AGM, and Projects Presentations – Thursday 13 February 2020

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on Thursday 13 February 2020, and will be preceded by presentations of society and members’ projects, starting at 7:30 pm.


Westbury-sub-Mendip dig 2019 – Heather Greenwood
2019 Newton Park investigations and excavations – Chris Davies
The Search for Little Chalfield Chapel – Rob Arkell
Roundup of the year’s geophysics – John Oswin

Non-members are welcome to attend the talks part of the meeting.


This will be an important meeting as we will be considering the constitution and rules for BACAS’s conversion to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). More information is provided below.

You may download copies of last year’s AGM minutes, the Special General Meeting minutes, and the calling notice and agenda for this year. There are also copies of the draft Constitution and Rules for the CIO.

Officers will be elected, There is a vacancy for Director of Operations. All other Officers and Members of the Committee are standing for re-election to their current posts. Volunteers are sought to edit Camertonia, run the website and social media. If anyone is interested in any of these posts, please contact the Secretary,

The ‘Clive Peacock Memorial Award‘ will be presented. This is an annual award, given in memory of Clive Peacock, to the nominated member who is considered to have made the most important contribution to the Society during the previous year. Nominees for the award must be proposed and seconded by fully paid up members of the Society. Please send details of the nominee and reasons for nomination to the Secretary,, before 5pm on Friday 31st January 2020 for the final Committee decision.

Conversion to a CIO

You will remember that in October last year we had a Special General Meeting which decided to convert BACAS into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. We are now ready to take the next steps at the AGM.

BACAS Chair, Henry Lowe, explains the background:

“At one of our committee meetings earlier in the year we were all surprised and a little worried to hear of an incident which had happened to an archaeological group similar to ours. It concerned an insurance claim for a project over two years earlier.  It prompted us to consider problems which might arise in our relations with other groups and on sites where members are representing BACAS, and it reinforced to us the need to maintain good records and procedures with our site work. It also brought home the responsibility the Trustees bear for the good operation of the Society.  Measures and procedures are in place to ensure the Society complies with regulations, as well as best practice, nevertheless, Trustees of the Society bear unlimited liability for errors or accidents that may occur beyond their control, as well as for financial failings.  This seems unreasonable to the Trustees.

“In the past, to limit liability, the only alternative was to become a company, albeit charitable.  Fortunately a new structure for charities such as ours was developed a few years ago by the Charity Commission, and many organisations have switched to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The Trustees decided that this format would suit our activities and provide benefits which the current constitution does not.  It will limit liability and also allow the society to enter agreements in its own right. The membership backed this proposal at the SGM in October.

“We have received advice from a local CIO – Bath and North East Somerset Third Sector Group  (3SG –, and I have also spoken to Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeological Group ( who converted to a CIO a number of years ago for the same reasons as mentioned above.  They highly recommended the new structure.  For more information about this please look at the Government website (”

The next step is to vote on a draft constitution and submit it to the Charity Commission for approval. We have to meet all the legal requirements and the Charity Commission provides templates to help. We have followed this and produced a draft. It is, unfortunately, long – 16 pages. Also, by law, it will require a 75% majority to change it once adopted. So we have also created a separate Rules document to include all the things that the Constitution doesn’t cover and will require a simple majority for changes. Finally, there is a ‘vesting motion’ to transfer all our assets to the new BACAS once approved.

We appreciate that this is a complex process. If you have any questions please address them to the Secretary, John Richards,, who will endeavour to answer them.

Non-members are welcome to attend the talks part of the meeting.

Copies of the Agenda will be circulated to members.

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN.  Admission charge of £4 for members (on display of a current BACAS membership card), and £5 for the general public. Pay on the door.
Photo by Ad Meskens – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,