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Tom D

society of master shoe repairers

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a question I must ask  and  I would like an honest answer ?  who has or ever was a member what was the experience  like  please  be honest  is it worth the money etc ?how much is it etc etc

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You can't get behind it because it's irrelevant.

 

We joined - nobody came to see how good we actually were, so, where's the point?

 

My benchmark is repeat customers for 20 years - it's not a piece of paper proclaiming that I am a master at anything but baiting......

 

Rick.

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Lack of direction with no leadership. I remember when I left and the then chairman, what was his name? Something Griffith? Phoned me, he was put out argumentative about it. It annoyed me all the more, but what I've come to learn is that was passion.

No ones passionate about it, not the leadership or the membership. I find it more and more irritating what's gone on there. People want to be involved but have their own business to run. Recently a young girl called Laura (I think) got involved she was young and interested. I had some great conversations with her, she could have made that organisation fly again, but quick as she came she furthered her career in a new direction. A shame.

 

I wouldn't waist my money on it, not in the current format.

 

Lee

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Does not do enough for independent repairers (My view)

And really at a time where it is needed

The challenge ahead with employment, health and safety, card terminal confusion, internet charging etc etc

So the failures are they don't seem to do anything for us?

Why join?

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Well I was at the AGM last Friday, David James, the previous Chairman has stepped down, he was the last bastion for the Trade, my opinion, I feel it will die away, it has become irrelevant in today's Trade. They have squandered all the money it created by selling their only asset, the property in Desborough a few years ago and it's struggled since.  I'll stop there for fear of upsetting a few people.

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, it has become irrelevant in today's Trade..

It has become irrelevant but is not irrelevant in today's trade. As this web site shows independent businesses like to talk to others in the trade, the world of business moves very fast these days. The key for any organisation is keeping up with what their customers want. It is still a valid organisation or rather could be but cutting edge just haven't got their finger on the pulse, they are as useless for their own members (they represent the suppliers) as they are for the SoMSR members.

All they manage is a good trade magazine and a mediocre show once a year. They do these well, but don't take or like critique.

Where's their show website? Their face book has out of date show details as their page photo and the last post was February. They Can't run their own organisation properly so why the hell are they running SoMSR?

 

When you've got people as good as David walking away, you've blown it.

 

Lee

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You can't get behind it because it's irrelevant.

 

We joined - nobody came to see how good we actually were, so, where's the point?

 

My benchmark is repeat customers for 20 years - it's not a piece of paper proclaiming that I am a master at anything but baiting......

 

Rick.

 

Why should someone call to see you? what would be the point? to tell you how good you are, you should already know that!

Why does everyone ask the same old questions, "whats in it for me" what do I get out of it " what good is it"

It's a society! Why does no-one ask "what can I do for them" "what can I do to help"

I am probably the oldest member this society has. When I first joined the subs were 2 guineas per year, free life insurance, free plate glass insurance.

I still am a member, because I believe we can be stronger together. 

They are always looking for ideas, assistance, help, so instead of knocking the only society for the independent shoe repairer why not join and share your great expertise and knowledge with us all.

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Why should someone call to see you? what would be the point? to tell you how good you are, you should already know that!

Why does everyone ask the same old questions, "whats in it for me" what do I get out of it " what good is it"

It's a society! Why does no-one ask "what can I do for them" "what can I do to help"

I am probably the oldest member this society has. When I first joined the subs were 2 guineas per year, free life insurance, free plate glass insurance.

I still am a member, because I believe we can be stronger together. 

They are always looking for ideas, assistance, help, so instead of knocking the only society for the independent shoe repairer why not join and share your great expertise and knowledge with us all.

 

I feel the independent repairers need something like this more today than ever, however like Keith states they sold the last thing they needed the office unfortunately what now happens to the fees? And what happened to all the money from the sale? was it invested? Is there any left? Until i see answers sadly it's a no go for me - If there are proper books in place i will get involved (if they allow?)

