Over the period 2002 / 03, the number of people actively associated with the group more than doubled, with the introduction of a wholly speculative 'affiliates' scheme. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances and complications, the expanded group figures were a relatively short lived experiment and subsequently diminished again within a reasonably short time.
The question of 'figures' associated with research societies will always be a vexed one, it must be stressed.... The W.M.G.C. have always kept membership as low as possible for practical reasons, despite having received - over a considerable number of years - many hundreds of applications for positions within the group. It has to be said that we have always been puzzled by - and derived considerable amusement from, at times - people who seem to somehow believe a ‘large membership’ is actually something 'positive' when it comes to research pursuits!! Laugh!! Having watched with interest concerns – mainly fledgling – who have boasted up to 50 members, it is an inevitability that such societies invariably fold completely, or happen to whittle down their numbers drastically within a very short period of time. It is frequently true that there is ‘strength in numbers’, but such a maxim certainly doesn’t apply to the task of running a successful research group, as many have soon discovered!! Laugh!!
Of all the associates added during this expansion period, only one – the bouncer-esque Frazer Smith – remained an active member of the group. Both his 'enthusiasm for' and his keen ministrations 'on behalf of' the Club made him a most welcome and appreciated addition to the company for a number of years. However, at the end of 2007, Frazer - sadly - chose to resign from his position within the group.
‘Enthusiasm for the subject’ was also a strong factor in our decision to add the team’s 6th member – Steve Chew – in early 2004. Interestingly, Steve initially contacted the group in order to show us some sequences of peculiar video footage that he had collected over the years, and showed no particular interest in becoming a Club member! However, after only a couple of meetings with the chap, I was enamoured enough to ask him if he wanted to join us...... and, thankfully, he did!!! Laugh!!!
On his C.V. - Steve says of himself:
"Having been born into a family that had always regarded the existence of ghosts as fact, and along the years, having no option but to live "hand in hand" with such things that today we could well term as “Paranormal” episodes really formed the basis of my fascination with such things. As a child, when one of these “Odd” incident’s would crop up, I would always get the “ There’s nothing to worry about, its only the Ghost, it wont hurt you!" Or "Its just one of those things, ignore it and it will go away.” kind of reassurance from my folks.
As you can imagine, it was to my utter dismay, when growing up, I discovered these things in fact, do not exist (this is of course according to the qualified professionals and experts in this subject who know all the answers about these kind of things). These differing viewpoints concerning belief is why I am, and always will be, bound to the paranormal in some way. It was a natural progression for me really to join a paranormal investigative group where I could start investigating potentially haunted sites, whilst immersing myself in the subject further.
It is strange, but I have found, the more I delve into this subject, the more confused I am with it all. The more people try all kinds of things to find answers, i.e. psychics, table tipping, coat hangers and other associated crap, the less I really feel the need to try and make sense of it all. In my mind Ghost’s have always been there, they haven’t changed or moved their ethereal goalposts, its just that - sadly - everything else around ‘them’ has…. much to the detriment of the paranormal field itself.
The bulk of my spare time is spent in playing the drums in bands, writing stories, composing music (currently writing a musical version of Tolkien's ‘Silmarillion’), painting and reading. With regards to my chosen career, I am what is called a ‘Problem Manager’, in which my role is to minimise any adverse effects or issues that may occur within the business involved.
During 2005, a further addition to the group came in the form of a solid, objective thinker, Mr. Kevin ‘Casanova’ Wallace. Kev – the Manager of an investigative team attached to a well known bank – was already a veteran of a great many ghost hunts prior to joining us. Until it’s recent demise, Kev served as ‘Admin’ for the WMGC forum, as well as single-handedly organising our incredibly popular, public events – the St. Marys Guildhall (Coventry) visit of 2005 and Galleries of Justice (Nottingham) investigation in 2007. (The former of the two events raised £500 for Birm. Childrens Hospital).
Part Three to follow shortly…..