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Author Topic: The future of Model Boating ....  (Read 9385 times)

Bryan Young

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The future of Model Boating ....
« on: December 23, 2016, 04:35:43 PM »

Time to change tack a little but without veering all that far away from modelling.
Let's look at modelling in general rather than boating. Not the techniques and new processes and materials, because so much of that is simply beyond me.
No, let's take a look at other fields.
I guess the obvious one is the model aircraft world which seems to have interests from the historical to way into the future. That hobby appears to attract all ages. I imagine that the " kit v scratch" divisions are just as wide as in ours. So it's no great surprise that most R/ C equipment is primarily designed for the airborne bunch. I suppose that I have to include " drones" in this category. Vastly popular, and still modelling in the broadest sense of the word.
   Model trains....the proffered haunt of the zealot, perfectionist and rivet counters.This is an odd but understandable, slightly enviable world to me. Apart from the actual rolling stock, much effort goes into creating a complete miniature world that the enthusiasts can lose themselves in....and it appeals to all ages and genders. Few freezing sheds here!
Can you call those monster locomotives " models" or an expression of the engineers art? I'm open on that one
Is Lego and Meccano and others of that ilk " modelling"? Has to be.
Dolls houses/shops etc are trips into a miniature fantasy world that appeals to all ages.
    But who could be attracted to the modern merchant ship? Not me, that's for sure.
And that's why I tried, in my own way, to kind of build a waterborne versions of my own little fantasy world, where I could lose myself in an imaginary world in which I could play God. What joy! Bryan.

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Fastfaz

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 07:36:20 PM »

     ?????
          Yo Brian, you've lost me on this one!
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derekwarner

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Re: The future of modellin
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 08:41:01 PM »

Quote from Bryan.........

"Can you call those monster locomotives " models" or an expression of the engineers art?"

From looking at the ILS membership, it is clear that some younger members [20's to 40's] are interested in building or acquiring a 5" Gauge steam engine

It is also clear that when members reach an age [70's+] where the engines at 100+ kilo weight become difficult to transport and handle, that the engine starts a new life as joy to a younger member.......

Yes, in the past year I have seen 3 engines sold to new homes.....[$15K to $34K]....so these new owners are really only custodians' for a period in the life of the engine

Many of these engines are over 100+ years old.......well maintained....probably a few major refits in their life

By number, certainly more acquisitions, than new builds......

Derek
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Derek Warner

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roycv

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2016, 07:14:27 AM »

Hi all, on the model train side if you want live steam, as has been said, the interested modellers are older now and Gauge 1 is very popular.
I think the old adage of if it looks right..... has a lot to be said for it.  I love the Class 2 BR standard locos all visible engineering.
I have a small model railway which I hope to expand and for me the fascination is the re-creating of a small goods train just crawling along at eye level.  I never was a train spotter but when I walked home from school I could take a route through from Kentish Town station through the maintenance yards and come out at Queens Crescent.  If you behaved yourself you were allowed to watch, e.g. tyres being heated to fit on to wheels.
Used to see the Bayer garrett locos with long coal trains on them, wish I had paid more attention!

On the marine side I was in the Red Sea area a couple of years ago, swimming, snorkelling and we were taken out to other swim sites by RIB and saw what has been done to small passing merchant ships. They come along all boarded up like sheds to prevent being boarded by pirates.
You would not want to model them!
I agree generally that modern merchant ships have become too functional and have lost the artistic touch of form and balance of design, such a pity.  But what can you do with a ship that takes on damn great boxes for a living!

I still favour model yachts and now make them so that the mast and shrouds are strong enough for me to lift the model (and launch it) by holding the mast(s) which must take the weight of the boat.  This saves my knees as the water seems much further away than it used to be.
However there is a comment on another thread on old photographs from 60+ years ago that the modellers in the photos look old like us so there has been continuity in the past and let us hope it will continue.

