August '18

August '18

Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 25th July 2018 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield & the General Meeting in Byfield Village Hall’s Meeting Room (was Lower Annexe) on 7th August 2018

A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS: At the Tuesday 7th August Meeting Russ welcomed our Member Graham Pattenden, who was to speak later concluding his story about the life of Colonel Fred Barnaby. Russ apologised for the lack of numbers (only eight turned-up).

B. MATTERS ARISING: from previous Meeting’s Minutes:

B.1  Great Pilgrimage 2018 – GP90: Terry reported he had heard of some branch’s GP90 wreaths having names spelt incorrectly and had asked Bob to double check ours. At the 7th August Meeting Terry reported Bob said that all was OK with ours.

B.1.1 Bob has offered to prepare a debriefing on the visit for a future Branch meeting, date to be arranged.

B.1.2 Alan reported that it had been noticed at last week’s Standard Bearer training that Chris’ new holster needed a brass bucket insert, so he had ordered one to be delivered direct to Chris’ house.

At the 7th August Meeting, Russ reported that our two members departed as planned; County have asked that we notify them of their safe return, which Terry will do by text and e-mail as requested.

The official RBL Standard suppliers Newton Newton have offered to collect our Standard at the end of the ceremony in Ypres, transport it back to the UK, add the scroll ‘Ypres 2018’ and then post it back to the Branch for a cost of £95. This was accepted.

Graham said he had heard a brief reference on BBC Midlands today about GP90. No other news channel appears to have mentioned it. 

B.2 Twinning with NZ: Terry has found that the Brightlingsea, Essex RBL Branch have a close connection to New Zealand, as the Anzacs carried out much of their WW2 training in that area, and also have an Anzac Memorial situated there. He is also trying to contact them to establish the extent of their links to New Zealand with a view to offering a “triplicated” status.

B.3 100 years on from The First World War’s end - 11th November 2018: Russ pointed out that the provisional programme does not take the timings for the Church service into account, and that most Legion members will be at church, as will the Scouts, leaving help for setting up very light. A meeting will be held at the school on 26 July to plan more detail. Alan explained he had the Group 4 Band Concert decorations in his loft and will check with Terry to see if they will be of any use.

At the 7th August meeting, Terry reported that a planning meeting had been held on 26th July, with a further one scheduled for September 11th.

The provisional programme is in the current issue of Byfield Parish Magazine "The Byword", which Terry outlined for the members present.

He also announced that we have been successful in being allocated 5 silhouettes for the event which will be the Branch’s to keep. 

B.4 2018 B&DRBL Barbecue: This was reported to be once again a successful event, this year in glorious summer weather, assisted by a gentle cooling breeze. A profit of £410 was raised from ticket sales and the raffle, which will once more allow us to support The Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall, Shropshire. Russ explained that donations from Tim (neither he nor Lynne were charged for their tickets) and Russ himself topped up the total to round up the profit to £400; subsequently another tenner was received and added to the pot.

B.4.1 Russ commented that for the future, we needed a parasol with stand (Alan Has one) to shade the table placed by the side of the house. Russ again thanked Joy and her family for their hospitality and help in setting up.

B.5 Alternative Tuesday Venues: Russ explained that he agreed with the general opinion that neither the Royal Oak nor the Griffin were suitable for meetings when speakers were present, both venues being too cramped. He had found that virtually all the obvious venues had regular Tuesday bookings and therefore needed to spread the search a little wider but still within our District. However due to other possible venues being booked for August (Charwelton VH, Chipping Warden VH, Culworth VH, Boddington VH, Eydon VH and Woodford Memorial Hall [he hadn’t been able to contact Aston-le-Walls]) we would use Byfield’s newly named Meeting Room (previously known as the Lower Annexe) for the 7th August venue.

B.5.1 As our usual Tuesday meetings in pubs around are district are OK if we don't have a speaker who requires AV display kit, we shall continue to follow that itinerary. However we will probably not arrange for speakers to attend those meetings. 


C.1 Tony Webster Obituary: John Russell has passed Alan a copy of Tony’s obituary which had appeared in the 22nd June '18 issue of Model Engineer. Terry will obtain Tony’s daughter's permission to put ‘a posthumous profile’ on our Branch Web site. See also item H.4 later herein.

C.2 Northamptonshire says ‘Thank You’: County are organising an event in Becketts Park Northampton from 12 noon until 6 pm on Saturday 1st September to commemorate the end of World War One. Highlights will include the Band of the Royal Artillery, The D Day Darlings, the Northampton Male Voice Choir and Thrapston Town Band. Entry is free.

