Rules of The Rucksack Club Ltd

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Rules, Byelaws and Policies of The Rucksack Club Ltd: Introduction

The Rucksack Club Ltd is supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Registered Society under the provisions of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014:   Registered number:  31191R 

The Rucksack Club was established in 1902 as an unincorporated association – a group of like-minded individuals pursuing a common interest.  As such it was not a legal entity, its Officers acted in their own names in financial transactions, its properties – the three Huts – were held in trust, and its Members each carried unlimited public liability for any and all Club activities whether or not they had direct personal involvement.  None of that is as bad as it might sound.  The Club functioned smoothly and the risk of being the subject of civil legal action was managed, and for the large part still is, by buying into the British Mountaineering Council’s insurance scheme which provides up to £15M third party public liability cover for Club affairs and for individual Members whilst engaged in mountaineering both with the Club and more generally (other than in North America).

In 2010 the Committee took the view that, despite a hundred years successful avoidance of entanglement with the law in any form, in these more litigious times it was appropriate, using legislation designed purposely to protect members of small not for profit associations, to extend protection for Officers and Members of the Club.  Through registration as a Mutual Society under 1965 legislation, subsequently consolidated into the 2014 Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act, we have established limited liability for those not involved personally in an event which has become the focus of civil litigation.  The 2011 AGM voted strongly in favour of the move and the Club was registered on 4 March 2011. It’s not a wholly magic cure.  Individual Members held to have been negligent would still be in difficulty if the insurance cap was exceeded, or the underwriters refused support or that negligence was “criminal”.  In such circumstances the Club’s assets could be forfeit.  Securing limited liability for Members – the value of their “share” in the Club – £1 – is a sensible extension of the Club’s duty of care towards them and particularly its Officers.  From that perspective the modest annual fee required to maintain registration is simply another insurance premium.

It is more than that, however, since through registration the Club has become a legal entity and its Officers now act in the Club’s name when signing sometimes quite significant contracts for, say, repairs to the Huts, instead of in their own names.  The Club is now the owner of its three huts instead of them having to be being held in trust.  A further effect is that the Club itself as an organisation can take action against defaulters or miscreants of whatever kind – a much clearer proposition than having to use intermediaries.  The Rucksack Club was not the first British mountaineering club down this track to incorporation – the fourth, in fact – and we happily acknowledge the assistance we received from those forerunners.  Others have now followed.

For the many years up to 2011 the Rucksack Club had a developed constitution, rules and policies. Formal Registration has meant that those arrangements have been replaced by Rules which impose a stricter but not a markedly different code on the Club, and Byelaws and policies more explicit than before so that we clearly conform to what is currently expected of a Registered Society.   What follows is a comprehensive formal statement of the way the Club is run and the standards it sets itself.  What is not shown in such a necessarily legalistic exposition are the bonds of friendship between Members that ensure what appears to be a formidable bureaucracy in fact holds to its purpose of promoting the skills of mountaineering, climbing and hill walking amongst a group of enthusiasts with surprising ease, and to the huge enjoyment of those involved.

The Rules of The Rucksack Club Ltd. may not be changed without the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority.  The Byelaws are approved by General Meetings of the Club.  Policy statements are issued by the Committee. 




(Second revision 1 July 2014)

Section 1 Name and Objects of the Club    
Section 2 Powers of the Club    
Section 3 Officers and Committee    
Section 4 General meetings    
Section 5 Membership    
Section 6 Finance    
Section 7 Assets    
Section 8 Policies    
Section 9 Statutory procedures    
    Alteration of Rules    
    Registered office    
    Use of name of the Club    
    Register of Members    
    Inspection of books    
    Annual return    
    Publication of accounts    
    Share capital    
Section 10 Schedule of Definitions    


