Merchandise and Information Stand:
The Project Class 22 Society has a Merchandise and Information Stand that is used at events and galas throughout the UK. The stand is evolving and is a real asset for the group. Where you see the ‘Project 22 on Tour’ sign, our stand is not very far away!
Our over-all aims are to raise awareness of the project, provide information about the building process and its progress, and, especially, to attract new members. We are looking for volunteers to help us run it as often as we can throughout the year. There are several specific objectives for the stand:
- Informing people about the project so they can consider joining us.
- Discussing donation schemes.
- Meeting people with a story to tell.
- Selling merchandise.
Informing People about the project
This objective involves engaging with people, telling them what we are doing and how we intend build the loco: showing plans and pictures that reflect our aim. There are a number of interesting items on the stand to help draw people’s attention and initiate discussion.
Following initial conversation, if appropriate we offer basic membership – taking personal details such as name, email address and any useful skill they have, to add to our data base and mailing list. People like to talk and see that we really are taking an interest in them, so we must be careful not to monopolise all the conversation.
Discussing Donation schemes:
A key objective is to ask people to donate monthly, which will then make them investors. It would be nice if those interested could fill out the form there and then, but we must expect most to read through the information before committing. Our objective is to show that we can be trusted, that their investment is safe, and even returnable should the project not reach its conclusion.
Meeting people with a story:
We are always looking for information, recollections and stories relating to Class 22s, from drivers, rail enthusiasts, and model makers. If we are told a good story we might want others to share it, and would like to do this through the newsletter and website.
Having interesting fund-raising goods to sell is very important: the slogan, “We don’t sell – people buy” describes our approach. We have lovely posters, canvases, pictures, mugs, glasses, postcards, shirts and fleeces. Most are available on the stand, but if we run out, or it is more convenient to have them delivered, we can also supply items by mail order. A selection of new or used books and artifacts is occasionally available, and PayPal payment facilities can be provided for purchases.
We aim to attend at least four galas a year, plus possibly a number of smaller shows using a satellite stand. If we can get enough volunteers on our team we could increase this.
What’s in it for you?
Helping on the stand is very rewarding as you meet and socialise with people from the railway and preservation world. There is no pressure – you do as much or as little as you are able. If you begin to feel a little bit out of your depth, there will be support from Business and Technical Members, and you can always take enquirers’ details and ensure them that they will be sent answers to their queries. There is a lot of banter and humour on the stand, too.
What’s in it for us?
By joining us at these events, you get to know us better; and the more support we receive from members, the more we can do, and the sooner we see a Class 22 built. Putting on a confident front and discussing the project’s plans are key ways forward. We need lots of members to help in any way they can – as the saying goes, ‘every little helps’.
The future for the Stand:
We are in the planning stage of building a mock-up cab of a Class 22 made from timber and fibreglass to form a spectacular display and draw the much needed attention we require. It will be full size, light-weight and mobile. We would like to expand the scope of the stand by visiting more shows and galas, which is possible if we can expand the stand team.
Strong candidates are parts of the country with strong Western Region connections as follows:
West Somerset Railway
Seven Valley Railway
East Lancashire Railway
Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway
Dean Forest Railway
Please come and join us.
If you can give any time at all to help us, please let us know – the Business Manager will be very pleased to hear from you. His email address is email@example.com.