Becoming a member
So, you're looking for a hobby and want to join us?
The Application Form and Rules of Membership run to about 30 pages of gobbledegook, so I am not going to explain it to you. I will give you a run down of how I see our club.
First, a bit about our members. We range from very smart to not so smart. We range from very talented to not so talented. We range in age from 18 to 86. We come from a multitude of employment positions from managers to toilet cleaners. You could say we are a diverse group. Chances are you fit in somewhere.
Some know enough about trains to fill an encylopaedia. Some can't tell the difference between an AD60, a 48 class and an S truck. Some are one-eyed about trains and some just have a passing (or passed) interest in them.
Some have built very complex locos that run like a sewing machine. Some have built a tram consisting of 4 wheels, an electric motor and a battery. Some haven't built anything because they don't have the ability.
Some members can machine a part accurate to 1/1,000th of an inch - the thickness of a human hair. Some have problems cutting butter with a hot knife.
Why do model engineers go around in groups of three? One can read, one can write and the third likes to be with intelligent people.
I must admit, our club isn't perfect. On some occasions, the free morning tea biscuits can be a fortnight old. On some days, the milk can be a bit 'lumpy'. On some days, it rains and we can't work so we sit in the club house and tell lies. Then there are the major problems like .... and ... and ... well, there must be some problems somewhere but I don't know of any.
Basically, that's an outline of our club. Now, what do we do?
In official jargon, Saturday and Wednesday are work days and you are expected help and work when you can to keep our track in running condition. Unfortunately, not everyone can, or does. Some people only come an a Wednesday, only Saturday and other come on both days.
Unofficially, I'll tell you how two different members work. One gets to the track around 7:30am, and that is if he is running late. He has a few different jobs which he gets stuck into and works and works and works. He stops for a short break at 9am then back to work. Another break at lunch and he works to around 3pm. That man is crazy, but we don't say anything because he is a bloody good worker.
Now another member. He arrives at 9am, just in time for morning tea. After a leisurely 30 minute break of free coffee and biscuits, he becomes a social butterfly and flits from member to member chatting and laughing and generally enjoying himself. It has been said that occasionally he does some work. No one has actually seen it, so it may be an Urban Myth, but we'll say he does some work. Anyhow, around 11:30 he washes his hands and gets ready for lunch at 12:00. This lasts for 30 minutes, but is frequently stretched out to 45 minutes. After that, this member washes his hands to make it look good then goes home.
Well, that is Saturday.
Next we have the Old Farts (Order of Locomotive Drivers, Firemen And Retired Train Staff) day. This is held on the second Wednesday of the month. We roll up around 9am and have morning tea. We run our locos if we feel like it, or stand around and talk, mainly about trains and machining and some problems we may have encountered. Which brings to mind another problem we have in the club.
If you have a particular job to do and you are a bit unsure, just mention it to a group of our members. Immedialtely, you'll be swamped with a dozen different ways to undertake the task, and this is a major problem because you have to decide which is the best way. Decisions, decisons, decisions! But back to Old Farts day.
Around 11:30, a couple of members fire up the BBQ and start cooking the snags and onions to go with the bread rolls that the ladies have prepared and buttered. About noon, we start to eat and once again, there are problems. Do you want a seeded or un-seeded roll. BBQ or tomato sauce? Australian or English or American mustard. Decisions, decisions decisions. Of course, you'll want to wash your meal down with something. Coffee (Bushells or International Roast), Tea (Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Chamomile), Beer (VB, Black, Hahn, Cascade, Boag). Life is tough with so many decisions so I won't mention the ice cream afterwards. After lunch, it's back to playing trains (I tell my wife I am going 'Training' and she believes me) or chatting. Around 2pm, we head off home.
Of course, the most important Public Running Day is held on the 4th Sunday of the month. We're supposed to be there and work, but I have too much fun to work. You have seen how it happens, so I won't bother telling you all about it.
Well, that's a run down of our club. Why would we like you to join? Quite frankly, we're all having too much fun to do any work, and that is where you come in.
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