Many clubs have a demographic problem. I recommend that they ignore it and get on and enjoy the hobby.  Having a good time is the best way to attract new members.
regards Roy, (long time club Secretary)
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Bryan Young

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2016, 02:18:04 PM »

     ?????
          Yo Brian, you've lost me on this one!


i deliberately left that post open-ended. I should really have mentioned just how often one form of modelling can bleed over into something entirely different. A simple example is the huge amount of materiel, tools and "furnishings" made for the Dolls House fans. If you can match scales then the crossovers are pretty neat infinite. I don't know if all that much pertains to boating goes the other way, but I was always happy to utilise stuff designed for other purposes. Lego is another case in point....amazing what can be achieved with their modern gear sets. The list is endless. Bryan.   
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Bryan Young

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2016, 02:48:13 PM »

The contribution from Roycv is more than interesting as it touches on aspects that I never thought of!
  But I have just 2 of his comments to remark on.....
Red Sea " ferries", I think you were given a misleading steer about them being boarded up to deter piracy. 
Most of these vessels are floating slums intended to carry poorer pilgrims to Jedda on their journey to Mecca.  The wooden cladding is to make extra shelter/accommodation for these people. Not all that long ago stell plates were used leading to instability, many capsizes and much loss of life. Safety and human concern is not as high a priority as profit in this region.
    My second observation. Is that his recommendation to play down the importance of getting new/younger recruits is fraught with danger. All clubs will have a point where the membership numbers can decrease to a level that makes the club financially unsustainable. Lake licence fees, clubhouse rent and maintenance ( all rising on an annual basis) needs money...and you can only push subs up so far before the membership spirals down to oblivion.  BY.
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roycv

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 03:51:16 PM »

Hello Bryan, thanks for correcting me about the Red sea 'ferries'  I did not know that.
Second point about getting extra members.
One of our committee members has been advocating looking for younger members.  Everyone agrees with that as I am sure you do.  However to what lengths do you go? 
We have RC models owned by the club and used at our annual exhibition on a portable lake by young people, goes down a treat.
We have put out leaflets to come and join us we will let you operate these boats, we will teach you to drive a live steam railway engine, no response.

I had an experience 2 exhibitions ago with a 14 year old who wanted advice on getting grandad's motor boat to work.  Parents involved as well, has to be a new recruit I thought.  I did some of the work donating a motor prop and shaft so that he would be successful.  I had an RC tugboat for him to drive with parents looking on.  He was as enthusiastic as one could expect.
Not heard a word from them since.

The leaflets drew zero response.
So we have a choice of looking inward and worrying the whole time about the future of the society.  Or accepting that our members have joined a club because they want to and that we should be looking after the members we have and just get on with making sure they stay.
Nobody joins a miserable group (The end is Nigh!!!), you join a set up that seem to be having a better time than you are.
We have 90 odd members and it has been about that figure for the last 40 years, it is only when you look at our meeting signing in book for say 25 years ago that you realize that you no longer see 50% of them, but others have taken their place.
Many of the members we see from other societies say we are a happy club, which I think is a job well done by the committee.
We are always open to new ideas and we have recruited a young lady as our editor who is having a good time keeping our gazette in a most professional manner.  It is a quid pro quo situation, this will go down well on her graphics design CV for future job opportunities and we have an excellent publication.
regards Roy
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Stan

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 11:37:22 PM »

Hi Roy our club attends many shows in the north during the summer we get lots of enquiries from parents with children. But like you we may get the odd one" turn up at the lakeside.Another problem is junior members should be be with parents or grandparents. Very unfair on any club if junior members are just left at the lakeside.Child and vunrablee adults safety come to mind.I have to agree with Bryan that without junior members or younger members they will become a time when club members subs will not pay the bills and sadly clubs may fold. In the meantime we still enjoy our hobby and will promote marine modelling hopefully for many years to come.Wishing you all the best for the Christmas period.




Stan
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2016, 08:04:54 AM »

I don't expect to recruit new young members.
However I do hope to plant a seed and inspire them to model in the future.

I have done this by building a Springer tug that I can bring to the pond to let children and
adults run. Someone did this for me when I was young. And I aspired to build my own model to run.
But it was not till I had graduated college that I found my way back to ship modeling.

Recently I built a small 712mm x 1000mm x 90mm deep pond to bring to indoor shows and
let kids run tiny model boats.  I built up a Towboat, and a 150mm Springer and the pond all in a week.
Over two days, the kids killed 36 batteries.  %)

And this does work. I was stopped a show two years ago, and a gentleman said to me,
" I blame you for this. See that boy over there at the far side of the pond? Last year you
let him run one of your model boats, and he wouldn't let up till we purchased the one he is
running now. And this year we are building a Springer tug."
He thanked me for my generosity, and was happy that he and his son could enjoy the hobby together.

