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Friends of the Tank Museum - future?


ajmac

Are you a Friend of the Tank Museum  

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  1. 1. Are you a Friend of the Tank Museum

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I don't know how many of you are members, but the last couple of Tracklink issues have shown a serious parting of views between the Tank Museum and the Friends. The latest issue has a letter from the TM director, essentially questioning the point of the friends, considering the huge overhead and what the Friends should be doing to justify there charitable status. There is no question that the TM appreciates the physical assistance from members of the Friends.

 

There doesn't seem to be a place for friends to discuss the current issues, other than traveling half way across the country to the TM meetings.

 

What are the chances of the Friend being wound up and the Tank Museum launching its own group to go hand in hand with there new (separate from the friends efforts) volunteer lead vehicle restoration program?

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I don't see where the director was questioning the point of the Friends, indeed he praises them and the contribution they make. I think his main criticism is in the administration of Friends income, a satisfactory solution to which may be impossible to resolve.

 

As to the future of the Friends, hard to say!

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Perhaps that is just the way the letter made me feel Adrian, it was predominantly negative...., shrinking numbers, ageing membership, high costs and pointing out that if you want to help the museum the friends on the face of it does not look like good value for money!

 

The museum benefits from the friends in two ways; physical assistance, at events / restorations and donations. One plus is now being sidelined by the museum directly looking for volunteers and in the TMs own opinion the donations could be much more if they were not such a big overhead within the friends admin system.

 

To be honest I was shocked how little of my membership money actually gets through to the museum.

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I don't see where the director was questioning the point of the Friends, indeed he praises them and the contribution they make. I think his main criticism is in the administration of Friends income, a satisfactory solution to which may be impossible to resolve.

 

As to the future of the Friends, hard to say!

 

As I forgot to renew I haven't seen this issue but I would of thought that the main income killer would be the editing, printing and sending out off the friends magazine. I see a solution to that going online where more people might see it. And yes I know some people won't be on the 'computer' but book readers r available

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There doesn't seem to be a place for friends to discuss the current issues, other than traveling half way across the country to the TM meetings.

 

Precisely. Our forum was closed down & sort of moved here as the only option. But gone is a place for private discussion. I know one Friend carried on discussing things here that we had discussed in our forum. Because this is a public place frank discussions could not continue.

 

Like you when I read Tracklink I really thought we seem to be an impediment to the Museum or at least irrelevant. Although it did surprise me the mag costs so much.

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Precisely. Our forum was closed down & sort of moved here as the only option.

When HMVF teamed up with TTM they were supposed to of notified all members of Friends of the Tank Museum that the forum would be hosted on HMVF, this did not seem to happen as we have had very few friends joining..

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When HMVF teamed up with TTM they were supposed to of notified all members of Friends of the Tank Museum that the forum would be hosted on HMVF, this did not seem to happen as we have had very few friends joining..

 

They could still do that via the magazine if they wanted too, data protection laws here in the UK wouldn't have allowed them to pass all the membership details straight onto this forums owners.

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They could still do that via the magazine if they wanted too, data protection laws here in the UK wouldn't have allowed them to pass all the membership details straight onto this forums owners.

 

I presume Lee means that there should have been notification via whatever means months ago when the TM forums opened up on HMVF. I seem to remember that the was some mention of forum matters in Tracklink a few issues ago, but it didn't give a web address.

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When HMVF teamed up with TTM they were supposed to of notified all members of Friends of the Tank Museum that the forum would be hosted on HMVF, this did not seem to happen as we have had very few friends joining..

 

In the early days an active thread did follow onto here, but the legitimate constraints of a public forum stifled free discussion. Consequently the main Friend posting at the time no longer posts on here.

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In the early days an active thread did follow onto here, but the legitimate constraints of a public forum stifled free discussion. Consequently the main Friend posting at the time no longer posts on here.

Yes I think that was on the lines of having a pop at the Admin of the original forum which has no place on the open fotum here, it was suggested that the poster contact the Tank Museum directly for any answers regarding the running of the original forum.

 

May be a mention in the Magazine would point Friends here??

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This thread puts me in a bit of a difficult position. There have been undoubted tensions and dsisagreements between the Friends of the Tank Museum and the Tank Museum management over a number of issues in the last year ot two. These were recognised prior to the Aunnual General Meeting and caused a large amount of discussion. A working party has been set up by the Friends Council to receive and collate suggestions for changes in the relationship, organisation etc, in fact nothing is ruled out. Unfortunately, bits of dicussions have been published in Tracklink which has given the impression that matters are a lot worse than in fact is the case.

