Forget Manchester United! Support the Mess instead...


I cannot be bothered to search through all the threads, but I am sure this topic will have been done before. I note from some of the posts that some of you in here are not even SNCOs! Serious comments please only; although freedom of speech means you can write what you want...

Why do people not support the Mess?

I know that Mess Bills seem a waste of money to some, but look what you get for your cash:

A place you can (really) call your own.

The perfect forum for a bit of networking and to get things done.

An element of pride in achieving a place in a club that seriously makes you work to get in.

The ability to buy cheap alcoholic beverages

Several inexpensive functions courtesy of HMG (before you gripe on this one, you need to check out how much it would cost you to attend an equivelant civilian function!).

So come on everyone, lets hear what you think.
hellfyyr said:
I note from some of the posts that some of you in here are not even SNCOs! Serious comments please only; although freedom of speech means you can write what you want
Firstly thanks for letting me post my own comments on here, its so refreshing to be told what i can post :evil:

However, i agree with your point the mess is there to be supported, i enjoy my mess and all the benefits that it provides as i earned my way in there.

Although i think that many people will only treat the mess as a means to an end due to the fact that we are so busy as an Army as a whole. When can we find the time to get some jollys in the mess in?
I note from some of the posts that some of you in here are not even SNCOs!
i'm not a SNCO either, but when I was, you were probably still in school :wink: and btw it is an internet site,PMC wont ban you if your not really an SNCO and post in here :lol:
:p canteen, thanks for the history lesson lol

my point about non snco posting, was merely that in certain arguments, how would they know the answer?

the overall idea was to shock and make people think "maybe I should go in the mess", if I failed hey, more port for the rest of us...

the freedom of speech thing was priceless, PMC told me off lol

There has been a serious shift in society which has brought about this lack of support for the mess.

Many of our Junior SNCO's either dont own or just cant be bothered to dress in the appropriate manner for a SNCO so dont go in the mess.

Many of our Single SNCO's and WO's in some cases would rather go were all te females are and as the mess is not abound with females then its off to the NAAFI they go.

It is a sad state because the mess is and I know this is an old cliche but you cannot buy your way into this club and the service and banter on almost all occassions is exceptional.
Some of the problems (but not all) stem from the fact that the Mess is actually the home of those SNCO's who live in as an exclusive club to all SNCOs.

If you have an RSM who dictates a dress code which hampers those who live in, the mess will not be supported as much all the time.

Not withstanding normal do's and stag functions the dress code should suite those who live in it rather than the man who runs it.

It may have been fine in the 40's and 50's when everyone cut around in jacket and ties to have that as a dress code but times have moved on.

Allowing the living in members the chance to relax in their home does not deteriorate the mess. If this is too radical then a separate area of the mess should be designated a living in area and a reduced dress code adopted, leaving the rest of the Mess for those who wish to pop in on a Saturday and not see jeans/tee-shirts.

Our mess is lovely, wear what you want at all times, unless their is a function on. Then the dress code is as the function or stay out of the way.

If the RSM came to my house and tried to regulate what I wore watching the TV then I would not be too impressed.
on the flip side of the coin, there is no joy in being a member of a mess where no-one gives a stuff about the place. At least a dress code (not that I am for this in all circumstances - needs to be thought about) shows people are structuring a mess, it is likely that functions are arranged and the staff are kept in check...

The alternative, a building that does food, accommodation and has a bar; is not a mess and does not have any attraction. The plea I put forward is that if the mess is supported, chances are it will be a more successful one. Takes a bit of effort but it is worth it!
As has already been discussed, the problem with Messes in the UK is that you do not have a captured audience. Most singlies will start at the Mess and then go out on the town. If you have to wear shirt, collar, tie, no jeans etc then most will not bother to go in.

Also, this is their home. I would disagree that the standard of the Mess is down to the dress code.

Yes, most certainly have a dress code for formal functions. Otherwise who actually use's the Mess. 99% of the time, if you get it right, it will be the singlies who actually live in it.

Messes else where who have a captured audience (for example Germany) would need to handle it somewhat differently. Suggestions could be an area where the single SNCOs might be able to relax in comfort, in which maybe those that live out would need permission to enter. You could then have other areas of the Mess with increased dress codes in order that families may use them without being offended by a senior dressed only in his beach towel and flip flops.
Redshaggydog said:
Allowing the living in members the chance to relax in their home does not deteriorate the mess.
Quite like the way Blandford does it, Snooker/pool room doesn't have dress restrictions, the main bar generally doesn't but on the odd occasion it does those who wish to relax can either goto the TV room or the snooker room. (The main bar does have dress restrictions but its what you'd wear down town).
Have met many who refuse to go for a meal in jeans (normally TA & 1st time in a proper mess)
What can be annoying at Blandford hen your living in is the amount of functions. Some weeks there will be 3 or 4 and you have to dress as per the function to use the bar or the snooker room. You usually end up with 20 people trying to pack into the TV room to get a pint.