Section 1 Name and Objects of the Club
1. The Club shall be called “THE RUCKSACK CLUB” Limited and shall be referred to as “the Club” in these Rules.
2. The purpose of the Club is to encourage mountaineering, climbing and hill walking and to bring together all those who are interested in these pursuits.
Section 2 Powers of the Club
3. The Club shall have the power to do anything which appears to it to be necessary or desirable in pursuing its objects.  In particular, it may acquire and dispose of property, enter into contracts, accept gifts of property, and employ staff.  The Club may invest funds for the objects of the Club, including forming or participating in forming bodies corporate, or otherwise acquiring membership of bodies corporate.  It may borrow money in pursuing its objects, subject to a limit of one hundred thousand pounds.
Section 3  Officers and Club
4. The Officers of the Club shall be:  President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary, and such other Officers as may be defined in the Byelaws from time to time.  All such Officers shall be Honorary Officers.
5. The Club shall have a Committee consisting of the Officers and eight elective members, which, subject to these Rules, shall manage the affairs of the Club and exercise all of its powers.  At Committee meetings a quorum of the Committee shall consist of five Committee members present.  Every question at Committee meetings shall be decided by a majority of votes, and in the case of an equality of votes the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.  The Committee shall have the power to nominate Sub-Committees for such purposes and with such executive powers as the Committee may deem necessary.  The Committee may co-opt members onto Sub-Committees.  Such Sub-Committees shall act in accordance with the directions of the Committee and shall report to it from time to time.  The Committee may invite members of the Club to its meetings as observers.
6. The Officers, elective members and Auditor(s) shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting, except for the President who shall be elected for a period of four years, in the first and last of which he or she shall serve as a Vice President.   At the conclusion of their third consecutive term of office, elective Committee members will not be eligible for re-election to the same position until one year has elapsed from the date of their retirement.  All other Officers shall be elected for a period of one year and may be re-elected in succeeding years.  The Committee shall have the power to fill ad interim, any vacancy occurring during the year.  Any Committee member so appointed shall hold office only until the next Annual General Meeting.
7. For the purposes of Rule 6 concerning terms of office for Committee members, “year” means a period commencing immediately after the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting, and ending at the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting.
8. Any two members of the Club may nominate a member for election as an Officer, Auditor or member of the Committee by communicating their intention to the Secretary in writing at least 28 days before the Annual General Meeting, and stating also that the member nominated has signified their willingness to serve if elected.  If at such Meeting the number of nominations for office or for elective membership of the Committee does not exceed the number of respective vacancies, the Chairman of the meeting shall declare the nominees duly elected, but if the number of nominees shall exceed the number of vacancies an election by ballot shall take place.
9. Nominations may be accepted at an Annual General Meeting only for vacancies for which prior nomination has not been published in the meeting papers.
10. None of the Officers or members of the Committee or Sub-Committee shall be entitled to any remuneration for their service, though they shall be entitled to be reimbursed any out of pocket expenses properly incurred on behalf of the Club.
Section 4 General Meetings
11. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in January each year.  A copy of the Club’s financial statement made up to the previous 31stOctober, together with the agenda of the business to be transacted, shall be posted to each member not less than 7 days before the meeting.  No member shall be entitled to introduce any special business or motion unless he or she has given the Secretary 28 clear days’ notice of such special business or motion.
12. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called either:  by the Committee, giving not less than 14 days’ notice; or by 5% of the members of the Club signing a requisition for such a meeting submitting a motion or motions consistent with the Rules of the Club and presenting it to the Secretary, in which event the Secretary shall, within 30 days of receiving the requisition, call the meeting, giving not less than 14 days’ notice.  An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be competent to deal only with the business for which it has been called.
13. At all General Meetings the President or, if not present, a Vice-President or a Past-President shall be Chairman.  Twenty members shall form a quorum.
14. Voting at General Meetings shall be by show of hands or by paper ballot at the direction of the Chairman.  Every member present in person other than those precluded from voting under the Rules or Byelaws shall have one vote.
Section 5 Membership
15. The criteria for membership of the Club, as determined by the Committee from time to time will be published in the Byelaws, Handbook, on the Club website and in the guidance notes/application form for prospective members.  There shall be 2 classes of member – Ordinary and Honorary.
16. The election by the Committee of Ordinary Members shall be at the sole discretion of the Committee.  Applications for membership will be assessed by the Committee against the criteria in force at the time of the application.  The decision of the Committee will be by simple majority of those present and will be final.  The membership criteria may be reviewed from time to time and amended by a recommendation of the Committee to a General Meeting.
