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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl NVCF), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 17th Sep 2018, 7:06 pm   #21
greenstar
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I would add my name to support keeping the name as it is. I find it is extremely confusing when organisations I belong to change into something else, and feel the name is part of their history and identity. I am not at all the same person I was 40 years ago yet I have the same name, and there is some continuity. You can evolve and change but there must be something to maintain the identity or nobody will know who you are or where you have come from. Government bodies like the current Natural England are the worst at this.
Could there be 'chapters' in membership relating to specific areas? If there is interest, they may grow.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 7:35 pm   #22
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

For my part I am interested in how to get the society to be recognised and supported by the next generations.

I take on board what Paul Sherwin and Paul Stenning have said and I don't disagree that unless something is done the future is bleak.

A little disappointed with what Pillenwerfer said because when I joined the BVWS although I had been repairing and building sets since before I was 10 dealing with 1920's and 1930's vintage sets and that was different.

I went to my first BVWS meet at Harpenden in 1985 I knew no one.

But in the cafe when I sat to eat my Breakfast I shared a table with an old hand been in the trade all his life. A modest man but imparted his knowledge freely his name was Sid (known as Southampton Sid although that not where he lived when I met him).

He mentored me till his passing and helped me meet other BVWS members who would all become friends.

This is what young people call IRL (In Real Life)

These are not cyber friends but real people who I know.

I have done my best to help members connect at meets and soon it will be my duty to pass on the little I know but to whom?

So I feel we need to recreate a better online presence where these relationships and Mentors can help the current generation to take an interest in this small section of our heritage.

How to achieve this cafe atmosphere will take either specialists in the field or younger members.

After all this format isn't much different to a chatroom

This society IMHO needs to get a new generation in or any work we have done will be lost within a generation, sad but true. Then the name won't matter at all.

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 8:18 pm   #23
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Personally I think just BVWS is fine - no need to spell out what it means.

As has been mentioned numerous times, there is a real need to attract fresh, young and enthusiastic members - the challenge, how to appeal to anyone of the current and previous generation about anything that requires actual work, effort, and above all a physical interest in doing something with your hands?

I've three children - Admittedly two are now of "adult" age, but other than a brief fleeting interest from Callum (now 19, and interested more in cars and moping around with his mates) none of them are the slightest bit interested in any of the old tech I have here.

The cause is a simple one, the move away from real world hands on stuff at school.

Add to this, that the emphasis on not taking risks, or doing anything that could be a danger to your health, it's no wonder we are short of younger members.

It is almost impossible to explain to anyone why we collect all this old clobber, repair or restore it, and then leave it sat on a shelf for use as and when we have the time.

So, if any of the organisations that exist now, such as BVWS want to have a long term future, then we as msmbers have a duty to try to introduce new life to the hobby.

Let's take BVWS events for an example - Harpenden - excellent for those of us already members, or interested, but what does it actually do to invite new enquiring minds?

The same can be said for the NVCF, and a lot of other events that are similar, they are all set to appeal to the target audience - existing collectors and enthusiasts!

A huge challenge, I for one do not know the answer.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 9:27 pm   #24
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I am not a member there, but often read threads involving them. Vintage Wireless I think we all recognise as the umbrella of what we are all interested in. Just look at the name here of this forum. IF a change IS required, how about UKVWS? Everyone knows "UK". This would bring it in line with the modern policy like in holiday travel documents.
Please remember, this is just a name (Initials) suggestion, not intended to promote any political discussion.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 11:03 pm   #25
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I'm firmly of the view that there will always be people of all ages who enjoy taking things apart, figuring out why things have gone wrong and sometimes reconstructing said things. Humans are naturally inquisitive and gain huge pleasure from problem solving. For these reasons there will always be an interest in our kind of hobby. The exact subject matter will continue to evolve and if anything will broaden as technology itself evolves.

It is educational to simply review some of the equipment recently discussed on this forum. I suspect that there are few other places containing so much information about such a wide variety of technology covering a period of around a hundred years. This is in no small part due to the way the forum has been managed and moderated. However, the most obvious reason for the forum's success is that it embraces the current willingness of humanity to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer.

Sadly there are many long established clubs and societies, covering a wide range of interests, which have failed to move with the times and are rapidly becoming moribund. Name changes are not the answer as many a corporate entity has found to its cost over the years. A more radical approach is needed.

