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Are Members of any worth today?

Last post 15-08-2014 3:08 PM by Backache. 11 replies.

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  • 01/07/2014 11:01 PM
    • GROWMORE
    • London
    • 12 Aug 2012
    • 736
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    I recently contacted the RHS Web Master.  Reason being.  Searching the new website, I was unable to find a certain are previously availbale.  In the past I had seen members/individuals offering unwanted Garden journals.  No could find.

     

    So something else that has been done away with.  Forum members are well aware of the very thin thread that exists between us members and the site.  Might I take you back over the years.  I became aquainted with the RHS in the 1960's  Our journal was very plain and scientific looking.  It served it's purpose.  Even in those days, a section was available for Fellows, as we were then known, to submit our wants and offers.

    In time the Fellows recognition was done away with.  OK this opened the gates for the general public to join, not overlooking of course, the financial gain.  IMO the Fellows area could have remained for the benefit and recognition of the professional class.  Membership as it now is might well have provided shared benefits etc.  In short.  To me.  It appears that the members are worth nothing more than their yearly subs.  Plus their support at high costing shows.

     

    I wonder how other members feel about this.

    I do not wish to offend anyone, but some answers might help.

    Growmore.
  • 02/07/2014 05:01 PM
    • kaydee
    • Perthshire
    • 15 Feb 2009
    • 634
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    I don't use the RHS web-site. The forum is bookmarked & just opens up directly. I canceled my RHS membership some years ago because it didn't really regularly cater for gardening this far north.

  • 02/07/2014 07:21 PM
    • Julie
    • London
    • 28 Apr 2009
    • 614
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     It is expensive for what you get out of it.

  • 03/07/2014 06:40 AM
    • Nigel
    • Paignton
    • 27 May 2008
    • 454
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     I find it good value for money, certainly compared to another Royal Society I belong to and in London with the, relative closeness of Wisley and Hyde Hall as wellas the the RHS shows and library I would find it every valuable.

    The main purpose of members is to provide income to support the Society's charitable aims, the more cynical would say to provide a good life for the senior management and executives. As a source of income widely scattered around the country one way to maximise this is to bombard us with adverts for "lifestyle products" hence the rise in adverts in The Garden and enclosed with it. I can remember when the adverts where all at the front and beginning and could be easily discarded or skipped.

    So are members of value to the society yes as a whole we are, but individually not really and they are not probably not bothered by turnover in membership so long as income is sustained.

    In this the RHS is no better and no worse than other groups  such as the NT, RSPB, RSC take your pick really. . 

  • 03/07/2014 07:01 PM
    • Backache
    • W. Kent
    • 31 Dec 2012
    • 270
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    That is a very good review of the Society. I have recently upgraded to life Membership and now make regular additional contributions. However, I have observed the new administration at various shows and have the impression that they are very well rewarded which I do not think us the case with the real ambassadors for the Society namely the hard workers at Wisley and elsewhere. What brasses me off totally is once again, just like Chelsea, that although having ordered tickets with a catalogue for HC back in November the catalogue still has not arrived although the event starts next week. I do consider that this indicates Management shortcomings. Council should take note.

  • 03/07/2014 10:30 PM
    • GROWMORE
    • London
    • 12 Aug 2012
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    Nigel and Backache.  Thank you so much for really honest answers.  Nigel old friend.  That other 'R' that you refer to.  Surely not the Royal Society?  That is next on my list.

    If I have read correctly and fully understood the replies.  Am I coreect in thinking that, taking into account your replies.  Marks for the society as a whole. Very Good.  Admin and general management and might I add.  The old boys club.  Very low marks.  Backache. You mention life membership.  I once enquired about this.  In brief.  I had at the time been a fellow for some forty two years. Forgive the language.  The gent at head office who dealt with my communication. He didn't know his *** from his elbow.  I complained.  Only to be told, that it was close to Chelsea time.  Further communication would follow in the future.  I am still waiting.  Over the years. I have asked many questions etc.  I have submitted several letters to the editor etc and items of interest.  Might I point out.  Despite being an oldie at the age of 75.  I have been a Fellow of the society since the 1960's.  I am a Fellow of the Linnean Socy. London.  I am also a member of the British Society of Plant Pathologist.  However. I am NOT a close associate of the upper crust.  Incidentally.  Any communication with the society as such.  Never brings forth a reply.  I wonder why?