17. The Committee shall have power to nominate for election, at an Annual General Meeting, suitable persons as Honorary Members of the Club.  Honorary Members shall have the same privileges as other members and may be exempt from paying a subscription.  The President and Vice Presidents of the Club shall be Honorary Members during their period of office.
18. The level of subscriptions shall be as recommended from time to time by the Committee and agreed at a General Meeting.  They are due on January 1st each year.  The amount of the subscription may vary for different groups of Ordinary Members.  A member shall cease to be a member on resignation, on termination of membership by the Committee, or on death.
19. A member whose subscription is 6 months in arrears, shall not be entitled to vote or enjoy any privilege of membership of the Club, including use of its property.  If the subscription is in arrears 12 months after the date due, the Committee may by resolution terminate such member’s membership of the Club but shall have the power to re-admit upon such terms as it may decide.
20. The Committee shall adopt a policy and procedures for handling grievances and alleged misdemeanours by Members that recognise fully the principles of natural justice. In the event that the Committee considers an enquiry about a Member’s conduct to be appropriate it shall appoint three of its number to investigate and report to the Committee with a recommendation. In cases of proven misconduct which affects other Members or brings the Club into disrepute this may be that of withdrawal of membership. Any individual who challenges such a decision or other sanction may appeal to a panel of three past Presidents of the Club nominated by the Committee for that purpose. Their decision shall be final. No individual who has been deprived of membership under this Rule shall be invited as a guest to a Club event or to stay in the Club’s property
21. An individual’s alleged misconduct may be so extreme that the Club considers immediate action is required either to protect another Member(s) or because its good standing is threatened. In such circumstances the President, or in his/her absence a Vice-President, conferring with two other Officers, may suspend the Member concerned forthwith, and the case will be dealt with at the next Committee Meeting. Whilst suspended the Member concerned shall have no rights to participate in Club events or use Club property. Any Member suspended has the right of appeal within 30 days against suspension to a panel of three past Presidents nominated by the Secretary, or in his/her absence another Officer of the Club, for that purpose. Their decision shall be final
Section 6 Finance
22. All Club funds shall be held in accounts in the name of The Rucksack Club Ltd.
23.The Club’s income shall be obtained annually from the subscriptions of members, from investments and securities, from activities arranged by the Club at the Club’s Premises or elsewhere, from the letting of the Club’s Premises, from sponsorship and from any other available source and any surplus income or assets will be invested in the Club and will at no time be distributed to members.
24. The profits of the Club shall be applied only to furthering the objects of the Club.
25. The Club shall not have power to receive money on deposit from members or others.
26. A Financial Statement of the Club’s affairs shall be made up to 31stOctober in each year and shall be signed by the Treasurer.  An audit, where necessary in law or where the membership require, shall be carried out by a qualified auditor or, where the conditions applicable for appointing lay auditors apply, by one or more lay auditors, and a printed copy of the signed Financial Statement, together with any Auditors’ Report thereon, shall be sent to each member with the notice calling an Annual General Meeting.
27. The provisions of the Act relating to the appointment, powers, rights, remuneration responsibilities and duties of the Auditor(s) shall be complied with.  The Auditor(s) where appointed shall be entitled to attend any General Meeting and to receive all notices of and other communications relating thereto which any member is entitled to receive, and to be heard at any General Meeting on any part of the business which concerns them as auditors.
28. The Club may participate in a direct debiting scheme as an originator for the purpose of collecting subscriptions for any class of membership and/or any other amounts due to the Club.  In furtherance of such a scheme the Club may enter into an indemnity required by the bank upon whom direct debits are to be originated and such indemnity may be executed on behalf of the Club by the Treasurer or as otherwise determined pursuant to these Rules.
Section 7 Assets
29. There shall be no disposal of any of the Club’s assets unless such disposal has been authorised by a resolution carried at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club by a majority of at least two-thirds of the Members present and voting.  For the purposes of this Rule ‘disposal’ means any gift, sale, lease, mortgage, charge, exchange, permanent loan or dedication.  This Rule shall not apply to the disposal of any asset or collection of assets having a value not exceeding a sum as agreed at a General Meeting and included in the Byelaws.
30. If the value of the assets proposed for disposal is greater than a sum as agreed at a General Meeting and included in the Byelaws then the number of votes cast must represent at least 50% of the total membership.
Section 8 Policies
31. The Committee will maintain a Health and Safety Policy.  The Committee will review and if necessary amend this policy from time to time.  This policy will be publicised in the Handbook, on the website and in the properties.
Section 9 Statutory procedures

