The Christmas rush


Mark Baker

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas is almost here and I am feeling rather smug at the moment. That smugness is because I have officially sorted out and bought all the presents I needed to for Christmas and I need not worry about any more. The fact that my wife buys most of them so I have few to buy is neither here nor there. The point is that I'm done. Having said that, I still have to make some things for people. Four of the seven items are done and dusted so I do not have to worry too much, but I only have four days home now before Christmas to finish things off and two of those days I am away at demos!

No doubt I will finish things off, but I can see a couple of late nights ahead of me.

There isn’t much that phases me, but the one thing that will vex me every time lateness, or the threat of lateness. I hate it. So, I need to get moving and finish my things off before too long or I will get caught out.

I must admit that I will be having a quiet Christmas this year so I am looking forward to not having too much fuss. Yes, I will be meeting up with friends and family, but the majority of that will be done in one day. After that, the rest of the holiday will be for my wife and I to do with as we please. That is definitely a rarity and I am looking forward to that novelty.

There is one topic, however, that I will be pondering on over the holiday season. I’m sure you can all guess what it’s about. Yes, I’m thinking about something related to woodworking… and that is what’s happening to the clubs and international, national and regional organisations. I know it is a bit of a hobby horse of mine, but some are well run where people are getting involved and there are others that are struggling. Granted, some are struggling through no fault of their own, others however are probably are struggling due to lack of participation, willingness of members to get involved, have no clear direction or plan of action, lack of publicity or just can’t be bothered and that other thing called politics. I can list more reasons why organisations fail, but whatever the reason, I am hearing of far too many clubs and organisations that are having discussions about what’s happening and thoughts of possibly closing.

Sure, if people do not want clubs or organisations anymore then they serve no purpose, but many clubs are thriving and growing. If they can do it, it might be worth asking them what they are doing and see if their approach or elements of what they are doing may well work for yours. There is no magic formula, but I know people do want to join clubs and I know this because I am asked frequently as to whether there are any clubs in any given area. So people are interested, they do want to try something different from what they already know, but all too often the story is there is not anything in their locality.

I am resolute that all forms of woodworking do not become footnotes of a bygone era. Yes we have challenges, yes it means people getting involved, yes, there will always be those that move around the fringes of any organisation and don’t fully commit, but I will certainly be pondering what is happening and what can be done. There is always something to fill a vacuum, but it is vital that there is something cohesive, instructional and friendly for people to link into, join and be part of.

Have fun,









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