It was recently put to me that the club was not value for money and I thought I’d take a few moments to reply.
First and foremost the TSGARC is a club; it is a group of people connected by common interests who pursue those interests together as a social group. What any member derives from the club tends to be proportional to what they contribute – its a two-way thing; a sharing experience.
Although its possible for a club to be purely virtual, existing in cyberspace alone, this is not the model for the TSGARC. We prefer to talk to one another; to share idea’s, concepts and experiences and we choose to do this face to face. We believe this approach delivers a better all round experience for members.
Meeting face to face though does require somewhere to meet; it requires a clubhouse. We are very lucky to have the use of a large room on a shared basis and the sole use of another, smaller, room full-time. These rooms do come at a cost, but we have secured an excellent rate from the Chantry and by only paying for the larger room when we use it we have an agreement that provides the space we need at a fair price.
Having sole, full-time use of a room allows us to have a radio room; a room in which we can setup radio equipment and leave it setup so any member may come and use the equipment at a time of their choosing and not be constrained by when the club meets. Having this room allows those who do not have access to their own equipment to experience the world of amateur radio and to further their learning and experience.
Our accommodation is dry, its warm, its comfortable, the club provides free tea and coffee and we even have free use of the wireless connection to the Internet because we are good tenants and help the Chantry from time to time. Together these things underpin our evenings at the clubhouse, providing a relaxing, friendly environment in which members feel able to share stories, advice and to learn from each other.
The club meets many of the costs associated with the activities its members undertake. It has recently started to upgrade its HF antenna and is in discussion with the Chantry to relocate and upgrade its VHF antenna. It has plans for the upgrade of our radio equipment. It has also supported recent activities such as field weekends by rewarding the landowner and supplying toilets without which the field weekends just would not happen.
The TSGARC must also stand on its own. It needs the stability and long-term survivability that a secure income permits. That income allows us to plan for the future, to evolve whilst supporting our members doing the things they enjoy. We have a club which responds to its members wishes; members are at the core of the club, they choose and drive what the club does. Its a great local club.