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Successful North West Group meeting in Manchester

There was a modest attendance at the Friends Meeting House in central Manchester on Saturday 17th October 2015 for a meeting of the NW area group.

There was much discussion including photographs of the recent progress at Woody Bay, Chelfham, Snapper, etc. as well as the advancing progress in building the components for Lyn - due at Woody Bay by September 2016.

The Planning Application documents were also viewed and discussed.

Bob Barnard outlined the background to the group. Established back in 2004, since when the group has been involved in the following events:

• Meeting of Members: 6
• Visit: 3
• Stand at Show: 23
• Layout + Stand at Show: 6
• Layout at Show: 1
• Talk to external group: 10

Those present discussed whether this balance was about right. There was strong support for complementing our attendance at shows with perhaps three meetings per year, and maybe a site visit somewhere.

As those attending the meeting had all travelled by public transport, this suggested that the central location was an advantage and that the central Manchester venue was a preferred meeting place as opposed to any suburban venue that involved car travel. A small contribution from each one attending would pay for the room hire. 

Saturday afternoons were the favoured time, in line with meetings of several other railway support organisations.

Our target membership was also discussed. We originally thought that we should target Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester and Merseyside. However, looking for those who could attend afternoon meetings in Manchester by train it is feasible to include places such as Huddersfield and Sheffield, for example.

What is the best way to contact members?
It was clear from the meeting that announcements on the L&B website do not reach a high proportion of our members as not everyone uses a computer, and many of those who look at the L&B website, only do so occasionally.So in addition to the announcements made on the L&B website we foresee contacting members who have expressed an interest as follows:

• Announcements in L&B Newsletters
• Emails to as many members as possible
• Phone calls to those who do not use email (as has been tried recently)

There was no interest from those present in using "Social Media", although such methods may be effective for reaching a different section of our potential membership.

We plan to hold another meeting in sometime in February/March 2016.

Bob Barnard

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