Alan Mattingly, Ramblers Vice President, visited our office today. Alan was General Secretary (the previous name for Chief Executive) over a period spanning the 1970s to the early 2000s. He was telling us how Ramblers Groups roughly quadrupled between 1975 and 1995; and that the membership of the Ramblers roughly quadrupled too, during the same period.
There appears to have been, during that time, a strong link between the establishment of new Ramblers Groups, and the growth in membership. By contrast, over the past decade, apart from the 20s-30s groups (and more recently the 40s+ groups), there have been few new groups formed.
We want to finish this year 2010/11 with at least 121,500 members. That’s more members than we started the year with – which would be the first time since about 2003. If we can grow our membership again, we can have more campaigning clout, a bigger pool of potential volunteers, as well as more resources. Perhaps we need Areas to be looking at setting up some new Groups – either geographical-, or interest-based ones – or if not new ones, sub-groups of existing ones? I’d be interested in your thoughts. Can you remember that period of rapid membership and group growth?
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The Ramblers’ Association is a registered charity (England & Wales no 1093577, Scotland no SC039799) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 4458492). Registered office: 2nd floor, Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.
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