1   The Local Byelaws

1.1         Changes All Byelaws can be altered or rescinded at any time by the Club’s Committee or at a General Meeting.

1.2         Disclaimer The Club accepts no responsibility for personal injury to anyone participating in any Club activity. All participants in any Club activity, whether an official meeting or otherwise, do so on the understanding that neither the Club nor its Members (collectively or individually) shall accept responsibility for personal injury (fatal or otherwise) received as a result of its activities.

1.3         Safeguarding and Privacy The Bristol Exploration Club has a Safeguarding Policy and Data Protection Policy (Privacy Policy) and these, along with our rules, the Committee reviews regularly and may update from time to time to comply with current laws and legislation.

1.4         Under 18 Young persons (16-18 years) and children (under 16 years) whilst on trips or taking part in social activities must be in the care of their parent/guardian.

1.5         Club Meets Club Meets are those listed and compiled by the Caving Secretary (or their delegate) who secures relevant permits, accommodation, etc in advance. The Meets are publicised in the Belfry Bulletin/newsletter, email and/or on social media. The Caving Secretary shall have the right to refuse without prejudice any prospective participant from taking part. All other activities attended by Club Members are unofficial and are not regarded as Club Meets. The Caving Secretary will obtain any required permit if requested by the participants but will have no further responsibility. It is incumbent upon those attending any Meet or activity to act in a proper manner, comply with all Club Rules, BCA Insurance rules and landowner access requirements and to not bring the Club into disrepute.

1.6         Trips Members and Guests shall be responsible for writing their intended caving trip up on the notice board including an ETO. Whilst on the trip no rubbish is to be left in or around the cave and no damage should be done intentionally to formations. On returning the trip will be erased from the notice board before embarking on any other activity. Members should write up a report of each trip in the Club logbook.

1.7         Tackle Maintenance All Club tackle and equipment shall be examined and maintained on a regular basis and recorded by the Tackle Warden. Any tackle found to be defective must be taken out of service with immediate effect. Only Full Members may have loan of the tackle & must inspect it prior to use. Details of the Club procedure for signing-out, periodic testing, usage, storage, cleaning, drying, maintaining, and replacing are specified in Tackle Frequently Asked Questions.

1.8         Tackle Use The Bristol Exploration Club or any individual member thereof will not be held responsible for any accident caused through any fault in ladders, ropes, or any other cause whatsoever whilst the person concerned is taking part in any activity organised by The Bristol Exploration Club or its individual members.

1.9         Digging No excavations are to be undertaken in the name of The Bristol Exploration Club without approval from The Committee.

1.10     Committee Role The Committee shall be responsible for the purchase, maintenance, and control of Club property.

1.11     Membership Expiration The membership of any individual who fails to pay his annual subscription by 30th November following the AGM in October shall deem to have ceased.

1.12     Probationary Members – Probationary members have full rights except for the following:

  • limited access to the library.
  • they cannot propose or second a new membership application.

1.13     BCA Membership All members are required to pay BCA Insurance either via The Bristol Exploration Club or another club or as a Direct BCA member. If this is not collected by The Bristol Exploration Club, the member must inform the Membership Secretary of the method of payment.

1.13.1    Life and Honorary Membership shall pay sufficient subscription to cover the cost of BCA insurance.

1.14     Membership Discounts. On application to the Membership Secretary members may take advantage of a maximum of one of the following:

1.14.1    Joint Discount A discounted subscription rates is available to couples, both of which must be members, living in the same household. Members taking a Joint discount only receive one printed copy of bulletins, etc.

1.14.2    Student Discount Students can apply for a discounted rate on evidence of a Student Card issued by an educational establishment.

1.15     Conduct It is expected that the name of The Bristol Exploration Club be upheld. Any member whose behaviour falls short of this in so far as to bring disrepute upon the club or to cause endangerment or distress to other members and their guests and/or members of the public and their property shall be summoned to appear before the Committee to explain their actions. Following any such complaint, the Committee will act according to the Club Rules.