Why not consider merging UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration with BVWS? I'll not add further comment at this juncture but will just fetch my tin hat.

As a final thought, I'd propose changing this forum's name to Vintage Technology Repair and Restoration!

Alan
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 11:39 pm   #26
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

Just to declare my position I am a BVWS member, I'm only interested in valve radios and I have have no interest in TVs but happy to have them included in the Wireless Society

John

Strangely, my position is the exact opposite!! I am a BVWS member but only because my original passion of ' 405 Alive' was absorbed into it. I must confess I don't have a great deal of interest in radio and didn't, even as a kid. Television was always and still is, my main interest. In my ideal world, the Bulletin would contain mostly TV related articles! Television seems to be a very specialist interest and I've always been at a loss to understand why?

I think what all of us do is very much of it's time. We've all been involved with the technology- either as repairers, designers or just users. It's fundamentally nostalgia that drives our passions. Expecting younger people to become interested when they have no connection with the technology is totally unrealistic.

There is no long term future for this hobby and the same applies to classic cars amongst other things. In our car club there are very few people below the age of 60-70! You only have to go to any BVWS event or the NVCF to realise that the same applies.

So changing the name will achieve nothing:- my vote, even though I'm primarily a TV lover, is to leave it as it is.

However, I must commend Alex, the editor of the 'Bulletin', for an excellent
magazine and I do enjoy reading the radio related articles. He can only print what people write so if I wan't more TV stuff, I'll have to write it myself!!

All the best
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 12:43 am   #27
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I can't see any need for a change of name, as it fits the existing society adequately.
I must declare my interest in that I am honoured to be a member.
Also that I am interested in anything with valves in it, but have, inexplicably, recently developed an interest in collecting coffee percolators!
I haven't found a society for collectors of obsolete UK domestic appliances (if one exists, perhaps someone could kindly point me in their direction?), though there is a section here.
I am not complaining that they don't fit in the current remit of the BVWS.
And I'm happy for the BVWS not to include VHS video recorders or 1980s mass-market audio equipment yet.
I do wonder whether there is a demand for coverage of such things among younger people.
If so, perhaps the BVWS could initially nurture both, possibly leading to a sister society specialising in obsolete equipment from the IC era onwards?
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 2:36 am   #28
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

If we need to attract new members and I believe we do, we need things to be far more approachable, user friendly and perhaps less "learned." Much of the Bulletin certainly goes over my head, I'd like to see more "toned down" articles added for people that didn't grow up with this technology or originally worked with it.
A new name could help, at present it is a bit long winded, "society" could be replaced with "club." how about "Vintage Radio Club" certainly less stuffy and rolls off the tongue better.
Incidentally I joined the club for my passion for radio, TV hold little interest for me.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 6:22 am   #29
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

People's attitudes to hobbies and interests have been changing. People in the younger age groups are less likely to take a long-term interest. They try things and move on to other things. What may be a lifetime's interest to us is a passing novelty to most of them. It looks like channel-hopping through life.

There are some interests with seemingly no problem in attracting younger members.

I have another hobby. It uses technology much older than vintage radios and it still has a steady influx of young people. I'm a horse rider.

All over Britain, there are riding clubs and branches of the pony pony club. This isn't something confined to the South East corner or near major conurbations. Clubs are organising meetings, shows, tuition. There's usually something on most weekends throughout spring, summer, autumn, wherever you are.

On top of this, there are commercial riding schools all over the place. People who don't own their own horses can go and ride by the hour. There are holiday firms offering horse-back breaks in scenic areas.

As you drive around, notice the number of fields with horses in them. This is a very old interest and it's thriving. It grew a lot along with the growth in leisure time and disposable income through the sixties, seventies and eighties. It boomed, but it hasn't unboomed.

It isn't just kids, at a friend's riding school there are plenty of young and middle-aged adults taking it up as well as a gang in their sixties and seventies.

This isn't an easy hobby to take up. It's reputed to be very expensive. If you ride at a school, figure on £25-30 per hour. If you go the whole hog figure in the cost of a smallholding versus your current house and add in a 4x4 and trailer or a 7.5 tonner, then there's feed, vet bills etc.

