The name of the organisation shall be the ‘N Gauge Society’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Society’).
The Society shall allow the formation of other sub – organisations on any basis approved by the Management Committee (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Committee’), such sub – organisations to be called by the name of the Society with a distinguishing title following (e.g. N Gauge Society – East Midlands Group) such groups hereinafter called the ‘Group’. These groups will in every respect be responsible to the Society and will conform to this Constitution and the Byelaws following.
The objects and purposes of the Society and its groups are, inter alia, as follows
To provide an opportunity for enthusiasts of N Gauge modelling to meet, to exchange experiences in the hobby and to exchange information and ideas for the general benefit of members.
To provide a channel of communication for manufacturers, suppliers and publishers to give information on their products to members.
To provide a means of presenting the opinions and needs of members to manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and publishers.
To publish journals, papers and produce other items which may be considered of interest to members, or which may publicise the activities of the Society to the general public.
To stimulate the development of N Gauge modelling techniques and to further generally the interests of all participating in the hobby.
Membership shall be open to any person interested in N Gauge modelling, subject to the power of the Committee to refuse, withdraw, suspend or expel from membership, as provided hereinafter by the Byelaws of the Society.
Family membership shall be available to the spouse, partner, or close relation, living at the same address, of any member. Holders of Family membership shall not be entitled to separate copies of Journals or other material produced by the Society other than a membership card.
Every member, upon their membership being accepted by the Society, shall receive a copy of the Constitution and Byelaws, and shall abide by them and any future amendments hereto duly passed.
The Membership Secretary of the Society shall keep such records of membership as may be required to distinguish generally and individually the different classes of membership.
The Membership Secretary, and other Society Officers as required, shall keep stored on computer and removable media each member’s personal data, subject to the provisions of current UK Data Protection legislation.
The Membership Secretary may disclose contact and membership data only (i.e. not debit/credit card data or similar*) to those members of the Society who may from time to time request it, except in the case of any member who has specifically requested non-disclosure of such information.
(*N.B. Following the introduction of the online membership system at the end of 2012, it should be noted that members’ payment card data is no longer stored on computer or removable media, either by or on behalf of the Society.)
Any information disclosed in accordance with paragraph 3.6 above is for the private use of Society members only, and its use for any commercial purposes, without the written permission of the Committee, is strictly forbidden.
Life membership shall be open to any member of the Society, subject to the approval of the Committee of the Society, conditional upon the total number of Life Members not exceeding ten per cent of the total membership strength on the date the application is heard by the Committee, and that each applicant shall have been a member of the Society for not less than six consecutive years.
Honorary Life Membership may be conferred upon any member of the Society at an Annual General Meeting after recommendation by the Committee and approval by at least 75% of the members present at that meeting and in recognition of outstanding and meritorious service to the Society.
All applications for Life Membership must be submitted to the Committee prior to the expiration of the current period of membership.
In the event of the Committee exercising its right of veto over any application for Life Membership, it shall give that member, in writing, the reasons for its decision. Any member aggrieved by the decision of the Committee may have a right of appeal to the next Annual General Meeting of the Society, when the consideration of the Committee and the statement of appeal will be considered by the members present and voted upon. At least 75% of the members present at that meeting must be in favour of any proposal for it to be carried.
Family Life Membership shall be available to the spouse, partner or close relative, living at the same address, of any member, conditional upon such Family Life Membership being sought at the same time as Life Membership is sought by the member. Family Life Membership shall cease at the time the Life Membership of the main member ceases. Holders of Family Life Membership shall not be entitled to separate copies of journals or other material produced by the Society other than a membership card.
Each member of the Society shall be entitled to one vote only on any proposal placed before the membership. Where a postal vote has taken place, no further voting will be permitted on that proposal.
4. Presidents and Vice Presidents
A President and Vice Presidents, whose primary income is not derived from the model railway trade, may be appointed by the Committee, subject to approval and confirmation by the members present at the Annual General Meeting. The President shall be appointed for a period of three years and may be re-appointed for further periods of three years. Vice Presidents shall be appointed for two years and shall be eligible for re-appointment. Re-appointments shall not be considered an automatic privilege.
The President and Vice Presidents may be invited, individually or as a group, to attend meetings of the Committee from time to time. They shall have no voting rights at such meetings.
The President, or any Vice President, may be invited by the Committee of the Society to chair, or be a member of, any sub Committee, where they shall enjoy full voting rights, or be invited to undertake a specific task.
In the event of the disbanding, dissolution or winding up of the Society, efforts must be made for the preservation of its books and records as the Society may determine. The assets of the Society shall be realised and, after payment of debts and expenses, any surplus shall be donated to a suitable model railway society or railway preservation organisation, as approved by a majority of the members present at the dissolution meeting.
In the event of the disbanding or dissolution of a Group, all books, documents and records shall be handed to the General Secretary of the Society. Any debts of the Group shall be paid by the members of the Group and any grants made by the Society to the Group shall be repaid. Any remaining assets shall be disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the members of the Group.
6. Amendments to Constitution
No amendments to, or alterations of, the foregoing Constitution shall be made except by a referendum of all members of the Society, after due discussion at an Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called by the Committee for that purpose, for which twenty one days notice must be given to all members in the United Kingdom. The reasons for and arguments against such change must be published in the Society Journal and a majority of at least 75% of those returning a vote not later than sixty days after the date of the Journal publication must be recorded in favour before such an amendment may become effective.