1.16     Complaints All formal complaints should be made promptly and addressed to the committee in writing. The complaint will then be dealt with at the next committee meeting.

1.17     Current Accounts The Club’s monies shall be deposited with such banks or building societies as the Committee decides and such accounts shall be operated by a minimum of three members as directed by the Committee: – two of these being the Treasurer and Secretary and additional suitable nominated Member(s).

1.18     Saving Accounts The Committee may also decide to open Reserve Account(s) which shall be operated by the minimum of 3 nominated members named above as directed by the Committee.

2   The Belfry Local Byelaws

2.1         Hut Warden The Hut Warden is appointed to control The Belfry and site and, in any dispute his/her decision is final. If the Hut Warden is not present at The Belfry, they will appoint either a Duty Officer or another Committee Member to act on their behalf. Any reference in this document to Hut Warden will also be deemed to refer to their representative.

2.2         Members use Any BEC Member can use the Belfry and stay there without the prior knowledge of the Hut Warden. Members are entitled to bring up to a maximum of two guests, but they should be accompanied, and they should pay the guest rate. If Members plan to bring more than two guests, they should book this through the Belfry Booking system.

2.3         Visitor Conduct Any member who brings or invites any visitor to The Belfry is responsible for the conduct of that visitor.

2.4         Signing in & Paying Members and guests staying at the Belfry must sign in on arrival. The Charges for Members and Guests staying in The Belfry or Camping in The Snake Pit are displayed in The Belfry Foyer or can be obtained from The Hut Warden. The Charges are applicable to all persons staying at The Belfry and must be paid promptly before departure, this also includes Day Fees.

2.5         Cleaning All Members and Guests are expected to do their fair share of cleaning before departing The Belfry.

2.6         Leaving The last person to leave The Belfry must ensure that services are turned off as appropriate, and that The Belfry is left in a secure condition in accordance with notices displayed and/or common sense.

2.7         Clean Areas Caving equipment and attire must be confined to The Belfry Changing Room.

2.8         Damage All damage to The Belfry must be reported to a Committee Member and repaired to a good standard or repairs paid for by the persons responsible.

2.9         Quiet Hours It is expected that between the hours of Midnight and 8am Members and Guests show consideration to those wishing to sleep. Members and Guests must sleep in the bunk room, not in the Lounge, Library or Attic

2.10     Young Persons Young persons (16-18 years old) may stay overnight in The Belfry but must always be in the care of their parent/guardian and stay in the same room as that person.

2.11     Children Children under 16 years are only permitted to sleep in The Belfry at the discretion of the Hut Warden when groups of members or guests are not present and must stay in the same room as their parent/guardian. At any other time, they may only camp in a designated camping area in the care of their parent/guardian and are only permitted to enter the Belfry after 9pm at the discretion of the Hut Warden.

2.12     Controlled Substances The use of ” Illegal Substances” in The Belfry and it grounds are prohibited.

2.13     Library The rules governing access to and the use of the Club library should be strictly adhered to.

2.14     Internet use Fair usage policy: use of the internet should be legal, fair, appropriate and in good taste. No viewing of illegal/offensive content or use of illegal file sharing networks.

2.15     BCA Insurance The use and occupation of the Belfry will be subject to the terms of the BCA Insurance Policy, Property Insurance Policy, Statute Laws (e.g., no smoking, fire safety).

2.16     Fireworks and Fire Safety Equipment No tampering with any fire safety equipment. No letting off fireworks inside the Belfry or any buildings on BEC land. Contravening this byelaw will be viewed as gross misconduct and will be treated accordingly by the committee.

3   Document Control

VersionDescriptionDateAuthor / Team
1.0Approved First Version01/08/2022Henry Bennett
Babs Price
Estelle Sandford
Tim Large
1.1added 2.16 – fireworks23/11/2022Babs Price

© 2024 Bristol Exploration Club Ltd

registered in England and Wales as a co-operative society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered no. 4934.