Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 2nd July 2018 at Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS: During the silence of the Exhortation Russ asked all to remember Tony Webster, our past Chairman and then Vice Chairman who died this spring; Russ explained that the Webster family had written a very nice email of thanks to Jim Grennan, Byfield’s Bell Tower Captain, for all that he had done leading up to Tony's Memorial Service on 21st June, and that he had been copied in. Russ then welcomed our Member Bob Cubitt, who was our Speaker for the evening.
B. MATTERS ARISING from previous Meeting’s Minutes:
B.1 Great Pilgrimage 2018 – GP90: Terry has found that we can, if we wish, attach a GP90 scroll to the Standard after the event, with a cost expected to be £90. We’ll decide about that after the event.
B.1.1 Terry has made scrolls, one for each village, listing the names of everyone shown on each War Memorial.They have all been placed in a transparent weatherproof tube and will be deposited in a pre-designated location in Ypres, see Web site and images below...
B.1.2 A standard form of Press Release has been issued which has been suitably amended with Bob’s and Chris’ names and the various villages represented. BBC Radio Northampton have been notified; The Gusher and Guardian will be contacted if this has not already been done.
B.1.3 Russ gave a small “Poppy Cross” to Bob representing his Grandfather; another Cross for Sydney Wiggins of Byfield has also been provided together with one by Jane Holland for a relation of hers, Bob will leave all three in Ypres together with the scrolls mentioned above.
B.1.4 A wreath was laid at the Byfield War Memorial by the Wiggins family on the centenary of their ancestor’s death on 30th June 1918. That wreath will be removed with all the others at the end of August, and then re-laid on 11th November.
B.2 Data Protection: Terry had seen that members’ individual preferences on contact methods had reverted to the default mode, so Russ explained that he expects members to be asked again at sometime in the future how they wished to be contacted.
Secretary’s Note: The RBL’s data gurus have now corrected the error and our original “preference” information has been recovered, so there should be no need to contact Members about this.
B.3 Twinning with NZ: Terry has created a Paparua Templeton section on the Branch web site (Our NZ Twin).
B.4: 100 years on from The First World War’s end - 11th November 2018: The 1st Village Meeting about this had been held on the 14th June and a provisional programme had been proposed (see Appendix at the end of these Minutes). Russ explained that he needs to liaise with Terry to refine the programme to coordinate with the Church Service that morning.
B.4.1: He also explained that Terry and Alan had prepared a submission to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust requesting the donation of “There but not there” silhouettes for the event to be placed in and around the Village Hall.
B.4.2: It was pointed out that Tony Bignold has a very good voice and could sing and act as Town Crier.
B.5 Byfield School Fete: Laurie reported that he observed all the other gazebos at the Fete on 30th June had some form of interactive game that the children could play with, so recommended that we prepare something similar for next year. John R reported that £21.80 was collected for the Poppy Appeal and said that everyone who assisted should be congratulated.
B.6 Scouts' Big Project to Kenya in October: Having agreed at the last meeting that members would contribute a total of £50, the Committee subsequently decided it would be more appropriate if this were increased to £100 particularly in view of the fact that Byfield Scouts have agreed to give our Branch a presentation early in 1919, about their Kenyan trip. This money is not from Branch Legion Funds.
What's this all about? Eight Byfield Scouts will travel to Nairobi during October 2018 to play a series of football matches in the city slums against local Scouts' teams. This trip was precipitated when our Scouts discovered local lads in Kenya had to make their own footballs with plastic bags, papier mache and whatever else came to hand. Needless to say, they will take real footballs with them to leave with the Kenyan Scouts.
Secretary’s Note: 50 x RBL “snap-on” 20cm (8”) rulers in various colours together with a number of Poppy Pin broaches, wristbands and gonks have been given to the Byfield Scout leader Sally for the eight young expeditioners to take with them; we have also promised a number of RBL pens, which have yet to be provided.
