NAME OF THE SOCIETY
1. The name of the Society is THE RAILWAY CORRESPONDENCE AND TRAVEL SOCIETY
2. The objective of the Society is to extend interest in all railways, and to afford members every opportunity for studying various aspects of railway history, operation and development.
3. The Management Committee, which is elected by members attending the Annual General Meeting, consists of nine members, with the Management Committee having the powers to co-opt up to three additional members, of whom the following shall be ex-officio; viz:- the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Branch Liaison Secretary; the remainder of the elected members will hold another office within the Society. Not less than seven days notice shall be given of any meeting of the Management Committee, at which four shall form a quorum.
Each elected member of the Management Committee shall remain members of the committee for a period not exceeding three years but may seek re-election at the Annual General Meeting of the Society immediately before the termination of that period of office. The retirement of members of the Management Committee shall be by rotation;viz: the Chairman and two elected non-officio members in year one, the Secretary, Branch Liaison Secretary and one elected non-officio member in the next year , the Treasurer and two elected non-officio members in the last year of each three-year cycle.
The co-option of an officer to fill a vacancy on the Management Committee, under its powers, will apply for the remaining period of tenure of office for the vacancy so filled. Other co-opted members shall serve until the end of the Society’s administrative year.
Each Branch is administered by a committee comprising a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and from one to not more than three additional members, elected annually from its members and appointed by the Management Committee. A branch committee shall meet at least three times in each year and minutes shall be recorded of its deliberation at such meetings. A branch committee has the authority to arrange indoor and outdoor meetings, to represent the Society at appropriate functions after consultation with the Management Committee and to raise funds, to within any limit set by the Management Committee, for the benefit of members.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
4. The officers of the Society are responsible as follows:
(a) Secretary and Assistants – for the general administration of the Society including membership records, distribution of The Railway Observer, visits to UK rail installations and photographic and computer sections.
(b) Treasurer and Assistants – for the management of the financial affairs of the Society as authorised by the Management Committee, and enrolment of new members.
(c) Branch Liaison Secretary – for the planning and co-ordination of all Branch facilities, and for the maintenance of liaison between the Management Committee and Branch Committees.
(d) Managing Editor – for the production of The Railway Observer and its supplements, helped by Editors, also by Editorial Representatives who collate area news or special subjects.
(e) Publications Officer – plans and co-ordinates the production and sale of Society publications, ties, RO binders etc, stocks of which are held and sold by Assistant Publications Officers.
(f) Publicity Officer – for supplying the railway press, technical journals and other organisations with up to date information on all Society activities.
(g) Librarian and Assistants – for the maintenance of the Society’s archives and library of books, magazines, locomotive lists, computer records, videos, and other items of railway interest.
(h) Exhibitions Officer – arranges for the Society's participation in exhibitions of railway interest.
(i) Development Officer – progresses new Society initiatives, including rail tours, overseas trips and other facilities for members.
(j) Liaison Officer – for the interchange of facilities with affiliated Societies.
Provision is made in the list of Officers of the Society for the offices of President (who shall be invited to serve for a term determined by the Management Committee) and Vice Presidents (who shall usually be invited to serve for life), such Officers not to be a member of the Management Committee. From time to time, the Management Committee may select one of its members to act in the additional capacity of Deputy Chairman.
Additional Officers may be appointed in addition to those named above to ensure the efficient administration of the Society, and sub-committees may be constituted to assist the Management Committee on specialist subjects.
5. The finance of the Society is controlled by the Management Committee, whose sanction is required for all outlays, and the committee will not accept liability for any expenditure or commitment made by any Branch Secretary or Committee or by any member of the Society until such expenditure has been approved by the Management Committee. Accounts are kept by the Treasurer of all monies received and expended by the Society and a complete audited financial statement is presented at the Annual General Meeting.
6. Candidates for admission to the Society must normally not be under sixteen years of age, but the Management Committee will give consideration to applicants between the ages of fourteen and sixteen years.
