Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 29th May 2019 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, & Branch Meeting on 4th June 2019 in Byfield Village Hall’s Meeting Room
A. CHAIRMANS OPENING REMARKS: Russ welcomed our Member Jeremy who gave a presentation in remembrance of “D-Day” 75 years ago next Thursday, 6th June 1944. This included a fascinating slide show with maps showing the routes taking troops from the different points along the length of the south coast of England to the respective landing beaches in France. Troop statistics by nationality were given, as were those killed in action. Many contemporary slides were shown depicting troops on board, wading ashore and on the beaches. It was a thought-provoking presentation.
B. MATTERS ARISING from previous Meeting’s Minutes:
B.1 The minutes of the 2nd April meeting were approved and signed by Russ, whereas the original of those of the 13th May had a number of corrections to be made: 22 June fete – attend with our gazebo, not County’s. Fete general - Terry has obtained several A3 posters, Tuesday meetings - Royal Oak Eydon to be used for meetings without speaker, and visit to NMA on 27 April, John and Jill Russell also attended. With these corrections, they were signed by Russ.
B.2 RSA Templeton - Our NZ twin: Nothing has been heard from either Templeton or Papanui this period.
B.3 Fête Dates: EVERYONE (i.e. every Member) is asked to note these dates and to attend if possible to support us.
11th May – Boddington Social Day: As previously reported, we did not attend as the “do” was understood to be specific to Boddington and to keep it local, wider support wasn’t encouraged.
7-9th June – Woodford Festival: at the Football Ground. Russ, Terry & Joy to attend on Saturday only (8th). Russ & Terry to do a recce on Friday 3rd at 3pm, set-up Saturday 10am. Joy to provide table, Alan to give our RBL “Live-On” tablecloth to Terry beforehand. Attendees to bring their own chairs.
22nd June – Aston le Walls: Allison, Vernon and Terry to attend. Peter also hopes to be there.
20th July – Byfield School Fete: Allison and Alan will attend, Terry will also be there. Set-up 10am. Team needs to coordinate with others who will set-up for our BBQ at Joy’s the next day. Fete's theme will be “Launch” – refers to the new school hall’s “Grand Opening” fifty-years since the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
1st September - Eydon: As yet, not much is known about this event and so far, attendees aren’t known.
14-15th September – Boddington Vintage Weekend: – Terry intends to be there all day, both days.
Charwelton? No fete will be held here this year.
B.3.1 Display materials: After lengthy discussion, it was agreed that a maximum of £150 be allocated for 3 posters, landscape format, plastic material preferred, to be mounted on frames for display. Byfield church has display boards that it may be possible to use to support those. The posters will have gold headers, agreed printing will be black and/or dark blue on light blue background with suitably located Poppies. Terry will publish samples to obtain agreement.
Secretary’s Note: suggestions have since been circulated and the wording has now been agreed, which is slightly different to the previous examples shown in last Meeting’s Minutes. Elite Signs of Byfield has offered to provide those in banner form, which will be waterproof and have eyelets from which to hang them. They won’t be delivered in time for Woodford but should be worth the wait.
B.3.2 Gazebo: For safe keeping, Terry will normally store the Gazebo at his house.
B.4 Lunch Venues: Joy reported she had recently had lunch at the Red Lion at Hellidon and found it to be excellent. It was agreed we would have our monthly lunch there on 26th June. It was also decided to book the Griffin in Chipping Warden for the July lunch on the 31s of that month.
B.5 History: Terry has purchased the book ‘Keeping Faith’ by Brian Harding, which is a history of the British Legion. A brief check through the index showed no sign of our Branch but Vernon now has the book for a more detailed study.
B.6 Branch Officer and Future Officer Seminar 1st June, TA Centre, Northampton. Terry plans to be present for the morning session, while Russ and Vernon will attend all day.
Secretary’s Note: Subsequently it was agreed that Vernon, although willing, would probably not benefit from the event and therefore he was excused from attending.
