Postby jalfrezi on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 9:33 am

Gonzo230 wrote:I think the aviation heritage enthusiast/supporter community has to understand its own part in this.

I'm not referring specifically to APRES/UKHAT or any others, but there seems to be an assumption within our community that any new aviation group/aircraft support group/society/trust/charity etc etc should appear fully formed with notable trustees/experts/business plans already in place. When groups allow us to observe their early development and growing pains, it's very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticise.

However, do we not also, as a community, criticise those groups that are more private at this stage for not being open and transparent?

I think, if one actually analyses how any aviation heritage group starts, it's usually one or more 'enthusiastic amatuers' getting together. What has changed so that now we expect experts and experienced only to set these up?

Were Tim Prince and Paul Bowen experienced airshow organisers when they started forming ideas for IAT? Did they have a list of experts and a comprehensive business and funding plan when they started trying to drum up interest for an airshow? And look where that organisation is now and what it has provided over the years.

Have we created such a toxic environment?

While I agree with you to a degree, do you not also think that any group asking for public money should be fully transparent from the outset? If they were only using their own money then they of course have the right to do things in private, and without scrutiny.
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Postby Dan O'Hagan on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 9:51 am

Indeed. Asking the public for money for the most vague of aims opens them up to the most intense scrutiny.

This should have been put in place in private, then rolled-out to the public once the idea was fully formed and ready to go.

Right now it smacks of individuals of varying intelligence pulling in different directions, but united in the common aim of obtaining money from the public.
Dan O'Hagan


Postby st24 on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 11:13 am

Berf wrote:
Gonzo230 wrote:Were Tim Prince and Paul Bowen experienced airshow organisers when they started forming ideas for IAT? Did they have a list of experts and a comprehensive business and funding plan when they started trying to drum up interest for an airshow? And look where that organisation is now and what it has provided over the years.

Maybe not but then again in 1971 there were not that many civil airshows and certainly not the regulations that need to be followed now. Also they were both highly skilled professionals in the aviation business

The original Air Tattoos were set up under the auspices of the RAF Association (RAFA) that had a relatively successful run of organising airshows nationwide so not "technically" civilian shows. They also had very good sponsorship from WD&HO Wills tobacco - later Embassy that supported them until 1977 IIRC. There were a lot of civvy shows too- Biggin Hills, Farnborough, and a plethora of local flying clubs that hosted great shows at general aviation airfields- Sleap, Shobdon, Halfpenny Green, Goodwood, Redhill, Booker, Strathallen etc etc.It was definitely not the airshow desert you both seem to be hinting at...
You caaan't trust the system... Maaan!
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Postby Gonzo230 on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 12:19 pm

Woah, I never mentioned anything about a lack of airshows. I was trying, and failing, to make a point that many of the institutions and organisations we know and love today started with a small group of interested amatuers. It could just be my perception, but it seems standards have changed.


Postby CJS on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 6:02 pm

One key difference now is the advent of social media. Think back 20 years to 1997 - not exactly a long time is it? But then consider how you would go about forming a group like APRES back then. Very very different indeed.

You needed to be up together before you started, because the way you got people on board was face to face, word of mouth or possibly through magazine adverts, flyers in model shops and the like.

The point is, you couldn't go about it how you can these days. Clearly there are pros and cons to social media. Equally clearly though (or so you'd assume!) if you don't get it right it's going to come back to bite.

I launched a Facebook page for my school a few weeks back but before anyone in the public could see anything, we agreed how it would be managed and moderated and by whom, what would be posted, how we would deal with any issues, drew up a written policy to make sure we got it right, got that ratified by the governing body of the school, ran it past the parents and finally disseminated all of that to staff at school in case anyone spotted anything we had missed - which in fact someone did.

Only then did we launch the page publicly. Overkill? Well some might say so, but consider the difference if APRES had done something similar.

There's really no excuse whatsoever to get a company or organisation's social media account wrong these days.
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Postby cg_341 on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 7:22 pm

We're getting away from APRES now and in to the realms of social media and PR, which is handy as it happens to be my forte!

The biggest issue is that for many people, they see social media as being a form of legitimacy; you have a Facebook page therefore people will believe in your cause and go along with it, you post on Twitter therefore you're influencing people, etc. It's not just "kids these days", or even "millennials" (god I hate that term, it was used it my organisation's most important document ever and it really angers me!). It's everyone. We have people at work that are paid thirty-, forty-, event fifty-thousand Pounds per year that believe that "I need a Twitter account so people will do things I want and believe the things I say".

There may well be people that disagree with what we do at Threshold.aero (I've never met any of them, but I'm sure they exist!) but it took us a good 18 months of work to get to the point where, at the start of this year, we could launch. Since then we've raised a five-figure sum for aviation charities, and are continuing to do so. It wasn't easy, we've made mistakes along the way, but we made sure to have all the i's dotted and t's crossed when we launched. In fact, one of the biggest events we had planned at launch has just collapsed and won't be happening - but no-one outside of the team knew about it, so it's fine, we just get up and move on to the next one.


Postby bucksmjb on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 12:50 pm

Hello everyone – I hope you all had a super Christmas and a Great New Year.

For my sins, I have been nominated as the spokesperson for APRES and as such I will do my best to answer sensible, constructive and polite questions. I will not answer rude or abusive messages, nor messages designed to humiliate. We appreciate that not everyone will like or agree with our ideas, but we couldn’t possibly please everyone. There have been some helpful and constructive comments previously, and we will go back over them and try to answer them, however it may not be possible to answer each and every one individually. Any questions I am unable to answer, will be conveyed to my Trustees.

We have made mistakes and will probably make more as we progress – but we WILL progress.

Our Charity application – despite rumours – has NOT failed and we are continuing with our responses to the Charity Commission, and our efforts are being concentrated in that direction.

We have four Trustees and a back up team. We also talk with, and take advice from those more experienced than us, and we will always listen to constructive comments from any source.

We hope that all of you have a good 2018.

Mike Bowden


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