Over the last few years our club membership dwindled to just 39, and about half of our track fell into disuse.
In the last few months several members independently came to the conclusion that something had to be done, rather than just leaving everything to a few long-standing committee folk. A month ago we had our annual meeting. Of the 39 members, 13 submitted nomination forms for five directorships. 30 members attended the meeting. Needless to say, we have a new board. (The outgoing directors and a few others were kind enough to withdraw, thus avoiding a divisive vote.)
Clearly it takes many man-hours to maintain and operate a large setup like ours, let alone repair the disused infrastructure. We need more members!
Since the meeting, a few new people have enquired about joining and number of former members have asked to rejoin. The purpose of this post is to spread the word that we have a new policy that is to welcome new members.
We ask that anyone whose application was rejected by a previous administration, any former member still living on the NSW Central Coast and anyone else in the district who can demonstrate an interest in the live steam or rideable train hobby to please get in touch. (Contact details on club website http://narara.cjb.net or PM me and I'll pass it on.)
In spite of our man-power problem we give about a thousand rides on our monthly running days. We are more popular than ever with young families seeking a cheap day's outdoor activity. To show what it could be like again, here is a link to a RP thread from 2014: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11378490.htm (thanks KRviator for the photos)
Here is some guidance we give to prospective members:
"The following ... might aid your consideration of our suitability to meet your needs as a member.
If you were asked, could you tell us a little about your interest in the hobby?
Are you or a family member building a locomotive (or already have one), if so what gauge?
Do you have any other steam machinery, e.g. stationary or road vehicles?
Are you interested in helping to build track and other infrastructure on our grounds?
Would you enjoy helping to maintain our track and grounds?
Do you like driving (or want to learn to drive) miniature trains?
Are you happy to manage crowds on our running days?
Do you have a home machine shop?
Is this your closest model engineering club?
Anything else you think is relevant.
While few of us can say yes to all of these, most members would fall into several of the categories above.
We do hope that you can join us."
Obviously none of this guidance will be new to readers of this part of Railpage, but if you know anyone who lives on the Coast who might be interested please share it with them.