Sunday, 9 February 2020

Saturday Ramble

Do you ever get the feeling that something hasn't been thoroughly thought through? A visit to a small event, small being the operative word. Advertised in the usual places as a 'workshop' and to 'help those moving to the scale'. I had a niggle, but travelled hopefully as some similar events have been well worth the effort. Not so here.
Greeted with, 'are you a member? A negative response. 'Can I ask your name?' This seemed a little odd. A hall with test track and demo tables. We seemed to be the only visitors. 
There was a frost in the room;  heads down working on what a scan around the room seemed to be etched kits, track building etc. Obviously no lack of talent or expertise, but... We retreated to the foyer area and looked for food. Which was served with aplomb and was cheap.
Returned to the room. Still frosty. To the point where I just felt awkward being there.
I looked in earnest for the 'those moving to the scale' area. Nothing. Heads still mainly down. One chap perked up and explained to us at length which bits of the loco kit he was building were wrong and needed replacing. I thanked him. I'll bear that in mind, I thought. And that was about it. Only negative comment was supplied.

What was going on here? What was the point of the exercise, and why bill it as above when there was no one who seemed prepared to explain the 'moving to the scale', despite me dropping enough lead lines and there being a surge in RTR, possible entry points and further ideas for expanding same? 
My niggle had been proved, but that's not the point. What if this was my only experience of such an event? Would I have bothered again or even persevered with looking? We left at 14.30 and they had had 16 visitors up to that point. This sort of thing isn't just a waste of time, it's actually potentially damaging to the scale and the hobby. 
If you don't want to sell something, don't open a shop.
Event: -1
Catering: 9
Rucksacks: 0 (or anyone who might have been attached to a rucksack)


  1. It's so sad. These people who take themselves so seriously and in doing so put potential new recruits well and truly off. Talk about an enthusiasm killer! What a shame.

  2. Does seem sad that they'd bill an event as being to encourage newcomers and then not welcome them...I must admit that I've always found the little open day they have at Pett Village Hall both welcoming and inclusive.
    Over the decades I've been to a number of events where I felt somewhat out of place either due to age (this still happens and I'm in my mid-50s!) or being a scruffy git.
    Never felt that way about any of the narrow gauge things or the likes of the WRG but it still happens sometimes.
    I also have some 0 gauge to play with but it's Gilly and her brother's old train set which was (very) second hand to them in the 1960s and is probably pre-war....we'll see if the cat will chase it or run away from it!

  3. I suppose this is what has always put me off joining some groups. TBH I've had a few bad experiences in the 16mm world, especially when I was a teenager - experiences I should say that Tom Cooper, Brian Clark and the late Peter Jones more than compensated for. I think what concerns me here is that, perhaps down to Geoff Forster's current project, I've been beginning to wonder about a change of scale. In your text there is a subtext I suspect. Long term adherents of the scale don't actually want newcomers, especially if they are heretical out of the boxers.

  4. Beautiful photo of an 02 and some gorgeous LSWR carriages there.
    It's a shame that some of these society's don't seem to like "newbies" to there gauge, at exhibitions I am more than happy to share experiences and methods to a point that not many trains run on the layout. It's a blinkered approach, but have had a similar experience with a certain gauge " we're only going to produce what the computer want and blow everyone else" any half decent ideas get shouted down or just ignored.