James Walshe reckons now is the right time for clubs to unite
Behind every panel of shiny paintwork and twinkle of sparkling chrome at the NEC was an owner – be they current or in the case of the auction area, prospective. And behind every owner is a club. Or so you would think…
‘I don’t bother with car clubs,’ I heard one gentleman bark loudly to his friend. ‘It’s all politics and squabbling.’ Unfortunately, this is often true and who would blame him, if that is his experience of an organisation supposedly dedicated to the pleasures of ownership?
I witnessed the arrival of a non-member at a club event last summer. He was immediately set upon by members who criticised his ‘incorrect’ choice of wheel trim. We subsequently watched his sad departure. Another one lost.
It was a delight to see so many happy faces at the NEC this year – club members who had given up their weekends to volunteer at stands where they were able to share their passions with other club members and the public. It’s not always the case. When modern classics (usually owned by younger drivers) are excluded from shows, it’s evident some members of the club committee are saying a big fat ‘NO’ to enthusiasm and money.
Be they marque-specific or regional, the expertise, wisdom, support, friendship and fulfillment you gain from being part of a club is priceless, but the survival of our hobby depends upon diplomacy, politeness and forwardthinking. If your club is immersed in squabbling and politics, write to the committee. Don’t be an armchair critic. Get off your bum and get involved. Offer a positive solution. If you run away or moan on the internet, nothing changes. To change the club, you’ve got to be a part of it.
‘Don’t be an armchair critic. Get off your bum!’
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