LUPTS history: running the Society 

As a condition of being granted ‘B’ society status, LUPTS was required to lodge its constitution with Guild.  In the early years, the requirements for the content of the constitution were fairly bland but by May 1965, a constitution which reflected the aims and ambitions of the Society was in existence.   It begins:


“1    The name of the Society shall be ‘The Liverpool University Public Transport Society’.

2      The aims of the Society shall be:

(i)       To further interest within the University of Liverpool in public transport in all its forms.

(ii)       To provide facilities whereby members of the University of Liverpool, being interested in public transport, may meet together regularly.

(iii)       To arrange such meetings and visits as are consistent with the aforementioned aims.”


In the late 1960s, there was much discussion about 2(i), the grass roots feeling being that ‘public transport’ was too restrictive and might exclude interest in the fields of industrial freight etc, although such activities had been part of LUPTS since the earliest days.   However, it was decided to make a change and to 2(i) was added:


“In addition to public transport, the Society shall be free to concern itself with any other forms of transport as may from time to time interest its members.”


Two years later, the aims were tidied up for one last time:


“2       SOCIETY AIMS: The Aims of the Society shall be to further interest, within the University of Liverpool, in transport in all its forms, and to provide regular meetings and visits.”


The original constitution provided for the large, cumbersome Committee described earlier.   It was subsequently decided to replace this with a small Committee consisting of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and General Representative Secretary, whose duties included producing the regular Journal as well as organising meetings and visits.   The latter post also ceased to exist in the mid 1960s, the Secretary assuming full responsibility for arranging meetings and visits, with the Journal becoming the responsibility of a coopted Journal Editor. 

Ian McLaughlin, in the mid 1970s, produced a somewhat draconian code of conduct for Committee members, from which the following is extracted:


Chairman: Responsible for the reputation of the society and the initiation of meetings - included in which was the guidance of meetings, keeping of “law and order” at same, ensuring efficient execution of committee business and, for the benefit of visiting speakers, the prevention of long boring meetings and talking during talks.


Secretary: Responsible for arranging meetings and visits - duties under which, including meeting speakers and making sure that conditions were met on visits, were aimed, for a large part, at giving a “good impression of the society”.


Treasurer: Responsible for society finances, annual grant, speakers’ expenses and booking of the minibus as well as the keeping of the minutes (should no Minutes Secretary be appointed) as a “true and accurate record of what was said at meetings (whether accurate or not)”.


A table of the principal committee members between 1958 and 1991 appears in a table at the end of this booklet. 

In the early days the society published a journal once a term but by the mid 1960s this had been reduced to once a year.   Early Journals were quarto in format with duplicated typewritten pages.   Occasionally photographs were used, these being prints, hand produced and inserted into the entire print run.   Later annual Journals were initially A4 in format and of progressively higher quality as reproduction techniques and finances permitted.   Andy Babbs, as Journal Editor for 1977/78, changed the format to A5 and this format remained until the final LUPTS Journal was produced in 1989. 

Articles included took a variety of forms: informative, newsworthy and occasionally satirical.   Jonathan Cadwallader’s six part series “A Notional Bus Company”, which ran from 1980-86, included some none too subtle references to the majority of people involved with LUPTS over that period. 

After the financial disaster of ‘The Wirral and Mersey Special’ (see later) LUPTS decided to enter the world of mainstream publishing.   Ian Young wrote two books which sold extremely well and provided sufficient income to replace that withheld by Guild.   The two books, The register of industrial locomotives: South Lancashire and North Cheshire (cover price 3 shillings (15p)) and The locomotives of Peckett and Sons, are now extremely rare.   The Peckett book was produced using a Gestetner machine in the back of a dentist’s in Allerton.   Alan Atkinson was responsible for all the typing, principally a series of tables, on a portable typewriter with no tab key.   In respect of these two publications, LUPTS warrants a mention in the HMSO’s Bibliography of British railway history. 

With a few exceptions, the Committee was elected at an Annual General Meeting, which was required by both Guild and by the constitution of the Society.   As well as the Committee posts mentioned above, the members also confirmed the appointment of a President.   It is remarkable that, in its 31 years of existence, LUPTS only ever had three Presidents.   Allan Patmore was the longest serving, being in post from the inception of the Society until he left Liverpool to take up a post at Hull University in 1973.   He was replaced as President by Alan Atkinson, who had held several Committee posts in his student days.   When Alan left the Liverpool area in 1985, Jonathan Cadwallader took over as President.   Like Alan, Jonathan had held a number of Committee posts and steered the Society through its difficult final years. 

The roles of Honorary Vice Presidents changed over the years.   Originally envisaged as a mark of recognition of services to the Society, the position was somewhat diluted over the years.   By 1971 there were about a dozen HVPs but from 1974 onwards their ranks were added to at a rate of up to four a year.   By the late 80s, the Society had more HVPs than paid up members.   A table at the end of this booklet lists all known LUPTS HVPs and their dates of election.   LUPTS also had three Honorary Members, a status which was conferred on them as a mark of their particular efforts on behalf of the Society.   They were: Chris Knowles (elected 1978), Andy Lowe (1984) and David Armstrong (1985). 

As mentioned before, the big advantage of the grant of ‘B’ society status at the end of 1959 was the fact that the Society could claim a grant from Guild with which to pursue its activities.   The Guild rules which applied at the time of LUPTS achieving ‘B’ status allowed for the paying out of a grant on a per capita basis.   For the first 30 members, the minimum number required for a ‘B’ society, Guild would pay 2/6 (12½p) per head.   For members between 31 and 150, the per capita grant was 1/6 (7½p), whilst for those in excess of 150 the grand sum of 6d (2½p) per head was payable.   Additional grants were payable for specific purposes. 

It would appear that, for some reason, LUPTS did not receive its first grant until the academic year 1961/62.   The grant rates had not changed, in those pre inflationary times, so LUPTS applied for, and received, a grant of £3/16/6 (£3.82½) in respect of its then membership.   In addition, it applied for the sum of £5 with which to buy a screen although it didn’t receive this money until the following year. 

By 1962/63, the Guild was significantly more generous with its money and gave LUPTS a £12 per capita grant and a further £15 block grant.   By 1963/64 the per capita idea had been dropped and all the grant was paid out in block form.   £10 was awarded to allow the Society to buy some projector bulbs, hire some films and subsidise activities. 

Over the years, the amount of grant increased significantly.   By the 1980s the Society was receiving over £200 a year although this was slightly more generous than it sounded.   Both of the projectors which LUPTS had once owned had long since disappeared and the procedure was that one was hired from Guild’s Technical Committee at an exorbitant rate.   It’s amazing how generous Guild could be when it was merely circulating the money round within its own accounts. 

The final amendment to the LUPTS constitution occurred in 1985 when it was changed to allow the subsequent withdrawal of a HVP status once it had been granted.   This was aimed at one particular individual on account of his increasingly erratic behaviour.


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Last updated: 04 March 2002

© Charles Roberts/LUPTS 2001/2002

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