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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At eight p.m. 01/02/12 I received a message to call The Harry Mitchell Centre.I telephoned T.H.M.C. AND and was told we were now homeless as of now due to our home of 44 years being condemned and not to be used.No further explanation was
forthcoming,just a request to telephone the centre upon the managers return from his leave on thursday 03/02/12.
A small conference room was all I could obtain for our meeting for this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Eddie,Owen,CitroenBob,Steve and Dave,I,ve been unable to contact you by telephone to give you
the news before posting on Slotforum so you,ve just had a nasty shock.
MEET WEDS NIGHT as usual EXCEPT in the conference room on the ground floor,NOT in our beloved hut.
 

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Unfortunately we've always been a little bit like Wellingboro have been recently in that we knew the Day of Reckoning was coming evantually. All the quonset/nissen huts have been on borrowed time since it was discovered that Phoenix's hut was unsafe and we were always worried that asking the HM centre to do any remedial work on the OP hut (case in point - the roof) would start a chain of events discovering more and more wrong until we get to the dreaded asbestos which is probably lurking there in the case the Luftwaffe drop incendiary bombs on it (it was built to service a flak gun after all).

I recall not long after I started in 2002 that Sandwell MBC had great plans to knock the whole HM down and consolidate their leisure services somewhere else in Smethwick where they had closed a school. At the time it was held that they would move us to this school and I think they talked about splitting the area of a swimming pool in two and giving us half. Nothing ever came of this.

Whether they have any obligation to move us I suppose depends upon whether they view us as just tenants or as an integral part of Sandwell MBC Leisure Services on the same level as the badminton courts and multi-gym facilities. I suspect that the answer is whichever is most convenient at the time.

My major concern is that I don't think the club membership has it within them selves to knock up another 4 lane, 1:24 100'+ track to BSCRA standards. The current track is a nice slice of slot archeology in that it is built upon the basis of every OP track from 1968 onwards and is a permanent fixture so can't be shifted and will ultimately die in the hut. I suspect that replicating something of the current track's quality is beyond us and so we may need to resign ourselves to dropping say 1:24 or even all BSCRA classes just to be able to keep a core of the club together under the OP banner and of course they may not be interest to everyone.

Then again we have't had to move since 1968 and every other bloody club seems to manage moving all the while so perhaps it is possible!
 

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John Roche
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There seems to have been an epidemic of clubs losing their premises lately. I hope you manage to sort something out soon.

Cheers

John
 

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Matt Tucker
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I wish you the best of luck - we knew our W'boro days are numbered and luckily had alternatives available to us which we are busy making ready so that we can have as much continuity for the club as possible. I hope you are able to find suitable premises so you can keep the OP name going on ad infinitum
 

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Oaklands.
Bad news. I hope you can find a venue local to you and of course...cheap! Best of luck, perhaps HMC or the Council will come up with something suitable.
Best Wishes,
Bill.
P.S I assume your July 1st 'classic' meeting is on hold untill further notice?...
 

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This isn't good news at all chaps. I've only been to OP twice and as luck would have it, I was planning on popping over this evening! Sods law I guess. I hope you find an alternative home fairly quickly.

Graham.
 

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That is really bad news lads. Oaklands and its nissen hut has and will have a lasting place in my slot racing memories. I have had some great racing there both in the late 60's/early 70's and more recently.

Best of luck finding somewhere new.
 

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mac pinches
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Although im no longer active in slot racing, to hear this news is indeed
sad.
Oaklands was my first club way back when , so i do hope you keep the
name and club going in some form.
A thing that springs to mind was when Phoenix had to vacate there hut
, Oaklands kindly allowed the club to use there track one evening a week
until other arrangements where made.
I was wondering if you could contact the Wolves club and rent or come
to some agreement to use there track for one evening per week ?.
In that way you would keep the club together until you found a new
home and it would give Wolves a little revenue for there coffers.
Might be worth considering .
Cheers
Mac P
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Following last thursdays telephone conversation with the HHRC manager,in which he expressed surprise at his assistants action preventing our using our beloved hut, we are meeting this wed 08/02/12 as usual.
It is ,apparently true about the hut,s being condemned by the council.
A meeting has been arranged for this coming friday 10th with the centre manager and a council representative to hear their viewpoint and any initial proposals/timescale ,if any.
Dave,Chris and myself will attend and report back.
The one thing that is certain is our continuation as a club and our continuation under the name of Oaklands, we will,however, be entering the next chapter in our history.
 

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Marc Abbott
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Good luck guys!
From our experience at Burnt Oak, it is a scary moment when you're told bad news like this.
I think it took me nearly a year to find the "right" place at Nascot Wood, although I did find about another 3 or 4 possible places on the way.
The amount of phone calls I dare not try to remember and also the fruitless visits to huts that said they were big and turned out to be no bigger than a living room!!!
I think the main problem was that hall owners just couldn't conceive how big club tracks are, even when you give them the measurements
They seem to stick with the image of a home figure of eight circuit with a few people standing around it.
Of course you guys have the added problem of wanting it permanently set up... a real real task to source.

Don't give up - someone, somewhere is waiting for you. AND don't forget about local grants.

ABBO
 
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