Membership has always worked that it was valid from the 1st of January until the 31 of December – there were various provisions for members joining late in the year, but in essence everybodies membership expired at the end of every year and was then renewed again on the date they paid the subs the following year.

Because the only thing that would have alerted you to this was when you didn’t receive your copy of the GOBA News, most people wouldn’t have been aware that their membership had expired, especially members who paid by direct debit. With the new website live, this is more obvious. All memberships expired at the end of last year, if you pay by direct debit and the payment is taken annually on a date AFTER today’s date (12th of January) then currently you haven’t actually paid your subs for this year and so are not a current member – don’t worry though.

As soon as your direct debit order gets processed by your bank, they will send an alert to GOBA’s membership secretary, who marks all the members who have paid as active members on the website database, at which time links to the forum, minutes of past committee meetings, etc will become visible to you.

Obviously with changing the membership to a rolling year-on-year membership this problem won’t occur after this year, as on the day your membership is due to expire it will be renewed.

I hope this explains things but please feel free to contact me if you want clarification of anything.


  1. Can you send me a direct debit form to set up membership please
    Many thanks

  2. Please could you let me know how to pay our subscription when we do not use PayPal and are reluctant to accept cheques. Thank you.

    1. The Paypal button on the website does allow you to pay by credit or debit card without a Paypal account. It’s not obvious and we are working on that, but it does work.

  3. Although GOBA membership always ran from 1st Jan to 31st Dec each year, Direct Debits were not collected until 15th February. This is from the old website: ……..
    “Direct Debits for annual membership subscriptions, currently £23, are taken from members bank accounts on 15th Feb each year, as per the “advance notification” letter sent to members with the Winter edition of GOBA news.”
    ……… Presumably, this is why many of us are now presented with a message on the new website that “You do not have an active membership” and are thus prevented from full access to the members’ section. Hopefully, this will right itself after the DDs are collected on 15th Feb.
    The question of unfairness for those joining later in the year was partly addressed by making membership free for the rest of the current year for anyone joining after 1st October. They paid just a £2 joining fee. Again from the old site ……..
    ” (Membership to the end of year is free for those members joining after 1st October).” …….
    Am I alone in thinking that you might now have over-complicated a system that has worked so well in the past?
    In fact, the GOBA rules 12(c) and (d) if strictly applied make the new system questionable to a degree: ……………
    (c) Subscriptions shall be payable in advance on the 1st January. Any member whose
    annual subscription shall be unpaid on the 31st December shall cease to be a member of
    the Association but shall remain liable for all monies due from him or her to the
    (d) Any member desiring to resign from the Association shall give to the Secretary in
    writing one month’s notice prior to 1st January and unless such notice be given he or
    she shall be liable to pay his or her subscription for the ensuing year.

    1. Hi. As you say membership as described in the rules is from 1st Jan to 31st Dec. When we we’re allowed to have an AGM we will ask the membership to accept a change in the rules. Meanwhile we stuck to the letter of the rules by making everyone’s membership end on 31st Dec 2020 and we are reinstating their membership when their payment is accepted. In the long run rolling membership is easier for everyone, especially the volunteers running GOBA. Members will pay whenever they want (in most cases probably late winter/early spring when they start thinking about taking to the water again) and membership will last 12 months from that date. (if the AGM approves).

      The current system causes problems relating to distribution of magazines and window stickers. In normal circumstances the AGM is mid-April and we have to give two weeks notice to members. The notice is put in the Spring issue of GOBA News. In order to reach everyone by April 1st it has to go to press in early March along with a distribution list. This list is based on current paid up members at the end of February. Some members set up DD, Paypal, card or BACS to pay annually in March/April so they miss out on the magazine and sticker mass mailing, but when they do pay someone (ie membership sec) has to send an individual package and covering letter. With the proposed new system someone who pays in March will still be a valid member the following February so they’ll get their magazine and sticker as part of the mass mail out. That will save GOBA £100’s annually, and make our (unpaid) jobs a lot easier.

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