Some of you may be aware that the BMC have recently announced, out of the blue (to me anyway!) that they’re changing the name to Climb Britain. The background to this decision is given in this post – Climb Britain: Update from the BMC
As a result, I sent an open email to them to express my opinion at the regional meetings that are now discussing the matter. This is as is – sent from my mobile, so the structure of the arguments aren’t great; but i think the opinion is clearly put across!
Just a quick email regarding the BMC re-branding, as I’m not really the kind of person who will attend a ‘consultation’. I am grateful that I am given the opportunity to do so via email.
My view on the re-branding as a long term member, joining as it was essential for me to train as an ML, is that it is categorically not a good idea. I’d go as far as calling it the BMC’s ‘New Coke Moment‘. Google it, and you’ll find that story had a happy ending, but only as the company realised their mistake.
I wasn’t sure about joining the BMC initially as i saw it as a Mountaineering club, for climbers, not for hill walkers like myself. So this rebrand makes me think that this is a climber oriented organisation after all, or at least those in charge nationally see it that way.
This is unfortunate as the BMC were just starting to up their profile with hill walkers with their excellent mend the hills campaign. This makes it an organisation for all the mountain goers, from climbers to ski mountaineers, from hill walkers to trail runners.
I think the argument about us all ‘climbing’ as a common factor is rather clutching at straws. Do we include road cyclists in if we define ourselves as those who gain altitude by human propulsion? When I’m running, the climbing bit is the least enjoyable part!
I believe that the membership of the BMC is a majority of hill walkers? So considering the membership, this re-branding idea is even more out of touch.
It’s also rather incongruous that you choose ‘Britain’ when you represent England and Wales, Scotland had its own appropriately named body. The B may already stand for British, but it’s discreetly hidden away at the moment.
In my opinion, this consultation alone will not provide legitimacy to any decision, especially if that is to go ahead with the re-branding. The cynical would surely claim that the consultation was a paper exercise to justify the re-branding.
I put it to whom ever it concerns that this name change should be put to a member vote, as I fear that failure to do so will give the impression that the opinion of those in charge is all that carries weight. If not, people will instead vote with their direct debit. A vote is now an essential step if the board are to move forward with any re-branding with a mandate from the members.
While you could also ask members for suggestions, maybe going to an open vote of names would need locking down. Though Mounty McMountface does have the advantage of making Climb Britain sound good.
So there it is! Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Tell us below! Though we’re starting to warm to Climby McClimbface now…