Minutes of the Branch Committee Meeting held on 25th April 2018 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield & the General Meeting in Byfield Village Hall's Lower Annexe on 14th May 2018
A. CHAIMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
At the 14th May Monthly Members’ Meeting Russ welcomed our Speaker for the evening, Steve Dimmer, who was later to relate “Tales from the Trenches” to us. He also welcomed Colin Waldron from Brackley Branch RBL who was now also the designated Northant's Branch liaison with County; Colin would pop-in to our Meetings from time to time.
B. MATTERS ARISING from last meeting's Minutes:
B.1 Great Pilgrimage 2018 – GP90.
B.1.1 Anyone know Anyone? With regard to the idea of Chris and Bob placing small wooden crosses in the designated area near the Menin Gate, with a name and dedication hand written on by living relatives, only two so far have been prepared, one from Russ and the other from Jane. Terry has been in touch with the Church Secretary in Chipping Warden and she knows that there are still some relatives linked with the village. She has said it may take some time to contact them but will reply as soon as possible. As so far there has only been two responses out of our 71 Members, Terry has also asked Rev. Stevie if she could put this request out around the rest of the benefice.
B.1.2 Terry reported that one other thing remained to be done in preparation for GP90 i.e. agree the wording on the wreath label. After our circular asking for suggestions, only one (from Bernard) had been received, which was “Greater love hath no man....” This is acceptable to the Committee but we will wait a little longer to see if any other suggestions are received before finalising it.
Secretary's Note: At the Meeting on the 14th Alan W proposed the following words: "Four years of WAR, 18 million DEAD. WE THANK YOU for your SACRIFICE". As we only had one other suggestion (as above) a vote was taken and Alan's submission was selected. This will now be printed on our wreath dedication slip.
B.1.2.1 John confirmed that the special wreath had been ordered.
B.1.3 It was agreed transport from Byfield to and from Banbury would be provided for our two GP90 reps.
B.1.4 Chris has attended one of the four Standard Bearer's "training sessions" for GP90 and is due to attend another on the 15th May. Dress Code is one of the items covered (see C.2 later herein).
B.2 Twinning with Paparua Templeton RSA Branch in New Zealand: When in New Zealand recently, Joy had spoken with some members of this Returned Services Association, including her father; up to 25th April we had not received any communication from them.
Secretary’s Note: Coincidentally, a positive e-mail was received from their President the next day. We have now agreed to exchange news and ideas, and Terry has set-up a specific Web page for this on our Byfield & District RBL Web site, see: “Our NZ Twin”.
B.2.1 Prompted by the speaker’s reference to local airman of NZ origin Lt Rhodes Moorhouse who was awarded the VC, Terry suggested we include a reference to him in his next correspondence with the RSA in NZ.
B.3: Battle Back (Veteran’s Course [see item C.1 in February’s Minutes]): None of our Members under the cut-off age of 69, or of the requisite fitness has shown any interest in taking part in this exercise.
B.4 Data Protection: (See Item H.1 in April 18’s Minutes & the NOTICES page on our Web site). Pending receipt of the official communication on this from Head Office (due by end of May), Russ specified that we should not publish anything to members on this subject. We understand however that sending Branch information to members by email is an acceptable practise.
Secretary's Note: As of 14/04/2018 backed-up by our MSO, here's the rulling we are working to: Any administrative type of communications, for example the membership renewal letter, a letter from a branch informing the member when/where the next branch meeting is, or what activities branch is planning, can be e-mailed to all members under the legitimate interest principle. This is because we can assume that by joining TRBL people expect to be informed when their membership is about to expire or how they can attend a meeting of a branch that they’ve joined. Also, governance rights are part of the membership offer under the Membership Terms and Conditions, so by not informing a member about a branch meeting, we deny them their rights.
The NEW Terms and Conditions clearly state that
"4.8 Your TRBL Branch and/or County/District may send you occasional administrative newsletters by email or post. To opt out of these local communications, please contact the Branch or County directly."
B.5 Towcester RBL's Poppy Quiz: We were unable to take part in this as it was fully booked but we had one team entered in the Byfield Village Hall Quiz on April 7th; we didn’t win but we weren’t last either.
B.6 Legion Christmas Card Competition: Terry has entered his design for the competition. See below...
B.7 Classic and Sports Car Show in association with Flywheel Festivals: 23rd and 24th June at Bicester Heritage Centre. It will include vintage aircraft flying displays, vintage and classic cars and motor cycles as well as a collection of military machines. There is an invitation to veterans of WW2 to attend with a guest Free of Charge. Members of the RBL are also invited and this includes a 15% discount on the £25 daily ticket price.
C.1 Byfield Annual Parish Meeting 26th April: Alan, Terry and Alison will attend this and set up a table, using the items recently supplied by HQ on the subject of Branch Community Support, as well as the usual recruiting documents. A snap of that table is included on the right.