Pre-war tellies and high-end boutique hifi look cheap now?

But there are more obstacles. When you start riding, it's scary. You're not really in control and you're stressing rarely used muscles. It's uncomfortable. It takes a fair amount of practice before you start to feel comfortable both mentally and physically. Kids don't think of danger. Adults read that it's rated (RoSPA) the second most dangerous sport or pastime in the UK. That ought to put their age group off, but it doesn't. It takes positive effort and serious perseverance to get going.

Schools push kids into football, running, athletics, cricket, hockey. Not riding.

It happens because horses and are cute and friendly. They're big enough and strong enough to be very intimidating, but they're friendly. People of all ages are attracted to pets. Look at the occasional threads on here about new cats and the anguish of losing one.

Horses are visible. You see them out and about. You see them being ridden and the riders must enjoy it, or you wouldn't see them riding.

Restoring radios, doing amateur radio etc are done in private, out of the public view. They're not things Joe Public will stumble across. If they do think of it, it looks too technical to many.
Having a private museum seems much odder than sitting atop a powerful animal.

Aviation is a technical hobby. Famously expensive, famously demanding on skill and knowledge. No shortage of young people wanting to do it.

In terms of vintage electronics, I find that my old radios don't grab much attention. The new all-singing all-dancing Icom gets more of a look, but it's the sound from the hifi which rivets them. In this age of shrinking speakers in tiddy little sound-bars, just what can be done has the surprise factor.

Just changing a name won't have any more effect than rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. What's needed are some large steel plates and a welder!

David
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 6:27 am   #30
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Everyone always asks.... when I read that RoSPA report, cave-diving was the most dangerous pastime. Horse riding came second.

David
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 7:10 am   #31
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Although not currently a member, I joined the BVWS 1977 when there was little more than a handful of members, and even then it was not uniquely the domain of vintage radio enthusiasts with many members, including myself having vintage TV and audio interests. Frankly I see little point in changing the name, it will not make the society more accessible or higher profile than it is now, and it could even work the other way. Any new blood wanting to find a society to join because of say their vintage TV interests would have to be pretty blinkered not to find the BVWS. In my professional life as a director of an international electronics focused PR agency I was often asked about the merits of changing a company's name. The answer is don't do it unless there is a really good reason such as the existing name has become sullied, or a new name will make the organisation higher profile and recognisable. The fact that the name BVWS doesn't include audio or TV is not of prime importance, like I say, it doesn't stop it being recognisable for what it embraces by interested parties. And finally, should the Wobbly Wheelers Cycling club change its name to the Wobbly Wheelers Road, Mountain, Track, Cyclo-Cross and Time Trial club?
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 9:00 am   #32
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

If 'British Vintage Wireless Society' sounds long-winded and stuffy, then I'm afraid 'Vintage Radio Club' sounds down-market and no more than a group of friends having a get-together at their local!
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 9:58 am   #33
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

David, as a second hobby, that sounds totally relaxing. Out in the fresh air as well. If you ever go handheld mobile, never mention the word "whip" as in antenna! Horses are quite intelligent I have often been told.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 10:58 am   #34
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Quote:
Originally Posted by M0FYA Andy View Post
If 'British Vintage Wireless Society' sounds long-winded and stuffy, then I'm afraid 'Vintage Radio Club' sounds down-market and no more than a group of friends having a get-together at their local!
I'd have to agree, and can't see anything to be gained by changing the name at all. Or, for that matter, by changing the Bulletin. Any good pamphlet or book on the rudiments of servicing and/or restoration can only help, likewise using video if that's a more accessible medium to many: but devoting much of a quarterly periodical to basic matters would soon become repetitive, and redundant to most of its readers. I would rather the Bulletin continues to document the wonderfully various heritage of stuff that's out there, while it's still out there, and the ingenuity and dedication required sometimes to restore it to life or comeliness.

How much of what we do will still be done, how many of our artifacts valued, twenty, forty, sixty years hence, I'll not hazard a guess: as Yogi Berra said, it's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. What I can't much doubt is that wider social forces than we can hope to direct will be the main determinant. Microgroove records, for instance, haven't made the limited comeback that they have through any particular stroke of marketing genius, but because there's something about them - there are various things about them - that, once they'd largely gone, quite a few people realised they were missing. Even people who hadn't been around when "vinyl" was dominant. Nostalgia is only one way in which the bug for vintage items and left-behind technologies can be caught.