The Chair was due to retire at the AGM, having served for 6 years but the AGM decided to renew the Chair's tenure by one year to enable him to have time to try and put matters right. I was elected Vice Chair at the same meeting.

I am very keen that matters are put right and I have submitted some suggestions and I know that others have also made submissions but of course I am in a difficult position to discuss my suggestions here before the Council has had an opportunity to discuss them all.

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Folks - just going to gently lock this thread. Not because we control what can and can't be said with regards to the TM but would rather wait until one of the TM members can may be comment.

 

I feel that John now being VC will get a lot of questions that he may not be able to answer.

 

Will open back up as soon as the TM are here to comment.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Richard Smith, Tank Museum Director, Writes:

 

"It’s worth saying clearly that everyone agrees that the Friends of The Tank Museum are a vital source of support to The Tank Museum and that the dependence of the Museum on the Friends is likely to grow rather than shrink over time.

 

While our lease with the MOD protects our funding to a considerable degree, the Museum remains dependent on a significant in-kind public subsidy each year. A flourishing membership organisation is not only a sign of people feeling involved in the life of the Museum but also provides a key source of volunteers and donations which will keep the Museum operating at a high and sustainable standard for years to come.

 

There are clearly some areas where the operation between the Friends and the Museum needs to improve. In my recent article in Tracklink I highlighted that the cost of producing Tracklink seems disproportionate to the income of the Friends, that the membership needs to grow and be administered effectively and that we need to ensure that the role of volunteering is clarified.

 

I see all these issues as eminently resolvable - indeed some of the suggestions on this thread make a great deal of sense. I am really encouraged that the Friends Chairman has asked Keith Glenn to pull together proposals for how the Friends will work in the Future. I would very much encourage everyone who has ideas about how the Friends can develop and grow to feed them through to Keith so that he has the best possible background from which to compile his thoughts.

 

I agree that it would be really good for the Friends members to have an online forum where these sorts of issues can be discussed. The reason we moved our forum to HMVF was because that discussions like this one seemed to happen more readily on this forum than on a Tank Museum hosted one. With so few members being able to attend general meetings in person (about 40 out of 900 attended the recent AGM), perhaps member communication could be one area that is overhauled as part of Keith’s review."

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You could have a group within a group for the Friends of the Tank Museum to use, it would seem that this is possible as it is on each individual members profile page as (Groups and Permission Groups) as listed down the side. In that way the members could voice an opinion in private as it wouldn't be able to be seen by the great unwashed as it were. Its not a bad thing to do but you would have to be a member of the friends to join. In that regard you would need someone from the Tank Museum to approve membership to a private group

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You could have a group within a group for the Friends of the Tank Museum to use, it would seem that this is possible as it is on each individual members profile page as (Groups and Permission Groups) as listed down the side. In that way the members could voice an opinion in private as it wouldn't be able to be seen by the great unwashed as it were. Its not a bad thing to do but you would have to be a member of the friends to join. In that regard you would need someone from the Tank Museum to approve membership to a private group

 

(Groups and Permission Groups) as listed down the side.

This facility is not enabled on the forum, we could set up a seperate usergroup for Friends only access but we would need to have the TM confirm who is & who is not a member, It would have to be approved by a member of the Admin team as the TM would not have access to admin permissions....they would also have to update us when a member is no longer a friend, also members would have to state their full name in their profile so the TM knew exactly who was commenting. If the TM museum are happy for the discussions to take place here then just carry on as we are.. At the moment there are few TM friends here to make a separate board worthwhile IMO...

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This facility is not enabled on the forum, we could set up a seperate usergroup for Friends only access but we would need to have the TM confirm who is & who is not a member, It would have to be approved by a member of the Admin team as the TM would not have access to admin permissions....they would also have to update us when a member is no longer a friend, also members would have to state their full name in their profile so the TM knew exactly who was commenting. If the TM museum are happy for the discussions to take place here then just carry on as we are.. At the moment there are few TM friends here to make a separate board worthwhile IMO...

