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It's that time of year again, and companies all over the UK have sent… - Sally's Journal
February 9th, 2006
09:49 am

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It's that time of year again, and companies all over the UK have sent me out guilt inducing cards for my next years membership. It's clever the way they do that.

Unfortunately in the intervening year I have gone from being a PhD student on 10K tax free, to a... well, whatever I am now. I seem to be collecting enough odd jobs to have about 6K guarenteed for the year so far, but it's definitely time to pull in the belt straps.

I really like being a member of things. You get cards, and if you're passing something interesting you can visit. And while I don't for a second rank it on a level with giving money to the starving children of Africa, it's probably a way of getting something I want while possibly doing some good at the same time.

And I would really miss being able to pop into Wimpole Hall and Anglesey Abbey whenever I wanted to. Realistically, this year I would have spent more on tickets than on membership... but then, that might be because I go more often because I'm a member.

If I don't renew, what's the right thing to do with the damn cards? Post them back to them to demonstrate my utter integrity?

Poll #669665 Memberships...

So how many of my memberships should I renew?

None
7(23.3%)
1
18(60.0%)
2
2(6.7%)
3
3(10.0%)

Which ones?

National Trust (I use it most and I still pay young persons rate)
15(62.5%)
English Heritage (It's the one Matthew can still get at student rate)
0(0.0%)
RSPB (I seldom use it, but I care more about TEH BIRDS than the houses)
4(16.7%)

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:robert_jones
Date:February 9th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
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I don't think you need return the cards.
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From:uisgebeatha
Date:February 9th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC)
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I would keep them all, but then again I am something of a prodigal student when it comes to teh £££s. Once I get the dosh together I'd love to become a member of Edinburgh Zoo and the RSPB. We all need some distraction in our student days. :)
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From:green_jedi
Date:February 9th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
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I don't think you need to return the cards at all. As for membership... my advice would be not to sever all your ties, but restrict yourself to, say, one. Of the three, I would vote National Trust, because they are responsible for castles and castles are soooo much cooler than country houses. ;-)
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From:atreic
Date:February 9th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
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No, English Heritage do the castles, and National Trust do the houses. To a first approximation.

Actually, it's a bit more like English Heritage do the things that are falling down (duller, but of more need of protecting) and National Trust have the shiney stuff.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:February 9th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
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You could start a "EH and NT merge" campaign. Then you would avoid the inevitable "Always in the wrong one" probelm.
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From:atreic
Date:February 9th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, but monopolies bad, right?
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:February 9th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
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Yeah... Though if they were straight capitalists, they'd sell off the wetlands...

An affiliate scheme? I know it's wishfulfilmet on my part, but it'd make them more popular.
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From:samholloway
Date:February 9th, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
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If you keep one, keep the National Trust. There are several properties locally and the membership scheme gives you massive benefits if you go several times each year.

Although I did do a lovely analysis of lifetime-vs-yearly membership (assuming certain rates for inflation, and that you put the money you don't spend on lifetime membership into a savings account which earns a certain rate) and discovered you need to live to be in your 90s to make lifetime membership worthwhile. (But the assumptions are big assumptions, and the NT can do much more with your lump sum up front because *they* can save it instead.) :-)
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From:rmc28
Date:February 9th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
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If you need to tighten your belt, pick one. I'd choose National Trust because they have coastline and landscape and gorgeous country estates as well as the houses (which mostly bore me).
(Deleted comment)
From:sain_bano
Date:February 9th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
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If you want to save the pennies but still give to good causes, consider joining the National Trust for Scotland (you can do it over the internet). It cost me £9 this year and gets you into all the English NT properties too. (I joined while visiting R's brother in Dundee when we went to a place that cost £8 to get in).
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From:the_marquis
Date:February 9th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
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All of them, they all do good things and you aren't paying for EH Matt is!
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From:rochvelleth
Date:February 9th, 2006 06:39 pm (UTC)
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I thoroughly approve of such organisations and think you should probably keep being membershippy :) I didn't vote in the poll because I am currently actively opposed to English Heritage.

My complaints about EH in particular:

1) The price goes up and up and shows no sign of stopping IME (I haven't been a member for a few years now but was for the whole of my childhood and a bit extra).

2) I had a really upsetting confrontation with a nasty member of staff at Scarborough Castle once, involving ice cream (not a reason for you not to be a member, but that's the main reason why I'm not).

3) The events they put on have become predominantly child-oriented.

But what I want to know is... have they really brought back History in Action? I heard a rumour they had but forgot to check it out.

--

I can't comment on NT or RSPB really, because I don't think I've ever been a member of either (though I *may* have been part of a family NT membership at a very very young age).
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From:mewo2
Date:February 9th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC)
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I say keep them all, but if you only keep one, RSPB. We can always build more castles.
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From:pavanne
Date:February 12th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
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I agree.
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