Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 27th March 2019 at Hinton Farm Cottages, Byfield & those of the Branch Meeting in Aston-Le-Walls’ Village Hall on 02-04-2019
A. CHAIRMANS OPENING REMARKS: At the Tuesday 2nd April Meeting, Russ welcomed our Speaker Roger Cragg, who spoke to us about the development of transport in the west Midlands over the last 200 years.
B. MATTERS ARISING from previous Meeting’s Minutes:
B.1 RSA Templeton - Our NZ twin: As we don’t get much response from our Kiwi pen pal, Joy’s Father, a member of RSA Templeton has suggested we open a dialogue with their neighbours, RSA Papanui, who are “much more active”. We’ll drop them a line and see what transpires, especially as its ANZAC day this month (25th April).
B.2 Lunch venues: Our monthly lunch last week in The Plough in Upper Boddington went well, especially as the Landlady was expecting eight of us and got eighteen. As there was only her and her chef on duty, they rose to the occasion admirably. Nearly all of us had excellent repasts although afterwards there were a couple of grumbles from a Member or two about the state of their ham but as those weren’t aired at the time… There’s no new news about the Red Lion in Hellidon but we are advised that the Carpenters Arms in Lower Boddy might be open for lunch in the near future. As you all should know by now, we like to spread ourselves about a bit. AND to that end, see below...
B.3 Fête Dates: We intend to erect our new Gazebo (see B.4 below) at each of the following events:
May 11th Boddington “Social Day”.
June 7th to 9th Woodford Halse “Festival” (we hope to attend on Saturday the 8th only).
June 22 Aston-Le-Walls Fête.
June 28th Woodford Halse “Regatta”. (As this is a parade, we may just join that and not set-up a base).
June 29th Charwelton Fête.
July 20th Byfield PTA School Fête & new hall grand opening.
Sept. 1st Eydon Fête.
Sept. 14th & 15th Boddington Vintage Association “Working Weekend”.
We will need a minimum of two Members to be available to be present at each event based in our Gazebo. Volunteers please come forward and make your presence known, and mark the date(s) in your diaries.
B.3.1 We will need publicity material for our "booth" at the fêtes. Terry will obtain from Aylesford in Kent via John Russell.
B.3.2 Laurie suggested that we needed a theme for our presence and that could be an example of one or more of our successes or achievements. He felt that might be more of an incentive to join and take part in our activities.
B.4 Gazebo Purchase: Our order had been misplaced and although registered, contact details had been “lost”. This has now been resolved and delivery is awaited. At the moment there is no pressure for delivery but time marches.
B.5 RBL “Pop-In” Centres: Emma Connor, Advice & Information Officer for Northamptonshire, has advised us that the RBL “Pop-in” Centre for Daventry is held in the Volunteer Centre (by Tesco), New Street, Daventry NN11 4BU on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 10.00 to 12.00. Other centres in Northamptonshire are under review but are currently in Rushden, Morrisons in Wellingborough and Northampton General. Emma is usually in attendance at all Northamptonshire venues.
B.5.1 Wendy Hampton who holds a similar post in Oxfordshire advises that the nearest centre to us in Oxfordshire is at the Heyford and Bicester Veterans Group, Upper Heyford on the 1st Friday of the month from 11.00 to 14.00.
B.6 Thank you letter: A letter has been sent to Byfield PC to thank them for their assistance with last year’s Centennial event. At the Byfield Parish Meeting on the evening of 28th March, Russ also publicly thanked them and all villagers for that, and the new memorial bench on the footpath by the Brightwell entrance to the church.
B.7 Byfield and District RBL’s Branch History? Information is being sought on the history of the Branch pre-1947. Unfortunately, neither RBL HQ or County has been able to throw any light on that. Russ will visit Wooten Hall to see if there’s anything written-down that might help with that.
