Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 31st July 2019 at Russ’s place, Byfield & those of the Branch Meeting in The Royal Oak, Eydon on Tuesday 06/08/19
A. CHAIRMANS OPENING REMARKS: At the Tuesday 6th August Meeting Russ apologised for his inability to converse in his usual manner due to ill health, and for the lack of a speaker.
B. MATTERS ARISING from previous Meeting’s Minutes:
B.1 RSA Templeton: As we rarely hear from down-under this will no longer appear as a regular item in our Minutes. However we shall continue to feed them information as and when appropriate and will report if they respond.
B.2 Fetés: 8th June Woodford Music Festival raised £98.70 for Poppy Appeal.
22nd June Aston le Walls raised £58.00 for Poppy Appeal.
20th July Byfield School raised £25.53 includes small donation from David.
The money raised in Byfield and any more at subsequent events this year will be used to top-up Branch Funds. In addition, from those events we have one new and a possible five more new members but at the moment, those five are playing “hard to get”. See also item G later herein.
1st September Eydon: Terry will set up the gazebo at 10 am, with help from Alison and Alan B, Alan W, and Bob P. Other Eydon Members will be present during the day.
14th & 15th September Boddington Vintage Association’s “Working Weekend”: This is a two day event. Support details to be agreed at September’s Meeting.
B.3 Barbecue 21st July: Was held in Joy’s garden. Raised £450 which includes a donation of £27.53 from David.
Russ wished to propose two large "thank you’s"; one to Joy for hosting in her garden again and the other to David for his generous donations, bringing the profit up to £450.
See also B.10.1 below.
B.4 Byfield and District Branch History (in future, item to be renamed - RBL Centenary July 2021): Plans are yet to be made for Colin to create a video of all Memorials in the District for the RBL Centenary in July 2021. Parish Councils will be asked to arrange to ‘spruce’ them up during summer 2020 in preparation for this video.
B.5 Visiting or phoning Over 80’s Members: Names of individuals who have reached (or will reach) 80 year’s old this year have been allocated to various Branch Members to contact on a minimum bi-monthly basis. Depending on how well a particular person is known, this should first be made by telephone if number known, by letter if not and then if the party agrees, in person. Alan W will cover those living in Eydon and Morton Pinkney. See also Item E later herein.
B.6 Daventry Pop in Centre: The Daventry Branch Chairman has agreed to let us know if anything there changes. If any Member needs assistance with anything the Legion might help with, they can “Pop-In” and ask about that at the New Street Day Centre NN11 4BT on the west side of Tesco’s in Daventry, 4th Wednesday of every month between 10 and 12 am. Breakfasts can be purchased there too.
B.7 Training Courses: Terry will attend the Recruitment Session on 17th August, with Russ and Joy the one on Branch Management on 28th September.
B.8 Road Closure for Remembrance Day: Initially Alan was concerned that there may be some cost involved but it transpires, this will definitely not be the case. The Application for the closure has been submitted.
B.9 Schools Christmas card proposal: All six schools have responded positively. Terry’s first idea was to have a competition to find the best two from each of the six schools (winner and runner up) and from those to make up a pack of 12 cards for us to offer locally for donations. This idea was considered too expensive because of the printing costs (in the region of £750 for 10,000 single sheet double sided "postcards”). An alternative would be to present books or book or art materials' tokens as prizes, the agreed budget being £200.
B.9.1 Taking suggestions from the floor it was proposed the theme for the cards would be ‘PEACE & what our Armed Forces does to help’, with the emphasis on Peace Keeping. Terry agreed to help the children with examples, as well as explaining what the RBL does. It was suggested that the competition should be completed by mid-November.
B.10 Our Scouts at the NMA: Terry explained that as part of the Scouts' World Scout Challenge Badge this year, 1st Byfield Scouts had discussed war and peace and then looked at how things and perceptions had changed over the course of time. Because they had read a bit of “Private Peaceful” by Michael Morpurgo together, which covers the subject, they had gone to the NMA and visited the “Shot at Dawn” memorial, which they found especially moving and a poignant reminder of how the world and perceptions have evolved. With their “Skip” Sal’s approval, all this had been relayed to the RBL’s Media Team, who may publish an article about that in the RBL’s monthly e-magazine.
As a result of this the RBL Media Team has asked questions of us, particularly how we interact with youngsters. In response we have told them about our assistance to our Scouts with their trip to Africa, how they helped with the end of WW1 anniversary commemorations, how they attend our Remembrance ceremonies annually and how we conduct competitions with the schools in our area (see B.9 above).
