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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 20th Sep 2018, 9:29 am   #61
YoungManGW
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I have to say, all the comments bemoaning a growing lack of interest in, say, classic cars, betrays a complete failure to understand how nostalgia operates. As a crude rule, we all gravitate back to those things that were new or newish when in our teens and 20s - music, cars, technology, etc. - when, arguably, the world felt at its biggest and most exciting. A car from the 1980s may be thought of as modern by many on this forum, but is still 30+ years old, i.e. it's a classic to someone in their 40s or 50s. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

As to the BVWS, just two thoughts. First, name changes make no difference if the product remains the same, and are often ridiculous. Remember the Post Office/Royal Mail's disastrous and cretinous change to Consignia? Second, we live in an evolutionary world. Things change; one either adapts and survives, or goes west. If people want, see a need for, change, then armchair moaning doesn't cut it. As folk used to say before we all got so earnestly polite, "Put up, or shut up." I run an annual vintage/classic/interesting car show. I can't begin to tell you how much moaning goes on, always from people entirely uninterested/unwilling/incapable of helping. "I'm only suggesting" doesn't cut it. DO something, or shut up!

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 10:38 am   #62
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

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Originally Posted by YoungManGW View Post
As a crude rule, we all gravitate back to those things that were new or newish when in our teens and 20s
Maybe I'm just odd but I gravitated to a period well before I was born and this has been true from the time I was a boy and consistently for a further six decades because I saw this period as very significant in technological history and fascinating because of its modernity whilst using ancient technology.

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:04 am   #63
Ian - G4JQT
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I've been watching this thread with interest and much of what I would have said has been said. Yes, maybe it's time for a formal widening of the BVWS remit to include other forms of vintage audio equipment, like amplifiers and record-players (and reflect this in the name) - although to my knowledge these items have not been excluded from the pages of the bulletin in recent years. But are there other British groups covering these areas that would be uncomfortable with BVWS 'mission creep'?

Perhaps I missed it in this thread, but it seems there is an elephant in the room; AM radio is dying, for the reasons frequently debated on this forum and elsewhere. Remember that people under 30 rarely listen to any type of radio. They get what they want when they want it - from the internet.

There may be some form of very local MW broadcasting in future when the big boys move out, but I doubt it. I suspect that all British LW and MW broadcasting will be gone in a decade or so (look across to most of Europe), and we must brace ourselves for that.

However lack of broadcast signals hasn't stopped the collection or restoration of analogue TVs, but it has moved into a niche market, requiring the use of TV converters. This is already the case with our radios, with more of us making or buying 'pantry transmitters', but again, this is for the enthusiast. If we had lots of MW stations to listen to with hardly any interference, we'd be in a different place. But we're not.

So maybe it's now time to have another look out of the window and gently evolve the BVWS to suit the approaching landscape...

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 11:55 am   #64
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

If I remember correctly the chairman has asked in "From The Chair" a couple of times for articles covering hi-fi, record players and other more recent vintage tech, but none have been forthcoming.

The difficulty is that to attract potential members interested in this sort of equipment you need articles in the bulletin, but to have articles in the bulletin you need to have members interested in this sort of equipment to write them.

We can't really say on the website etc that the society is open to those interested in vintage hi-fi, record players, personal stereos etc when there isn't anything about them in the bulletin.

Catch 22 situation.

It would have been good if the bulletin and membership had gradually evolved in that direction but unfortunately it hasn't. Likely reasons have already been discussed here.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 12:24 pm   #65
stevehertz
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

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As to the BVWS, just two thoughts. First, name changes make no difference if the product remains the same, and are often ridiculous. Remember the Post Office/Royal Mail's disastrous and cretinous change to Consignia? ....

Regards,
Richard
Factually incorrect. It may not be a nice thing to get our heads around, but name changes can have a dramatic effect on 'what it is that you're trying to achieve by changing the name'. I'm not saying that the BVWS needs a new name, personally and professionally I don't think it does, but in the world of marketing communications, the role and purpose of a name change can be many, and not always to do with 'the product' itself changing.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 1:13 pm   #66
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I have been in a company when the name got changed.