B.7 Barbecue Sunday 22nd July: Tim Williams has agreed to cook as is usual.
B.7.1: Russ will invite people outside the RBL membership as last year.
B.7.2: Russ has asked members to let him know if they will be able to attend and if any of them will be able make salads and/or desserts.
B.7.3: Should we be short of gazebos, Byfield church (via Chris Buck) has a number of them.
B.7.4: Laurie said his mobile home now had more space for carrying items and will be available to help.
B.7.5: Some concern was expressed that a major event would be taking place in Woodford that day to celebrate the Church re-opening following the roof renovation.
C.1 County Letter to Branches: In the June issue the County Chairman expressed disappointment about the very small number of Branch Standard Bearers attending funerals across the County. Russ commented that these had all been In the eastern half of the county.
C.2 Legion Branded Clothing Price List: Russ said that this had recently been re-issued and that anyone who was interested should speak to Alan who has the list; a minimum order of 6 garments is needed to secure the discounted prices.
C.3 Surplus Medical Equipment: Branches have been advised that an electronic bed and chair were available at Brackley. There was no interest from those present.
D.1: David reported that our current account, cash and BFI funds were looking healthy.
D.2: A Recruiting Poster Expense Claim has been submitted by Terry for £50; it was agreed that it would be paid.
E. POPPY APPEAL: - tops £10K
E.1: John reported that with the receipt of payment for Tony’s wreath, the total to date is now £10,011.66
E.2: With reference to the minute of the 5th June 2018 meeting (item E), John specified that the change of date for removal of the wreathes from the Memorial should be formally recognised. Thus, the removal date of the end of June, agreed on 1st June 2015, should be rescinded and changed to the end of August.
E3: John also reported that Mrs Jean Swift, Poppy Collector in Chipping Warden, has retired, and asked Russ to write to her and thank her for all her many years of dedicated service to the Poppy Appeal.
E.3.1 John also reported that very fortuitously he had met a Tom Smith from Chipping Warden in the Byfield Co-op and he had agreed to replace Mrs Swift.
E.4: Finally, John announced that he would be filling the forthcoming year’s boxes at a date to be specified for mid-October and that 7 plus John himself would be needed for this very important task. He stressed that it was critical that the job be done correctly and therefore essential that those who said they would attend did so.
F. WELFARE: There had not been any visits made during last month.
G. MEMBERSHIP: Terry had left some A4 size new posters with Alan to hand out. A small number were taken. There are now three sizes available, A2, A4 and “small”. These are being posted around the district.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
H.1: Terry had earlier observed via email that he thought the two pub locations we use for meetings were less than suitable when speakers are present. Alan and Russ had found that very few if any alternative village hall venues are available on Tuesdays. Rev Stevie commented that the Aston le Walls hall is a very nice one so Russ will follow up this.
H.2: Rev Stevie explained that the church and the RBL were just about to publish booklets on the theme of Rememberance. These are expected any time now and would be very useful for the 11th November event.
H.3: Rev Stevie also announced a meeting at Holy Cross Church, Byfield at 7.15 for 7.30 pm on the subject of the three Abrahamic Faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam: what do we hold in common and what separates us? The speaker, Rev Colin Chapman has a very good reputation.
H.4 Talk by Bob Cubitt on the Army Commandos; Bob gave an excellent illustrated talk on the formation, training, development and operations of the Army Commandos during the Second World War, of which his father was one of the early members. He is planning to publish a book on this subject in the near future which should make fascinating reading.
J: DATES of NEXT MEETINGS:
Committee Meeting: Wednesday 25th July, 1000 at Russ’s place.
Pub Lunch: Wednesday 25th July in The Griffin, Chipping Warden, 1230.
Branch Meeting: Tuesday 7th August; as we have a speaker who needs AV facilities, this will be in Byfield Village Hall’s Lower Annexe.
Flag Flying Days Scheduled flag days July/August
July 17th Birthday Duchess of Cornwal
August 15th Birthday of Princess Royal