About

The NCMD is governed by a constitution that is a legally binding document. It was created by Norman Palmer QC for the organisation in 1995 and implemented that year. Over the years, that constitution has enabled the NCMD to work as a dedicated group of unpaid volunteers and the longest serving member is John Wells of the Midland Region. Click HERE to view and download a copy of the constitution. 

Clause 3 of the constitution states 'To safeguard the interests of Regions, any detecting club applying to join the NCMD through the Membership or General Secretary, should be joined through the appropriate Regional organisation if accepted by that Region. The Central Register should only be chosen if the club is located in an area not covered by a Region or specifically wishes not to be joined through a Region.'

 

For some past years the NCMD advertising for the regions has not outlined the membership options. Only the Central register and Scottish region have been shown in adverts included within Digging Deep, in the Treasure Hunting Magazine and on the NCMD web site as the only two options for membership. Click HERE to view this form.  The membership secretary had not adhered to clause 3, and the result is that a large majority of the membership were not informed of the regions and that whole clubs were inducted within what is termed as the 'Central register.' This was not the intention of creating a Central register, thus depriving members of local support and amenities enjoyed by regional members.

Unlike the clubs in the regions, they are rarely, if at all contacted and therefore have little or no actual voice at NCMD council meetings. The four regions have on numerous occasions pointed this out but their efforts to rectify this have been ignored. When a member joins the NCMD (or renews their membership) which costs at present (September 2021) £8. By joining through the Central register all of that membership fee goes to a central fund.

 

When a member joins through a region, the region can keep £2 towards regional expenditure: such as the hire of rooms for meetings, to fund rallies, lectures, donations to charities etc. This inequality of advertising has meant the membership of the regions has been greatly reduced along with their income and ability to represent their clubs and individual members.

The result of this inequality means the NCMD funds has increased and presently are in excess of £300,000, whereas the regions' membership numbers and income have been decreased considerably. One can only assume that this is a deliberate act in order to downgrade the regions and strengthen those whose views are that the regions are unnecessary and a barrier to personnel agendas.

Over the years, NCMD council meetings had taken place at a reasonably central location in Northampton.

 

The government stated that the 31st January 2020 was the arrival date of Covid 19 pandemic in the UK. The lock down rules were unpredictable and didn't end until the 19th July 2021

Neither the hobby nor the NCMD were under any external threats throughout the pandemic.

 

On the 9th February 2020 the final face-to-face meeting of the NCMD Council was held at Northampton, prior to the lockdown restrictions and government guidelines that prevented normal meetings taking place. You need to note from the minutes that the position of General Secretary was vacant, and the role of General Secretary was discussed in detail. It was agreed that an updated definition of roles was required specifically for the General Secretary, Membership Secretary and newly Co-opted Officers and that this should be added to the agenda for the AGM in June. The minutes of that meeting can be viewed by clicking HERE.

 

On the 7th April 2020 Alastair Hackett (NCMD President) and Clive Coleman (the Chairman at that time) came to a decision and made an agreement with all Executive Committee members that there would be no email, zoom, or Skype meetings, and everything should simply be stopped on the 21st June 2020 and restarted at the agreed AGM date in November 2020. It was hoped that by November 2020 things would have improved, but of course we all now know they didn’t improve. However, that binding agreement was never rescinded due to the continuation of the pandemic. Click HERE for further information.

This agreement by all Executive Committee members is the reason why the four regions refused to take notice of email exchanges and or take part in any zoom meetings.

Between the meetings held on 9th February 2020, and 22th June 2020 Kevin Gorman assumed the role of General Secretary as defined in the constitution. Clause 9 of the constitution describes the role as ‘This Officer has, as a primary responsibility at the direction of the Chair, the task of ensuring the presentation to the Executive Committee of the order of business (agenda) for any Executive Committee meeting, the provision of any documents or papers relevant thereto, and the accurate recording and keeping of minutes for those meetings.’ The constitution clearly states that officers can only be ratified into permanent positions when an AGM is held. Kevin Gorman exceeded his authority as defined in the constitution by issuing emails regarding changes to the constitution, and changes to the NCMD banking procedures, despite the fact that the security of the finances had been long established and served to protect the membership funds with two signatures. The changes now involved only one signature and Internet banking. All of this was done despite the agreement between all Executive Committee members on the 7th April 2020 regarding any use of emails, zoom, or Skype until the November meeting, pandemic permitting. The four regions, strongly opposed these changes as these were the result of email exchanges and challenged these proposals at what was termed a Virtual meeting held between 22nd and 30th June 2020. These written objections were ignored. Click HERE to view the minutes of that meeting.

It is important to note that Kevin Gorman had not been proposed or elected to the role of General Secretary until this meeting where he is clearly shown merely as a delegate. He was reminded several times of his position and was not ratified as the General Secretary until a zoom Virtual AGM meeting held on the 27th June 2021 at which the four regions were not present.

It should now be clear that the pandemic presented an opportunity for a small group of individuals, mainly from the Scottish and North West Regions led by Kevin Gorman, to ignore the constitution and agreements made by the Executive Committee members and to implement their own personal agendas at an unprecedented time in the history of the NCMD. Despite the four regions informing Alastair Hackett and the other officers of their disquiet and concerns of the breaches of the constitution, these were ignored and Kevin Gorman was supported. One only has to assume that the officers were in agreement with all of the actions undertaken by Kevin Gorman. How else would he have got away with them? The guardianship of the constitution has always been the responsibility of the President of the NCMD, currently Alastair Hackett.  

​A further exchange of emails took place between 21st and 26th August 2020 instigated by Kevin Gorman, and these formed the contents of another Virtual EGM meeting. Despite objections from the four regions, who felt obliged to offer advice and suggestions for the benefit of the NCMD, at no time did the four regions understand that this would obligate them to changes to the constitution or to the status quo. Click HERE to view the minutes.

In addition, there are other quite serious concerns regarding the NCMD accounts that for several past years had required a thorough and detailed audit. The copies of all accounts and paperwork used to create these has been requested on numerous occasions and have not been provided to Executive Committee members. The officers of four regions have been trying their best to represent their regions and now faced hostility and criticism, in which they are accused of making malicious threats. These accusations are untrue. This has resulted in the officers of the four regions being excluded and the honorary President John Wells, Chairman of the Midland Region being formally expelled. The Chairman and Secretary of the Western Region have also been expelled. These unprecedented actions are as a result of genuine concerns and criticisms from the four regions that would normally have been listened to and accepted. This is now not the case as the constitution is no longer being abided by. 

Now click the TIMELINE HERE or at the top of the page