So lets see what's been happening with the proceeds from the sale and all the membership fees?

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We have been a member since possibly the beginning of our time. Although I would like to say that I always will be a member as I believe in having an association. That is not to say I support what they are doing right now. The website, the single most useful tool any organisation can use to get the message across is a shambles!

It also feels as though that at the moment we are promoting the association rather than it promote us.

Like others I have concerns. Where's our money gone or going? Who's accountable? Why is there no transparency? Who's in charge at the moment? Why haven't they done anything on the website for months upon months? Where is the independent trade heading? Who's going to step up and help the cause? Where's the man that's in charge right now? Put him in here!! Let's have an open discussion!!

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Why should someone call to see you? what would be the point? to tell you how good you are, you should already know that!

 

I take your point, but, surely, if I'm going to have a sticker proclaiming that I am a master of anything then it behooves me to be able to prove my pedigree and who has classed me as worthy of the title. Otheriwse, it should just simply be called Society of Shoe Repairers.

 

 

Why does everyone ask the same old questions, "whats in it for me" what do I get out of it " what good is it"

 

Well, would you join anything without wondering what benefits it has to offer you - especially if you're paying money?

 

 

It's a society! Why does no-one ask "what can I do for them" "what can I do to help"

 

I'm here helping this site, for the past 10+ years - I don't get paid, I use a lot of time up that I could spend with my family and I have been abused purely by virtue of being a Mod, in the past. (Forum Police insults spring to mind, add to that the abuse I've had through PM and in the open for deleting contentious or inflammatory topics or through people spamming - including one well-known supplier). So, to address your point: I DO help our trade, in the best way I can, and it shouldn't preclude me from asking what benefits it offers me, surely?

 

I am probably the oldest member this society has. When I first joined the subs were 2 guineas per year, free life insurance, free plate glass insurance.

 

Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't address how I am deemed a Master purely because I signed up to an association........If I want to hire a builder and he has a sticker saying Master Builders Federation, or whatever, then I want to know that he's not a cowboy and that his work has been deemed fit, by his peers, to be worthy of the title 'Master'

 

 

I still am a member, because I believe we can be stronger together. 

 

Absolutely!

 

They are always looking for ideas, assistance, help, so instead of knocking the only society for the independent shoe repairer why not join and share your great expertise and knowledge with us all.

 

Telling the truth, as I see and others see it, isn't knocking - it's being honest. I haven't insulted them - I purely stated that they were irrelevant and I stand by that statement.

 

Don't just take my word for it - look at the other posts on this thread.

 

I believe this site is the most valuable resource we now all have and IT'S FREE.

 

Rick.

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I feel the independent repairers need something like this more today than ever, however like Keith states they sold the last thing they needed the office unfortunately what now happens to the fees? And what happened to all the money from the sale? was it invested? Is there any left? Until i see answers sadly it's a no go for me - If there are proper books in place i will get involved (if they allow?)

So lets see what's been happening with the proceeds from the sale and all the membership fees?

 

Who, why, what person, is going to contact you, a non member, to answer your questions? Why not join?,ask all the questions you want.

1 pair of ladies heels a week, 5 minute job, FIVE MINUTES, you are not prepared to give 5 minutes a week of your precious time to help the only society the independent shoe repairer has, all the questions non of the answers, isn't it this kind of apathy that has been the demise of SOMSR?

Just imagine 500 members negotiating a deal with Barclaycard, Energy, Business insurance, it could be done, but very few people are willing to give 5 minutes a week, 5 MINUTES, if thats too much to ask then I fear  the trade I have loved for many years is doomed.

This site was started by a repairer and has been hi-jacked by the locksmith fraternity. I foresee a change of name, qualifications to be a member, which most repairers will struggle to qualify. Will we all be left to fend for ourselves? What price a society then?

 Please don't misunderstand me, I know SOMSR is in dire straits, but, we only have ourselves to blame, like Keith says, use it or lose it, its up to us. 

