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Local club attendance

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Mel Jones01/07/2019 09:28:47
64 forum posts

I am the membership secretary for a small club in Solihull, we have 37 club members, the clubs facilities are modest being a mown area in the centre of a field we rent from the farmer. The club gets positive comments on the friendly atmosphere from visitors.

So I ask why is it that the attendance on the club meeting days is so poor with only 5 or 6 members turning up to fly?

Do other clubs have a similar experience?

Allan Bennett01/07/2019 09:43:13
1654 forum posts
49 photos

Our membership is about the same as yours. We've got three or four regulars who turn up whenever weather permits, and on a good day we probably get about ten flyers. In summer it's sometimes worse because of holidays and, as many of us get older, we often don't fly in weather that wouldn't have troubled us 10 or 20 years ago!

Denis Watkins01/07/2019 09:47:41
4334 forum posts
104 photos

Its been the same every single year these last 20 years Mel

My club has run about 20% of club total all this time

We have 6 out of 30 on a good day, but usually 4 flyers.

If you discover the secret ingredient that is missing, then please tell me

Like you, we have a great mown strip in an isolated, non noise sensitive area, with a huge sky

GrumpyGnome01/07/2019 09:54:52
528 forum posts
145 photos

I have been a member of three clubs, all similar size.... same experience!


John Bisset01/07/2019 10:08:27
212 forum posts

I'd agree with the others posting - this seems normal.

Not just in model flying; in both my nearby gliding clubs it is much the same, with a few keen folk almost always there and the rest being occasional 'visitors'.

Martin Harris01/07/2019 10:18:52
9262 forum posts
245 photos

Out of around 60 members, we have perhaps 10 members who can be relied on to be at the field a couple of times a week, work and other commitments permitting, another 15 - 20 who turn up on a fairly regular basis and the rest are seen a few times during the year...or not even at all!

Don Fry01/07/2019 10:23:02
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Much the same in France, except our age profile is a bit more all ages.

Bob Cotsford01/07/2019 10:48:39
8390 forum posts
463 photos

Mel, if you are talking about actual meetings then over in Coleshill I think it's a similar situation. I don't know for sure because I don't attend club meetings as a rule, but then I have a sicknote from my mum. Unless your meeting room has the space for indoor flying, swap meets, visiting speakers and the like then I suspect you are only likely to get commitee members and those living close to the meeting site. We've gone down from weekly club nights to once a month.

Jon Laughton01/07/2019 10:54:51
1209 forum posts
72 photos

Yep that was the case with our club and now there are no club meetings save for the occasional special one and the AGM

kevin b01/07/2019 10:55:47
1823 forum posts
145 photos

Now you know why model shops are closing and manufacturers are going bust !

It is the same with our (very) small club.

Although many people have more leisure time these days there seems to be more to fill it. Particularly with interests that require less brain input and dexterity than ours. Creativity seems to have been replaced with instant gratification.

I also think that the changing weather patterns over the last few years are not helping. People try to plan their activities well in advance these days and we just cannot do that, having to make the best of any opportunities as they present themselves.

There is no answer. Just enjoy your hobby as much as possible and encourage anyone else who shows an interest in joining you. That is what I am doing.

The good side is that our hobby has never been so inexpensive and I for one am making the best of it while it lasts !

cymaz01/07/2019 11:26:52
9196 forum posts
1186 photos
Posted by Mel Jones on 01/07/2019 09:28:47:

I am the membership secretary for a small club in Solihull, we have 37 club members, the clubs facilities are modest being a mown area in the centre of a field we rent from the farmer. The club gets positive comments on the friendly atmosphere from visitors.

So I ask why is it that the attendance on the club meeting days is so poor with only 5 or 6 members turning up to fly?

Do other clubs have a similar experience?

Don’t get too despondent. Our club is exactly the same. In my view, a club’s main aim is to get on well with its neighbors and have a good working relationship with all nearby clubs. That way the club can stay open due to no noise issues and interact with other local fliers.