Application for membership, which should preferably be recommended by a member, must be made on the appropriate form, which is obtainable from the Secretary.
Each member shall contribute an annual combined subscription and magazine fee at a rate to be determined by the Management Committee, payable on or before 1st January each year. A member enrolling during a calendar year pays a proportional subscription to 31st December of that year as follows:-
a) those joining between January and June pay a full annual subscription and magazine fee.
b) those joining between July and December pay a half annual subscription and magazine fee.
c) those joining from October in any year who pay a full annual subscription and magazine fee will receive membership to the end of the next calendar year.
The Management Committee may, from time to time, determine a variation to the published annual subscription and magazine fee for the purposes of recruiting new members or retaining existing members.
Life membership is available to anyone over the age of 50 on 1st January in the year of commencement, at a cost to be determined by the Management Committee. Evidence of age will be required.
Any member may partake of facilities provided by any Branch on payment of any local fees or charges, subject to any restriction on the size of parties imposed by the various authorities, although if necessary, first consideration will be given to members of the organising Branch.
A member has no claim of any nature whatsoever against the Society, its officers or members, or against any Authority or other persons granting facilities to the Society, in respect of any personal injury, damage or loss, however sustained.
The Management Committee has power to suspend or expel any member whose presence or behaviour constitutes an obstacle to the Society’s efficiency and well being. It reserves the right to reject any application for membership or renewal of membership without assigning any reason for such rejection. The Management Committee’s decision in all matters affecting the Society shall be final.
Members who feel they have a grievance against another member, a Branch Committee or an Officer of the Society may appeal in confidence to the Management Committee who shall consider the complaint and any supporting evidence in an appropriate manner. Only by the agreement of both parties to the complaint shall the result of any investigation be made public.
7. Any letter or other communication addressed to an officer of the Society and requiring a reply must be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
8. Any change of address, other than temporary changes, must be notified in writing to the Membership Secretary not later than the press day for the issue of The Railway Observer for which it is intended to be effective. The dates of press days are given in each issue of The Railway Observer. Private arrangements must be made for short-term changes of address.
MISUSE OF THE NAME OF THE SOCIETY
9. No member shall use the name of the Society either to gain private advantage or to the detriment of the Society in general. Any breach of this rule will render the person concerned liable to immediate expulsion from the Society with the consequent loss of all privileges and forfeiture of subscription. The Management Committee shall be the final arbiter in any question of this rule being breached. Use of membership cards to obtain nationally negotiated benefits is not regarded as private advantage.
10. The granting of facilities by the railway authorities is often subject to travel by rail being made, and members are expected to use this method of travel when reasonably practicable. On visits, members are expected to be fully interested in the technical and administrative aspects of railway working in addition to any locomotive records and photography.
Visits are arranged to give ample time for normal study of all aspects of railway and locomotive working wherever possible. Photographs may be taken on the majority of visits, but always subject to the restriction imposed by the railway or other authorities, inter alia, that photographs shall be taken for private purposes only.
During all Society visits, members and visitors shall abide by the requirements (as advised) of appropriate safety legislation and must obey the directions given by leaders of the party and by any appointed guides or representative(s) of the authority granting the visit. Failure to behave in a safe fashion or to obey these instructions will lead to a report being placed before the Management Committee, which may result in expulsion of the member concerned, with forfeiture of subscription.
Notification of intention to be present on any visit arranged by the Society is to be given as directed in The Railway Observer. Failure to notify by the correct date may result in permission to join the visit being refused.
A member accepted for a visit and unable to attend should give ample notice to the appropriate secretary, as this may enable another member to be accepted for the visit.
A person taking advantage of the facilities granted by railway and other authorities is particularly reminded of the rule contained in the sixth paragraph of section 6 above. Permits are granted to the Society on the understanding that those persons taking advantage of the facilities offered agree to this rule.
When conditions permit, non members are allowed on visits. Each visitor must notify the appropriate Branch Secretary in advance and must agree to be bound by the Society’s rules. The appropriate visitor’s fee must be paid.
