The Club Constitution


Society Constitution
Rules for track and lake activities

This is the second edition of the Constitution and Rules of the
St Albans & District Model Engineering Society

First edition published: July 2006.
Reprinted: January 2009.

Second edition published: October 2014. (With amendments to track and boating rules only)

Second edition to be reprinted: 2018 (With amendments to track rules only)




The Society shall be known as the “St. Albans & District Model Engineering Society”

The society shall exist to promote and further the advancement of all branches of model engineering and craftsmanship. To provide a forum for all individuals interested in the design, construction, operation and testing of engines, models, tools and other related artefacts.

(1) Full membership shall normally be available to all persons aged 18 and over on payment of an annual subscription.

(2) Junior membership shall normally be available to all persons under the age of eighteen on payment of an annual subscription. Members in this category are required to operate their models or related equipment under the supervision of a parent, guardian or responsible member of the society.

(3) Associate membership is open to the spouse or partner of full members on payment of an annual subscription.

N.B. Only one copy of the Gazette will normally be sent to a household.

(4) Honorary membership of the Society may be conferred on any individual at the discretion of the committee in recognition of outstanding service to the society. Honorary membership may be offered to individuals who are not existing members of the society if in the judgement of the committee that individual has provided significant support or service to the society. Honorary members are not required to pay an annual subscription.

Voting rights:
Only full members of the society who have paid the annual subscription are able to vote. Any Honorary member who chooses to pay a full annual subscription is also entitled to vote. All votes are based upon a simple majority with the Chairman having a casting vote in cases of a tied vote.

(1) The subscription rate for each class of membership shall be fixed at the extraordinary general meeting held immediately preceding the November general meeting. Senior citizens are full members but may pay a reduced subscription. Subscriptions shall then become due in the January of the following year.

(2) In the event of a person being in arrears for a period of three months that person shall be precluded from attending or taking part in any meeting or function of the society. They will then be regarded as having ceased to be a member of the society.

(5) In the event of any member suffering financial hardship and being unable to pay their subscription they may privately, and in confidence, inform the Honorary Treasurer of their situation. The Honorary Treasurer may agree to the subscription being paid in instalments or waived.

The society shall elect the following officers;

(a) Chairman, (b) Honorary Secretary, (c) Honorary Treasurer

(1) The government of the society shall be vested in an Executive Committee consisting of the officers of the society and five members representative of the various interests in the society. Officers and Committee members shall be elected at the Annual General meeting to serve for a period of two years. Normally the terms of office of half the committee will expire each year. Any committee member can stand for re-election providing they are correctly nominated and seconded.

(2) A quorum for committee meetings shall be five members to include two officers.

(3) The executive committee may co-opt any member to serve on the committee either to fill a vacancy or because they have special skills or knowledge which will assist in the work of the committee. Co-opted members have no voting rights at committee meetings and serve for a maximum of a year at a time.

(4) There shall be two auditors appointed by the Annual general meeting who shall not be members of the Executive Committee.

Duties of the Executive Committee:
(1) To conduct the affairs of the Society.

(2) To control the finances of the society and to ensure that adequate insurance cover is in place at all times.

(3) To appoint such sub committees as may be considered necessary.

Note: Sub committees shall normally be chaired by an executive committee member but can include ordinary members of the society. Sub committees are advisory to the executive committee and cannot make decisions in their own right. Sub committees will exist only for the duration of the task they have had delegated to them by the executive committee.

(4) To prepare a report on the years activities for submission to the annual general meeting.

(5) To further the interests of the society as a whole. (6) To uphold the rules and constitution of the society.
(7) To keep under review the objectives and constitution of the society and when necessary make proposals for change at either the Annual General Meeting, or an Extraordinary General Meeting.

(8) To ensure that the Society has an effective policy and codes of practice to ensure a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults, as required by the relevant child projection legislation.

The executive committee may;

(9) Appoint a membership secretary.

(10) Appoint an editor for the gazette.

(11) Appoint an exhibition manager.

Society Assets:
These shall be bought, used and disposed of at the direction and discretion of the executive committee.

Annual General Meeting:
The annual general meeting of the society shall be held during the month of April in each year for the following purposes:

(1) To receive the audited accounts of the society.

(2) To receive the executives committee’s report on the preceding year.

(3) To elect, from nominations received by the general meeting prior to the annual general meeting, the following:

(3.1) Officers of the society(3.2) Members of the executive committee

(4) To conduct any business brought before it.

Note 1, Nominations must be in writing, proposed, seconded and signed by the person being nominated. To be submitted to the Honorary Secretary no later than the end of the March meeting preceding the annual general meeting.

Note 2, There will be a paper ballot, conducted by two full members who are not
themselves standing for election.