BB NEW MATTERS:
BB.1 Barbecue 21st July: It was agreed to follow last year’s format, including using the Church tables and gazebo. Volunteers are needed to help set up on Saturday 22n, avoiding clashing with the Byfield School fete that day. Russ will obtain glasses, Members and their spouses etc. to be asked to provide salads and puddings for up to 30+. Tickets will be priced at £10. Members to provide Raffle prizes. Allison and Laurie to organize that. Drinks? BYO.
BB.2 ‘Communications’ around Byfield? There is an on-line communication system around Byfield and surrounding villages known as nextdoor.co.uk. where Alan was successful in ‘selling’ two old push bikes, these generating a donation of £30 for the Branch. This Web site could be used for announcing our events.
Secretary’s Note: This is a worldwide organisation that began in the USA in 2010; its current HQ is in San Francisco. It employs people in several international locations but is apparently a non-profit company; if you wish to use it, it does need your data to work. We don’t understand how it’s funded but it does require your real name, physical and e-mail address and although they have a big thing about security, you have to wonder. You can access it to see what it’s all about without entering any data, although of course it will have “cookied” you if you do. It looks like a genuine attempt to bring people together, but isn’t that what Facebook was for originally? See: https://nextdoor.co.uk/
C. CORRESPONDENCE: At the Tuesday 4th June meeting Russ and Alan read out some of the more interesting motions passed by the RBL’s recent Annual Conference. However although “Motions carried by Conference”, they won’t be put into practice unless agreed by the Trustees. Alan will circulate the document containing those “carried Motions”.
Those were: Motion 1 Provide funding for veterans to appeal against rejections by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Motion 2 Introduce a Family Membership category
Motion 3 Increase the Membership Fee for Women’s Section members to bring it in line with other RBL members
Motion 4 Revert to the previous method of ticket allocation for the Festival of Remembrance
Motion 5 Investigate the feasibility of allowing branches to participate at Conference using a type of video link and electronic voting
Motion 6 Devise a simple way of advising Armed Forces personnel leaving the services of the Veterans Gateway helpline and the RBL helpline, and asking the Citizens Advice Bureau to distribute these numbers.
Motion 7 Ask the UK Police Forces to identify to veterans who commit minor offences that they are aware of possible entitlement to RBL assistance.
C.1 Annual Conference Membership Forum Report: Alan reported from this heavy document (19 pages): The first 8 pages gave details of each of the members of the Membership Council, then 3 on the Membership department, another 3 on membership statistics and the last 6 on questions raised by branches around the country, some of which we touch on frequently. Each question has a response.
Alan will email it to branch members but recommends you read before deciding to print it or not
C.2 Lone Working and Personal Safety Guidelines: Russ reported that a document on this subject had been issued but felt it was more appropriate for members visiting veterans in towns and cities rather than around the Byfield district.
D. FINANCE: David submitted a written report for the end of April, which was in the black.
E. WELFARE: One visit has been made during the last month.
E.1 Les suggested we made a point of regularly contacting all our older Members, of which two are over 90-years old, whether they are infirm or not. We have another twenty who will be 80 this year or have already passed that age. It was agreed we should do that.
F. POPPY APPEAL: Overall, the RBL collected more than fifty million pounds last year. Our figures remain as previously reported.
G. MEMBERSHIP: Terry reported that this remains at 71. As previously discussed, recruiting this year will be by face-to-face contact, hence our intention to attend as many local fetes as possible.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS? No other business was raised for discussion.
J. DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS:
J.1 Branch: Monday 1st July Byfield VH Meeting Room; Russ will describe his experiences of our Royal Navy’s first jet night fighter.
J.2 Committee: Wednesday 26th June at Russ’ house
J.3 Lunch: Wednesday 26th June at the Red Lion, Hellidon NN11 6LG
Flag Flying Days June/July: 2nd June HM The Queen’s Coronation Day
8th June HM The Queen’s Official Birthday (2nd Saturday of June)
10th June - Birthday Duke of Edinburgh
21st June - Birthday Duke of Cambridge
29th June - Armed Forces Day
17th July – Birthday Duchess of Cornwall