minimum 29mm" and that is the coarse scale figure. However you look at it, the intention appears to be that such standards no longer fall within the remit of The Guild.

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5 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

I am new to O gauge and haven't actually finished anything for myself yet, although I have built some wagons and carriages for others a few years ago, before the 2017 update.

That is a revelation because from the way you have been writing, I'd have put you as a member of at least 30 years standing!

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16 minutes ago, t-b-g said:

 

Do Slaters axles and wheels give a back to back of 29mm or 29.2mm? I suppose they can be packed out with a 0.1mm shim each side if necessary.

 

 

When I worked in O back in the day I set my own track standards of 32mm with a btb of 29.8mm. This pre-dated the more sensible idea of narrowing the gauge a bit to 31.5mm ( O-MF) or 31.2mm ( O-SF). With this increased btb when I used Slaters loco/tender/carry wheels with their 29.2mm btb I just added 0.3mm shims which worked quite okay. Although they are self quartering they are very well made and it's no trouble to get true running out of them. The only advice I would give is to dress the axles to remove any machining burrs so they seat properly. Certainly suggest narrowing the flangeways by one means  or another for better running through crossings, although many find plain finescale - 32mm/29.2mm - more then good enough.

 

Whatever, have fun!

 

Izzy

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20 minutes ago, Happy Hippo said:

That is a revelation because from the way you have been writing, I'd have put you as a member of at least 30 years standing!

 

I was asked to build a few O gauge things for people about 10 years ago and being a big GCR enthusiast, I found the wonderful ranges of David Andrews and Gladiator kits. I stashed a few away and eventually decided to double up and work in EM and O gauge side by side.

 

I joined the Guild probably 4 years ago after being approached when going into one of the shows. I try to go to Doncaster, Kettering and Telford shows and really enjoy them. It is like being a kid in a sweet shop again as there is so much new to discover and I have had to learn new techniques, including getting a much bigger soldering iron.

 

I have built about 4ft of track, one and a bit points, I have three locos started, a horsebox and a carriage part built! Modelling the GCR, the present RTR offerings are not really for me but I prefer making things rather than buying them anyway.

 

I have played no part in the Guild other than being a member and even only signed up to the forum after the recent election because a couple of other people kept saying "Have you seen.....?". What I saw there wasn't pleasant and reminded me why I usually stay out of the politics.

Any time I have been involved in club or society politics it has ended badly so I tend to keep my thoughts to myself but I was asked directly what I didn't like about the Reform Group agenda, so I tried to reply as honestly as I could.

 

Although I could see a lot of merit in some of the Reform Group proposals and it seem fairly clear the the previous management have not covered themselves with glory, the ethnicity/age/sex matter and the coarse scale proposals were enough to make me abstain.  

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18 minutes ago, Izzy said:

 

When I worked in O back in the day I set my own track standards of 32mm with a btb of 29.8mm. This pre-dated the more sensible idea of narrowing the gauge a bit to 31.5mm ( O-MF) or 31.2mm ( O-SF). With this increased btb when I used Slaters loco/tender/carry wheels with their 29.2mm btb I just added 0.3mm shims which worked quite okay. Although they are self quartering they are very well made and it's no trouble to get true running out of them. The only advice I would give is to dress the axles to remove any machining burrs so they seat properly. Certainly suggest narrowing the flangeways by one means  or another for better running through crossings, although many find plain finescale - 32mm/29.2mm - more then good enough.

 

Whatever, have fun!

 

Izzy

 

Thanks for that. I am already having great fun. It is like having all the excitement of being a beginner but with 40 years practice in EM to back me up.

 

I will have to check the back to back on my Slaters wheels. Some were old ones bought second hand.

 

The 3 part built locos are all on the wheels already and I found the Slaters wheels a really good fit on the axles, with the slightest of dressing to remove sharp edges, as you suggest. It is good advice.

 

After speaking to people, including Gordon Gravett (Arun Quay) I adopted 31.5mm gauge from the start. I am making my own track and points so it was just as easy in that gauge.

 

I went for a nice easy loco as a first try. You know, like the experts say, try an 0-6-0 with inside cylinders first.......