Paul
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 10:59 am   #35
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

As per my earlier post, British Vintage Wireless Society does have shortcomings as a name, but it would be exceedingly difficult to actually improve upon! So as it ain't actually broke...

As for Royal Wootton Bassett (which I have attended) and Harpenden (which I haven't), they probably do appeal to the minority, those who want to buy and those who want to sell. But they are both successful, attendance is about the right amount for the venue, if they were better attended there would be a problem to fix! I am not aware of a downward trend as yet.

In any club or society, the membership gets the committee it deserves. And as far as the Bulletin goes, the articles in it are what Alex has been sent! They are written BY members FOR members, with Alex doing the superlative job of formatting them, maybe holding a couple back if not enough space, and turning out a good publication. Yes, more TV articles would be nice, as long as somebody else writes them!

It's interesting that Radio Wrangler rides. I do too, I bred my current horse, I was the first person to sit on his back (which is an awesome experience), and I am secretary of a Riding Club of 130 members; I know all about committee life, internal politics, the sleeping membership, the active membership. Earlier this month I was up at Lincoln Showground with a few of our members, both junior and senior, who qualified for the British Riding Clubs National Championships (sadly I didn't). If I had not been writing for a dressage judge I would have taken a trip to you-know-where, The Strait near the cathedral. This weekend it's organising a Team Chase over cross-country fences.

While agreeing with RW that horse riding is here to stay, individual clubs and societies aren't! They go in cycles. And that's just like the BVWS. One of the difficulties is getting adequate engagement with the 'silent sleeping membership.' Some come out of the woodwork at AGM's, quite a lot don't. Experience shows that broadly, what happens falls into the following four scenarios:

* People don't voice an opinion at the AGM, the later moan that things didn't go the way they wanted.

* People come up with excellent suggestions, meaning that so-and-so would be good to do, as long as somebody else does the work. Often they do, and knowledge and experience is gained.

* People come up with good suggestions, which add no work for the Committee, in fact may even save time, naturally these tend to be taken on board!

* People say that improvements are needed, focus of activities needs to change - then offer themselves as part of the solution to make it happen. These usually find themselves appointed to the Committee with open arms!

So - the BVWS auctions don't appeal to everyone? True! They are successful enough to work though, so don't stop that! Have a newbie introduction day? Great idea, would you like to organise it?

Myself, I belong to the BVWS, I'm a comparatively silent sleeping member, I do occasionally have a letter in the Bulletin, I have no issue with the way the Committee works, I'm just grateful that they do! I have no intention of not renewing, and if I come across people with the same interests I will point them towards the BVWS and to this Forum!

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Old 18th Sep 2018, 12:20 pm   #36
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Just a thought, and relevant to this forum, that there is another area of interest relating to vintage radio. That is of home construction. Making new radios etc from old or new parts to a vintage design. This has been well represented in the Bulletin, the peak of genius being 'project of a lifetime', with numerous other projects for things like pantry transmitters or aerials.
I am most attracted to earlier, 1920's sets, and before, but my budget does not run to the valuable and rare. So I tinker with home constructed designs, old and new. What I am saying is that scarcity and high value does not relate to my interest in that period.
I believe vintage home construction will always attract some interest, and there are several websites attesting to the fact. Eg, the excellent https://makearadio.com/index.php
So long as components are available I doubt the advancement of time will mean interest will be lost in any era. Even then there may be ways around that. Transistors, IC's etc, will have their own followers too. We just need to include them as they become vintage.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 1:02 pm   #37
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

It's been really good that so many members have made such an effort on this topic, It seems most current members are singing from the same hymn sheet concerning the name but there have been many ideas concerning getting a new generation involved. My children are now in their 30's and neither interested are in my old Junk, maybe one of my Grandchildren

I have been given approval to do some "events" in the office.

Bringing in specific parts of my collection and displaying them in one of the training rooms sort of a show and tell.

There are around 350 people on site and it's an Engineering company I have high hopes of getting some interest.

It's been delayed by my current building project which has now over run by 4 months and is likely to rumble on for another 5 months.