Extraordinary General Meeting.
An extraordinary meeting of the society may be summoned by the Honorary Secretary at the request of the executive committee or not less than twelve full members of the society. At least fourteen days notice must be given by the secretary. The business of the meeting shall only be that stated on the notice convening the meeting.

Quorum for annual and extraordinary general meetings.
(1) A vote can only be taken at these meetings if there are twenty five percent of full members present.

(2) Any change to the constitution must be passed be a two thirds majority of those voting.

The society has a number of trophies which will be awarded annually according to the rules and conditions which are printed separately.

Annex (A) Policy Statement on Child Projection:
(Based upon the guidance issued by the Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies and the Model Power Boat Association). This policy and code of practice will be kept under periodic review.

1. The child’s welfare is paramount,

2. All children whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.

3. All suspicions and allegations of inappropriate behaviour will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.

4. As defined by the Children Act 1989, anyone under the age of 18 years should be considered as a child for the purposes of this document.

Guidance on caring for junior society members:
5. Junior members must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The level of supervision is to be commensurate with the junior’s age maturity, capabilities and levels of experience.

6. No senior member is expected to assume responsibility for junior members unless they have been specifically requested to do so by the junior member’s parent / guardian. If requested to do so, they are to assume complete responsibility for the junior member whilst they are in their charge.

7. Should a member discover a junior member is unsupervised they must assume responsibility for the junior member’s safety in the first instance. The situation should then be rectified as soon as possible by seeking out the junior member’s parent / guardian or nominated supervisor. Any instances of such an occurrence should be reported to the society secretary or designated official as soon as possible.

8. A junior member is usually defined as being under 18 years of age but particular care must be taken with the supervision of those juniors under the age of 14 years. A responsible adult is defined as a senior member or parent / guardian who has the experience commensurate with the type and degree of supervision required.

9. Whilst supervising junior members, senior members should be aware of the requirements of “The Children act (1989), and avoid placing themselves in a position that could be open to misinterpretation or question.

Code of Practice:
The following shall apply at the track, lakeside or any other venue where members are representing the Society:
(a) Do not be alone with children away from others.

(b) Do not photograph or video children, or publish pictures, without the knowledge and consent of their parents.

(c) Do not publish information, in print or on a website that may enable someone to contact the child.
(d) Except in emergencies or to prevent danger, avoid physical contact with children.

(e) Parents or guardians should be asked to lift children on and off rides, and where possible accompany them on the ride.

(f) When children are being carried at least two society members must be present in the station area in order to assist, if necessary, in the loading and unloading of children if their parent or guardian is not able to.

(g) Society members operating the track must be familiar with this code of practice.

(h) Clear and concise instructions should be announced before the commencement of each ride.

(i) If a child puts itself in danger by, for example, attempting to touch equipment, being in a hazardous position adjacent to miniature railways or road locomotives or running alongside them or adjacent to model boats, their parents must be advised. The potential dangers should be pointed out and the parent or guardian asked to supervise the child appropriately.

(j) If children enter an operating area they should be instructed to leave and their parent or guardian advised of the reason for the instruction.

(k) In the event of distress or injury the parent or guardian must take the initiative to console and administer initial treatment.

(l) Nothing above should preclude a member from taking timely action to prevent an accident or injury or to act to treat life threatening injury.

(m) Never let allegations a child makes go unchallenged or unrecorded, if an allegation is made against a member of the society this must be reported immediately to the secretary, or appointed officer of the committee.



One of the benefits of Society membership is insurance cover whilst using the Puffing Field track at Chipperfield. Naturally this cover is provided only on condition that safety standards are always maintained. The Society has written the following rules to promote safe use of the track and ensure that we endeavour to meet insurance requirements. Members are reminded that failure to adhere to these rules will render you uninsured.

General Rules:
1.1 There shall always be at least two persons over 18 years of age present when the track is in use.

1.2 A Track Marshal approved by the committee shall be appointed to be in charge at every running session to ensure that all procedures laid down in the rules are followed. The Track Marshal shall be a member of the Society who is familiar with these rules and with the safe operation of miniature steam and electric locomotives.

1.3 A ‘Running Record Book’ shall be kept to include all dates when persons are running, names of all drivers and their locomotives, and details of boiler certificates relating to steam locomotives running on the track.

1.4 Details of any accident must be entered in the Accident Record Book and the HonorarySecretary notified.

1.5 The site of the nearest telephone should be ascertained. [If a mobile phone is used the reception should be checked]

General Site Rules:
2.1 All vehicles entering the site shall be driven and parked carefully.

2.2 Parents and guardians shall keep their children under control at all times and in all places on the site.

2.3 Spectators should keep clear and be aware of moving trains.

2.4 A suitable First Aid kit shall be available as per HSE.

2.5 All locomotives shall be transferred from vehicles to the track only via the steaming bays beside the loading ramp. Carrying of any locomotive up or down the steps in the station is not permitted.