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Who, why, what person, is going to contact you, a non member, to answer your questions? Why not join?,ask all the questions you want.

1 pair of ladies heels a week, 5 minute job, FIVE MINUTES, you are not prepared to give 5 minutes a week of your precious time to help the only society the independent shoe repairer has, all the questions non of the answers, isn't it this kind of apathy that has been the demise of SOMSR?

Just imagine 500 members negotiating a deal with Barclaycard, Energy, Business insurance, it could be done, but very few people are willing to give 5 minutes a week, 5 MINUTES, if thats too much to ask then I fear  the trade I have loved for many years is doomed.

This site was started by a repairer and has been hi-jacked by the locksmith fraternity. I foresee a change of name, qualifications to be a member, which most repairers will struggle to qualify. Will we all be left to fend for ourselves? What price a society then?

 Please don't misunderstand me, I know SOMSR is in dire straits, but, we only have ourselves to blame, like Keith says, use it or lose it, its up to us. 

 

I actually some years ago sat on the board at the offices years ago went to the meetings in the days that James Timpson sat in the same meetings, I have given time drove to it (couple of hours drive 2/3 hours meeting) and contributed also wrote articles trying to help I think Trevor was secretary then, I did that (I think for about 3years) so I have given time trying to help. But it has changed so much and does not (in my view) offer and value for money and has no sense of direction, this may be because of the falling membership - shame

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I give more than 3 hours of MY week, UNPAID, to this site because I love and respect my trade.

 

As far as I am concerned, this site is the most valuable asset we have.

 

 

I am a shoe repairer - not a Lockie and I don't see it being hijacked as I know how hard Citysafe are trying, through us Mods, to garner the support of us cobblers.

 

Don't get me wrong, Flash - I know where you're coming from and I respect your opinion - I simply don't agree.

 

Rick.

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The guys who now own the Forum are trying to engage us ALL. Don't believe me? I made a post about people doing tutorials because I was asked to engage the cobblers, by Citysafe - no-one took me up on it and that's not Citysafe's fault: http://shoerepairer.info/topic/22138-keycutters-magazine/

 

This site may be turning into a site for Locksmiths but it's OUR fault, not theirs.

 

We need to get out of the mindset that the only way to mend shoes is your way, or the highway..................

 

Superglue, anyone?

 

Rick.

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SOMSR had the chance to use this site as a tool in their armoury 10 years ago and refused it's use, in fact, were quite rude about how useful it might be, I know as I sat in the meeting! It has constantly tried to engage with the Trade and garner membership, which has hardly grown in the last 10 years, but failed, the world has moved on and SOMSR hasn't, simples. I has been stuck with  circa 140 members for the last 10 years or more, and thats when it had Shoecare (58 shops) as a member, now sold to Timpsons.

 

A previous regime ruined it for good a few years back, imho, and it's never recovered.  I have been in the Trade for almost 40 years, I was a former member and took a City and Guilds exam through the Society many years ago, so it pains me to see it's likely demise, but the writing was on the wall and most ignored it.  As I've said, once the money went, wasted imo, it was the end for me.  Christ, they don't even monitor this site! what a waste of resource when this is where the most active people/companies are in the Trade!

 

It is now in disarray, albeit with yet 'another' plan to run it.  Will it be here next year, who knows!  Sad as it is, it will only be missed by a few.

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The guys who now own the Forum are trying to engage us ALL. Don't believe me? I made a post about people doing tutorials because I was asked to engage the cobblers, by Citysafe - no-one took me up on it and that's not Citysafe's fault: http://shoerepairer.info/topic/22138-keycutters-magazine/

 

This site may be turning into a site for Locksmiths but it's OUR fault, not theirs.

 

We need to get out of the mindset that the only way to mend shoes is your way, or the highway..................

 

Superglue, anyone?

 

Rick.

 

I don't think many shoe repairers would still be trading if they had not expanded into key cutting/watch batteries and repairs and so on.

