Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

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InFullSteam
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Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby InFullSteam » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:06 pm

Hi everyone,

I was thinking of joining my local railway club so I went to a meeting recently, but I'm not sure. There was about 20 men there, we walked about what was new with us and in the model railway world and watched a steam footage DVD. They seemed to be nice but I really noticed the age gap (all of them were at least twice my age).

What would you do?

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Emettman
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby Emettman » Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:02 pm

Is there another local-enough club to try?

They vary a lot. Not least in whether or not they have one or more club layouts to build, run, show..
And the dominant scales/gauges.

But this can mean more than one club or circle within a given area, each with its own style.
(and not infrequently, in my experience, not talking to each other!)

Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Flashbang
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby Flashbang » Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:16 pm

You will find virtually all those older people speak the same language as yourself, know vast amounts about real and model railways and will in most cases offer a very friendly atmosphere to be involved in.
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Dad-1
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:27 pm

Opened again - better safe than sorry.

Ahh Clubs ? They vary and the welcome you get will be different at any club, even for the same subject.
One of the serious problems I see in modelling is that the age profile has crept forward. This is not just
railway modelling, but plastic scale modelling as well.
Now you don't say that there was any negative vibes and I fear that joining a club will have you mixing with
a larger proportion of older members. Not a bad thing at all there is a wealth of experience from all those years.
However if you feel uncomfortable and there is another club in your area it may well be worth seeing which suits
you best.
An example is Milton Keynes where there are two clubs, some split away as the older club seemed too set in its
ways. The new club was aimed at DCC, yet I wouldn't say the age profile varied that much. Normally where there
is a shared interest sox, age, even country become irrelevant. One of my Aviation modelling groups had members
in 14 countries with ages from close to 80 down to the 20's. Milton Keynes MRS had member from 90 !! down to 14,
although we insisted on those under 16 were accompanied.

Now welcome - I hope most clubs do show they are interested in new members and don't behave in a stupid way.
Just today I was talking to a couple of guys, both in their late 60's to early 70's. One was interested in Bowls the other
a long standing member. It was arranged that the new guy would come & have a game to test the water, however the long
standing member couldn't make it that night. When the new guy went in he was acosted by a lady who asked what he was
doing there. He said he'd come to have a game. The lady in a very short manner told him he wasn't correctly dressed and
that he should leave. That he did and will never go back again !! All those people concerned were 'Old' in your eyes.

I say don't be put off, go several times, most clubs allow 3-4 visits before you decide if it's right for you. Remember that
those playing with trains are BIG kids at heart anyway !! Just take time for them to get to know you, and you to decide if
what is on offers suits you ...... and take it from there.
Member, or ex member of Cycling club, Car club, Scale plastic modelling club, Railway modelling club ...........
If you want to disceuss more, but not 'On Forum' you can always P.M me

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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carnehan
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby carnehan » Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:59 pm

It's a shame that you didn't feel comfortable in the surroundings of an older group of people in a club you hoped you could be a part of. I would suggest you persevere for a few meetings and hopefully that age gap you refer to will just fade away as you get to know the other members and they get to know you. At the end of the day everyone is there for the same reason - a passion for model railways.

I'm envious of your position in having a club close to hand to attend. There are two clubs in Northern Ireland that I am aware of. Unfortunately both would require a 90 minute to two hours round trip to attend any of their meetings which really just isn't suitable for long term attendance. I'm aware of a couple of like minded individuals in my area who have tried to develop a club in the past but commitment, venue and funding have all contributed to failure.

Embrace the opportunity to be a part of a club championing the same interests as you and things will probably prove themselves to be much better than your initial impressions.

Paul

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:07 pm

Don't be put off by the fact it's mostly oldies if that is the only reason.slightly different, but I think comparable; I started volunteering on my local heritage railway when I was 14, virtually everyone else is retired. I've been there coming on 3 years now and I get along really well with everyone there. They take the micky out of me for being young and I take the micky out of them for being old, and join in all the laughs. If you get stuck in and involved and contribute I don't think age need be a barrier at all, you'll be judged on your actions.
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End2end
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby End2end » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:47 am

@ InFullSteam. <Snip>, advertise for a modelling partner?
That might bring in some offers - Some perhaps unwanted? :o
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St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

Gordon H
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby Gordon H » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:04 pm

Perhaps it is equally important is to find a club whose members have similar modelling interests to yourself, or at least related by era, prototype or technology. The age question is naturally likely to crop up with this type of consideration too. When I joined my local club over 40 years ago the majority were steam outline modellers, which didn't interest me at all, not remembering steam in operation on the real thing. Fortunately, before long I was joined by a few more members with similar interests and it carried on from there. During the effectively 'steam only' period, my interest was consumed by the control system being developed for the club's layout.

mjb1961
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby mjb1961 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:43 pm

Hi ,If it is just the age gap then I would say give it ago ,I have a chronic illness ,lung disease,and I have a local group of people who meet once a month,they call the group breath easy,I went along and was welcomed with open arms and most, 90% of them anyway are in their 70s which is at least 20 years older than me but it didn't seem to matter ,in fact we all had a great day out on the Severn valley railway where we all had a three course meal on the train ,plus other trips ,day out to the sea side,etc ,I'm not saying you'll be doing things like that but. I'm saying don't be put off by the age gap ,go along for a couple off meetings ,you've got nothing to lose ,,,,mjb

ParkeNd
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby ParkeNd » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:47 pm

I can see your point of view. A couple of times in the last year I have been tempted too, but I worry that it would be a clique, and that they wouldn't let me contribute - having a layout at home I'm not sure what I would learn either. Many years ago I was a member of a photographic club and rose to be Chairman - but we all knew each other from work and although it had a central photographic theme the atmosphere was more of a social sort of thing.