Alteration of Rules

32. No alteration to these Rules shall be made except at an Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting and unless supported by not less than three quarters of those present and voting.  No motion to alter the Rules shall be accepted unless notice thereof in writing shall have been received by the Secretary at least 28 days before the meeting.
33. Items subject to regular change will be published as Byelaws.  Other than Byelaw 6 Disposal of Assets all may be amended by a simple majority vote of those present at a General Meeting.  Byelaws will be published in the Handbook and on the Club website.
34. Byelaw 6 is subject to the same alteration criteria as the Rules set out in Rules 29 and 30 where there must be a two-thirds majority on a vote of more than 50% of the membership of the Club.
Registered Office
35. The registered office of the Club shall be at “x” or at such other location in England as the Committee may from time to time otherwise determine.  Notice of any change in the situation of the registered office shall be given by the Secretary to the Financial Services Authority within fourteen days after the change.
Use of Name of the Club
36. The name shall be kept painted or affixed in a conspicuous position and in letters which are easily legible on the outside of every office or place in which the activities of the Club are carried on.
37. The name shall be stated in legible characters in all business letters of the Club, in all notices, advertisements and other official publications of the Club in all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Cub and in all bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the Club.
38. Save with the authority of the Committee, the name of the Club shall not at any time be used by any member in any document or advertisement issued or published by, or on behalf of or with the authority of that member in such a way as to indicate or imply that such document or advertisement was issued or published by or on behalf of the Club or the Committee.
Register of Members
39. The Club shall keep at its registered office a Register of Members and Officers in which the Secretary shall enter the following particulars:
The name and address of each member.
A statement of the share held by each member and the amount paid therefore.
A statement of other property, if any, in the Club held by each member whether in loans or otherwise.
The date on which each member was entered in the Register as a member and the date on which a member ceased to be a member.
The names and addresses of the Officers of the Club with the offices held by them respectively and the date on which they assumed and left office.
The Register of Members and Officers shall be so constructed that it is possible to open to inspection the particulars entered pursuant to Rules 39.1, 39.4 and 39.5 without also opening to inspection the other particulars entered in the Register.
Inspection of Books
40. All Members and persons having an interest in the funds of the Club shall be allowed to inspect their own accounts and the particulars entered in the Register of Members and Officers other than those entered under Rules 39.2 and 39.3 at all reasonable hours at the registered office of the Club subject to ten working days’ notice given at the registered office and such other regulations as to the time and manner of such inspection as may be made from time to time by a resolution passed at a General Meeting.
Annual Return
41. Every year not later than the date provided by the Act or where the return is made up to the date allowed by the Financial Services Authority not later than seven months after such date the Secretary shall send to the Financial Services Authority the annual return in the form prescribed by the Financial Services Authority relating to the affairs of the Club for the period required by the Act to be included in the return together with a copy of the Financial Statement of the Club with the Report of the Auditor(s) where applicable thereon for the period included in the return and a copy of each balance sheet made during that period and the Report of the Auditor(s) where applicable on that balance sheet.  A copy of the latest annual return shall be supplied free of charge on demand to every member or other person interested in the funds of the Club.
Publication of Accounts
42. The Club shall keep a copy of the last balance sheet for the time being together with the Report made by the Auditor(s) where applicable thereon.
43. These Rules shall take effect on and from the date of their registration pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.
44. A duly appointed receiver or manager of the whole or part of the Club’s assets may assume such powers of the Committee as they consider necessary to carry out their duties under the instrument of appointment.  The Club may be dissolved by the consent of not less than three-quarters of the members who sign an instrument of dissolution in the directed form or by winding-up in the manner provided by the Act.  The Committee of the Club will remain in office in order to settle the affairs of the Club.  On the winding up or dissolution of the Club, after discharging all debts and liabilities of the Club, any assets or funds whatsoever remaining must be applied by transfer either:- to a body or bodies whose objects are broadly in line with those of the Club as set in Rule 2; or where no such body or bodies exist, to another body or bodies established for exclusively charitable purposes with functions the same as or similar to the functions of the Club; in each case as determined by the members at a meeting called to decide the issue. 

No funds or part of any funds remaining after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities may be distributed to members of the Club.  Notwithstanding anything elsewhere in these Rules, any motion to amend this Rule or to remove it from these Rules will require approval by 75% of the Club’s total membership, voting in person.

Share Capital
45. The capital of the Club shall consist of shares of the value of five pence each.  No member may hold more than one share.
46. Each member of the unincorporated Rucksack Club at the date these Rules take effect pursuant to Rule 43, shall be allotted one share and five pence of the subscription then next paid by each member shall be applied in paying up the same in full.  No person who is not a member shall be issued with a share.
47. Any member admitted to membership after the date on which these Rules take effect shall be allotted one share on admission and five pence of the first subscription paid by such member shall be applied in paying up the same in full.
48. In the case of a share allotted to an Honorary member either upon these Rules taking effect or upon admission to membership thereafter pursuant to Rule 19 such share shall be credited as fully paid by way of a capitalisation of any profits or the reserves of the Club and the Committee shall have power to take all steps necessary to give effect to this Rule.
49. No share shall be held jointly, be withdrawable or be transferable by any member and no interest, dividend or bonus shall be payable on any share.  Any member transferring or attempting to transfer a share or any interest therein or any rights associated therewith shall, if the Committee so decides, be deemed to have resigned from the Club as from the date of such transfer or attempted transfer.
50. The share of a member shall be forfeited to the Club when that member for whatever reason ceases to be a member and any amount then due to the member in respect of such share shall thereupon become the property of the Club.
51. The Club shall not be required to issue a certificate to any member in respect of the share allotted to that member.
52. Each Officer of the Club and employees from time to time of the Club and each person who was or is from time to time a member of the Committee or any Sub-Committee shall (to the extent that such person is not entitled to recover under any policy of insurance) be entitled to be indemnified out of any and all funds available to the Club, which may lawfully be so applied, against all costs, liens, charges, expenses and liabilities whatsoever incurred by such person in the execution and discharge of duties undertaken on behalf of the Club or in relation thereto, or incurred in good faith in the purported discharge of such duties, including any liability incurred in initiating, prosecuting or defending any proceedings, civil or criminal, which relate to anything done or omitted as an Officer or employee or as a member of the Committee or any Sub-Committee as the case may be.
53. For the avoidance of doubt every member of the unincorporated Rucksack Club who at the date these Rules take effect pursuant to Rule 43 holds office or position following registration, such Members shall have the same seniority, dates of appointment, dates of retirement and the like after registration as before registration, subject only to such changes as are necessary by virtue of these Rules.
54. Any notice or other communication or document sent by first class post to a member, Officer or member of the Committee shall be treated as having been received 48 hours after the time when it was posted.  Notices may be posted electronically, e.g. by email, or posted on the Club’s website. Reference to “post”, “posting“ or “posted” in these rules shall be construed accordingly.
55. Every dispute of the type specified in Section 60 of the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 or any amendment, modification or re-enactment thereof (not being one in respect of which the decision falls to be made in some other way under these Rules) shall be referred to the arbitration of a single arbitrator to be appointed in default of agreement between the parties to the dispute by the President (or failing whom one of the other Officers) for the time being of the British Mountaineering Council.
56. Subject to the provisions of the Act, any difference of opinion as to the interpretation of these Rules or on any matter not provided for herein shall be decided by the Chairman of a General Meeting at such Meeting or by the Committee in every other circumstance, and every such decision shall be recorded in the minutes and shall be accepted as the true meaning until thereafter otherwise interpreted on due notice at a subsequent General Meeting.
Section 10 Schedule of Definitions
57. “Act” means the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1965-1978 and any subsequent Acts governing or otherwise affecting industrial and provident societies.