I dont disagree with having to dress as per the function, but when you live in, in a busy mess it can be annoying. Blandford could open the back door to the snooker room, and close it off to the rest of the mess during functions - that would give you the best of both worlds.

I'm sure some ess stalwarts would disagree, but if the mess is accessable within sensible limits it becomes more popular, and the mess atmosphere is better for all.

boney_m said:
What can be annoying at Blandford hen your living in is the amount of functions. Some weeks there will be 3 or 4 and you have to dress as per the function to use the bar or the snooker room.
Thought it had changed, will check soon :twisted:
the mess well some like it some dont, if you dont like it/ dont want to be part of it then hand in the rank
dizzi said:
the mess well some like it some dont, if you dont like it/ dont want to be part of it then hand in the rank
That response is usually heard every month, shortly after the Mess bills have been issued. I thought the point of this thread was to take an objective look at possible ways to change the current system, or alternatively to provide justification for keeping things as they are.

The junior Mess members of today will be the RSM’s of the future, so I am sure that change will come. However, I do believe that there is a requirement to impose limited restrictions on members’ dress, when in the communal areas of the Mess. I do agree with the argument that, for some living-in personnel, the Mess is home. As a pad, you can sit watching Eastenders in your boxer shorts, if your spouse has no strong objections, whereas that attire would be inappropriate for the TV Room in the Mess.

There is also a need to maintain a certain level of exclusivity to the Mess. Invariably, dress restrictions in the Mess require the members to dress smartly. Thus encouraging a Mess member to take pride in one’s appearance.

I believe there is the psychological effect that a jacket and tie can have on junior soldiers. If you happen to end up drinking in the same bar as your subordinates, being dressed smarter than they are should impose an aura of authority.
Actually, the point of the thread was to make people think "Maybe I should support the mess"...

I am not naive enough to think it will work, but every little helps!

good post by the way Frasier, liked your comments.

noted it turned into a bash blandford session again, those signals rascals just cannot resist!
Well, if Blandford is in the firing line...

We must remember, the Mess is also a safety net; a barrier to protect some members from the harshness of reality. Had the individual in question stayed in the Mess, I doubt that this would have been posted. :oops:

There are strong arguments for, and against, the Mess system. If true, the above post shows a clear breakdown of authority and respect.
:D agreed, although I get the feeling that the SNCO's behaviour, whilst unacceptable, has been exaggerated/embelished slightly...

Everybody forgets the business you can do there too!

The reason we are SNCO's and Officers is that we are able to make the arrangements necessary to run the army, this is achieved by dealing with others in power; the mess is a useful place to do this...
I quess that part of the problem is the same one that the JRCs are having aswell. More often or not it doesn't meet the mess members lifestyles. They would rather be getting on with their own thing than attend a mess function where all the senior members have turned it into a function that they want and to the standard that they expect.

That is their right being the senior members. The junior members will obviously get their chance as they themselvesd become the senior members. The other path to getting your say in the mess is by being on the comittee.

I don't know how to really get people to use the mess more as one set of rules or changes will alienate some and please others. However, the mess should feel like a place where a) the members want to go to and b) feel comfortable in. That should, to a lesser extent, include spouses.
Whilst i agree with the points people raise with regard to dress particularly with regard to single members dress codes, i think most people would agree that over recent years we have seen a more relaxed approach to the running of messes. RSM's are generally more approachable than they were 15 - 20 years ago, if you have an issue go and state your case, i believe any RSM worth his salt would at least listen to you, as a mess member, if you state your case well. If you are a singlie then address the issue with all the other single members direct to the RSM at your messing meeting. I have seen this work frequently and the next mess meeting the RSM has encouraged the Mess to vote in suitable dress regs. Gents it is your mess if you dont like it stand up and say so. It isn't always a career stopper to have a well expressed and delivered opinion! Support your mess and stop using a pair of trousers and collared shirt as an excuse not to go in there.
The living in members should be the ones that the mess revolves around when there is no function, they do pay more subs than the living out members after all.

It is nice to dress up to go to a function, but you should also have a 'scruffs' type bar that is also open when there are no functions on.

Personally I wouldn't attend the mess if I had to dress up just to go for a cheap pint - not that way inclined.

And the argument that I should hand my stripes in if I don't like it is just ridiculous. I didn't get promoted to get into the (exclusive) mess, it was for the cash !!!! :D

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