C.2 Standard Bearer Dress Code: County have recently issued a reminder of the dress code required, together with dates and time of the training sessions at the Drill Hall, Clare Street Northampton.
C.3 Chipping Warden War Memorial: As result of Terry contacting the Church Secretary at Chipping Warden (see B.1.1. above), there appears to be some difference of opinion about which is the real village War Memorial. When the District’s War Memorial book was being prepared in 2011 it was understood from the Parish Council that the bus shelter where the Remembrance plaque is situated was the memorial, but it seems the church considers them to be inside the church, as this is where the wreathes are laid on Remembrance Sunday. We were also informed by the Church Secretary that there are discussions in the village as to whether the village sign (erected to celebrate the Millennium) should have the bus shelter memorial sign moved and affixed to it. The rector would be happy to discuss this issue if we wished.
D. FINANCE: In the absence of David, no report on the latest financial position could be made. It was agreed that a second donation of £500 be made to Battle Back (subject to verification that only one donation had been made this financial year), and that £1000 be transferred to BFI for GP90.
Secretary's Note: David attended the 14th May meeting and gave a summary of the accounts position, which remains healthy.
E. POPPY APPEAL: John advised the latest figure for last year's Poppy Appeal was now £9,971.36. However as some funds had been paid direct, and the "poppy year" didn't end until 30th September, this figure is once again expected to crack the £10k barrier. WELL DONE EVERYONE.
E.1 John also said that the 2nd all year round tin in the Griffin had produced £44.71.
E.2 The forthcoming year’s material will be ordered in June.
F. WELFARE: (now Branch Community Support): Russ updated the committee on the members presently in nursing homes. 9 visits to homes, hospitals and a nursing home have been made during the last month.
G. MEMBERSHIP: Terry reported that with one member passing away, and three others not wishing to renew, membership now stood at 71. He also reminded the meeting that the ‘Free Lunch’ offer was still on. Chris Kiely has produced a new poster, quite different from the previous one, which Terry will post.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS?
H.1 100 years on from The First World War’s end - 11th November 2018: The subject of commemorating 100 years since the 1918 Armistice was raised at the April Byfield Parish Council’s Village meeting. Events are being organised country-wide, and it was agreed “something should be done” in Byfield. The organisation of that “something” was then delegated to our Branch, with the Parish Council offering to consider providing some financial support.
H.1.1 To mark the occasion the format could include the Village Hall being decorated, and following the Remembrance service, there could be choirs singing WW1 songs, with the school children, scouts and cubs joining in and/or reading out/displaying work they have prepared, a tea party mid-afternoon etc.
Secretary’s Note: Subsequently our Member Bernard has agreed to provide his “flight simulator” for the afternoon, and has purchased a WW1 combat “game” to enhance his glider training simulations. Also Byfield School’s Head has agreed that the school would willingly participate.
H.1.2 It has been proposed that Byfield joins the National scheme to light a beacon on that evening. A gas-fired beacon was agreed to be best for this, as it was much simpler to arrange than a bonfire. The problem with that is that such devices come-in at a little less than £400 (see:http://bullfinch-gas.co.uk/beacons-and-eventtorches/beacons/manufacturer/?categorylayout=0&showcategory=1&showproducts=1&productsublayout=0 ) Early evening would be the appropriate time to light the beacon, maybe at the same time as the church bells are rung, Nationally scheduled for 7pm.
Secretary's Note 2: After Steve Dimmer's talk we decided to "book him" to help with this. He has confirmed he is available and will lead some songs of the era using audio visual aids just before the bells ring-out at 7pm.
Secretary's Note 3: Nearer the time, Terry will contact other Parish Councils in our District to invite their villagers to our event if they are not holding one of their own.
H.2 ‘Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today’ Joy reported she had seen an advert for the Exhibition of Art being held at Compton Verney near Gaydon. It was proposed a group visit there and members will be asked if they wished to attend. The date proposed was Thursday 17th May.
H.3 RBL "Thank You" Campaign: The link will tell you all, about this. Our involvement will be that we will give £50 to Natalie Skipper for her sponsored abseil down a waterfall in Wales, proceeds to the RBL. The Meeting voted for this amount and Russ will do the deed.
H.3.1 There is a creative competition for 9 to 16 year-olds via the RBL with "Never Such Innocence"; Terry will circulate this information to all the schools in our District in the hope some will enter.
J. DATES of NEXT MEETINGS
Committee: Wednesday 30th May 2018, 1000 Russ’s place.
Pub Lunch: Wednesday 30th May 2018 in The Fox & Hounds, Charwelton
Branch: Tuesday 5th June 2018 in the Royal Oak, Eydon
Flag flying days
2nd June: Coronation Day
9th June: Official Birthday HM The Queen
10th June: Birthday Duke of Edinburgh
21st June: Birthday Duke of Cambridge