“Auditor(s)” means the auditor(s) of the Club for the time being.

“Club” means The Rucksack Club Ltd.

“Committee” means the committee designated in Rule 6 and “Committee Member” or “Member of the Committee” means a member of the Committee for the time being and shall include any person co-opted under Rule 5.

“Financial Statement” means a Balance Sheet together with a Statement of Accounts showing Income and Expenditure.

“General Meeting” means a general meeting of members.

“Handbook” means the annual handbook of the Club supplied to members shortly after each Annual General Meeting.

“Secretary” means the Honorary Secretary of the Club for the time being.

“Member” means a member of the Club.

“Mountaineering” means mountain, rock and ice climbing, walking, exploration among mountains and activities incidental to these.

 “Officers” means the officers designated in Rule 4.

“Rules” means the Rules of the Club for the time being registered with the Financial Services Authority.

Version 08.11.2010 – Agreed at the 18.01.2011 AGM, approved by the FCA 04.03.2011

Rule 2 amendment (incorporated) agreed at the 17.01.2012 AGM, approved by the FCA 29.06.2012

Rules 20 and 21 (incorporated) agreed at the 21.01.2014 AGM, approved by the FCA 01.07.2014

Rule 54 amended at 8.1.2024 AGM, to cover electronic communication of notices


1 Officers

The Officers of the Club shall be: President, Vice-Presidents (2) (one of whom shall be alternately President Elect/Immediate Past President and the other chosen for services to the Club), Secretary, Treasurer, Members’ Secretary, Associate Members’ Secretary, Website Secretary, Minutes’ Secretary, Meetstaff Editor, Journal Editor, Hut Wardens (3), Outdoor Meets Organiser and Indoor Meets Organiser.

2 Membership

2.1 A candidate for membership must be proposed and seconded by Members of the Club of his/her acquaintance.  His or her full name, address, age and a statement of the grounds on which he or she founds his or her request for membership shall be sent to the Associate Members’ Secretary, on an application form provided for the purpose.

2.2 The Committee shall be guided by the following principles when considering applications for membership of the Club.

(a) No applicant may be admitted who is under 18 years of age.

(b) Candidates are expected to show evidence of an active and sustained interest in the core pursuits of the Club as defined in Rule 2.  The underlying judgement about admission will be whether or not the candidate is self-sufficient in the mountaineering environment.

(c) The application form is to be sent in by the proposer, accompanied by a covering letter stating the extent of his or her acquaintance with the candidate, and giving some first-hand information regarding his or her qualifications and suitability for membership.  The Member who seconds the application will provide a similar statement.

(d) Candidates may not be proposed or seconded by close relatives or partners.

(e) Members may be elected at the discretion of the Committee solely on scientific, literary or other special qualifications.

2.3 On becoming full Members of the Club individuals will automatically become Club Members of the British Mountaineering Council the cost of which is included in their annual membership subscription
3. Honorary Membership

3.1 Election as an Honorary Member of the Club is recognition of an exceptional contribution to the Clubs’ corporate life either as an exemplar of its pursuits or long and/or innovative service as a senior officer of the Club.

3.2 Election to Honorary membership of the Club shall be by recommendation of the Committee to either an Annual General Meeting or to Members attending an Annual Dinner or other appropriate open meeting of the Club.

3.3 Honorary Members of the Club are exempt from further payment of the annual subscription but retain both membership of and their share in The Rucksack Club Ltd and all other privileges of Ordinary Members.

4. Associate Membership

4.1 Those interested in applying for membership of the Club but only partially for the moment meeting the application criteria, or those who enjoy periodic involvement in Club activities as a guest of a Member, may, and shall be strongly urged to, become Associate Members of the Club by registering their name, postal and email addresses with the Members’ Secretary, and on payment of the subscription specified in Section 5.9 below.