Find a way to put the transmitter into young people's hands.
And if they drop it, make it a game to find all the batteries.  ok2

roycv

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2016, 09:12:32 AM »

Hi Umi a nice story for Christmas sounds good to me. 
At our annual exhibitions we have a very big turnout to come and play with the RC model boats, make paper aeroplanes and have live steam train rides.  There are about 400 children attending over the two days, so we do our best,
Judging from my grandaughter and school work I think they really have too much to do.  Certainly more than was expected of me back in the 1950's. 
I can imagine parents who themselves have pressures at work would regard hobbies like ours as something to do later on in life.  In the meantime children need to do well at school and then further education and hopefully gainfull employment.
Jobs are not easy to find and just living is expensive.

I am amazed at how successful Lego is, they have targetted an adult following a well, but in essence you are copying pictures with ready made parts, you can't really make mistakes where as a model boat kit may seem rather daunting.
We have all seen the disbelief of others that you have actually made something yourself from wood glue and paint.
If you are young have the time you probably do not have the money or perhaps the training or dexterity.

We like many other towns have a binge culture amongst the younger people, who live for the present only.  Many are in dead end jobs zero contract work and money linked to minimum wage.
But still I am told that here we are a centre of entertainment.  We have a population of 70,000 but have as many as 25,000 young people come into town just for the weekend.
I find this all regretful but little I can do about it.
But it is Christmas now and I hope everyone has a good time, many pressies and all that you wished for.
Merry Chrismas
Roy

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Bryan Young

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2016, 04:22:44 PM »

Oh dear, Roy, much as I may or not agree with you, references to short term/zero hours contracts are not really the stuff of life on this forum (however apposite they may be). Carry on in that vein and before you know it we'll find ourselves in political and (by extension) religious opprobrium.
Stop now, before you make the moderators get their knickers in a twist.
    You also mention Lego in a way I find hard to disagree with. Yes, much of the modern Lego is "build by the book"....ibut does that destroy experimentation or, in some cases, teach and encourage innovation ?
May I suggest the latter may be true.
      I'm speaking at first hand now.
When my eyes made my sort of modelling impossible I developed a severe case of "itchy fingers" that just wanted to build something, anything to quell that need. So, in a. Way, I reverted to childhood and bought myself a Lego model kit. At 122 it was the most expensive one they made and also the most complicated.
In no way could anyone build this monster mobile crane without the 6 volume building "guide". Even at my age I found it a real challenge. But I learned mor about the use of gears to perform stuff that had ever occurred to me. A masterpiece of modelling design. A quite amazing model and a damn sight cheaper than many boat kits!
   So modelling in many forms expands and mutates...not necessarially in a bad way. Try one! Bryan.
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roycv

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2017, 09:55:14 AM »

Hello Bryan, Happy New Year.  I read through your response again and really my comments on the younger generation are there for all to see, I was trying to find reasons why we do not have young people wanting to build, construct and get interested in our hobbies, not accuse them.
Telling me to try a Lego set reminds me of the phrase about grandma and eggs.  Should my son read this he would laugh!  We had a whole childhood devoted to Lego and he has a Masterbuilders certificate as well.  We enjoyed it for many years and on one occasion it stood me in good stead when on Management training courses.
Personally I am a Meccano man still have the stuff under my bench and should you ever visit our annual exhibition you will see a grand show of Meccano from the West London Meccano Society of which I am also a member.
Glad Lego was of help to you, but I would say that Meccano is more flexible in the ways it can be used, but I am prejudiced!
For me I do some scratch building still but get a lot of pleasure from getting model boats back working again, I think this is where experience can cut across a lot of head scratching and just get on with what needs to be done.
I had a lot of pleasure last month restoring a clockwork model boat.

I take your general comment about politics and religion and it is great to just have the various views on model boating.  This is a very friendly forum and I hope it stays that way.
I take a lot of hope from one of our club members who is 96 and is registered blind who says that when working on his lathe, he has a screen and camera for the fine settings, he sometimes has to have 3 goes at a job before it comes out right.
Best regards for the future Bryan, with me it is fingers that get tired quickly, (seem to be OK for typing though!).
regards Roy
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ballastanksian

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Re: The future of modelling
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 08:49:46 PM »

Chichester and District SME went for ten years maybe without a junior member on the books, but then two members joined and introduced three junior members and then two years ago three junior members joined when we began a OO section. It is possible to encourage juniors to join. We get a flow of chaps with teenage/grown up kids join as well as a number of retired men join, so it is not impossible to gain membership.

