1. Name

The name of the Society shall be The Hitchin Historical Society (hereinafter called “the Society”).

2. Objectives

The objects of the Society are

  1. to inform the public of the history of Hitchin and its environs
  2. to undertake research into the buildings, people, organisations, crafts, trades, and other aspects of historical interest
  3. to publish the results of such research
  4. to inform members and others of matters likely to impact the historic character of the town.

3. Powers

In furtherance of the foregoing objectives the Society shall, consistent with its status as a registered charity, have the following powers:

  1. to arrange or organise lectures and short courses, exhibitions and visits to places of historical or architectural interest;
  2. to publish material related to the objectives of the Society, in printed, electronic or other format;
  3. to work with appropriate authorities in the furtherance of the Society’s objectives;
  4. to co-operate with other organisations in matters of mutual interest;
  5. to co-operate with other local history societies in matters of mutual interest;
  6. to do all other lawful things necessary to advance the Society’s objectives.

4. Membership and Subscriptions

Membership of the Society shall be available to any person completing the appropriate application form (which should be sent to the Membership Secretary) and paying such annual subscription as shall from time to time be determined by the Committee.

Subscriptions shall become due on 1st January in every year. The elected Committee of the Society shall have the right to refuse membership as it sees fit, without explanation.

5. Committee

The Committee shall consist of three Officers, up to ten other members of the Society and up to three co-opted members. The Quorum for a Committee meeting shall be five, not including co-opted members. There shall be at least six committee meetings each year.  All meetings of the Committee shall be minuted, such minutes being available for examination, on request, by any member of the Society.

  1. Officers

    The Officers shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall all be appointed each year from the membership of the Society by the Annual General Meeting, or by an Extraordinary General Meeting.

  2. Other elected Committee members

    In addition to the Officers, there shall be up to ten other Committee members elected from the membership of the Society by the Annual General Meeting, or by an Extraordinary General Meeting. These Committee members shall present themselves for re-election after a period not exceeding three years.

  3. Nominations

    Nominations for Officers and other elected Committee members shall be submitted in writing (including by electronic means) to the Secretary not later than seven days before an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting.  Nomination forms, available from the Secretary or distributed with the notice of Annual General Meeting, shall be completed by proposer, seconder and the nominee.

  4. Co-opted Committee members

    The Committee may co-opt additional members of the Society to the Committee. There shall be no more than three co-opted members at any time. These co-opted members shall have no voting rights at Committee meetings.

  5. Other Society members attending Committee meetings

    The Society President shall have the right to attend, without voting rights, any Committee meeting.  The Committee may agree, by minute, to invite any other member of the Society to attend a Committee meeting, such members having no voting rights.

6. Presidents and Vice-Presidents

The Society may appoint a President at the Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting called for that purpose, 21 days’ notice being given to members. The position of President shall be honorary only, and confer no extraordinary privileges or powers. Past Chairmen shall be designated Vice-Presidents, and be exempt from the Annual Subscription for as long as they remain members of the Society. Vice Presidents shall receive no other extraordinary privileges or powers.

7. Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting shall be held during March of each year. Notice of this meeting shall be given not less than 21 days’ previously and shall be accompanied by the Annual Report and by the Statement of Accounts. In addition to the appointment of officers, the election of the Committee, and the appointment of a President, the business to be transacted at the Annual General Meeting shall include:

  1. the reception of the Annual Report which shall be prepared and submitted by the Committee;
  2. the reception of the examined Statement of Accounts;
  3. the appointment of an Examiner of Accounts who shall not be a member of the Committee.

8. Extraordinary General Meetings

An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened by resolution of the Committee or by demand of one third of the members. Notice of this meeting shall be given not less than 21 days previously.

9. Financial Year

The Society’s financial year shall run from 1st January to 31st December. The Treasurer shall maintain financial accounts in accordance with the requirements of currently applicable practice and legislation.

10. Funds

All sums received by the Society shall be passed to the Treasurer who shall pay the same into a bank account in the name of the Society. Cheques shall be signed by two persons so authorised by the Committee. The Treasurer may hold a reasonable amount of petty cash as appropriate.

11. Investment and Property

The Committee shall invest, in the name of the Society, all monies not required for the immediate purpose of the Society, in any of the securities which may by law be invested, with power from time to time to transpose such investments.

12. Dissolution

The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of those present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which 21 days’ notice shall be given to the Members. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of, the Society, provided that if any assets remain after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such assets shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Society but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objectives similar to some or all of the objectives of the Society, as the Society may with the approval of the Charity Commissioners determine.

13. Amendments to this Constitution

Amendments to the Constitution shall be made only at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting called for that purpose, 21 days’ notice being given to members. No amendment to the objectives clause, dissolution clause or this clause shall be made and no alterations shall be made which would cause the Society to cease to be a charity at law.

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[Constitution last updated at the Annual General Meeting held on 24 March 2022]