It was decided to split the company and float the two sections separately on the stock market. The purpose was to 'increase shareholder value'

It was decided that the computer part of the firm would keep the Hewlett-Packard name (It was the computer side which had grown and was at the helm and made the decision to split and who got the revered name). The instrument side got floated off. It needed a new name and a consultancy was brought in to 'help' choose one. The rumour mill said this cost about thirty megabucks but that's only a rumour and they may have done other things. Agilent Technologies was the chosen name.

When the employees first heard of this, someone stuck it into one of those anagram finding dictionary gizmos used by crossword puzzlers. "A tin leg" it came up with, then it beeped a second time "Genital" it said and people stopped joking about tin legs. It seemed ridiculous. Being a coined pseudo-latin word it had an aura of fakeness about it... we brits thought of consignia and grimaced.

We were the original part of the company doing what Bill and Dave had founded it to do and we'd lost the name. Then we experienced how big a job it was to convince our customers that we were the same people they'd dealt with all along, that we would do things to the same standard and that they could trust us just as much. It was an uphill battle. Oh, and the high performers in the firm then discovered that their stock option rewards had been voided overnight by the change.

The firm survived and the name started slowly to mean something.

But recently, the Agilent corporate seagulls did what the HP ones did. The split their company and turfed the instrument divisions adrift a second time. THe Agilent name is retained by the biomedical side of things and the instrument people are now called 'Keysight' and they had to start all over again re-connecting with their customers, building reputation.

Re-naming fatigue?

I think changing a name can be worthwhile sometimes, but it can be destructive at other times. It is something to only go into with very great care.

If you have a name and people know you by it and your reputation attaches to it, it is you.

David
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 2:20 pm   #67
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Bottom line, if the BVWS is going to carry on or even grow a name change will Not effect the outcome.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 3:30 pm   #68
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

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I have been in a company when the name got changed.
.
.
.
Re-naming fatigue?
I think my former employer (British Leyland UK by the time I joined it) took this to something of an extreme. Without ever applying for a new job, over a period of fifteen years I worked for: the above; Leyland Cars; BL Cars; BL Systems; Istel. In addition, there had been multiple name changes both before I joined and after I left. Eventually it got sold off then dispersed into non-existence. And of course its former parent company (Rover Group by that time) went to the wall a few years later.

Coming back to the BVWS, I suppose I started from the nostalgia of the valve era of my childhood, then expanded the interest back to what had come before.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 6:45 pm   #69
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

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I have to say, all the comments bemoaning a growing lack of interest in, say, classic cars, betrays a complete failure to understand how nostalgia operates. As a crude rule, we all gravitate back to those things that were new or newish when in our teens and 20s - music, cars, technology, etc. - when, arguably, the world felt at its biggest and most exciting. A car from the 1980s may be thought of as modern by many on this forum, but is still 30+ years old, i.e. it's a classic to someone in their 40s or 50s. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.
Bit patronising! I do understand what nostalgia is ........my point was exactly that. Young folk are not going to be enthusiastic and nostalgic about the old stuff such as valve radios and 1930's cars they cannot relate to them in the same way. I'm also not saying that more recent cars (some of them anyway) aren't classics but these things appeal differently to different generations.

There are always the exceptions of course.
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Old 20th Sep 2018, 6:56 pm   #70
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

John, I was making a general point, not directed at anyone in particular. As my dad was fond of saying, "If the cap fits ..."

On the topic of renaming, a Snickers is still, to me, a Marathon.

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Old 20th Sep 2018, 7:50 pm   #71
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

On the basis of the success of the NVCF, if a change of name be needed, how about 'British Vintage Communication Society', which would encompass all current and most conceivable future activities? 'Communication' is admittedly somewhat ambiguous, but the Fair doesn't appear to suffer as a result of that.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 12:45 am   #72
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I've just picked up this thread; I'm not a BVWS member. I'm a retired electronics design engineer, started with xtal sets at 11, interested in radio and electronics tech history. I used to subscribe to Radio Bygones [rb] - mostly technical and not too much waffle, fitted my interest in radio tech history. And it came as pdfs.. I understand that BVWS has taken on rb, so I went to the bvws website. Some constructive- I hope - comments.