4.2 Because of the implications of child protection legislation for the operation of the Club this provision is restricted to those aged eighteen and over.   Associate Membership may be withheld on a recommendation of the Associate Members’ Secretary to the Committee whose decision is final.
4.3 An Associate Member of the Club shall receive a copy of Meetstaff, the quarterly schedule of the Club’s forthcoming activities. The Committee shall have discretion to decide if Associate Members should receive a copy of the annual Journal, Handbook or other publications of the club.  An Associate Member shall be entitled to attend Meets in the same manner as Members.
4.4 For those Associate Members wishing to progress to full membership the Club will seek to provide a buddy to support that process.
4.5 An enrolling Associate Member shall be entered on the Club’s next quarterly return to the British Mountaineering Council and shall become a Club Member of the BMC, covered by its civil liability insurance, and able to access the Council’s services on the same terms as Members.  In principle the subscription levied in 4.1 above will be used wholly to defray the cost of this provision, payment for which falls due at initial registration and then annually.
4.6 An Associate Member shall not be entitled to speak or vote at Annual or Extraordinary General Meetings of the Club, own a share in the Club or have access to protected membership data, (beyond that subject to the Committee’s discretion as per 4.3), sit on the Clubs’ committees, have right of entry to the Clubs’ properties, rent a hut key, book a Hut in that capacity, or introduce a guest to a Club Meet without that Meet Coordinator’s consent.
4.7 The Committee may terminate an individual’s Associate Membership when it judges such an action is in the best interests of the Club.  Before taking such a decision the Secretary shall advise the individual concerned in writing of the reasons for such a possible step and allow a reasonable period for a reply to which the Committee shall have regard in coming to a decision which shall be final.
4.8 The Club recognises all registered individual members of the Manchester University Mountaineering Club (MUMC) and the Manchester University Hiking Club (MUHC) as Associate Members of the Rucksack Club enjoying the same benefits as other Associate Members generally save that communication with them shall be via their respective Secretaries.
4.9 MUMC/MUHC Associate Members shall not be required to pay the membership fee in 4.1 above to participate in Club activities since they are insured BMC Club Members by virtue of their membership of the MUMC/MUHC. Also for that reason Byelaw 4.5 above shall not apply to MUMC/MUHC AMs.
4.10 Byelaw 4.7 above may be applied to an MUMC/MUHC AM, at the Committee’s discretion, despite a continuing membership by that individual of the MUMC/MUHC.
5.  Subscriptions

5.1 The annual Member’s subscription from 1st January 2018 is £60.  However, the following variations will apply:

5.2 Honorary Members, and Members aged over 90 on 1 January of each year, are exempt from the payment of subscriptions. 
5.3 Members under the age of 27 on 1st January of each year will pay a subscription of £25.
5.4 Subject to five full years’ membership any Member over 70 on 1 January may claim a reduction in their subscription to the reduced rate for that and subsequent years by giving notice to the Members’ Secretary.
5.5 Members whose permanent residence is outside the United Kingdom may claim a reduction in their subscription to the reduced rate by giving notice to the Members’ Secretary.
5.6 The reduced rate subscription from 1st January 2018 is £40.

5.7 The Club’s means of collecting Members’ and Associate Member’s annual subscriptions shall be through a Direct Debit procedure, and the normal date for collection will be annually on 1 March or the nearest subsequent banking day.  All new Members will sign a Direct Debit mandate on admission to the Club.

5.8 When they change banks Members will inform the Members’ Secretary and complete a fresh Direct Debit mandate.
5.9 Associate Members will pay a subscription at a level determined from time to time by the Committee.   Should they become Members that sum will be discounted from the annual full membership subscription at their level due in that calendar year.
6.  Use of Club Huts

6.1 The use of Club Huts is restricted to Members, Associate Members and temporary Members of the Club.  All use is subject to the current Hut Regulations and any other restrictions the Committee may from time to time impose. Notice of these will appear in every Hut. The following persons are temporary Members:

(a) Personal guests of Members;

(b) Members, and their personal guests, of mountaineering clubs with whom the Club has reciprocal arrangements for the use of their huts;

(c) Members/Club Members of the British Mountaineering Council and Mountaineering Scotland;

(d) With the agreement of the Meet Coordinator persons attending a Meet of the Club as a step in qualification for election to membership of the Club;

(e) Members of any suitably supervised group of young people leasing a Club hut for educational purposes;

(f) At the discretion of individual Wardens any other suitably supervised group whose purpose matches the Club’s activities.

6.2 A temporary Member shall be entitled only to such privileges of membership as are afforded by and are incidental to the use of a Club hut.  The Committee shall have the right to refuse temporary membership to any person or groups of persons or to withdraw such membership without giving any reason.
6.3 Temporary membership shall commence upon arrival at the Club hut and shall continue until midnight on the day of departure.
6.4 No entrance fee or other subscription shall be payable by temporary Members but they shall pay such Hut fees as shall from time to time be prescribed by the Committee (see 7.11 below).
7.  Hut Regulations

7.1 Members intending to use a Hut should contact the Warden in advance to confirm that there will be vacant bunks, who might else be there, to ascertain that all facilities will be available and whether any urgent tasks need attention.  It is essential that clearance is obtained if your party is to include children (see 7.9 below).

