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Only a few years ago the Club was thriving, with membership growing every year, but quite what has caused the present stagnation is a difficult thing to decide. my own thoughts tell me that it is a combination of factors, with the main one being an ageing membership. Typically, a one-make club member is someone who wanted the machine when he or she was a teenager, but could never afford it, but they promised themselves that one day they would have one, typically when they were middle aged, with some disposable income. In my teenage years it was machines like Triumph Bonnevilles, Vincent Black Shadows, Norton Dominators, etc., etc.. I certainly never wanted a Scott ! The guys who wanted a Scott, but couldn’t afford one, were typically teenagers in the 1930s. They are now very old or passed on, so their pipe dreams are no longer relevant.

This means that most current SOC members are indeed old, or have come into being interested by some other path, like watching and hearing Scotts in vintage racing, or a family member having one, often their dad !

In my ‘growing up’ years there was a ‘right of passage’ into all things mechanical. It usually started with Meccano, then model aircraft and boats, air guns, then semi-derelict bikes around the farmer’s fields and tracks, and then girls, but not necessarily in that order….

Sadly kids these days are not inclined to get their hands dirty. They want to take something out of the box, switch it on, and then play. We are NOT going to get many new members from this generation ! I am delighted that my son loves engineering, and became a Chief Technician (Airframe) in the RAF. Similarly my grandson, who is just twelve years old, is doing Motocross racing as a junior, so all is not lost.

Quite what we can do, on a proactive basis, to attract more younger members, I don’t really know, but we MUST do it somehow in order to survive.

We must be wary of all the growing trend for all these Facebook pages and websites, particularly putting too much technical help out there, that they can access without being a SOC member. In a way it is cutting our own throats ! Somehow we must push the benefits of being a member…

Please excuse my rambling.