 

I'm not going to disagree with you but as a way of enabling more friends to join the forum and gain more membership to the 'friends' it might be useful in the long run too the T M. Just think back to the Se-x Pi,stols in the 1970's and the queens Jubilee and the BBC banning the song what did everyone want to buy? A closed group could be very attractive and it could be done at renewal. I don't think its a bad thing for user profiles to be a full name. Suggestions are free

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I'm not going to disagree with you but as a way of enabling more friends to join the forum and gain more membership to the 'friends' it might be useful in the long run too the T M. Just think back to the Se-x Pi,stols in the 1970's and the queens Jubilee and the BBC banning the song what did everyone want to buy? A closed group could be very attractive and it could be done at renewal. I don't think its a bad thing for user profiles to be a full name. Suggestions are free

I'm not saying usernames have to be you real name just that it would have to be in their profile, I think the problem is that the Friends or not many of them are aware of HMVF, we prepared ourselves for an influx of new members when the TM moved the forum here, that didn't happen, I approve all new members & didn't notice a rise in the weekly count of new members at all.. The TM would also need to share their members details with us so that we could administer the closed board to make sure that that only bona fide Friends had access to the closed group, this would bring up data protection issues I would think.. I think this is probably why we never got an email list of their members so we could send them an invite to HMVF. You probably know more than we do how the TM notified there members that the forum had been moved here??

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I joined back 1992 ish then dropped out in the late 90s, when I got back into wartime vehicles I joined again, really only to help out the Tank Museum which I consider a worthwhile cause. Museum entry is discounted, you get a number of free uses of the archieves and you can volunteer to assist at events. Lots more probably that have forgotten..

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I think the tank museum ranks as my favourite museum, but as you live in Lincoln and I live a way from it I don't see how I could benefit either the museum or myself from being a member. If I lived closer and could get hands on I would jump at the chance. There is no nationwide appeal to becoming a member, or is there?

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I think the tank museum ranks as my favourite museum, but as you live in Lincoln and I live a way from it I don't see how I could benefit either the museum or myself from being a member. If I lived closer and could get hands on I would jump at the chance. There is no nationwide appeal to becoming a member, or is there?

 

Found this in an old thread from 04/2011

 

UK Adult Yearly Membership £25

UK Child Yearly Membership (12 -18 years old) £15

Adult Yearly (Overseas) Membership £30

Life Membership £250

Life (Overseas) Membership £300

 

For these fees you get the following benefits:

 

 

 

  • Free entry to The Tank Museum for yourself and one other (excluding special events)

  • Three free visits to the Archive & Reference Library per year

  • 10% Discount in The Tank Museum shop

  • Receive The Friends newsletter "Tracklink"

  • Organised visits to events and places of interest (published in "Tracklink")

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Just found this thread, quite by accident I might add, and have to confess that although I've been trawling around here for a bit now I never knew that you hosted a forum for the Friends of the Tank Museum. All the more disconcerting as I'm a life member of the friends!

 

If memory serves every 'Friend' has a membership number and it should be possible to obtain a list containing only membership number and full name. A full name (i.e. first name and surname) and a simple membership numbers does breech the Data Protection act and can therefore be freely exchanged between HMVF and the FotTM. It is only when you combine names with other identifying information such as DoB, postal address, email address, phone numbers, places of work, occupation etc. that you begin to breech Data Protection rules. That said, the 'Friends' ought to have some Data Protection policy in place and one would assume that it indicates that it can share information with it's 'partners' which HMVF would be if it is hosting the forum.

 

But, going back to our original list of simple name and number, if we had sucha list then it would require some jigging of the 'groups' function in VB4 to allow people to self-join the FotTM group by entering their name and membership number for verification purposes. An updated list each year would contain a third column which indicated if renewal had taken place or not and when run against the FotTM group it would automatically 'drop' those HMVF members from the FotTM group if they have not renewed their membership. I'm pretty certain you'll be able to find a mod over on Vborg to allow you to do something like this and I'm quite happy to offer any assistance I can in this matter.

 

As to the nature of the Friends organisation I should say that I've probably visited the Tank Museum about three times, twice since I became a member of the Friends. As I live in Oxfordshire it's not a easy journey to make elsewise I'd be there everyday offering assistance. And whilst I am aging, I'm not that aged...but I will be 50 soon (bloody hell, groan!). I also have three boys (eldest is in his schools CCF contingent and the others are likely to follow suit) and they are picking up their Dad's fascination for all things armoured! So, right there you have a future membership if it's handled well!