7.2 Any party having arrived without having made prior arrangements with the Hut Warden must give way to those who have booked bunks beforehand.
7.3 Members should not introduce personal guests unless prior permission has been received from the Hut Warden, or from the Meet Co-ordinator if a Meet is in place.
7.4 Huts are to be used in a way that does not cause disturbance, or give offence, to other occupants.
7.5 In the case of Club Meets the Meet Coordinator shall be the final arbiter as to the use of the Hut, who stays during the Meet and the allocation of bunks.
7.6 Smoking is prohibited in the Huts.
7.7 Radios, televisions, and other devices that produce sound are prohibited at all times. Mobile phones must be put in silent mode.
7.8 The standard Club Hut key, which may be hired from the Secretary for a non-returnable fee of £15, gives access to the three Huts.
7.9 If Members are considering taking children, whether their own or not, on a Club Meet at any hut or to stay in a Club hut independently of a Meet, they must observe the Club’s Child Protection Policy and Guidelines which is available on the Club website, and may also be obtained from the Secretary. (See page 13 below)
7.10 Dogs (other than guide dogs) and other animals are not allowed in any of the Club Huts.  They are permitted within the grounds of the Huts, provided they remain under the full control of the owner, and do not cause offence to any other persons present.
7.11 The following overnight fees apply from 9th January 2023:

Member    8.00
Full time student   9.00
Associate Member   11.00
Guest of Member/Associate Member and member of a club offering reciprocal rights (Kindred Club)   14.00
All other adults including club and individual members of the BMC/Mountaineering Scotland   17.00
All under 18 year olds   8.00


The Club’s recognised practice is to exempt Wardens and their partners from fees at the Hut for which the Warden is responsible, and for Wardens to remit the hut fees of those Members/Associate Members and their partners whose primary focus for staying at a hut is its maintenance.

The Committee may change the overnight fees at any time, by way of a temporary change.  If such temporary change is to continue beyond the date of the next General Meeting a proposal to amend this byelaw shall be presented to the next General Meeting for approval.

8. Guests on Club Meets

8.1 The Club welcomes Members’/Associate Members’ guests on its Meets and sees their presence as a valuable means of recruitment. It is important that they know that Meets are a collective and sociable activity where, if they involve residence, there are domestic duties that all are expected to share.

8.2 If a Member/Associate Member wishes to bring a guest to a Meet he/she must ask the Meet coordinator who will need basic details – name, address and contacts for insurance purposes in the unlikely event of a mishap. Every guest should be known to their sponsoring Member/Associate Member. The Club does not allow the “open advertising” of Meets, or publicising Meet co-ordinators’ personal details outside its own network.

8.3 Recurrent guests should become Associate Members. They will be then covered by the Club’s insurance, receive a copy of Meetstaff and may attend Meets “unaccompanied”.

9.  Disposal of Assets

9.1 For the purposes of interpretation of Rule 29 the limit for the disposal of any asset or collection of assets for which approval of a General Meeting is not required is £10,000.

9.2  For the purposes of Rule 30 the limit for disposal above which the total number of votes cast  is required to be over 50% of the total membership is £150,000

Bye-law amendments:

4. Associate Members added 2012 AGM

4.8/4.12 MUMC added 2015 AGM

4.8 MUHC added 2020 AGM

5.1/5.6 Subscriptions – 2018 AGM

7.11 Hut fees revised 2016 & 2020 & 2023 AGM

8 Guests added – 2020 AGM

2.2 (c) requirement to attend 3 outdoor meets deleted 2021 AGM

5.3 changed 25 from 27 2021 AGM

5.7 added in 2021

5.8 requirement for AMs to pay by DD added in 2021

7.8 revised from £10 to £15 in 2021

7.10 “(other than guide dogs)” added in 2021

1. Officiers – Minutes Secretary added 2023 AGM

4.3 & 4.6 amended as paper Meetstaff again available, and the committee has discretion on the publications an AM receives (covers block AM groups like MUMC).  Added 2024

7.11 Appended that the committee may change hut fees temporarily, changes to be presenteed at next GM.  Added 2024



The Rucksack Club recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Its members and guests pursuing these activities are aware of and accept these risks and responsibility for their own actions and involvement.

Election to membership of the Rucksack Club is based on the premise that the individual concerned has reached a level of proficiency in mountaineering skills that enables him or her to assess the potential risks of the activity in which they are engaged, and to be self-sufficient in the mountain environment.

Participants in Club activities and the users of Club huts are required to act in a responsible manner conscious both of their own safety and of the impact of their conduct on the safety of others, and be aware of their individual duty of care towards all in their company.