Perhaps I need to ensure that the BVWS and UKVRRR are prominent on my handouts.

Like Kalee20 I am a bit of a sleeper member other than doing the B&B at RWB work, family and house are stripping me of any time to be more active.

Although I will be in London this weekend I will not have time to go to Harpy

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 1:06 pm   #38
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

The contact point for the outside world...https://www.bvws.org.uk/

The Logo....Zzzzzzzzzz

The big picture link.....June 2014!....again...Zzzzzzzzzz.

The name....

British....terribly so.

Vintage....fit for purpose.

Wireless....I think radio might be better but hey ho.

Society....mysterious goings on in some remote hut

Lawrence.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 1:39 pm   #39
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Indeed, Lawrence.

This paragraph is somewhat ambiguous:—
The Society regularly produces supplements for members, consisting of technical, historic and documentary interest. Over the past few years we have produced (with Copyright permission) CD-ROMs of the Trader Service sheets 1 to 1899, all BVWS Bulletins no longer in print and all editions of 405 Alive magazine, several DVDs containing historic films, plus a number of other paper supplements and our own history book. These are all free to members.
Does that last sentence mean that these things are free to people who become Members now or simply an illustration of the things Members have received in the past?
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 3:31 pm   #40
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

This debate will (already has) generate more heat than light.

To suggest that a name change will give the BVWS more appeal is facile. The demographics of almost all hobbies is heavily skewed towards older people. This hobby will inevitably decline in terms of numbers, because quite a proportion of members - as with this forum - are those who had careers in the now non-existent radio/TV servicing filed and grew up with much of the equipment they now restore and collect.

Apart from not having the inclination, younger people are often in higher deduction, developing careers, and what free time they have, seems to be taken up by social media to an alarming extent. People seem not to have hobbies these days that they are in for 'the long haul', but transitory pastimes.

As I recall, the name change has been discussed by the Society and it has for now, been decided to leave things as they are, but if anyone thinks the BVWS had stagnated or is moribund, a look at the first issue of the Bulletin, and a later one (from a decade ago in 2008) will show how far things have progressed.

Issue one, June 1976:

https://www.bvws.org.uk/publications...letin_01_1.pdf

Autumn 2008:

https://www.bvws.org.uk/download/The...3_Download.pdf

As to the term 'British', I don't see a problem with that. I've just googled 'British Hobby Clubs and Societies' and got 20mill hits.

Here are just a few:

Radio Society of Great Britain
Federation of British Herpatologists:
British Toy and Hobby Association
British Model Flying Association
British Cacti & Succulent Society
Association of Woodturners of Great Britain
British Horse Society
British Printing Society
British Trust for Ornithology
British Koi Keepers Society
British Tarantula Society
Federation of British Bonsai Societies
British Historical Games Society
British Society for Shooting & Conservation
Federation of British Aquatics Society
Brtish 1:87 Scale Modelling Society
British Bird Council
British Falconers’ Club

That in itself isn't a reason to not change, but 'UK' is not in, my view, a good alternative because it's just an acronym for 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'.

I'm just so chuffed that since the formation of the BVWS, right to the present day, there has been/is a band of volunteers who - often for many years - have worked tirelessly for little thanks, no reward, and lots of dispiriting criticism from armchair critics, have kept the Society on an even keel, organising auctions and other events, producing the Bulletin, DVDs and books, helping practically and financially with the Museum, and so forth.

As a hobby publication, the Bulletin is outstanding and I dare say it's unrivalled. Lots of varied content in full colour, and little advertising to fill the pages. Like other members, I look forward to its arrival and in the winter months, spend many hours re-reading back copies.

I'm sure that many forum members will have visited the NVCF at one time or another as I have, both as a visitor and occasional stallholder. A truly major event which runs like clockwork. All the security, health and safety, setting out and clearing away of the tables, marshalling, catering and so forth. It all runs like clockwork. And for all of the efforts of the volunteers, the bottom line is that it clears £1,200 after the costs involved. The hobby would be all the worse if those involved concluded that the NVCF and auctions were just too much effort for little in the way of rewards.

Finally, I don't think there is anything that the BVWS can do, or should do, to induce non-members who find fault with the Society to join.

It's their choice and they've made it. I'm OK with that and I'm not having a pop at anyone.
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