Some thoughts - all below is my own personal opinion and is a challenge to a small Mountaineering Club to improve their membership.


I occasionally browse this site to keep in touch with what is going on.

As usual there are very few events that members can join in with - a big disappointment. Every so often I wonder about joining the club but as there are so few activities published it doesn't seem worthwhile.

I receive the minutes on a regular basis and speak occasionally with members. This keeps me in touch with a group that organise going out as individuals, friends and aquantice on an adhoc basis.

Successful "go-ahead" clubs have a full programme of events published in advance for all members to participate in with a club member responsible for organising this programme.

Giving new members a list of people to contact who may go out occasionally is poor practice and not very helpful.


As a final thought - camping weekends in Anglesey are typical - what is organised? I've never seen a programme where say someone organises a MTB ride, a walk, climbing, Rd biking etc.which members sign up to. I once went for the weekend and nothing was organised - people and friends just did there own thing. Didn't bother going again unless i was with a friend and we could do something together.


I suggest you take a look at other successful clubs both local and national and maybe learn why they are so successful and have a large membership.


The events published are usually very successful and well supported - so why so few?




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Since joining the club around 18months ago I have found it to be full on with as much as access to as little or as much activity as suits. I found after 1 or two of the regular meets I quickly had a group of people to call on to get out with. I agree when I see the adverts for some of the larger clubs in the area, that we are prehaps not as formal with a schedule of activities for the year, but I found the club to have a very welcoming core group of active participants that are always keen to get out.

With injuries and work restricting how much I have been able to get out lately I have realsised for me; the more I get stuck in the more I get out.

Hi Alan


Many Thanks for your thoughts. I suppose the MOB can seem a little cliquey at times to people who are not directly invovled with the club. But then again we do discribe ourselves as a small friendly club, and I think that's just what we are. I myself can talk of many new members who have joined the MOB and gained great satisfaction from being a member of the club.  However I will bring your thoughts up at the next meeting, which incidently, are held every fortnight at the Waterloo Pub on Manchester Road, in Bury. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday  31st August at 8.30 PM. Feel free to come along, and get involved.



Being one of the elder statesmen of the club I'd thought I'd leave a reply to Alan's comments to give other newer members chance to reply and give there views. In fairness to them they wouldn’t have know that Alan had done his bit with in the club as chairman and been a member for many years. I do value Alan’s and everyone else’s comments and was pleased that at the last meeting Alan’s comments got the usual airing and it was agreed that he had some valid points.


As most of you know the club as been going for over 30 years and membership had always stayed about the same level with a steady trickle of new members.  5 years ago our average age was probably pushing 50 and we where struggling to attract younger members and in danger of fizzling out. It was only Malcolm’s creation of the web site that has brought around a surge in new younger members which has revitalized the club.  For various reasons the club has not been the most active over the summer months favoring spring, autumn and winter meets and for the last few years the weather has been terrible over the summer with a more ad hock approach to days out to make the most of the weather.


Alan’s comments certainly got a few tongs wagging and I was pleased that the general view was that for those keen enough to get involved there is plenty going on.  Maybe not on the scale of the bigger clubs but I feel as do the majority that we are moving in the right direction and if members feel the need to increase the program it will evolve to do so.


Kind regards Derek 

Interesting to note that my comments were discussed at your latest meeting.

Can I point you to the following clubs:

1. - large organisation



My question would be why join the MOB when any of the above offer far more planned activities?


I'm trying to be constructive without being too critical.

Here is a thought - at every meeting members are asked what they have been doing. Whilst this may be interesting to some why are these members generally not offering these activities to others? This seems very strange to me. At every other club I know individuals would not be asked this question during the meeting unless the activity they have been involved in has been "open" to ALL members.

a. Perhaps at each meeting members are asked what activity they are likely to be doing in the next two weeks so others may join then.

b. When a member has made a decision to do an activity post it on the forum/website as soon as possible for others to see and join in.

It still looks in the main like individuals or small friendship groups getting together rather than a club offering activities for ALL.

I applaud the events posted - well done to those prepared to organise these events. There are just so few.

Hi Alan,


It appears your comments have created some degree of fierce debate within the club, and for fear of being left out I thought I would add my two pennysworth in.


Initially I would like to mimic those comments of Mark Russell’s and make note that since joining the club I have been introduced to a variety of opportunities to be more active than I could have ever imagined, and equally have been introduced to a number of people who are always keen to get out. For this I thank the club wholeheartedly.


Secondly I would like to thank you personally for your comments; on the whole I believe they are both valid and worthwhile.


I have taken the time to review each of the aforementioned sites highlighted on your previous post, and the striking feature of these clubs, aside from their professionalism, is the number of members they boast; namely between 200 and 400.


It would appear to me that such rigidity and organisation with respect to agendas and the like is somewhat called for with this level of increased membership, and it would appear from the websites of these clubs that their membership is very active in their weekly and annual outdoors efforts.


As for my personal opinion on the matter, as ever the statesman (and at possible risk of being akin to Nick Clegg) I can see the merits of both sides of the arguments. There are however four points that may need to be considered when determining whether we would necessarily require this level of rigidity as the club stands at present:


  • First off, we are a comparatively small club, certainly when compared to the highlighted clubs. Hence, I believe this results in a continued level of personal communication between members (and in turn less prolific usage of the website);
  • Secondly, I would seriously doubt that there is not a level of “clickyness” involved again in these highlighted clubs, after all, sports like rock climbing are risky undertakings and team dependent;
  • Thirdly, as a member who feels like he is only just finding his feet in the world of rock climbing, I am not sure whether I would like to be necessarily tied down to a specific area which comes with a specific agenda, particularly with the fickle British weather – however on this note I will be the first to concede that with increased and pro-active communication this aspect could be very easily overcome;
  • Finally, however, and for me the most pressing point of this post. Maybe the ferociousness of this debate resonates with members not least because it demonstrates the decision or precipice (depending on your viewpoint), on which the club is standing in respect of its future. Simply put does the club wish to continue forward as a “smallish club”, attracting new members on an ad hoc basis, or do we want to become a club which seeks to emulate those to which attention has been drawn? 

To the final question I do not know the answer, but I think it does supply some food for thought?




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