 

DSCN1776.JPG.d6c6cf938b1b380c38186fc1507d03ec.JPG

 

  

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22 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

The white, male, age 65-75 demographic of the present membership was seen as a weakness. It is in the agenda in those words. If it is, then almost every model railway and model engineering group has the same problem. If it had just mentioned the age, I would have let it go and even agreed but to bring the sex and ethnicity into it was a step too far.

 

 

 

Could be worse, they could have said "pale, male and stale"

 

That describes me too, but I'm not going to take offence at it, because it is an issue, not just for the GOG but for most model railway and model engineering societies. Age, obviously, because no-one lives for ever and if there isn't new blood coming in then societies will die as their members do. The white male aspect is not irrelevant either because it indicates a narrow social demographic and that is also a problem. I don't want to get into stereotypes here but would I be far off the mark if I suggested there was a general belief among the older men that the primary function of women at model railway gatherings was to make the tea? Not a helpful attitude if you are trying to appeal to a wider - and younger - population.

 

Colin Powell once said that when he went to high level government functions he wasn't the only black guy in the room, but he was the only black guy who didn't have a towel over his arm and was serving drinks. No-one, I hope, in a model railway society is going to start talking of banana boats or say "goodness gracious me" if a black or Asian enthusiast walks into a meeting as a newbie, but I do fear a fair few will think it's the hall caretaker come in about something

 

So instead of taking offence because, on this rare occasion we pale, stale, males are on the receiving end. Better to ask whether us all being from a narrow social demographic isn't a problem for the future and why that might be.

Edited by whart57
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15 minutes ago, F-UnitMad said:

Are there any? At all?  In the UK, at least, I doubt it very much - they simply aren't interested, in railways either real or model.

That's not a rascist statement, just a plain & simple fact. I'm married into a West Indian family, so have some experience to base my statement on.

There do seem to be black railroad modellers in the USA.

 

There probably are some as I have seen some Bame families and individuals at some exhibitions and I expect they had reason to be there as they were relatively expensive to get into just to have a browse on a whim. I have also seen Bame families at preserved railways enjoying the journey and it was great to see.

Edited by jollysmart
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8 minutes ago, jollysmart said:

I have also seen Bame families at preserved railways enjoying the journey and it was great to see.

That is slightly different. My wife likes going to preserved railways with me. It doesn't make her an enthusiast, though. ;)

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51 minutes ago, F-UnitMad said:

Are there any? At all?

 

Some; yes. Certainly not a representative balance of society but we could apply the same to male/female balance and age profiles. It's something that pleases me about Ally Pally is that there is more representation whether from second or third generations plus other nationalities and from conversations are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

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I think I read, on another forum, a thread from someone who was born in Eritrea but had since moved to the UK and was making a model of the 950mm gauge railways in Eritrea.

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2 hours ago, whart57 said:

 

Could be worse, they could have said "pale, male and stale"

 

That describes me too, but I'm not going to take offence at it, because it is an issue, not just for the GOG but for most model railway and model engineering societies. Age, obviously, because no-one lives for ever and if there isn't new blood coming in then societies will die as their members do. The white male aspect is not irrelevant either because it indicates a narrow social demographic and that is also a problem. I don't want to get into stereotypes here but would I be far off the mark if I suggested there was a general belief among the older men that the primary function of women at model railway gatherings was to make the tea? Not a helpful attitude if you are trying to appeal to a wider - and younger - population.

 

Colin Powell once said that when he went to high level government functions he wasn't the only black guy in the room, but he was the only black guy who didn't have a towel over his arm and was serving drinks. No-one, I hope, in a model railway society is going to start talking of banana boats or say "goodness gracious me" if a black or Asian enthusiast walks into a meeting as a newbie, but I do fear a fair few will think it's the hall caretaker come in about something

 

So instead of taking offence because, on this rare occasion we pale, stale, males are on the receiving end. Better to ask whether us all being from a narrow social demographic isn't a problem for the future and why that might be.

 

The thing is, I tend to treat all people equally. I don't make a big thing out of their skin colour, sex or age.

 

I fact, I don't make anything at all of it.

 

So when people start making a big thing of it, I see it as perpetuating the problem, not solving it.

 

I am lucky that I do know a handful of very good female modellers and one chap from a Jamaican background. I just see them as fellow enthusiasts.

 

I am not at all sure that any of them would want attention drawn to the fact that they are rare examples in our white, old, male hobby. They just want to be fellow enthusiasts too. I am happy to respect that.   

 

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