The Rucksack Club nevertheless acknowledges it has a duty as an organisation to ensure that as far as reasonably possible all its activities are conducted safely and that, in particular, its three climbing huts are maintained and managed to a high standard complying fully with all regulatory requirements

The Committee intends to exercise its duty of care towards members and guests of the Club engaged in Club activities or using its huts, and others who may from time to time enter or use those premises whether carrying out work for the Club or for pleasure in the following manner:

  • It will alert those becoming members of the Club of its expectations of the membership and their guests
  • It will establish a routine, normally annual, review of potential hazards in its properties, and take any required remedial action to address reported problems.
  • It will ensure that all users of its properties are informed of their proper use and of the course of action should they face an emergency.
  • It will require that all accidents in the course of its activities and in its properties are properly logged, reported and investigated, any lessons learned then being applied.
  • It will issue guidelines on any aspect of its health and safety responsibilities where this is felt to be necessary or helpful.
  • It will invite a Club member to take the lead in monitoring the application of these measures and draw the attention of the Committee to any perceived defects in their application.
  • It will review annually the effectiveness of the above measures in addressing its duty of care.

Adopted by The Rucksack Club Committee 13 September 2013



The Rucksack Club has a positive attitude both towards introducing children to outdoor activities and to supporting parent Members in maximising their child’s climbing and mountaineering opportunities.  All Members are, therefore, expected to show normal levels of care for the safety and well-being of children attending Club Meets and staying in Club huts.

This Policy and Guidelines apply to all persons under the age of 18.

The term “parent” includes parent or legal guardian. Words used in the singular include the plural and vice versa.

Children Attending Club Meets

Where a Member is intending to bring their child on a Club Meet they are advised, particularly if they are not familiar with the location, to contact the Meet Co-ordinator to discuss the safety of the venue.  The Member bears full responsibility for deciding to take part in the Meet, and for their child throughout the Meet.

In addition to the above where a Member is intending to bring a child who is not theirs they must ensure that the parent of that child has read this Policy and Guidelines and has completed a Consent Form which the Member will keep with them for the duration of the Meet.

Members and parents not accompanying their child on a Club Meet must make themselves aware of the nature of the activities and complete a Consent Form to give it to the adult who is taking responsibility for their child.

General Safety Considerations

Consideration should be given, by the parent or adult acting in loco parentis:

  1. to the location of the Meet, given the age and ability of the child;
  2. to the activity arranged for the Meet, and the safety of the child whilst the adult is participating; and
  3. to the age and level of ability of the child generally.

Children Staying in Club Huts

Where a Member is intending to take their child to stay in a Club hut, then in addition to the above they are advised to contact the relevant Hut Warden.  The Club considers that it is not reasonable to expect Members and their guests to modify normal standards of hut behaviour.  Parents or adults acting in loco parentis are, at all times, responsible for the safety, care and control of any child.

Additional Safety Considerations

  1. The standard of hygiene and cleanliness may be less than at home.
  2. There may not be guards on electrical sockets.
  3. There may be open fires and/or hot surfaces.
  4. Members may leave hot and cold drinks on the floor and low surfaces.
  5. Members manoeuvring in congested car parks assume that adults will keep out of their way and they will not expect the presence of children.
  6. Sleeping accommodation is provided by individual bunks which may be 2 or 3 tier. Dormitories vary in size and sleep between 3 and 15 people.


Where an external group intends to bring a child this must be specified on the Booking Form.  Signing this form acknowledges that the group will be responsible for ensuring that all parents or adults in loco parentis are made aware of these Guidelines.

A booking for a group including a child will only be accepted where the group confirms it has a Child Protection Policy to which it will adhere for the duration of the stay.

Allegations of Abuse or Child Protection Issues

If, at any time during a child’s attendance at an official Meet, or stay in a Club hut, there is an allegation or suspicion of abuse, it must be reported to the parent or adult acting in loco parentis, and (where applicable) to the Meet Co-ordinator, and the Club’s Welfare Officer.

If the allegation could constitute a criminal offence then this should be referred to the police by the parent or adult acting in loco-parentis, or, failing them, by the adult whose concern has been aroused. Where there is doubt about how to proceed then advice can be sought from the Club’s Welfare Officer.

Following any allegation of abuse the Club’s Welfare Officer will advise the Committee on any possible changes to procedure which may avoid a similar occurrence.

Any other child protection issues should be directed to the Club’s Welfare Officer, whose details appear in the Club’s Handbook and on Hut noticeboards.

There is a requirement placed on the Club by its insurers that all allegations of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that could lead to a claim for damages are reported to them.  The Club’s Secretary must be informed of all such allegations so that this may be effected.

Adopted by The Rucksack Club Committee 24 November 2014.

Final paragraph added 09 July 2018.

The Rucksack Club Ltd – registered under the provisions of the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 – Register No 31191R