Maybe just try a meeting and then make your mind up.

GWR_fan
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 pm

I have never attended a club meeting and after a lot of anecdotal 'evidence' I have no intention of ever doing so. About twenty minutes from my home is one of the largest clubs in Australia. I have met several who have visited the club only to leave completely disillusioned with the experience. In the main, the clubs I have had experience of seem set in their ways and seemingly go out of their way to discourage new 'stock' in the club. The members behave as a clique that shuns outsiders. They have strict rules in both the locomotives and rolling stock that may be run and a strict sense in how the railway is run. For a newcomer these strict rules of engagement can be very off putting.

Of cause, the ruling class in the club has a right to set the house rules but seemingly are oblivious to the dilemma the newcomer is in. For the most part a newcomer will have a hotchpotch of locomotives and rolling stock which may or may not be fitted with the approved coupler that the club insists on. He may not have metal wheelsets fitted to all his stock. He may simply wish to visit a club to just run trains. However, the strict regime in the club dictates that just 'running trains' is childish and that the new operator must conform with the strict time scheduling operation the club uses.

Once he has passed through this nightmare he then has to contend with the varying personalities in the club. Some will be extremely accommodating, with others showing outright contempt.

I have followed outdoor railroading for twenty odd years and have built a reasonably extensive operation for my personal use. I have visited others' railways with many inferior to my own, not to run trains, but purely for the personal interaction of like minded individuals. If I simply wanted to run trains I could do that at home and avoid the hassle of trying to communicate with imbeciles. I found the experience downright off putting. The individuals all behaved as if they were alone at home running their trains with each occupying a designated section of the railway with no personal communication or interaction. I thought why bother when I could do the same on my own railway.

There is a club dedicated to a well known German brand of outdoor trains. I attended several meetings which are held bi-monthly at members' homes. Immediately apparent was the hierarchy inplace and the clique that forms. The club president seemed idolised as royalty with the minions adorning his feet listening to his every word. Outsiders seemed particularly unwelcome. The experience made me determined never to join the club or any others.

There will be many who enjoy the experience a club provides and the knowledge gleaned plus the sharing of their experiences with others. For others the club regime may not be to their taste and detract them from the enjoyment they get from just running trains.

Take for instance the game of football. Many will attend a game simply to enjoy the atmosphere and their love for the sport. For others enjoying the game instills in them the need to be a member of a football club. The same game and the same experiences, however, some feel the need to be part of a club to be able to enjoy the game while others simply enjoy the game itself. For me, enjoying the trains themselves is the reward I derive. I do not need the camaraderie of others to be able to enjoy my trains.

Similarly with my enjoyment I received from riding large capacity motorcycles. On my days off from work I would jump on the bike and tour the countryside for a few hours, enjoying the quick squirt of speed every now and then just to get the adrenalin flowing. I thought why not join a club and enjoy my motoring with others with similar makes of motorcycle. After a few outings it soon became apparent that while the club rode as a single unit, the members had already established themselves into smaller friendship social groups. When we would stop for a lunchtime break or liquid refreshment the single unit separated into its components with no interraction between the smaller social groups. Another thing that dismayed me was the enjoyment of copious amounts of alcohol while enroute. I soon realised that, while I enjoyed riding, the social aspect of group riding was not my cup of tea.

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AustralisRico
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby AustralisRico » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:03 am

GWR_fan wrote:Of cause, the ruling class in the club has a right to set the house rules but seemingly are oblivious to the dilemma the newcomer is in. For the most part a newcomer will have a hotchpotch of locomotives and rolling stock which may or may not be fitted with the approved coupler that the club insists on. He may not have metal wheelsets fitted to all his stock. He may simply wish to visit a club to just run trains. However, the strict regime in the club dictates that just 'running trains' is childish and that the new operator must conform with the strict time scheduling operation the club uses.

I had that happen to me here in Sydney, I was at a local club and I had just purchased some new Pacific National rolling stock (modern coal carriers). I had my AD60 Garret on hand so I put them on the layout to test the running of the new wagons and the attitude of one of the higher members of the club "Oh that loco would never pull them, wrong era" etc etc. Apparently saying that I didn't care it was to test the new wagons not to be accurate was rude. I will not be returning to that club and frankly I'm not sure I want to join another if that's the personalities it gathers.

Just out of curiosity GWR Fan, where in Aus are you?

GWR_fan
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:41 am

Australis Rico,
southern suburbs, Sydney.

kebang
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby kebang » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:45 am

No chance of me joining a club here, I'm sure I'm the only railway modeller in Bohol! (I don't know about the rest of the Philippines, but I doubt there other railway modellers.)
Anyway I'm of the same school of thought as Groucho Marks 'I'd never join any club that would accept my application' :)

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skyblue
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Re: Not sure about joining my local model railway club.

Postby skyblue » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:20 am

Maybe the fact that the other members are all old is more reason for you to join - you might then be the catalyst for new, younger, members joining so that the club doesn't die out with the current members. Also remember that us young 'uns can learn a lot from older generations!


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