February '18

February '18

 Minutes of the Branch Committee Meeting held on 31st January 2018 at 3 Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield and Minutes of the subsequent Branch Meeting held on 6th February 018 in The Royal Oak, Eydon


Russ  thanked Joy for taking the Branch meeting held on 8th January, her first such meeting in her role of Vice Chairperson.

A.1. Speaker: Russ alsowelcomed our Speaker for the evening the Rev Stevie Cross; Stevie gave an excellent and amusing illustrated talk entitled Reflections of a Peripatetic Engineer, which covered her training as a Mechanical Engineer and subsequent work in the Aerospace Industry prior to studying at Theological College.


B.1 Minutes of Previous Meetings: held on 5th December 2017 and 8th January 2018 and the Branch Committee Meeting on 29th November 2017 were approved and signed-off at the Committee meeting held on 31st January 2018.

B.2 Great Pilgrimage 2018 – GP90. Russ said he understood that 734 branches had signed up and having asked the organisers if it was definitely on, he was told “yes, unless you hear otherwise”! Chris Kiely said he understood that approval to take a Branch Standard out of the country was required for insurance purposes – Alan to investigate.

B.2.1: Despite our being in Northamptonshire, the pick-up point we selected was Banbury, which is nearer than Northampton. This is acceptable within GP90’s “rules” however this has yet to be confirmed and any attempt to change our request will be challenged.

B.2.2 Branch Survey for GP90: Terry took part in an RBL on-line survey about GP90, and part of that, mentioning Byfield & District, was used in the January 2018 RBL Membership Newsletter (see Item 6 on page 6).

B.3 AGM Date for 2018? Russ explained that RBL rules specify that Branch AGMs should be held within two months of the end of the Corporate year, not the Financial year as previously thought. November will therefore remain as the month for our AGM.

B.4 Richard Buck Concert: This was a wonderful performance and was attended by 60+ people. The retiring collection was for the RBL and raised £302. Russ has written to thank Richard for arranging and performing it. Terry and Alan recorded most of the concert and Terry has loaded some video clips of the concert on our Facebook presence, particularly their playing the ‘Hornpipe’, with audience participation (if you click on the link and are not a Facebook person, look for the little "not now" button on the window asking you to sign-in or sign-up. That window will then close and you can watch uninhibited).. Alan has also put four of the pieces onto DVD, which could be played at a future Branch meeting.

B.5 Bingo Night: This will be arranged by RBL’s friend Angie for 23rd March 2018 in Byfield's Village Hall. She has asked us to collect and donate 20 or 25 prizes for the winners, as well as raffle prizes: items such as toiletries, wine, chocolates and the like. Alison has offered to be the collecting point. Branch funds could be used to buy in some prizes depending on the number donated. Participants are likely to bring their own drinks so there will no bar. Ann C and Meriel G will be asked to serve tea and coffee. Russ will organise advertising. Members are asked to help set up at 6 pm for a 7 pm start.

B.6 War Memorial: Russ said he had explained to Tony while he was visiting him in hospital why the channel he had provided had not been used, Coincidentally, the person who had drilled the holes was also there at the time. As previously reported the channel had been placed in Terry’s shed for safe keeping until it can be repatriated.


C.1 Battle Back Centre: Russ said he had received a letter of thanks from Chris Joynson for our donation, and asked if any of our Members would like to take part in their newly created five-day Veterans Course. To qualify, they would need to be independently mobile, fit enough to undertake the activities, self medicating, ex service and be aged between 27 and 69.

C.2 County Branch Officer Newsletter: County have recently specified that any Branch wishing to borrow the County trailer must collect and return it themselves, and that it is capable of being towed by a car equivalent to a Fiat Punto.


D.1: Figures, which are healthy,are listed in the hard copy Branch Committee summary.

D.2 DACT Contribution: David confirmed this had been paid.

D.3: Terry’s ‘Free Lunch’ recruiting arrangements could not be charged to Branch Funds so the Committee had agreed that alternative arrangements would have to be found.

D.4: However it was agreed that payment of the Poetry Competition prizes from Branch funds was correct and should be shown under ‘publicity’.

D.5: Russ explained that quite unexpectedly we had been advised by Trinders Funeral directors in Banbury that one Ian Gardner of Woodford Halse had sadly recently passed away and his father, also Mr. Ian Gardner, had asked that donations at the funeral should be made to the Branch. It was agreed that Russ, Joy and Alan would attend the service at the Crematorium to pay their respects and offer our thanks to the family.

D.6: A cheque had been gratefully received from Sir John Parsons in Eydon, as a donation; this will be paid in via the CAF.

E. POPPY APPEAL: There was nothing to add to last month’s report.

F. WELFARE (now Branch Community Support):

F.1: Tony was allowed out of hospital to attend this meeting and performed the Act of Remembrance and proposed the Loyal Toast..

F.2: The meeting was updated on our three members undergoing treatment: Dougie, Peter and Terry. Poppy cards were signed by those members present.

F.3: Vernon announced that Nina had been moved to the Wheatsheaf in Daventry.

G. MEMBERSHIP: There was no change to the Membership numbers to report.


H.1 Twinning with RSA Branch in New Zealand: Joy explained she will visiting NZ for several weeks in February through early March 2018 and will explore the possibility of twinning with her ‘local’ RSA branch (Paparua Templeton) where her father is a prominent Member of that Association. The RSA (Returned Services Association, like the Returned Services League in Australia) is their version of the RBL; both organisations are particularly strong, well represented and have excellent club facilities. See

H.2 County Conference: Joy briefed the meeting on her visit to the County Conference representing Byfield & District. There was nothing of note to report, as is borne out by no mention of this Conference whatsoever on the County Web site.

H.3 Group 4 Wound up – distribution of funds: Russ announced that with Group 4 now wound up, the funds in their account (£1,920) will be donated to Galanos House, together with £10,000 from County via a legacy, all towards a new minibus. This will take place at 11 am on Friday 16th February 2018 at Galanos House; Russ will attend.


Committee: Wednesday 28th February, Rus’s place, 1000hrs.

Pub Lunch:  Wednesday 28th February at the Fox and Hounds, Charwelton

Branch: Monday 5th March 2018 Byfield Village Hall Lower Annexxe. Speaker Karin Start on her recent Medical mission to Ghana.

Flag Flying Days:

Feb 19th Birthday of the Duke of York’

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