1. What do you actually get for your subs? info lacking.
2. Seems to be a discrepancy between "The Society regularly produces supplements for members, consisting of technical, historic and documentary interest... paper supplements and our own history book. These are all free to members.", "Newer issues may be purchased", BVWS CDroms pages that don't tell you how to get them...It all seems to be on the other side of a paywall.
3 It's rather difficult to get a feel for the bulletin now; latest preview is 10 years old. But my impression is that there is more waffle and people stuff than radio tech history, e.g.design, receivers, BC stations, with circuits, 'how to'...and my interest is the tech side.
4 Nice clean website with no bling. ButHome page features video of an auction 4 years ago...why? I can't get in my garage already, I don't want more mouldering woodworm. Occasional inaccessible [i.e. too far away] auctions? not for me.
5 Is BVWS a brit soc. for vintage wireless, or a soc. for Brit vintage wireless sets? Perhaps the 'vintage wireless soc.' would be a more inclusive title?
6 Is the bulletin available as pdf instead of hard copy? - I've nowhere to put print magazines.

I'd be happy for someone to tell me I've got it wrong.


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John
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ps don't worry about the bvws logo - they're only useful for large companies in the public eye, like macDo or Shell.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 2:10 am   #73
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

You've said the same sort of things that I've been thinking after having a more detailed look at the BVWS web-site, John.

I appreciate that it depends on volunteers to maintain but these days a web-site is the shop window for any organisation and there's a danger that somebody happening across it could think that it's for a society that no longer exists or on its last legs.

As for the Bulletin I was given a load of old issues some time ago and found the content varied. One or two I read more-or-less cover-to-cover, a slightly higher number contained nothing of interest and most had one or two articles to my taste; which appears to be similar to yours. What I found most frustrating were pages of "Pictures from the Harpenden Meeting" or some-such with no captions. This may well have been improved in recent years though.

I understand what you mean in your point 5. Some people have floated the idea of it becoming the British Vintage Radio Society but that could lead to confusion as to whether it's about vintage radios or vintage radio in a wider sense; for instance some type of group interested in old programmes.

There have been some good suggestions made in this thread but all fall down due to the problem that it's unlikely anybody will come forward to implement them voluntarily and obviously the Society can't pay for them to be done professionally.

Yes, I've criticised the web-site for being vague with out-dated content (though I have meant it to be constructive) and should offer to do something about it. However I don't have the knowledge, but dare say I could acquire it. What puts me off mainly however is the thought that anything I did would have to be approved by a committee after goodness knows how much debate and that would require more patience than I possess.

For the record Radio Bygones has been taken over by Radiophile, not the BVWS.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 8:48 am   #74
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I can only observe that the majority of the criticism of the BVWS here, however well-intentioned, seems to come from folk who admit they aren't members!
Would they join if their criticisms were acted on? I don't suppose we'll ever know.
Similarly, if the Society changed to suit the non-members, would existing members feel alienated and leave?
The best way to change any organisation is from within. If, for example, Bulletin articles aren't to your liking then join and write an article which does suit you and see what others make of it.

Andy
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 9:22 am   #75
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

On the face of it John G8JMB is just the sort you would hope would be a good fit in the BVWS.

The problem is for many of us the time and effort required to make our archives public is too great for someone like myself still in full time employment.

And don't forget John BVWS meets are a two way street you can dispose as well as aquire! ( Most events have a bring and buy) Your nearest meet is RWB, unfortunately your location is Dorset so I can't tell you how long it will take to get there bearing in mind Dorset has no decent roads going North!

I spend a good deal of my time living in Poole and I often return to Poole from RWB its around 75 miles but takes about an 1Hr 40 mins on a Sunday.

You can attend as a guest to see if it's for you and you can speak to a commitee member about all the benifits.

My main reason for going to meets is the face to face with my friends who are normally scattererd all over the country.

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 10:53 am   #76
John M0GLN
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I've been reading this thread with interest and I'd just like to add my opinion.

Firstly I don't think there should be a name change, I joined the BVWS in 1994 and would like it to stay the BVWS, although I would stay in as a member if it did change and would have joined if it had been the BVRS or similar, but I don't think a change is needed.