    Growmore.
  • 04/07/2014 06:58 AM
    • Nigel
    • Paignton
    • 27 May 2008
    • 454
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     No not the Royal Societ, Growmore, but another body with a Royal;Charter, Like the RHS it expanded rapidly, admittedly in it's area and not to the general public at the end of the 20th century. It's ramped its fees and split packages so the members end up paying more, advertising etc has increased all in the name of promoting it's charitable aims.

    Looking at the membership of committees and who nominates who for posts a number of names crop up with some frequency. I think the old boys club is still up and running in the RHS, as in many other societies both local and national.

    Again in our London centric country it helps if you live in the South East and have more time and money available than the average person.

  • 04/07/2014 07:22 PM
    • Backache
    • W. Kent
    • 31 Dec 2012
    • 270
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    I did note in the Chelsea handbook that they had brought back the "fellow" level but it would cost £5000 per annum. Mind you this would give access to the Chelsea Flower Show on the Monday press day. It did list those who had contributed and I noted some very worthy names, Frankly, I was very pleased back in the 60's or 70's when they changed us from fellows to members as a number of my colleagues put the letters FRHS after their names on their notepaper.

  • 06/07/2014 10:10 PM
    • GROWMORE
    • London
    • 12 Aug 2012
    • 736
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    Backache.  We have been down this road before, regarding sticking FRHS after ones name.. Guilty M'lud.  Back in the sixties this was the norm.  So many gardening books came into print bearing the authors name as  so and so FRHS.  I think even Patrick Synge also used it.  Then as you say.  Things changed, and all became members.  To some extent I have to agree.  As I so often quote.  Lord Aberconway insisted that the The RHS was to be one and all.  So the society began to open up more to the general public.  Now my friend.  You state that the Chelsea Handbook speaks of a reintroduction of the 'Fellow ' Status.  Please tell me more.  Also that cost. Five grand a year. Scuse the french but. Bloody hell that is total extorsion. Backache. How do you fancy a carvery at the the same next to pollhill garden centre.  I will treat you and pick up the tab.  In all honesty. Such moves by the RHS.  Bringing in the heavies.  No way.  Please keep in touch.  Mike.

    Growmore.
  • 07/07/2014 04:16 PM
    • Backache
    • W. Kent
    • 31 Dec 2012
    • 270
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    The booklet lists around 75 names described as "Fellows of the RHS" It then goes on to say that "fellows of the RHS are a committed group of supporters who each donate £5000 per year to help us achieve our goals" There is a resume of benefits including access to the Chelsea Flower Show on Press day and exclusive visits to incredible gardens in the UK and Overseas. If you are still interested Growmore, there is an email address:- fellows@rhs.org.uk Good Luck young man???? And best wishes.

  • 13/08/2014 11:07 PM
    • GROWMORE
    • London
    • 12 Aug 2012
    • 736
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    Not a bad statergy my friend.  Obviously anyone who can fork out five grand for a nere kind of title.  Bet yer bottom dollar this goes down on the tax return.. Contributions to a charity.   BH this system is so corrupt.  Back to letters after a name.  OK.  Yes I use mine.  Not boastfully but simply because I have earned them.  Also, perhaps not known to many.  The higher up the ladder you go.  The more it costs you.  As a joke.  I do hope my friendly postman doesn't start chrging me extra delivery for letters addressed as such.  FRHS. FLs.  Dr......  Prof............  Only for me to find that the enclosed was nowt but a circular.  Enjoy the joke.  However back to the theme.  It really does seem that the membership are only valid for their conrtibutions.  Take for instance The Garden journal.  The normal reader is subjected to loads of perhaps unwanted info.  The articles are always written by the usual team.  How come Joe Bloggs never gets a look in.  Letters has over time have  been reduced.  Members wants has totally gone.

    Growmore.
  • 15/08/2014 03:08 PM
    • Backache
    • W. Kent
    • 31 Dec 2012
    • 270
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    In this month's issue of "The Garden" it states that the number of RHS Fellows has increased to 106. Looks like healthy growth figures to me.