B.8 Byfield and District RBL name change? (See Item BB.2 in last Meeting’s Minutes) County have advised that there would be no problem if we wished to change our name but as it would require having a new Standard at a cost of £1000 the committee decided to maintain the status quo. The General Meeting on 02/04/19 agreed with that.
B.9 Alem Hamza RA plaques dedication at, and our visit to The National Memorial Arboretum: On Saturday 27th April, Chris will be attending for the dedication in memory of two of his old unit’s personnel recently deceased. They will gather at 1230, the dedication service will be one hour later. We thought it would be good to support Chris and get a visit in to the NMA. Members have been advised and asked if they wish to make-up a party for the visit.
BB: NEW MATTERS:
BB.1 Tuesday bi-monthly meeting venues? We have now already held two Meetings in Aston-Le-Walls VH this year. This is because VHs in other villages are already booked by others on Tuesday evenings and none of the pubs in our district lend themselves to meetings, especially if a speaker is booked.
The object of this was to a) give those otherwise occupied on a Monday evening a chance to attend and b) take our Branch out to our District. Whilst a) has been successful, b) has not (apart from when we go to Eydon), because in the more than two years since we started this, apart from Peter in Aston and several Eydon Members there, no one else from those other villages we visit have attended.
Russ therefore proposed that we hold most of our Tuesday meetings in Byfield Village Hall. A group that had previously booked the main hall’s annexe has given that date up, which now makes it possible for us to do that.
We shall still make periodic visits to Eydon’s Royal Oak for a Tuesday evening Meeting, and, if other suitable venues elsewhere become available, we shall consider using those.
For the past three years we have advertised that we are willing to collect (and deliver back) Members from outlying areas who wish to come to Meetings, so we think that now sufficient in our efforts to widen our net.
C.1 Soldier F: Official Guidance from the Legion on individual member’s actions regarding the Soldier F court case is In essence that members can express their feelings as they wish as individuals but must not associate any of their actions or opinions with their membership of the Legion. This advice has been circulated earlier to all members by e-mail.
C.2 Election of National RBL Chairman, Vice Chairman & Trustees: As agreed at our last meeting, Russ has supported selected nominees for those posts on behalf of the Branch, Item C.2 of that meeting refers.
D. FINANCE: David couldn’t attend either meeting but reports our finances are as previously advised.
D.1 Donations: Not yet accounted for in our bank's latest records are donations of £500 each that have been made to Battle Back Centre and Galanos House; letters of thanks have been received and are now published on our Web site.
E. WELFARE: Two house visits made during the last month
F. POPPY APPEAL: John reported that donations for the 2018/19 Poppy Appeal in our district had now exceeded £12,700. The “books” for that appeal will remain “open” until September.
G. MEMBERSHIP: Membership is stable at 70. We are courting three new people in Byfield who may be recruited.
G.1 As discussed for the promotion of ourselves at the forthcoming village fêtes we need a theme, which was proposed should be "tell them what we do" and "tell them what we have done".
G.2 Some discussion was then held about how to get more Members to attend our monthly meetings. Several ideas were tabled: ask editors of village newsletters to list future meeting dates. Ask the Daventry Express and Banbury Guardian's village correspondents to do the same. Russ to prepare an Annual Report and distribute by both e-mail and post.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Our team of two members and two guests at Byfield’s Village Quiz on 27th March did well, leading the field at one stage, the final position was 5th out of 21 teams. Members were also reminded that 6th June next is the 75th anniversary of "D-Day"; our meeting on the 4th June would reflect that.
J. DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
J.1 Branch: Monday 13th May in Byfield Village Hall (7.30 in The Cross Tree if you wish).
J.2 Committee: At the General Meeting on 13th, as there is no speaker for that meeting.
J.3 Lunch: Wednesday 24th April 12.30, The Red Lion, Culworth.
J.4 June’s Branch Meeting, Tuesday 4th (venue to be decided). Jeremy will give a presentation about D-Day.
Flag Flying Days April: 21st April Birthday HM The Queen
23rd April St Georges Day