Not so Frequently Asked Questions

Club meets

Q. Is it possible for me to get a particular walk or hut added to the Meets List?
A. Yes. We are keen to let the members come up with options that they want. Just let any committee member know and we’ll try and fit it into the Meets list.

Q. How are the club meets decided upon?
A. The Meets List is a communal endeavour – there will be a few trip organisation meetings throughout the year which all Club members can attend. In between those, contact the committee, who will take requests into account. Trip organisers tend to book the accommodation – in the case of huts and bunkhouses, these are usually run past the rest of the committee before being confirmed.

Q. How is it decided where we will go for club meets?
A. Throughout the year we will try to cover most mountain areas of the UK, one or two trips abroad, and also include coastal or moorland areas (e.g. Cornwall, Dartmoor) which although not mountains per se, offer a good choice of outdoor activities.

Q. Why are most of the meets over a weekend and not just single day walks?
A. Because we’re a long way from any mountains! This gives members the chance to make the most of the area we’re going to, although it’s up to you when you arrive on and leave from trip weekends. There will also be single day walks added to the Meets List.

Q. What advantages are there to weekend ‘meets’?
A. How often have you woken up in the morning and can’t be bothered driving the 3 or 4 hours to the start of the walk? By staying over you can drive up the night before, chill out and get an early start to the day. Also how many times have you sat in the pub after coming off the hill and said to yourself, “I can’t be bothered driving home now. I wish I could sit here all night”. Yup, we’ve all been there!! This way you can relax, down a few beers and have a good social night out.

Q. How can I ensure I get my name down for one of the meets?
A. Contact the trip organiser (listed on the Meets List) to put your name down. In most cases this won’t be a problem, especially on summer camping trips. For huts/bunkhouse/Youth Hostel trips, your place is only confirmed when you pay the specified deposit. If a trip is full, it is sometimes possible to camp close by but this should be checked beforehand so as not to break the hut owners’ rules.

Q. What is the difference between a Club Hut and a Bunkhouse?
A. Club Huts are owned or leased by other clubs whereas Bunkhouses tend to be privately owned and often attached to pubs/hotels.

Q. How do I pay for a meet that I attend?
A. Obviously doing a day walk costs nothing but for accommodation where the Club has to pay in advance we would ask you to pay a deposit when you sign up, and the balance at the very latest when you are on the trip. Please be pro-active in paying as we’re all there to enjoy ourselves… even the committee!

Q. Who do I pay the money to?
A. In normal circumstances, the trip organiser will sort out the money. Alternatively, you can pay the Treasurer.

Q. What kind of behaviour is expected of the members on club ‘meets’?
A. Our main aim is for members to have a laugh and enjoy themselves. That being said it is important that we behave sensibly in any accommodation we book. It is more important in a Club Hut as any misbehaviour or damage caused will reflect on our club’s reputation.
In addition, we expect members to take sensible safety precautions in the hills; see the Tips and Info page for a few more helpful details.

Q. Who cleans up after us?
A. It is expected of any members staying in a hut or bunkhouse, where possible, to help in the cleaning and tidying up to return it to the condition we got it in. This will further enhance our reputation for the future with the owners.

Tuesday pub meets

Q. Why a Tuesday for the pub meets?
A. Ummm… tradition? It seems to be a good night to get most people along, and avoids weekends where we’d rather be out in the hills. The odd Friday night out might be organised to allow people to get together with no worries about work in the morning!!

Q. What goes on at the pub meets?
A. This gives the chance for members to ask questions, sign up for upcoming trips, make suggestions for walks etc. There is always a relaxed atmosphere, especially after the consumption of a few drinks!

Q. I find it hard to get to the Tuesday night meets. How else can I sign up for trips?
A. Trips are advertised on the Club website, and in emails sent out by the club. You can email the trip organiser direct (links provided in the emails).

Membership

Q. How do I become a member of the club?
A. Contact the Club Secretary, or just turn up on a Tuesday evening and introduce yourself! We recommend you come on a weekend trip before paying for full membership, just to check that NMC is for you.

Q. Have you ever had to refuse someone membership to the club?
A. No. We don’t vote members in; anyone over 18 is eligible to join.

Q. Do you offer family membership?
A. No. Newbury Mountain Club does not allow children (under eighteen) as members; that is as Individual Members or through family membership. However, we do allow children of members to attend club trips or events provided that they are supervised at all times.
On trips away from home involving an overnight stay (huts, bunkhouses, cottages, hostels and camping), the accommodation must have suitable sleeping accommodation for children and their families – suitable accommodation means sleeping arrangements that the parent(s) and the trip organiser are both happy with. This effectively rules out some huts and bunkhouses; unfortunate, but it is in accordance with the BMC Child Protection Policy.

Q. Why do I have to submit a membership form when joining?
A. This is so we have a note of your details and an emergency contact in the unfortunate circumstance of it being needed. Also we can pass the details onto the BMC to make your affiliated membership active.

