GNRS Constitution and Rules

Preliminary Notes: 

1  The term “Great Northern Railway” as used by The Society applies to the Great Northern Railway Company as it existed from May 1846 to December 1922, together with its predecessors, constituents, absorbed companies,  joint lines and successors.

2  The periods of notice specified below (e.g., for the Annual General Meeting) shall apply to UK resident members only.

1             Name

1.1        The name of the Society is “The Great Northern Railway Society” (hereinafter referred to as “The


2             Objectives

2.1        The objectives of The Society are to foster interest in and to record and preserve the history of the Great Northern Railway.  The principal means by which this shall be done is the encouragement of membership participation in the following aspects:

            a          The acquisition, study and dissemination of information.
            b          The preservation of records and small artefacts.
            c           The construction, operation and preservation of models
            d          The establishment and maintenance of links with similar organisations specialising in the study of railway companies having or having had links (e.g., running agreements) with the Great Northern Railway.

2.2        The Society shall have no direct involvement in large scale preservation and restoration schemes.

3             Management

3.1        The Society shall be managed by a Committee comprising: Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Editor, Publications & Sales Officer and a minimum of one other member. The members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting, shall normally serve for a term of one year and shall be eligible for re-election at the next Annual General Meeting.  Each candidate shall be proposed and seconded by members and shall if possible indicate his/her prior willingness to serve.  If there is one candidate for a post, the nominee shall be declared elected.  If there is more than one candidate, a simple ballot shall be held to elect the members’ preferred candidate. The Committee Quorum shall be any three members.  There shall be no limit on the number of times a member may serve in any one post.  The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members as may be required.

3.2        The members of the current Committee are shown in Appendix A.

3.3        Members of The Society who are custodians of assets belonging to The Society (including archive material and publications stock) shall be responsible for their storage and preservation in good order and shall be subject to periodic audit as and when directed by the Committee.

4             Membership

4.1        Membership shall be open to all persons interested in the objectives of The Society and shall be at the discretion of the Committee.  The Committee shall have the power to reject an application for membership if it considers that the applicant’s membership will be contrary to the best interests of The Society. 

4.2        Membership carries with it the responsibility to abide by the Constitution and Rules of The Society.

4.3        Any member who ceases to become a member for any reason (lapse of subscription, resignation or termination under Rule 4.4) shall return to The Society any Society assets in his/her custody at the time of cessation.

4.4        Any member whose conduct appears to the Committee to be contrary to the best interests of The Society shall be notified in writing by the Secretary or the Chairman of the conduct alleged and of the provisions of this rule.  If the member wishes to contest the allegation he/she must submit a written reply to the Secretary or Chairman within twenty-one days of the date of posting of the Secretary’s or Chairman’s notice.  After considering such reply the Committee may, if it thinks fit, direct that his/her membership be terminated and shall so notify him/her in writing.  If within fourteen days of receipt of such notification the member submits a request for a Special General Meeting under Rule 7.4, he/she shall not have his/her name removed from the membership list unless and until so resolved at that Meeting.  If the allegation is not contested by the member, or if the member does not submit the request for the Special General Meeting within the fourteen day period, the Committee shall direct that the member’s name be removed from the membership list.

4.5        In accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984 The Society hereby gives notice that it holds on a computer personal data in respect of its members.  Membership indicates consent to this data being held and used by The Society for the following purposes:

  1. a) the efficient operation of The Society, especially the distribution of publications and the recording of subscriptions.
  1. b) the publication of a membership list to members of The Society for use only within The Society but a member has the right to have his/her name and/or address excluded. The Society shall not use the computerised list for any other purpose and shall not divulge the list to

any other organisation or individual for any purpose.

4.6        The Committee may award Honorary Membership to any individual or organisation it considers deserving of such membership.

4.7        Classes of membership shall be determined by the Committee and approved at a General Meeting.  Current classes of membership are shown in Appendix B.

5             Subscriptions

5.1        There shall be a membership subscription payable annually on 1st August.  The renewal date and rates of subscriptions for classes of membership shall be determined by the Committee.  Any change in the rates shall be put to the members at the next available General Meeting and shall (subject to approval at that Meeting) be applicable as soon as practicable following that Meeting.  Current subscription rates are shown in Appendix B.  

5.2        Persons joining The Society during the Membership Year shall pay the full annual subscription at the appropriate rate and shall receive all issues of Great Northern News published during that year. 

5.3        A member shall be deemed to have resigned from The Society if his/her subscription has not been received within three calendar months of the renewal date. 

6             Finance

6.1        The financial year of The Society shall run from 1st August of one year to 31st July of the following year.  The Society’s funds shall be used solely in pursuance of the aims set out in section 2.  Members shall receive no payment except reimbursement of legitimate expenses incurred in connection with the operation of The Society.  Claims for such expenses shall be accompanied by receipts or other supporting documentation.