 

For me friends means that I can contact the Library at Bovi (which I try to do as sparinly as possible and only after I've exhausted all other avenues) and know that I'll get dealt with in a reasonably prompt manner. Althought to be fair to the chaps and chapesses in the Library they probably treat all members of the general public with the same calm, speedy efficiency and my membership number at the bottom of the email makes not that much impression upon them.

 

I also like reading Tracklinks as it is pretty much the main contact I have with the museum and the Friends although it would be nice if it could be produced for a much cheaper version. I for one would be more than happy to receive PDF copies in my email and indeed I'd find them a lot easier to store! As the Ipad and Ipod become more and more popular so too has the tools, to make magazines available via these devices, become cheaper and easier to use. Perhaps a poll of members asking who would be happier to receive an electronic copy of track links as opposed to a paper copy!

 

Finally, I did win a free family ticket in last years raffle which we made use of on the way back from our Easter holiday in Cornwall. The boys had a fantastic time (as did my little girl) and one of the museum staff, on hearing that we had won the ticket in the Friends raffle, opened up a tank and put the children inside with helmets and gave them the full introduction to the vehicle. They were still talking about it weeks later! I love the Tank Museum, that's why I became a life member!!! I am surprised though that so little of the subs makes their way to the Tank Museum but on the other hand you can't put a price on the goodwill generated by an organisation such as the FotTM. I for one never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of the tank museum and recommend it to everyone I meet...irrespective of the topic of conversation:red:

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But, going back to our original list of simple name and number, if we had sucha list then it would require some jigging of the 'groups' function in VB4 to allow people to self-join the FotTM group by entering their name and membership number for verification purposes. An updated list each year would contain a third column which indicated if renewal had taken place or not and when run against the FotTM group it would automatically 'drop' those HMVF members from the FotTM group if they have not renewed their membership. I'm pretty certain you'll be able to find a mod over on Vborg to allow you to do something like this and I'm quite happy to offer any assistance I can in this matter.

 

We are quite happy approving all members manually, we like to vet every member & know who is joining the forum.. at present there are very few FotTM here. Any member of the FotTM joining the forum would be joining HMVF & abiding by our rules so automatic entry to the the forum without us checking the member first would be out of the question, there may well be members of the FotTM that have been banned from HMVF in the past that we would not allow back in. Any other queries please contact via PM to discuss.

 

Just to point out the old FotTM Forum had over 10,000 members... over 99% of those spammers & the forum was full of spam..

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We are quite happy approving all members manually, we like to vet every member & know who is joining the forum.. at present there are very few FotTM here. Any member of the FotTM joining the forum would be joining HMVF & abiding by our rules so automatic entry to the the forum without us checking the member first would be out of the question, there may well be members of the FotTM that have been banned from HMVF in the past that we would not allow back in. Any other queries please contact via PM to discuss.

 

Just to point out the old FotTM Forum had over 10,000 members... over 99% of those spammers & the forum was full of spam..

 

No, I get all that and I wasn't at all suggesting that you register every single member of FotTM on to HMVF, or even that you allow them automatic registration. What I meant was that pre-existing members of HMVF, who are also 'Friends', who wish to join a separate, private grouping of FotTM could, by simply entering their full name and currrent membership number, get automatically approved for inclusion in that group. This group would then have exclusive and private access to a hidden forum specifically for FotTM business! I'm simply offering an opinion on how doa-ble it is in relation to the queries raised earlier in the thread wrt that point. I maybe should have made that clearer!

 

How you moderate membership to HMVF is soley the preserve of the board Admin and one would need to be approved for HMVF before you could even hope to get access to the FotTM area! As a board Admin myself I'd never dream of sugesting anything else!

 

Just as an FYI, private groups are available in the feature set of VB4 and can be found in the AdminCP, as a moderator you may not have access to that function but only to the moderators CP so you perhaps are unaware of the feature. It takes a little bit of reading about to understand but it isn't too onerous. As I indicated I also run a VB4 based forum, with the CMS and blogs features enabled, so know a little bit about this stuff. Oh, and we manually approve all memberships also, (I'm right there with you on that one) and I don't mind the extra work that that generates (especially in terms of checking against various on-line databases etc.) as long as it keeps out the malcontents and undesirables!

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