 

Less than 2% of our turnover comes from shoe repairs and is diminishing month by month.

 

It wont be long before all my machinery will be for sale on this site.

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SOMSR had the chance to use this site as a tool in their armoury 10 years ago and refused it's use, in fact, were quite rude about how useful it might be, I know as I sat in the meeting! It has constantly tried to engage with the Trade and garner membership, which has hardly grown in the last 10 years, but failed, the world has moved on and SOMSR hasn't, simples. I has been stuck with  circa 140 members for the last 10 years or more, and thats when it had Shoecare (58 shops) as a member, now sold to Timpsons.

 

A previous regime ruined it for good a few years back, imho, and it's never recovered.  I have been in the Trade for almost 40 years, I was a former member and took a City and Guilds exam through the Society many years ago, so it pains me to see it's likely demise, but the writing was on the wall and most ignored it.  As I've said, once the money went, wasted imo, it was the end for me.  Christ, they don't even monitor this site! what a waste of resource when this is where the most active people/companies are in the Trade!

 

It is now in disarray, albeit with yet 'another' plan to run it.  Will it be here next year, who knows!  Sad as it is, it will only be missed by a few.

Maybe the time has come and possibility that this forum takes it over?

Or maybe start a new on?

I'm sure with a bit of thought and a small membership fee something positive can come about

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Surely all it needs is a team of 3 or 5 who know about onions to make it work

first a proper website

second a proper membership drive

third find some benefits although from experience these are hard won, as the supplier would give a discount but needs volume (in number of users) sales to make all the paperwork work

fourth a proper show with all aspects of the new age SR finds itself in ie repairs, engraving, keys, cars, 

 

Whilst I see the forum could be the thing most would be reluctant to deal with a supplier owner forum - Citysafe is owned by UAP and therefore keydiy etc etc so negotiating discounts for members etc would be tainted.

I'm sure it could work but having saved the MLA years ago it is a long hard slog and without a Headman (like Steffan at the MLA)  it would be a real task and his wages are not chips.

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There was a time when I really believed the right people where in the right places to revitalise the SoMSR but I soon realised there are to many cynical people in the world who just won't let go and admit they are the wrong people for the job.

 

You can't put a wise head on old shoulders, but if you listen to the young folk, they have fresh "current" ideas that together you can steer a great pathway with. My sons been heavily involved with my business this year, at 14 he knows all the answers. By listening and acting on a small percentage of those answers my business is flourishing like never before and I'm sure it's down to new energy.

 

Lee

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The problem is not just isolated to our Trade, ALL industries have lost numerous 'Associations' as their use and therefore their influence has diminished.  All that SOMSR offers is available to most using the internet.  Nowadays, tradesmen want instant fixes that enables their business to be more efficient and cost effective.

 

The Forum offers that, SOMSR doesn't! They need to wake up and either 'embrace the NEW World' or cease to exist, my opinion of course :wink:

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So here's what I've just obtained from the SOMSR website:

 

Total Membership            158

 

Shoecare(now sold)          41

 

James Shoecare               10

 

Remove 9 Shoecare      

(They are one Company)

 

 

Total                                107      

 

Why should SOMSR be saved?

 

Who will benefit?

 

What will  the revenue be from the membership?

 

How will it be used?

 

What happened to the £20k put in by Cutting Edge 2 years ago?

 

I could go on!

 

Good luck to the NEW guys running it, I shall refrain from making them public until SOMSR choose to. 

 

Let it go, as the song says       

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I agree with Kobblers. There aren’t many true Masters of this trade left any more, and it’s fairly demeaning that all you need to do to have the title is pay a fee.

 

Looking it at from the other side of the counter: if you take your shoes to someone with a sign up saying “society of master shoe repairers” then you would understandably believe that they were in good hands. If they come back butchered, are you every going to trust a shoe repairer again?

 

There are no official standards, no regulations, no formal education requirements in our industry. In my opinion, it should be up to our trade society to set those standards.

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