Q. Why do I have to sign a liability clause in the membership form?
A. Although we are a recognised club, members should know they are responsible for their own safety. Hillwalking/mountaineering is a potentially dangerous sport. This liability clause has been included under the advice of the BMC to ensure members are aware of their responsibilities and there is no comeback whatsoever for the club.

Q. What if my circumstances change?
A. If you change home address, email, phone number, emergency contact etc let the Membership Secretary know as soon as possible so we can keep your details up to date.

Fees and finances

Q. How is the membership fee set?
A. This can be determined by a few things. The amount of our club affiliation to the BMC and by rising costs of booking club huts etc. We have managed in the last couple of years to keep this at a constant £20 per member. Subscriptions vary depending on the time of year and your circumstances:

  • New Members joining before 31 July: full annual subscription
  • New Members joining after 31 July: a percentage of the annual subscription
  • Renewal of Membership at any time during the year: full annual subscription

Q. I had to back out of a trip – why can’t I have my deposit back?
A. At the weekend a lot of clubs charge for the use of the whole hut as opposed to per person. The same is true of other accommodation – bunkhouses, and even some campsites in high season. We have to try our best to ensure that the meets don’t run at a loss – for this reason, if a member doesn’t turn up to a meet when they said they would, and it’s not possible to find somebody else to take their place, we would look to recoup at least part of the money from them.

Q. Is the club a profit making concern?
A. We are run as a non-profit making club. Any extras are kept for the overall benefit of members – for example, in previous years we have offered a discount in membership fees for members who rejoined the Club in January, and we have organised a number of Tuesday night talks.

Q. How come the club has a few hundred pounds excess sitting in the accounts?
A. To hire huts/bunkhouses etc it is nearly always necessary to pay a deposit. This ensures that there is enough of a float in the account to cover this. There are also small extra costs to be paid i.e. postage, webspace, domain name etc.

Q. Who is responsible for signing any cheques in the club’s name?
A. The Treasurer and Secretary are authorised signatories for the club. Any cheques signed in the club’s name must be signed by at least two of the committee.

Committee

Q. How is the committee voted on?
A. This is done at the AGM where everyone has a vote.

Q. What positions are on the committee?
A. There are 3 official posts (President, Secretary, Treasurer), and 3 other specific roles (Webmaster, Meets co-ordinator, and Membership co-ordinator).

Q. What are their roles?
A. The President is in the great position of not having any defined role but is a general overseer and runs the committee meetings.
The Secretary deals with correspondence to/from the BMC, keeps the club’s papers in order and is the first point of contact for new members.
The Treasurer runs the accounts for the club, liaising mostly with the Secretary, Webmaster, and trip organisers to make sure deposits and bills are paid and accounted for.
The Webmaster runs the website and maintains the club email account, from which newsletters and other pieces of info are sent out to club members.
The Meets co-ordinator runs the trip organisation meetings, maintains the meets list, and is the first point of contact for any members with ideas for trips outside the main meetings.
The Membership co-ordinator maintains the membership list, manages distribution of membership cards, and communicates with new members and the BMC via the Secretary.

Constitution

Q. How is the constitution decided upon?
A. The constitution has evolved over the years. We believe it best encapsulates what the club stands for and is set out for the benefit of members.

Q. Can changes be made to the constitution?
A. Changes can be made by contacting the committee who will review the request. Any agreed changes will normally come into effect at the AGM.

Photos

Q. How can I submit a photo to the website?
A. Just send it to the Webmaster.

Q. What size should the photos be?
A. To save time and work we ask that you use some photo editing software like Paint Shop Pro and resize the images to below 500kb.

Q. Why do I need to resize them?
A. Digital photos can be anything up to 5mb in size depending on the camera. If the pictures were put on the website at this size, it would grind to a halt when someone visits the Journal or Photo Gallery pages. By resizing the pictures yourself, it saves the Webmaster time by not having to do it. 500kb is a good size that still keeps the quality when you click on it to view a larger version.

Q. What photos will be put on the web?
A. We restrict this to organised club trips/socials. As with everything it takes time and effort to do the website and is done in our own time.

Q. Will all my photos be put on the web?
A. Probably but no guarantees. We may just pick a few of the best ones to keep the page interesting for others.

Links on the website

Q. Where do the links come from?
A. They are just a choice from some of the links that we know of.

Q. Can I recommend a link for the website?
A. Yes. All that we ask is that it’s relevant to hillwalking/mountaineering.

Q. Have the club ever been paid for a link to be added?
A. No. We are occasionally asked to add links to the website by companies but this is only done on merit if it’s deemed to be of worth to members.

My role in the club

Q. What is my role in being a member of the Club?
A. As with life, you only get out what you put in. Newbury Mountain Club is your club, so the more input you add, the more yourself and others will benefit from being a member. We, as a committee, actively seek your involvement if for no other reason than it makes our lives easier!