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Thursday lunchtime I was talking to my Boss about TVRs (he is fanatical about them and more specifically his own) and mentioned (deadpanning) "Oh yeah, I've started competing in a Speed 12.. (pause).. in Scalextric!". Turns out that unbeknown to me said Boss had discovered Fly cars in the last couple of years and returned to slot-car racing with his lads on his lounge floor. A bit of discussion about cars, shops and clubs followed and he told me of a club that he was invited to go to... in my old home town where I lived for 23 years unaware that there was a Scalextric club!!!!!

Friday night I went over to the club in Great Barr (Walsall/Brum sort of area) and got chatting to another chap who turned out to be a racer in a club.... three miles from my old home town where I attended sixth form college without knowing there was a Scalextric club!!!!!!

So.... why are clubs so anonymous? Is this a trend observed elsewhere in the country? I'm wondering now if slotcar racing could potentially be much, much larger than I originally thought.

Coop
 

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I think this situation is very common.
The only way I found a club in my area was by leaving messages all over the internet. Eventually, one that I left on Pendle's old message board was answered. The chap apologized for being a few months late - not realizing that he was actually responding a YEAR and some months after my original posting! I, of course, was delighted to have the invitation at any time, not having really expected a response at all. This club has been operational for around ten years or more but had never gone out of its way to advertise its presence anywhere and it does not have a web site.

So, please don't hesitate to post your interest on suitable message boards - the chances are that you will get a response eventually. Chatting in forums, can often lead to new contacts and become the start of new clubs. if you can't find an existing club, maybe you can attract enough interest to actually start one. The trick is to keep talking and posting until you 'meet' someone with a similar interest.

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the inernet is driving slot car racing and has been for a few years now. It's the best thing that ever happened to our hobby!
 

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DT
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If a club owner, administrator or member would like to send some info, well post it on a special page. Map, opening times, fees and any other info can be posted as well as a few photos.
 

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It does seem a shame but then again they may feel comfortable with the level of their membership. I live in Northern California and have not found a club that races 1/32 anywhere in my area. So I feel the pain when reading about the club exploits of others.

So club members might consider the person unbeknownst to them may be the catalyst for a stronger club in the future.
 

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Scott Brownlee
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I have only been going to clubs for a few months so my experience is limited (and very biased since the people at both Liphook and Farnham are very friendly and supportive) but I'd say there is a reluctance to over promote since clubs have a "healthy" number related to the number of lanes and classes raced. Both the aforementioned clubs have four lane tracks and it seems 10 is a comfort, 14 is a rush and less social.

Finding a way to invite new members at the right rate - assuming a natural wastage of members due to house moves, lifestyle changes (girlfriends/babies/mistress) is not easy.

An open invitation to come along might bring too many people who will be put off by the crowd. There might also be a factor based on how willing the existing members are to adopt new members with their inevitable long list of questions and need for support. There is also the need to bring people in slowly so they adopt teh 'right' way of doing things for that group.

Human beings might be social animals, but we also resist change. On top of that, slot clubs are competitive arenas. All things considered, it's pretty amazing any clubs get new members at all!

Scott
 

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[Blows trumpet that belongs to him]

If you want to find a club check out the Slot Related Links Directory I maintain. Currently there are 87 listed there from around the world.

And if you have a club and have a website, then submit the chappie pronto.

Scot is right, there is a fine balance between having enough members to pay the rent and having too many so they don't get enough track time each.

There is a lot, an awful lot, of hassle in establishing a club. But it pays dividends in the end: like minded sad acts to talk to, big circuit to race on and social drinking at the end of the evening. Sweet.
 
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