John Lee01/07/2019 12:18:24
717 forum posts
61 photos

I am a Member of a small Club which this year started a 'WhatsApp' Group for Members which enables very quick & easy passing of the 'Who's going flying' type of messages, which have been successful in increasing flying field attendance.

Out of a Membership of 24, sixteen have joined the WhatsApp Group & we typically see a third to half the Membership on our 2 main flying days a week. There has also been a noticeable increase in attendance on other days when if someone posts, eg, 'Lovely day I'm going down the strip at 2pm' invariably they will have company.

On the back of this a local Slope Soaring Club, which I am also a Member of, have also started a WhatsApp Group which has also proved popular.

In each case WhatsApp is a supplement, and not a substitute, for other Club communications.

J D 801/07/2019 12:33:49
1444 forum posts
84 photos

Pretty much the same as Martin's club here. I am one of the fairly regular ones because of the distance. I also fly hand launch types at home.

Ron Gray01/07/2019 12:37:58
1914 forum posts
796 photos

Try Teamup, it’s a free on line calendar/ events system that can be linked to your own calendars. You put up a day / time when you plan to go flying then all members get notified about the event and also when others add their names as attendees.

Mowerman01/07/2019 13:04:25
1552 forum posts
105 photos

I am a member of a kit car club with a couple of hundred registered members but only abouit 20 turn up for AGMs, camping weekends, Christmas d'dos, and shows ( even when the bbq is free) It is not just model clubs that suffer from poor attendance and apathy.

Reno Racer01/07/2019 13:06:02
1138 forum posts
168 photos

I am one of those nasty non attenders.

I used to fly regularly at my club and very regularly when living in the US, but now I struggle to find time. It doesn’t mean the desire and commitment has gone, quite the contrary. I haven’t flown at the club site since Aug last year, although I have flown a few models at work before we open; I’m an airport manager so have plenty of space and my own authority to fly in the FRZ. I have also built a 1/4 scale Nieuport 17, a Wingbat 48e and assembled lost of ARFs and am a committed builder.

My problem is, that between running an airport, being a full size pilot and normal family commitments (9 yr old), I don’t seem to get time and when I do,the weather is bad, so I potter off and build some more planes or tinker.

I'm hoping this week to get to the field.....

i sense, I’m not alone here and not have the luxury (I look forward to)of having more time retired.

Peter Miller01/07/2019 14:16:04
10953 forum posts
1272 photos
10 articles

Yes, we have 14 members but the usual turnout if 5 or 6 and 9 or very rare occasions.

And out of those three do all the mowing of our two acre field.

Bucksboy01/07/2019 14:17:42
575 forum posts
109 photos

We've got one hundred members and struggle to get people to the field. Not that I can talk, I work abroad so I'm one of the 85 who rarely attend.

We've got a camera that can be accessed via the club website. The idea being that you can see the pits area and car park so you can see who else is there.

John Tee01/07/2019 14:27:48
835 forum posts
65 photos

We are a medium + club with a cap of 100 members and a waiting list. Sunday, the traditonal flying day can be quite quiet, but with the boom in electric flying and the availablity of the field 7 days a week for electric and gliders ( power Wed.s pm , Saturday all day and Sunday am) many members fly any day so we don't get a large turn out except on special events. We are required by the club to sign in anyone on the field flying or not so we see a good spread of members over the week when we check the logbook.


Nigel R01/07/2019 15:28:09
3741 forum posts
585 photos

Small club here, 45 ish members. Probably 10 real regular flyers in there, another 10 regular(ish) flyers, and the rest are occasionals.

Wed evening / weekend slots tend to be well attended if the weather is good.

Monthly evening club meetings, I can rarely make them (young family, etc) - same for weekend flying. I usually get to the patch in a "stretched" work lunchtime, which is one of the quietest times at the patch, or for the Wednesday evening slot. To the rest of the club I don't look that regular!

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