B.10.1 Russ suggested that next year we ask the Scouts to BBQ with us on Byfield's The Brightwell recreation ground; that “kills two birds”. We involve youngsters with the RBL and it solves the venue “problem” (Joy’s garden won’t be available next year).
B.10.2 All The above is particularly relevant as the RBL knows it urgently needs to raise its profile with youngsters and is trying to do that; we should be following that lead.
B.10.3 Some discussion then ensued centred on how best to get young people involved in the RBL, with the term Affiliation mentioned and what that might mean. We will ask Deanshanger & Wicken Branch for advice on that, as we believe they have affiliated themselves with two local Secondary Schools.
B.10.4 Colin then suggested we use something of interest to the kids but not directly connected to the Legion as an entrée for a presentation to the schools e.g. dogs. He said we could then describe the dog’s role in the Armed Forces Community and by association, the Legion. We all thought that was an idea worth progressing.
Whatever we decide to do, we agreed it must fit with the school’s syllabus.
C.1 County Loan Items: County have provided a list of items which we should be aware of when planning events or meetings, which we can obtain on loan:
Gazebos: 2 of 3m x 3m, 1 of 4m x 4.5m
Publicity Trailer: tow vehicle needs to be provided by borrower
Barbeque: Gas 4 burner barbeque and tools
Large screen, projector and stand
Coffin Drapes: 1 x Union Flag, 1 x RBL Lion Mask
Standard Stand: 3 x standard stands
All items must be booked in advance and collected via County Office between 10.00 to 12.00 noon Tuesday and Thursday only, collection or return outside these hours must be agreed with members of the County Office team. A delivery service is not offered.
C.2 Festival of Remembrance Tickets: Terry has circulated instructions on how to apply direct – this year there is no allocation by County, and as of this meeting date, he understood that tickets for the evening performance had all been sold.
Those for the afternoon performance would be available on-line or by phone from 10 am on the 8th August on a “first come” basis.
D. FINANCE: Russ explained that the Year-End figures had been approved by the Committee on 31st July and that he had signed them off.
D.1 Alan briefly took the meeting through details of income and expenditure. Details are available in the hard copy of these Minutes that will be available in due course. Suffice to say here, the figures are healthy.
Alan summed up and said that all the necessary documents had been given to the auditor for inspection.
D.2 Terry asked what the sum in the BFI account was to be used for. Russ said it was there as a reserve and proposed that if for some reason we become short, it will be used to donate to our usual worthy causes. John seconded this and all were in agreement.
E. WELFARE: Graham had nothing specific to report but Terry said he had made his weekly visit to his ex-neighbour in Bell Lodge out of courtesy but when he was there he usually also chatted with four other elderly residents who were not RBL members but who were ex service personnel. Joy said she also sees two in Woodford, so all these should be included in the monthly statistics which Russ reports. See also B.5 previously herein.
F. POPPY APPEAL: John reported the latest figure as over £12,500. He admitted the previously reported figure was in error. All figures had now been double checked and submitted to Aylsford.
F.1 John reported that this year’s collection period was 26th October until 9th November 2019.
F.2 He announced that the Box filling session will be Saturday October 12th at his home, when 7 members will be needed to help. Volunteers names will be taken at the next Branch Meeting. He emphasised that once volunteered, it was essential the individual attended, unless unforeseen circumstances prevented that, in which case he would appreciate advance notice, so that the position could be filled from his back-up team. His ‘phone number is: 01327 260206.
G. MEMBERSHIP: We are now 72. Father James of Aston has joined us. Terry is also courting five other possible recruits (see B.2 previously herein). At the moment, those five, having expressed interest, have not responded to several e-mail and telephone message follow-ups, not even to say “don’t bother me”. One other gave a false telephone number and contact address.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Alan announced he had found a possible new speaker. One Bert Manton who could talk for ½ hour on Country Bygones, and demonstrating those using articles from his museum. Then for the next ½ hour he would hold a quiz about those items. The meeting seemed happy with this, so he will be booked for the January 2020 meeting in Byfield.
H.1 Possible Outing? Russ is planning a visit to the Midland Air Museum at Coventry Airport during September or October, date to be announced at the next meeting. If anyone wishes to go please advise, and also the dates they will NOT be available.
J. DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
J.1 Branch: Monday 2nd September in Byfield Village Hall (7.30 in The Cross Tree if you wish). Speaker – Terry, Subject: “All at Sea – or what I didn’t do in Bugis Street”.
J.2 Committee: Wednesday 28th August, venue, probably Joy’s (to be confirmed).
J.3 Lunch: Wednesday 28th August 1230 The Plough, Upper Boddington, NN11 6DB.
Flag Flying Days in August: 15th Birthday of Princess Royal