I sent a letter to the Editor of Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling which is a new-ish free magazine available through model shops and some model railway shops about the group and I now discover that it was actually printed in the June edition of the magazine.
In times past every village & town in a a local newspapers circulation area had a local hack who had his or her nose to local news stories and all the local events. Local clubs were given space to report their news. In the Hampshire Chronicle for instance they had regular reports of local railway news & history.
You know what I’m going to say now- it isn’t like that now!
They’re interested in advertising-mostly the national sport of buying or selling or looking at houses for sale- but little news- because the reporters are not out & about sniffing the news; nor reporting about magistrate courts cases, but they’re sitting in nice warm offices waiting for e-mails from the general public.
Clubs & interest groups are increasingly denied access because the reporters know nothing of the local area & care less & its so much easier to take a briefing from the local MP (not an interview note) provided by party news minders at party HQ.
Luckily, locally we do have what a local newspaper should be about, not created by paid professionals, only available 6 times a year but it is crammed full of truly local items of interest. Its what keeps a very small country area together… and it includes pieces about the local model railway club!
Small community organisations,like model railway clubs, have in the recent “digital age” been able to use community listings which are part of local authority websites.
Locally that’s recently all changed. They appear to have been privatised and much, if not all, such information has disappeared. One of our local council listings has been retained but is managed by an organisation in Wigan.
Now local clubs are in border territory, so listing is needed under Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey to make any sense of where potential members are drawn from. The lady in Lancashire didn’t understand this local dimension, so has done some editing- you can only be in one county!. Now I know that Lancastrians & Yorkshire folk have some problems with such things, but we are much more friendly down south.. (perhaps?)
Then there are local websites who appear to have rules about not including local organisations that don’t meet in their village or town even when said locality hasn’t a club covering that interest! This rule seems to have get outs- bowls clubs aren’t fettered by this..
Is it just model railway clubs who incur the wrath of list compilers?. If Haslemere , where its probably a capital offence to be a member of the Labour Party, can list that unmentionable organisation, why not the local model railway club in Liphook? (They haven’t got one of their own!) but they do list the Liphook Bowling Club!
What an unfriendly lot we’ve become- not only don’t we wan’t to have anything to do with countries close to us, we don’t want to have anything to do with the next village or town, or with friendly old gentlemen who happen to play trains.
During the next few weeks the new L&DMRC secretary ,Nick Harling, will be appearing in print in the Milland News and the Liphook Community Magazine, for the first time, reporting the happenings at the club.
I gave Nick a build up in my last reports, so good luck to him.
I had a pleasant afternoon at the local gardening club’s summer show on Saturday (13th) with a “work in progress” diorama of local interest-showing a little element of the Midhurst to Haslemere proposed, but never built, line. It wasn’t in any of the competitions, didn’t therefore win any prizes, but initiated a few discussions. Club & Model Trains in the Valley leaflets were available to visitors.
A small donation to the gardening club, for the space provided for our display, got us a mention & thanks as the “Milland Model Railway Club”. I think we have arrived!
I hope to have this show as a regular item on my calendar.
A request for modellers interested in Gauge O, to contact us with regard to building a new club layout, Walmington on Sea, in the scale, appeared in the May edition which has just arrived with members.
We reckon this must be 30 years or more since we submitted a report to the Guild.
The Guild which was formed in 1956 to prevent the scale becoming extinct in the UK celebrates its 60th birthday this year.
We have a full page article on the club covering most aspects. With the amount of new house building in Liphook might attract some new residents as members?
There is also an article on the Rex Cinema, formerly on the outskirts of Weyhill, Haslemere with a superb photo of the exterior, with a crowd outside & numerous cars of 50’s/60’s vintages dropping people off. Would make a good model!