As for 'Rivet counters', you get them in military modelling and wargaming (rules lawyers) as well, but do not decry wargamers as talentless blokes who use a yard brush to rough paint a thousand lead blobs stuck to a tray in the back yard, as there are numerous modellers who took up war gaming and can get very picky over using the right varint of Panzer Four for their Panzer Lehr Battle group, or getting the camo scheme on a 1940 British Cruiser tank right for when deployed to North Africa (Its not light blue, it's Silver Grey!)

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madrob

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Model boating dying?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2018, 12:17:25 PM »

Is model boating dying?  I look around at the lake there seems to be less and less people every year, i think we have one member under 30, it's the same at the shows, a lot of the same faces every year just getting older, even the forums don't seem as busy as they used to be, Facebook is ok but everything seems to get lost quickly.
Is model boating doomed? i wonder if cars and planes have the same problems
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Captain Flack

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 01:00:04 PM »

I wonder if its possible demise, for want of a better description, is down to the reluctance of Councils to help in setting up Clubs and allowing access to sailing water.  Environmental groups and the "Fun Police" don't want anyone to enjoy themselves even with items such as boats. Even insurance companies are now restricting the "insured" areas of different sports.  I learnt yesterday that the local armour group have had their Insurance restrict the use of their tanks and suchlike, even preventing them from allowing the Juniors to " have a go". Apparently, I'm not allowed to drive my Tamiya Truck, because I might add to the growing pile of dead or injured people I might leave in my wake. I used to fly but trying to get a site that fitted the criteria for almost 40 members, was almost impossible, but if me and 10 mates went to the Council with a ball, I could get access to a field to kick the ball around.  Not sure why the same rules don't apply.
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SJG001

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2018, 02:16:48 PM »

Sorry - like most hobbies there is very little new blood coming in to replace those who are gone both in clubs and suppliers,  it is already getting difficult obtaining parts, kits, tools etc... Not sure some of the existing hobbyist help this as their attitude to the younger generation at shows is quite demeaning.


The modeling hobby needs to shift gear to encourage people into the hobby - but it is not going to come from club level - It needs to come from manufacturer, suppliers and shops. Already Gaupner has made some moves with their kits to be more mass market friendly.


Wargaming, Role Playing Games and Board Games has had a major resurgence in recent years. This is down to manufacturers like Game Workshop, Fantasy Flight Games, Warlord Games, Mantic, etc  encouraging new blood into the hobby, evolving their product, supporting shops and in some case the shops become the club (Common Ground Games in Stirling is a good example).
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plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2018, 02:55:44 PM »

I'm 50 and one of the very last true engineers.

The people following me have very little practical skills. They grew up in a time when things 'just work' - their dad wasn't tinkering with the car every weekend, their electronics were cheap and plug & play - mine all came from Maplins as a bag of resistors & a pcb.

Any hobby equipment is peanuts for them - amazing drones for under 100 ready built - all my stuff was a bundle of balsa and a plan.

My friend recently tried recruiting an electronics graduate and the job centre admonished him for asking them to wire a 13A plug at the interview - none of them could!
My young (30-ish) neighbour doesn't even own a screwdriver.

Model boats are just too hard - they are expensive, they require all sorts of practical skills, knowledge of materials, lots of tools - and tons of patience over a long build. Most younger people are used to instant gratification.
I suspect the hobby will be stone dead in 30 years.
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Subculture

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2018, 02:58:41 PM »

I think the next ten to fifteen years will be the tipping point.

plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2018, 03:09:38 PM »

Another reason is that ships today are mostly dead boring. (efficient, reliable, computer designed, built on a production line in Korea)

Our generations had QE2, SS France, SS United States, Blue Riband races, all the famous warships, Bismarck, HMS Hood, sea battles, war films etc.

The modern cruise ships are council estates on a barge driving in circles.
Warships? What warships?
All a bit uninspiring for modern kids to want to spend any effort to build.