Secondly the Bulletin, the quality is excellent, both the production quality and the articles, I do enjoy reading them whatever the particular subject, whether it's the restoration of a TV or a tape deck, neither of which do I have a desire to own ( my main interest is wireless sets of the 30's and 40's ) or the history of a long gone company. Things do change and for some they get better and for some worse, I read Practical Wireless every month from the early 50's until the late 70's, but when I flick through a copy in WH Smiths now I don't buy it because I can hardly find a page which is of any interest to me, although I still build both valve and semiconductor projects.

Thirdly the BVWS website, it does all I need to know, where and when events are held with links to forums such as this, these are a very important feature letting people take part although I do know this excellent forum is Pauls own and not a BVWS one, I'm also a member and contribute to the forums of the Model Engineer, Practical Boat Owner and a few others although I never read their website pages.

John
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 11:21 am   #77
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

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.... What I found most frustrating were pages of "Pictures from the Harpenden Meeting" or some-such with no captions. This may well have been improved in recent years though...
I would say the current Bulletin has a decent amount of technical articles and some history too but like you I do get frustrated by the pages of photos with no text, (there's 5 pages in this edition) I live (and I know that's my own fault) 5 hours drive from the nearest BVWS auction so it's a bit like ... look what you could've won! of course if there was more content provided they'd be lees need to fill it out.

The BVWS Bulletin is certainly a high quality publication and Raiophile is 'less glossy', personally I'd like to see a combination of both mainly because I can't justify subscribing to both. Other than Golbourne which is still 3 hours away there's no benefit to being part of a society it's just about magazine subscription.

John
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 11:53 am   #78
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Other than Golbourne which is still 3 hours away there's no benefit to being part of a society it's just about magazine subscription.
I tend to agree. As someone who first joined in '77 and my last time was around four years ago, I wasn't really seeing much benefit from being in the society. The magazine is certainly a well produced, glossy journal. Now call me long in the tooth, but having read about hundreds of restorations, much as I have tried, I no longer possess the depth of interest or the need to read thousands of words about how someone stripped a basket case radio chassis, got it re-painted or plated, re-stuffed the capacitors, re-built it and now it looks and sounds like new. I'm not knocking that at all, and I can see that it probably does interest the majority of readers. And you may well say, take away that and what do you have left? and you're probably right, not a lot. But we're all different. I'm now at the point of getting rid of old magazines and certain ephemera, my interests largely being getting my head down into my own restorations, which at the moment is 70s hifi and not really embraced by the BVWS. I also enjoy interacting with others on forums of which there are many that cover my wide range of wireless/audio interests.

The auctions are also a long way away from me, so again, I 'pass' on those. Also, as we all know, there are online auction sites now, and like many I buy from those. Granted, not always ideal or without risk, but I can pick and choose and wait for what I'm looking for to come up.

So for some people, a perceived lack of interest in the BVWS does not mean they have a downer on it (far from it in my case, long may it live and prosper), it's just that they and the world around us have changed and the fit is not good any more. Is that a reason for the BVWS to change then one might ask? I certainly don't expect it to change to suit my needs, but if it did, I'd maybe have more interest and a desire to re-join.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 12:16 pm   #79
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

I'm pretty happy with the present nature of the Bulletin: I suppose it's not exactly the mix I would choose, but the mix I would choose doesn't seem worth thinking about while I'm aware that what doesn't much interest me will surely interest others. My interest in the historical side of things, the companies and the men responsible for our legacy of vintage radio hardware, is probably inexhaustible, and if the researches which individuals are driven to undertake don't find a home in the Bulletin they may just be lost.

Can't say I've minded the uncaptioned photographs, which sometimes show items I hadn't known existed, while at worst they indicate what's out there and provide a record of events, which as I rarely venture more than ten miles from home I'm never likely to see at first hand. And perhaps if more good articles were received the photo features would largely be squeezed out...

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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 7:39 am   #80
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Default Re: Changing the BVWS

Thanks Paul for the great work you do for the BVWS and on this forum!

Although I am not able to come to the meetings since the early 90s, I am still a member and support the BVWS and appreciate the Bulletin.

Critics are everywhere around us, just listen to the many positive comments.

Jac
by the way: just keep the name.
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