THE RAILWAY OBSERVER
11. The monthly magazine of the society, The Railway Observer, is published about the first day of each month. It consists of official information and notes and articles by members. These notes should reach the Managing Editor not later than the press day as notified each month. They should preferably be typed (and in any case written on one side of paper only) or sent by facsimile or transmitted on computer disk or by any other suitable electronic data system which is notified by the Managing Editor as being acceptable for the efficient production of the magazine. Whilst correspondence is welcomed, it is impossible to publish every item received and the Managing Editor’s discretion in this respect is final. Correspondence with individual members on editorial matters cannot be undertaken.
Information published in The Railway Observer is copyright and for the private use of members. Reproduction therefrom is forbidden except with the written consent of the Managing Editor on behalf of the Management Committee.
Any member, having paid the magazine fee, who does not receive a copy of The Railway Observer by the end of the month of issue should send an advice to the Secretary who will investigate the matter.
Any member is allowed to insert one free advertisement in The Railway Observer, space permitting. This must not exceed 40 words, additional words being charged at 20p per word in excess of 40 words.
12. The Society is well known for the publication of accurate and authentic railway literature. Stocks of all Society publications currently in print are held by the Assistant Publications Officers.
Information published in RCTS Publications is copyright and for the private use of members. Reproduction therefrom is forbidden except with the written consent of the Publications Officer on behalf of the Management Committee.
13. Information published on the Society's website is copyright and for the private use of members. Reproduction therefrom is forbidden except with the written consent of the Webmaster on behalf of the Management Committee.
14. Two types of photographic portfolios, one black and white and the other colour, are available to members residing in the UK. Details of these can be obtained from the Assistant Secretary (Photographic Section).
15. The heads of agreement with affiliated Societies outside the UK allow for members to take part in all activities organised by the relevant Society, when members are visiting or temporarily resident in the country of that Society, subject to any booking or other condition notified in advance. The journals of all affiliated Societies are exchanged, and where such publications exist, those from outside the UK are circulated to interested members. Further details can be obtained upon application to the Liaison Officer.
16. The Library is maintained in Uxbridge, and is open to members at times that are advertised in The Railway Observer. On personal application then being made to the Librarian, books or other items may be borrowed for a specified time, a member retaining books beyond that period being charged at the rate of 20p per book per week. Many of the items may also be borrowed through a postal scheme or through certain of the Branches. The Librarian will be pleased to receive any addition to the Library in the form of books, lists,or magazines, videos, or electronic data dealing with railway matters. From time to time, surplus or duplicate items may be sold to raise funds for the maintenance of the Library.
17. Meetings are held regularly in various centres as notified in The Railway Observer. Members may invite visitors at the discretion of Branch Committees.
ALTERATION OF RULES
18. The Rules of the Society as included above shall not be altered, added to or deleted from, except in the following manner:-
(a) Notice of any proposed new or amended rule shall be given, in writing, to the Secretary not later than 90
days prior to the advertised date of the next Annual General Meeting.
(b) The text of any proposed new or amended rule shall be published in the Agenda of the Annual General Meeting and also in the issue of The Railway Observer for the month prior to that in which the Annual General Meeting is to be held.
(c) The rule shall be proposed at the Annual General Meeting of the Society and must be adopted by a majority of three quarters of those present and voting.
(d) If the proposed rule has been passed as in (c) above, then either the meeting, by a simple majority, or the Management Committee, may require that it be put to a ballot of all members before it shall take effect.
(e) The ballot shall be carried out in such manner as the Management Committee may determine and a simple majority of those voting shall be necessary to pass the resolution. The result must be announced within four months of the date of the meeting at which the resolution was passed.
(f) A new rule, adopted as above, shall take effect from one month after the date of the Annual General Meeting unless a ballot is required as in (d) above when it shall take effect from one month after the announcement of the result of the ballot.
19. The administrative year of the Society extends from 1st June in each year until 31st May in the next succeeding year, both dates inclusive.
The financial year of the Society is from 1st November to the following 31st October inclusive.