And all the small powerboats/cruisers come from the toyshop ready built for 50
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tonyH

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2018, 03:57:22 PM »

Plastic hit part of one of the nails on the head with mention of wiring a plug.
I work in a hardware shop where the average age of the DIY customer is certainly 50+. I'll bet that most of us on Mayhem have wired, plumbed and fettled our own homes where the renting younger population have a landlord to sort the matter out, normally using a "professional", so there is no incentive to learn the skills (or take the chances %) ) that we took for granted.
We had the tools and the odd bits of timber, glue etc.etc. and some of the boats that I certainly built 40 years ago were a bit rustic but it was a start.
It's not just boats, it's life......
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2018, 04:46:21 PM »

As Plastic says, the romance has gone from full size shipping and boating so there isn't the same scope for hanging the hobby onto full size practice.
Colin
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Footski

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2018, 06:55:57 PM »

What do our young people do? They don't watch TV. They don't go out to play sport with friends. They spend so much of their time on computers, game consoles and social mdia. Of course the hobby is dying. Like so many other great pastimes and nothing we can do about it. It is only a matter of time! {:-{ {:-{
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ballastanksian

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2018, 06:56:59 PM »


I noticed this looking at the show reviews in Model boats. The photos say it all really which is a shame.


There are clever and resourceful kids out there, and there are schools believe it or not that are trying to teach them things that resemble skills, but often the parents who usually both work have neither time or inclination to accompany their kids to the club (as many clubs have an attended child policy) or want their new 'Cath Kitson Dining room' messed up by a presumed avalanche of mess caused by a boy or girl quietly sitting there and having a go at a Spirfire kit let alone a model boat kit.


Wargaming does seem to be holding its own, but usually with an injection of twenty-thirty somethings. Some have indeed come from the Games Workshop up bringing but dropped out for study and discovering girls and beer before returning to wargaming once they have settled down a bit. If Model boating could get something similar to Games Workshop happening then there would be an increase in Model boaters. It might need to be based around an after school activity, and a way found to inspire children about boats.

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Bowwave

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2018, 07:31:14 PM »

I have been enjoying the weather and some  boating on my local lake and to be frank   the  model boating  lake at  New Brighton has never been as busy  , every day last week  with Sunday the best yet and enjoying   superb views of  all the sea traffic entering the river  as a backdrop  . To top it all the Ellesmere Port MBC  have  built their own boating lake  at the Hooton park Trust close to their old venue  of the Boat Museum  and are enjoying   an upsurge in members  and some are under the age of 50 . Yes it is not all doom and gloom I truly recommend  we  just enjoy what we have  :-))
Bowwave   
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plastic

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Re: Model boating dying?
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2018, 07:42:19 PM »

When I was at school, I was the last year of having metalwork/woodwork and engineering. I was taught to use lathes & mills, the forge, sharp tools etc.

They were ripped out and turned into 'resistive materials' classes where the teacher was more interested in 'mood boards' than actually getting hands dirty.

This is, of course, much safer and less likey to end up in hospital.

I was the second-to-last year of my company's apprentice student training school - the following year it was unable to attract enough competent trainees so shut completely the following year.

All the local tech colleges were on borrowed time and all closed 20 years ago - one is now a housing estate, the other is a 'free school'.

At all the places I have worked, most of the engineers were at least 10 years older than me - I was always the youngest.

At my last job, we could not recruit ANY young engineers (in over a 10 year recruiting period) that were of any use - we ended up with a physicist, who at least understood the principles, and we trained him up.


For some years, I was an Explorer Scouts assistant leader so interacted with loads of young adults - none had ANY interest in engineering - the majority were going to be famous musicians or had no clue.

On behalf of my last company, I was a STEM ambassador visiting middle schools doing 'science' projects with the teachers - none had any idea about basic science so was starting with a clean slate. Their idea of science was really just making a simple model with cardboard rather than doing anything hard.

I also used to man the stands at all the senior school career evenings promoting science & engineering courses - but the queue for the CSI (forensic science) stand was 10x longer even though ours was more interesting - kids just don't want to do 'hard' courses.

Engineering used to be glamourous in the 40s, 50s and 60s with all of the space race and aerospace industries booming but from the 70s, with the government doing everything possible to run down our industries and the media rubbishing clever people as 'boring nerds', no-one is interested - even though it is the 3rd highest paid career after law & medicine and is guaranteed to land a job on graduation.


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