2.6 Fire buckets shall be placed around the track when running during the summer months and at any other times when the ground conditions are tinder dry.

2.7 People working on the site are advised to wear gloves and appropriate eye protection when using machinery, power tools, etc.

Steaming Bay Rules:
3.1 On arrival locomotive drivers should report to the Track Marshal and obtain a time for running their loco. If a steaming bay is available for you to run you may unload your locomotive. (Small locomotives may share a steaming bay by arrangement with other members)

3.2 Park your vehicle alongside the steaming bays and unload using the trolley provided. Please immediately remove your vehicle to the main car park when unloading is completed.

3.3 When steam raising is complete obtain permission from the Track Marshal to move your loco onto the track and commence running. Drivers shall record the time they take to the track in the Running Record Book. In busy periods when locos are waiting to raise steam members should run for no more than one hour in order to allow others to have a run.

3.4 Before joining the track a signal must be given to stop all locos already on the track just short of the steaming bays whilst you place your loco on the track using the trolley provided.
(Remember to signal all clear when transfer is completed)

3.5 When you finish your run ensure a signal is used to stop locos on the track and transfer your loco to a vacant steaming bay using the trolley provided. (Remember to signal all clear when transfer is completed)

3.6 Please ensure all ash and cinders are placed in the bin provided and not just emptied onto the floor. If others are waiting to raise steam please vacate the steaming bay as soon as you can.

Running Rules:
4.1 The track and the surrounding area shall be examined and a Safety Checklist completed by the Track Marshal before running commences.

4.2 No steam locomotive will be allowed on the track without a valid boiler certificate.

4.3 Passenger and driving trucks should be inspected before being used.

4.4 It is the responsibility of the owner/drivers of the locomotives to see that they are safe and in good running order. Note that the Track Marshal may prohibit a locomotive from running if he/she considers it is not safe. This especially applies to coupling arrangements between the locomotive and driving/passenger trucks.

4.5 All trains, of whatever length, must display a red light on their rearmost point (bicycle type LED rear lights are suitable).

4.6 Locomotives shall only run in a clockwise direction.

4.7 No more than four locomotives shall be on the track at the same time.

4.8 Drivers under 16 years of age shall always be supervised by an adult over the age of 18 years riding with them.

4.9 Drivers shall keep a good look out ahead at all times and drive in a manner so as to not make contact with the preceding train/locomotive whether the preceding train/locomotive is moving or stationary. Special care shall be taken when running through the tunnel and rounding curves with a restricted forward view.

4.10 Drivers shall obey track-side signals at all times when the signalling system is in operation.

4.11 Drivers may only haul passengers if they have passed as qualified to do so under a Society driver approval scheme. Until such time as that scheme is set in place drivers may haul passengers with the prior approval of the Society committee or the approval of the Track Marshal on the day.
No person under the age of 16 years is allowed to drive with passengers other than an adult supervisor.

4.12 Locomotives used for passenger hauling shall have either a spark arrester or a chimney blast deflecting device fitted to protect passengers from falling sparks and cinders.

4.13 The driver shall be responsible for instructing any passengers to behave in a safe manner.

4.14 If train consists of more than one passenger car a Guard shall ride at the rear.

End of Session:
5.1 At the end of the session the Track Marshal shall check the following before leaving:

Running, Accident and Visitor record books returned to shed; Passenger car seat pads put away in shed;
Fire buckets returned to shed (may be left full of water);
Passenger cars pushed into tunnel and tunnel gates locked at both ends;
Water tower valve turned off, valve handle and hose removed and put in shed; Check that all hot ashes have been put in the ash bin;
Steaming bay transfer trolley returned to its shed and door locked; Keys have all been returned to the usual place in the shed;

5.2 Ensure that the main entrance gate is locked when the last person leaves.


1. Society members must protect the ends of transmitter aerials with either a foam ball or a plastic practice golf ball. Users of 2.4 GHz transmitters are excepted.

2. Boats must not exceed the speed limit of 12 miles per hour. (the only exception being the MPBA organised hydroplane events on the large lake where separate arrangements apply)

3. No steam boiler or refillable gas tank to be used unless they have a valid up to date test certificate.

4. Boilers and refillable gas tanks will be inspected to the standards set by the Model PowerBoat Association and the Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies.

5. Steam boats must be fitted with oil separators and used oil must not be disposed of within the park.

6. To reduce the risk from water borne diseases members should minimise contact with lake water and wash hands after immersion. Members are advised to bring water or use the local toilet facilities for washing hands, especially when eating or drinking by the lake side.

7. When driving cars to the lake side, hazard warning lights must be used and a maximum speed limit of 5 miles per hour observed.

8. Society members must respect wildlife on the lake at all times. In particular, boats shall be kept at such a distance from any nesting birds that they are not disturbed.

© St Albans & District Model Engineering Society, 2018