The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society
Enjoying each others company since 1982
ADDRESSING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
Over the past few years it has become harder and harder to organise meetings throughout the year that please and satisfy everyone. It is particularly hard to replicate the more strenuous meetings GASS was well known for.
It is time to address the elephant in the room. Some GASS members are downright old and don't bounce like they used to when dropped from a great height. There, I've said it! It's out in the open.
The dreaded truth. The reason we can't do meetings like Speedway, Banger Racing, Go Karting, Velodrome, Paint Ball, all those energetic things anymore. Some of us are getting too OLD!!!
So what to do and where to go from here??
The simple fact of life is that GASS now spans two age groups, there are 24 of us in total. If you take the over 60's there are 12, and and exactly equal 12 under 60's.
The over 60's have an average age of 69, actually past pensionable age on average.
The under 60's have an average age of 56, 13 years younger and still bounceable.
Therefore it is a fact that, no matter what they actually say on the night, half our membership won't turn out to meetings that are as physical as they used to be in years gone by.
It is a simple fact of life that Owen was one year old when GASS was formed. Ian was 11, Graham was 17, Wayne was 18. The 'old originals' were an average of just 30 years old in 1981. Bloody 66 now, the oldest being Pete at a flipping amazing 81 now we are in 2021.
The point of these facts and figures is that GASS is no longer a homogeneous mixture of guys, we have matured into two tribes, like it or not. The unavoidable truth is that GASS as a whole group can no longer put on the type of meetings that it used too. Expect less 'dangerous' or physical meetings, expect more dinners. The two tribes mix really well socially, they just don't have the same stamina when it comes to a Bouncy Castle Assault Course (one recent suggestion)..
It would be a shame for GASS to wither on the vine because of age, and there is no need for it to, but it must adapt. As long as our younger members, who hanker after the wilder more testing forms of meeting that we used to be famous for, can live with that then excellent. GASS will still have a varied and vibrant meeting schedule - just not quite as active.
In response to the inevitable suggestion that "if the older members can't hack it any more then they just come and watch" that won't work. Logically they just won't come. A more logical method is that the more energetic members use GASS as a springboard to still have that type of meeting, but get together on a different night. The 'Double Three' club already use GASS friendships as a base for non-GASS outings to great effect. GASS Skiing is another example. Now we also have the 'GASS LUNCH CLUB' which regularly attracts 10-12 members to its daytime events.
So guys, I will happily keep on with the CEO job, no problem there, but would ask that everyone accepts that the march of time is inevitable and irreversible. We're all mates, it is just that none of the old ones want to die!
Lets keep GASS going into its fifth decade, but just with more zimmer frames.
I offer this policy statement for discussion at the AGM and ask that future meeting suggestions echo these sentiments.
OR JUST CULL THE OLD BASTARDS!
I would finally add that there seems a recent trend of going back to the bad old days of forgetting that we each pay just £40 a month and should not expect more that £40 worth of expenditure per head at each meeting on balance. I get the joke about cheese boards, but the reality is that if you order anything other than house wine or beer you should pay for it yourself. If you force the prices of a meeting up then it is both unfair and shortsighted. Yes, we can put the fees up, but we don't need to if we all play the game, and if we do put them up then this practice of trying to get out more than you put in will probably get worse not better.
As of the AGM 2020 the new rule is that if the organisors deem a meeting to be expensive or if the funds are depleted a £20 surcharge can be added to a meeting. The organisors must inform members before the meeting, by email and Whatsapp, that this is the case. If a member does not want to pay the surcharge then DON'T ATTEND THE MEETING. The £40 you pay is a fee to belong to GASS, not the total cost of every meeting. This rule was introduced and received 19 votes out of 24 and so is final.
(updated March 2021)
The Gentlemen's Ale Sampling Society
We Are Occasional
GASS MEMBERS OVER THE YEARS
1982 - Nick Jenkins, John Brice, Brian Henslow, Chris Spree, Steve Bell
EX: Philip Henslow (RIP), Paul Trumper, Mike Hollis, Peter Dyke, Mike Dakers, Don Harris, George Pixley
1983 - Tony Mankelow
EX: Steve Bishop, Mike Tester, Mike Saffery, John Jenson, Colin Smith,
Peter Lock (RIP), Ollie Else, Roy Heath, Tony Wimble
1985 - Peter Farrer, Hew Edeludalooo (don't ask)
EX: Mike Wade, Dave Dicketts, Phil Grey, Martyn Calder, Ray Dennis, Harry Wood
1987 - EX: Pat Harnady
1988 - Derek Murphy
EX: Murry Evans,
1989 - Phil Cockerton
1990 - EX: Mike Collins, Mike Slack (RIP)
1991 - Len Smith
EX: Danny Revell, Jeff Wilding, John Terry, Barry Coughlan
1993 - Ray Guttridge
EX: Graham Carr, Tom Ryan (RIP)
1994 - EX: Roger Wootten, Spike Simmonds, Mike Edwards
1995 - EX: Paul Rutherford
1996 - Stuart Gilbert
1997 - EX: Keith Angus, John Worely, Alex Thompson, Mike Slator
1998 - Andrew Smith
1999 - Gary Easdown
2000 - Phil Ralph
EX: John Hooper
2001 - EX: Simon Stroud
2006 - Keith Evans, Ian Westlake
2007 - Ron Price
2012 - Graham Bridgewater
EX: Alan Ranger, Neil Rogers
2014 - Owen Brunning
2015 - Wayne Rodriguez
2016 - EX: Steve Riches (joined 2006) EX: Don Pilcher (joined 1986)
22 members - 10 from 30 years ago - 46 ex-members (incl 4 RIP)
Not bad for 36 years!