As a club for collectors and enthusiasts we have always encouraged members to discuss their projects and collections on the website. In almost every instance, these discussions are conducted in a friendly, courteous, and polite manner.
On the very few occasions discussions have become too personal or gone beyond the aims and objectives of the club, those concerned have accepted this and either retracted their posts or agreed for them to be removed on the understanding they take more care in future.
Recently, however, a small number of discussions have gone further than many members believe reasonable. We have received complaints and comments – on the site and by email – about these discussions. The overwhelming concern was that we should do something about comments directed by one member to another that many saw as personal in nature and had little or nothing to do with the club.
In the past we have been tolerant when discussions have gone off topic. However, there comes a time when those responsible for running the club and the website have to take – and be seen to take – further action.
We took the site offline on 13 April to prevent the risk of the discussions becoming even more heated and personal. This allowed those responsible for running the club to take some time to consider what to do.
The club’s committee discussed and decided a course of action. We have removed a member from the forum and cancelled their membership of the club. This unfortunate and unprecedented action was not taken lightly.
The club is more than the forum. Our activities extend beyond being a simple place online to discuss lawn mowers. The website and forum section are freely available to club members and other enthusiasts. However, it can only continue to operate if everyone adheres to our basic guidelines and code of conduct. If not, we will not hesitate to remove individuals or close the whole forum section. We must all be aware that, while discussions on our site might be thought of by participants as private or restricted to other members, they are in fact visible to anyone who visits our site.
Everyone who helps to run the club or website and those that participate all do so in their spare time. It is simply not possible to monitor each new post all day every day, which is why we rely on all participants to act responsibly. However, for the time being we will moderate all new posts and comments on the forum section.
We ask all members to engage in friendly and courteous discussions that further our aim to promote the collection, preservation, and display of old mowers.