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Constitution of the Historic Narrow Boat Club


1.  NAME

The name of the Club shall be the HISTORIC NARROW BOAT CLUB.


2.  AIMS

a)  To encourage the preservation, restoration and use of working and ex-working narrow boats, as defined by Section 6 below.

b)  To promote the maintenance of the waterways system to a standard suitable to facilitate the navigation of such boats throughout the year.

c)  To represent the interests of users of such boats in their dealings with all Waterway Authorities and other relevant organisations.

d)  To promote awareness of historic narrow boats through an archive, website, newsletter and other activities.  

e)  To promote and campaign for the retention, and/or reinstatement, of appropriate traditional and historical waterway furniture, features and working practices.



a)  Membership of the Club shall be open to any person or body in agreement with the Aims of the Club.

b)  Membership categories shall be determined by the committee and ratified at a General Meeting.

c)  A membership may be terminated by a two-thirds majority of those attending a General Meeting of the Club.

d)  Applications for membership shall be subject to approval by the Committee.  Applications may be rejected.

e) Subscription rate(s) shall be proposed by the Committee and decided by the members at the Annual General Meeting. On joining, members shall pay an annual subscription which shall be due for renewal on the first of January or July for pre-2016 memberships, or on the anniversary of their joining month for 2016-onwards rolling renewals. Memberships renewed late will be backdated to their previous half yearly or rolling renewal date.

f)  It is a condition of membership of the Club that personal data shall be held on a computer system and used for the purposes of the Club only.  Members shall not disclose to third parties the contents of the membership list supplied to them without the prior written consent of the Committee.

g)  Any member may obtain full details of his or her personal data on record, upon written application to the Membership Secretary and may apply to have it corrected.

h)  A copy of the Constitution shall be supplied to each member when they join and on request and members are requested to retain the Constitution in their possession. 




a)  The Officers of the Club shall consist of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Archivist.

b)  The affairs of the Club shall be managed by a Committee consisting of the Officers and at least 6 other Members elected from, and by, the Members of the Club, reflecting the geographical spread of the waterway system. The Committee shall meet at regular intervals and not less than four times per year.

c)  The quorum for the Committee shall be 3 Officers and 3 other Committee Members.

d)  The duties of the Committee shall be:

  • To uphold the Aims of the Club
  • To manage the affairs of the Club on behalf of the Members
  • To represent the Club at waterway meetings and other relevant meetings and events
  • To campaign in support of issues in which the Club has an interest
  • To make decisions on the basis of a simple majority vote.  In the case of equal votes, the Chairman shall be entitled to an additional casting vote.

e)  Committee members whose membership has lapsed or who have not attended a Committee meeting during any 12 month period may be deemed to have resigned from the Committee.

f)  Members of the Club may attend Committee Meetings as observers. 



a)  Officers and Other Committee Members shall be elected at the AGM to serve a term of three years.  To provide continuity, elections for officers shall be conducted on a rotational basis as follows:

Year 1 - Chairman and Membership Secretary

Year 2 - Secretary and Newsletter Editor

Year 3 - Treasurer and Archivist.

b)  On resignation of a Committee Member, the vacancy shall be filled by Committee decision, but any such appointment will only be valid until the next Annual General Meeting.

c)  The Committee may co-opt any member to fill any post; such appointments to be ratified at the next Annual General Meeting.



a)  The Annual General Meeting shall be convened at a time determined by the Committee, with at least one meeting a year within 15 months of the last.
b)  An Extraordinary General Meeting can be called at any time by the Committee or in writing to the Secretary, stating the purpose of the meeting, by 10% of the membership.  The quorum for such an Extraordinary General meeting shall be 15% of the membership.

c)  Not less than four weeks' notice of any General Meeting shall be given to all members.  Despatch of a notice to their address as notified to the Membership Secretary shall fulfil this requirement.

d)  Any member, or other persons at the discretion of the Chairman, may speak at a General Meeting, but voting rights shall be restricted to members, who may exercise one vote per member.  Decisions by the General Meeting are by simple majority, the Chairman having the casting vote only. The members at a General Meeting or the Committee may call a postal ballot of all paid up members on any motion. 

e)  Postal votes and proxy votes are permitted providing always that each member exercises only one vote.
f)  An Extraordinary General Meeting may consider only the business for which it was called.

g)  Nominations for all positions on the committee, duly proposed and seconded and bearing the acceptance of the nominee, are to be submitted, in writing, to the Secretary at least 14 days before the General Meeting.  The Chairman of the meeting, at his discretion alone, may accept verbal nominations duly proposed and seconded at the meeting.

h)  Alterations to the Constitution may only be made by a majority decision of members present at a General Meeting with proposed amendments being advised to members, in writing, at least 28 days before the General Meeting.

i)  Motions for General Meetings must be submitted to the Secretary not less than 6 weeks before the date of the meeting, such motions to be submitted with the written support of not less than five members.  Minor alterations to motions and other business may be accepted at an Annual General Meeting at the sole discretion of the Chairman. 



a)  An account or accounts in the name of the Club shall be maintained at a bank or other appropriate financial institution, and the funds of the Club shall be kept in such account(s).  The Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor shall be signatories on the accounts of the Club.  The signatures of two such Officers of the Club shall be necessary upon any instrument drawing upon the funds of the Club.

b)  The Treasurer shall ensure that adequate systems are adopted so that all moneys due to the Club are received, banked and accounted for, receipts issued as appropriate, all accounts paid promptly, and that full, proper and accurate Books of Account are maintained.

c)  The books and records of the Club shall be available for inspection by the Committee and should be independently examined before every Annual General Meeting.

d)  All Committee posts are honorary but the Treasurer shall have the power to reimburse Members of the Club for reasonable expenditure incurred in carrying out activities of the Club at the Committee’s discretion.

e)  Should the Club hold a level of funds which, in the opinion of the treasurer, is in excess of its operational needs whilst having made provision for future projects and maintenance of an adequate reserve then, at the discretion of the Committee, donations may be made to waterways causes, projects and charities likely to deliver benefit to the membership at large.  Donations exceeding a total of £2,000 per accounting year will require ratification by a majority vote of those members present at the AGM or an EGM.



For the purposes of identifying whether boats should be included in the Club’s Archive or Website, the definition is “working and ex-working canal narrow boats, those being cargo carrying, towing, ice breaking, maintenance or official inspection craft originally built prior to 1965”.


In the event of the dissolution of the Club being decided upon by at least two-thirds of the members present at a General Meeting, any cash or funds remaining after payment of outstanding debts shall be returned to the paid up Members divided in proportion to the annual membership fee paid. Books, relics, records, etc, shall be donated to an appropriate archive, museum or library.

Annual General Meeting, 14 April 2018