C.2.1 At the August 7th Meeting a call was made for volunteers from the RBL Branches in the County by Ian Byrnes, he suggested one per branch would be “ideal”. The volunteers would act as stewards, marshals and legion representatives, all volunteer’s names were to be registered with him by August 28th. He stated that all volunteers will receive a  free “Thank you” Tee shirt and £6.00 refreshment voucher; Volunteers are needed from 10.00-18.30, the volunteers did not have to be present for the whole event but a minimum of 4 hours commitment was requested.

Vernon, Laurie and Alison said they could re-arrange things to be available, Terry offered to be a back-stop.

C.2.2 Standard Bearers were requested for the finale, to muster at 17.10 for 17.20 Remembrance service with the Royal Artillery Band; as Chris is away at GP90, we would need to contact him about this after he returns.

C.3 Christmas Card Competition: Terry had received acknowledgment of his entry but it had not been successful.

C.4 Festival of Remembrance Tickets: Details have been given on how to purchase tickets for the Festival of Remembrance. It is not known if Branches will be given the opportunity to bid for tickets as in previous years.

Secretary's Note: Except for Standard Bearers, who, if registered, could have a ticket plus one for the evening session, all other tickets are now on a "first come" basis after 0900 on 23/07/18 on-line or by telephone 020 7087 7929. If any difficulty e-mail: 

C.5 Royal Charter Changes: Head Office are planning to modernise the RBL Royal Charter and have asked members for their input but Russ advised that any members interested must read the Charter first.


D.1 In David’s absence, Alan reported the 2017/2018 Year End results, subject to Audit. At the 7th August Meeting, David agreed with Alan’s report. Members agreed to approve these and Russ signed the Annual Branch Accounts document. This together with all the supporting back up will be presented to John Freeman for audit during the week ending 10th August.

D.2 It was agreed to make another payment of £500 to The Battleback Centre around 6 months from the last payment i.e. next October.

David attended the 7th August Meeting and confirmed the above, he also amplified the brief statement on figures previously made on 25th July.

E. POPPY APPEAL: Nothing further to report, apart from the fact that At the 7th August Meeting, John advised that last year's total had now just topped the £10k barrier.

E.1 John also said that at the request of Eydon, he had received door to door collecting boxes which were slightly larger than last year. He had also received four boxes of items such as pencils, pencil sharpeners, rulers, erasers and asked for suggestions on what to do with them. After some discussion, Terry proposed that they be to given to the primary schools in the District for sale towards the Poppy Appeal, and this was carried.

F. WELFARE (Branch Community Support):

F.1 Home/Hospital Visits: Five visits have been made during the last month.

F.1.1 Russ reiterated the guidance on gifts permitted at Branch level, up to the value of £20 without the need to refer needy cases to the Legion Contact Centre 0808 802 8080.


G.1 Terry reported that two members who joined about 18 months ago appear to have dropped off the Membership list; he will follow this up.

G.2 He also expressed his disappointment at the small number of cars showing the small rear windscreen poster, and that the larger posterhad  not yet been seen in many pubs.

G.2.1 At the 7th August Meeting, Laurie reported that he had now visited a number of pubs in the District and had asked all those to display our lattest recruiting poster.

See also H.3 below.


H.1 Research by Nottingham Trent University Graduate Student: In May this year, the RBL asked for volunteers to speak with James McIntosh, an ex service graduate student doing a psychology PhD. Terry volunteered to meet him to assist with the part of his research to discover if RBL Branches provided comradeship, and a reason for existence, to those ex-service personnel (and any other members) who found themselves "lost" without the camaraderie of service or similar life. Terry spent an afternoon with James at Nottingham Trent University discussing the subject.

H.2 Committee Meeting Start times: Members asked if the start time for the Committee meetings could be delayed by 30 minutes so that the time between the end of the meetings and the start of the monthly lunches (usually arranged for the same day) would be seamless. This would be particularly useful when car sharing. Russ agreed with this.

H.3 Potential Young RBL Member? Terry said he had been told of a certain young man who had helped to put up gazebos at the School Fete and who appeared particularly keen. He wondered if here was an opportunity to recruit a young RBL member. He will try to find out from Byfield School’s Head who he was and where he lives.

H.4 Life Member Profiles: Terry said he had seen profiles of Life Members on other Branch web sites and wondered if we could produce the same. Alan said that Pam Hicks and Barry Thompson had produced a book titled ‘Bygone Byfield’ in 2015 and Les Jones (our current Life Member), amongst many others, featured in this book. See Item C.1 earlier herein.


Committee Meeting: Wednesday 29th August 10.30 am at Russ’s place.

Pub Lunch: Wednesday 29th August 12.30 The Cross Tree, Byfield.

Branch Meeting: Monday 3rd September in Byfield Village Hall’s Meeting Room (was Lower Annexe). Speaker: Tim Boddington, on China. (Tim's being a little inscruitable about his talk!)

Flag Flying Days   Scheduled days August/September

August 15th Birthday of the Princess Royal

September 3rd Merchant Navy Day


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