6.2        The Treasurer shall be responsible to The Society for the good management of its finances and shall maintain such books and records as may be necessary therefor.  Members authorised by the Committee to incur expenditure on the business of The Society shall maintain such records as may be necessary and shall submit reports thereon to the Treasurer as and when requested.

6.3        The Treasurer shall submit to each Annual General Meeting a Report on the financial state of The Society together with an audited Revenue Account and Balance Sheet as at the close of the preceding financial year.

6.4        The Society’s funds shall be kept in one or more bank account(s) nominated by the Committee.

6.5        There shall be three authorised signatories, these being the holders of the posts of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Cheques drawn on The Society’s funds shall be signed by any two of the three authorised signatories.

7             General Meetings (Annual General and Special General Meetings)

7.1        The Annual General Meeting shall normally be held in October, at a time and place determined by the Committee.  

7.2        The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:

            (a) to receive and approve the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and any Special General Meeting(s) held since the previous Annual General Meeting:

            (b) to receive and approve the reports of the Committee and Officers:

            (c) to elect the Committee in accordance with rule 3.1:

            (d) to consider motions submitted under rule 7.3:

            (e) to consider any proposed changes to the Constitution & Rules:

            (f) to appoint an Auditor:

            (g) to consider subscription rates:

            (h) to consider any other business.

7.3        Written and signed notice of any motion for discussion at the Annual General Meeting under rule

7.2(d) above shall be sent to the Secretary to arrive no fewer than twenty-eight days before the date of the meeting.  Such motions shall be included in the agenda for the meeting.

7.4        A Special General Meeting shall be held either (i) at the request of the Committee, or (ii) at the written request of no fewer than fifteen members, or (iii) at the request of a member who is subject to the provisions of rule 4.4.

7.5        The Secretary shall advise members of the date, time and location of any General Meeting giving at least twenty-eight days notice. In the case of a Special General Meeting such notice shall include an indication of the nature of the business to be transacted and no other business shall be dealt with. The Secretary shall also arrange for the agenda and (if applicable) Officers’ reports to be approved by the Committee and sent to members to arrive no fewer than seven days prior to the date of the meeting. 

7.6        Fully paid-up members of the Society only are entitled to vote at a General Meeting.  Each member shall have one vote.  Voting shall be on a show of hands and a simple majority shall prevail.  In the event of an equality of vote the Chairman shall have an additional (casting) vote.

7.7        The quorum for any General Meeting shall be twenty members.  In the event of a quorum not being reached at the due starting time this may be delayed by not longer than one hour if the majority of those present agree that it is likely that a quorum will be achieved thereby.  If a quorum is not achieved within that time the Meeting shall be declared invalid and no formal business shall be conducted.  The Meeting shall then be re-convened at a time, date and place determined by the Committee, details of which shall be notified to members in accordance with rule 7.5 above.  

7.8        The proceedings of any General Meeting shall be minuted by the Secretary and the minutes disseminated to members as follows:

  1. a) Annual General Meeting: not later than 31st December following the date of the Meeting.  
  2. b) Special General Meeting: with the next practicable issue of Great Northern News.

8             Changes to the Constitution And Rules

8.1        The Constitution and Rules shall be reviewed annually by the Committee.

8.2        Any member proposing any addition to, deletion from or amendment of the Constitution and Rules shall do so in in accordance with rule 7.3 above so that it may be considered by members at the next Annual General Meeting.

9             Indemnification

9.1        The Society shall not be responsible for any loss by or injury caused by or to any person as a result of the activities of The Society.  All persons participating in any activity organised by or on behalf of The Society shall be deemed to have accepted this condition.  In the case of non-members (e.g., visitors, guest speakers) the member inviting the non-member to attend shall acquaint the non-member with this condition.   

10          Dissolution

10.1      The Society may at any time be dissolved with the consent of two thirds of the members voting in a postal ballot held for that purpose and consequent on a resolution to dissolve having first been carried at a General Meeting.  The assets and funds remaining after satisfying all debts and liabilities of The Society shall be disposed of in accordance with a further resolution taken at that or a subsequent General Meeting.

Appendix B – Current Classes of Membership and Annual Subscription Rates


  • Ordinary (UK) £20.00
  • Ordinary (Overseas, GNN by e-mailed PDF only) £20.00
  • Ordinary (Europe, GNN by Air Mail) £30.00
  • Ordinary (Rest of World, GNN by Surface Mail) £30.00
  • Ordinary (Rest of World, GNN by Air Mail) £38.00
  • Honorary £0.00