Why are there two different websites for Gittisham Folk Dance Club?
This is a part of the ORIGINAL Gittisham Folk Dance Club website - the one that was the club's only web presence for nearly ten years.
In March 2016 a new 'official' website was launched, the idea having been promoted in committee by Monty Crook of Bridport Ceilidhs - a person who joined Gittisham Committee a couple of years earlier as Treasurer (a job I did for over 5 years). It uses the same template as the Bridport site - from wordpress.com.
People often grow to dislike each other within committees, in government departments, in the Cabinet (at the heart of Government), and in most small and large organisations. People tend to dislike and distrust people who are dissimilar to themselves - and they probably always will.
Disputes in bands and small folk clubs are also a regular occurrence - a 'bust-up' at a local square dance club recently resulted in the two organisers being deposed. They were replaced in a 'palace coup' and it all got rather messy. As usual, money was involved.
So why two websites for Gittisham?
The stated official reason (as promulgated by 'the committee') is that the club needed its own web identity separate from my website. The reality is that since taking over as treasurer Monty Crook (one of the proxy parents of folk dance) has embarked on a campaign to dismantle as many aspects of how I managed the finances and other aspects of the club as possible - and this has proved to be to the club's disadvantage, as will be fully documented elsewhere.
During the five years I helped to run the club I built up the finances from virtually zero to a surplus of around £800. Attendences were usually 28 to 38 people (enough for a small hall) and very rarely did they drop below 24. The 'break even' point was always about 32 dancers given that the club had settled into a routine of always having live music and from some splended local bands.
During these years, the club had a fantastic atmosphere for spirited dance. In the last few years following 'proxy parent' behaviour, attendances have fallen markedly. In the same period other local clubs have seen either a small decline (Sidford) or stability (Exmouth, Willand) or a marked increase (Otter squares). A low point for Gittisham was marked on (date) with Maureen Graham's music (11 people) and there have been many evenings with only 18 or 20. This would have been unheard of in the years when the club ran without 'proxy parent' influences.
Needless to say the finances have nose-dived but the true reason are unlikley ever to be admitted on Monty Crook's so called 'offiicial' club website. Several of the best club dancers (including me) no longer attend - it is simply not the club it used to be, every aspect of the management having been permeated by a control freak mentality.
Also, the standard of dancing has fallen dramatically - itself a 'committee' reaction to my having tried (and often succeeded) over many years to teach and call more complicated dances. All the club is left with now is 'baby dances' and an all pervading 'proxy parent' mentality. This is further discussed here.
Most small clubs nowadays use Facebook - it's free, everyone can contribute. It takes about ten seconds to set up too! One person apparently complained about my website and all the other material on it - that is one complaint in perhaps as many as 10,000 page views over 10 years. Clearly a reason for change! In true committee fashion the nature of the complaint was kept a secret - from me at least.
In reality, all most people use a club website for is looking up dance dates and which band is playing. You can get this information from either site. But most people prefer a printed copy of dance dates pinned to a board.
So it's all about power, personalities, position and influence. My site will continue and will continue to be updated. - it has always been my property, my copyright and under my control. It was simply 'gifted' to the club for 10 years. No-one has any right to order that it be discontinued.
Much of the text on the new site - at least in its original form was simply lifted from this website, together with my maps etc. Both sites will no doubt continue to evolve.
Gittisham home page
How to run a small club - based on experiences at Gittisham
Bridport ceilidhs - accusations and rebuttal (will become part of a new section and included in this book.)
Folk dance links page.