Thought I would chip in with my 2 cents worth from this side of the
I got into American modelling about 5 years ago after 15 years modelling
British pre-WW2 in O Scale. In both that and my current HO modelling I have
tried to model and operate prototypically. My models may not be top-class
ones yet, but at least I know where I want to be.
Joined the NMRA British Region (BR), and for the past 2 years have been
Division Rep for Scotland. There had been an absentee Rep for some time and
the Division was stagnating. Got an annual small 1-day meet going and have
gradually recruited new members. However, this has become more difficult
over the past year with the big increase in National dues. These now total
GBP43 (ie about $65), BUT of this only GBP11 stays with the BR, and it's
become very difficult to justify to existing and prospective members why
GBP32 ($48) should just disappear in return for a Bulletin of debatable
usefulness. It's all very well telling people it costs under $1.50 a week,
but that doesn't help when you ask them for a cheque. This issue in
particular is causing much dissent within the BR, and it would not surprise
me if it results in a big "bust-up" before long.
Have also been interested to read some of the comments about some of the
membership State-side. Last year I took a small layout to a very popular and
enjoyable Division meet in England. It too had its fair share of vesties,
and the obvious clique of current and former officers. (In fact many members
refuse to go to the Region AGM / Convention for this reason.) It had some
superb layouts, but also a sprinkling of layouts which I would be
to call my own.
My points? I have worked to bring together members and other kindred spirits
to discuss, learn-about and enjoy American railroad modelling, but feel
hampered by the BR clique and by the remote dinosaur National organisation.
Don't suppose airing our views will achieve anything, but at least we can
get them off our collective chests.
Quote for Mike, and to avoid being too serious;
"He's fallen in the water!" said in squeaky voice.
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