The Rough-Stuff Fellowship Limited is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, Number 4127423. The registered address is Pinecroft, Lodge Lane, Chalfont St. Giles, HP8 4AQ.
Our rules are called the Memorandum and Articles, and they govern the way the Fellowship operates.
The members of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship voted to incorporate as a company in 2000, and in effect became The Rough-Stuff Fellowship Limited as of 1 January 2001. We still use the name The Rough-Stuff Fellowship for normal purposes. The reason for incorporation is to provide a layer of legal protection to the volunteers who administrate the Fellowship, in addition to our insurance policy. When we were an unincorporated association, the officials (and other members) of the Fellowship were potentially liable for uninsured losses of the Fellowship, however caused. Some officials were unhappy about this risk, given our increasingly litigious society, and it was reducing the number of people willing to volunteer. However, members will be reassured to know that limited liability status is not blanket protection for irresponsible administrators.
A company limited by guarantee is, by law, a non-profit organisation. We have no shareholders. To comply with the law, our rules provide that we do not pay dividends or otherwise make distributions of profit. Even if we close down, we must bequeath any remaining assets to a similar organisation or to a charity. You can find the full Articles Of Association document here
In order to obtain this status, the members of the company have to make a guarantee in the event of the company's insolvency. This is the token sum of one pound mentioned on the application form. Prospective members will be comforted to know that the company has no borrowings and has, through the generosity of members past and present, some reserves to see us through difficult times.
We all know that cycling is an activity where from time to time people get injured or worse. The Fellowship has an "organiser's liability insurance" which covers the Fellowship's negligence in organising events, albeit only the cycling aspect of the events. Indeed, it only seems responsible that if a person should be injured or damaged through the Fellowship's negligence in arranging an event, then they should be protected by an insurance policy.
The Fellowship's insurance policy does NOT cover members or other persons against accidents that are their own fault, the fault of persons acting on their own part, or pure accidents. Responsible cyclists will take out a third party insurance policy, which covers them against claims from other riders and other persons. How would you feel if you made a misjudgement which caused your fellow cyclist to be injured in a crash, and you did not have the insurance to compensate for their injury? Most members obtain their third-party cycling insurance by joining Cycling UK. Sometimes it is available through a household insurance policy. If you are concerned about obtaining no-fault compensation for yourself in the event of an accident, then a variety of personal injury policies are available on the market.
The President and three Vice-Presidents are the spiritual leaders of the Fellowship. The highest authority in the Rough-Stuff Fellowship are the members themselves, exercised at the Annual General Meeting. The AGM generally takes place on Easter Saturday during our Easter Meet, the biggest event on our calendar. Acting under the members' instructions, the Directors are the next level of responsibility, and any major decisions during the year will be taken by the Directors. There are currently three Directors.
The everyday administration of the Fellowship is through the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee usually has a weekend meeting in the autumn, to which all members are cordially invited, whether they wish to ride their bicycles, or to join us in full and frank discussions about club issues. The Executive Committee is also responsible for membership matters, and for advising the Directors. We also are exceptionally grateful to a number of other non-executive officials, who carry out all sorts of valuable jobs for us, like running this website, arranging our journal advertisers, and providing our library service.