September '19

September '19

Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 28th August 2019 at Pool House Woodford Halse & the Branch Meeting in Byfield VH’s Meeting Room on 2nd September 2019

NB: During the exhortation: The assembled company were asked to think of our Chairman Russ, who was in hospital

A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS: At the Monday 2nd September Meeting, which was taken by Joy due to Russ’s illness, she welcomed and introduced our new member, Fr, James.

B. MATTERS ARISING from previous Meeting’s Minutes: 

B.1. Succession Planning: Unfortunately Russ is unwell at the moment and in the event that he is unable to continue as Chairman, we need to be prepared for someone else to take-on the that task. We really do need one of our younger Members to volunteer to become Chairman. Your Committee does have people in mind and they will be approached but if anyone wishes to be considered we do need to hear from you. The job isn’t onerous but it does need some commitment. 

Secretary’s Note: County has since confirmed that by using two officer titles, e.g. President and Chairman, two people could support each other to do the Chairman’s job. 

B.1.1 Unfortunately we may also need a new Poppy Appeal Organiser next year. John has been a very successful PAO this ten or more years past but is planning to retire, probably after this year’s Remembrancetide. Again, a call for volunteers to take his place is needed. See also later herein, see F.2 later herein. 

B.2 Fetés: 

Eydon: Sunday morning 1st September, on Eydon’s Community Sports Field near their War Memorial. Laurie will collect our gazebo from Joy’s and deliver to Eydon. Alan Watson and Terry will be on-site around 10.30 to erect it. A number of our Eydon members will help to man it during the afternoon from 1200; Vernon will also be on hand as always. 

Secretary’s Note: The Eydon event was fun and realised £48.04 in donations, which David kindly made-up to £55. There were three possible new Members that now need to be courted. 

Boddington Vintage Association Working Weekend: This event is held bi-annually over two whole days, this year Saturday and Sunday 14th/15th September. At our Branch Meeting on Monday 2nd September volunteers will be requested to man our gazebo at that event. 

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. meeting Chris and Colin agreed to help Terry set-up in Boddington at 0930 on Saturday 14th. Laurie will be back from holiday on the following day to help remove the gazebo around 4pm. Apart from the aforementioned, nobody else came forward to guarantee to help man our stand during this two day event. If nobody turns-up on the days, our gazebo will periodically be left unmanned for some time. 

B.3 Contacting our “Over 80s”: Alan Watson has called on those in his domain and reported that he had very positive reactions from all. Those who Russ had volunteered to call on have been reallocated: Fred, Les and Barry to Terry, Peter B to Alan, and Tony B to Joy. Joy has also had a positive reaction from those she has contacted in Woodford. 

B.4 Pop In Centre: As previously reported, the Daventry Branch chairman Chris Ward has agreed to let us know should any of the following arrangements change: if any ex-service person wishes to discuss obtaining advice or assistance for any situation they might find themselves in, then they can “pop-in” to Daventry’s New Street Centre from 10 to 12 a.m. every last Wednesday of each month. That’s behind “Chaser’s Bar & Lounge” outside Tesco’s. There you can have a face to face chat with RBL personnel; you can also buy breakfast if you wish. 

B.5 Training courses: Terry reported that the Recruitment course he attended recently had only one other Branch represented, Rushden, so it was largely an exchange of ideas day. Two other RBL Branches were present although they were really at the centre to have their accounts audited - but they were also able to spend a little time joining in the discussions. 

B.5.1 (see also B.1 above) Terry said that we should ensure that any person who agrees to help with our revised organisation should join Joy at the Branch Management course scheduled for Saturday 28th September, which of course, Russ will not now be able to attend. 

B.6 Road closure for Remembrance Sunday: This has been approved by Northant’s Highways and they have said that there will be no cost to us involved.    

B.7 Christmas Card Competition: Terry explained that he will confirm to the six Junior Schools in our district that this year’s competition will be to design a Christmas Card on the theme of “Peace, and what our armed forces do towards that”.

There will be twelve prizes. Initial thoughts for those will be to the value of £20 each for the six winners and £10 each for the runner’s up (£200 had previously been agreed as the budget for this). Those might be books, artists materials or tokens for the same, the winning participants to choose their preference. Terry plans to print the winning picture from each school to be sent as our 2019 Branch Christmas card for those residing in that particular school’s catchment area.

Judges so far suggested are Joy and Alison but we need another as an independent. It is thought that person should be a local artist. Nominations would be gratefully received.

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. meeting, Colin suggested Anthony Head of Greenwood Close would be a good judge; being a neighbour, Terry will sound him out.

B.8 Visit to Midlands Air Museum? Russ’s son Stuart is checking his mail but as yet we don’t think there has been any response to our circulated request with last Meeting’s Minutes for those wishing to go to advise dates in the next couple of months they wouldn’t be available. In view of this we have decided to shelve this outing for the time being. 

B.9 Youth Affiliation: It was agreed that it could be beneficial if certain events were organised in conjunction with the Scouts, e.g. next year’s Barbecue, as previously suggested by Russ. Our local Scout leader is happy to discuss this idea and future cooperation. See also C.7 later herein.

B.9.1 Alan will investigate making a Certificate on RBL headed format for the Scouts to display in their HQ that announces our “Affiliation” to them to reflect our intended future cooperation.

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. meeting, Alan circulated an example Certificate.


C.1 Book on Italian Campaign: Sandra Doran is writing a book on the 1943 Italian Campaign and was wants to know if the RBL could possibly assist her by putting her in touch with people who would like to share their stories; that information would be published in her book. Sandra also advised she would give a mention to the RBL in the book and would give a donation from the sale of the book to the RBL, depending on the volume of sales; her contact details are: Tel: 07543 828 978 Email: This information was circulated to you all on 5th August 2019. We know Jeremy has responded but we haven’t heard from anyone else. 

C.2 January’s Speaker: We have arranged for one Bert Manton to talk and hold a quiz on that talk on Country Bygones during our Monday 6th January 2020 meeting in Byfield Village Hall’s Meeting Room. It has been suggested that it may be appropriate to visit his small museum nearby either before or after the talk. Alan will check with him to see if this would be possible. 

C.3 County Conference 11th January: Joy and Alan will attend on our behalf. 

C.5 PAO Forum: This is been arranged for Saturday 7th September 10 am – 1.30 pm at the Greens Norton RBL Club. Unfortunately John is “double booked” but if anyone else wishes to attend, please advise soonest so that we can tell the organiser, Giles Coleman. 

C.6 75th Anniversary of B17 Crash: County have advised that 6th October will be the 75th   anniversary of two B17s crashing at Wood End near Greens Norton. A memorial service will be held there on that day. Timings are 11 am for a service at 11.30 which takes place at the Memorial as you approach Wood End from the direction of Greens Norton. Standard. Bearers are asked to attend if possible. A bugler will play the last post. Descendants of the airmen killed in this crash will attend from the USA. 

C.7 Latest Membership E Newsletter (August): You should have seen by now that the current issue has a four page illustrated article on how our Branch has worked with our local Scouts: the Centennial Celebrations, their visit to Kenya and their subsequent presentation about that to us, the Remembrance Day church services in the church and at the Memorial. As Russ had promised to create a newsletter, it was felt that this could be circulated with the Branch’s Christmas card. Terry will investigate the best way of handling this and whether if done, it will stand alone or form part of a Newsletter. 

Secretary’s Note: It transpires that several Members at our 2nd Sept. Meeting had not received this periodical. Looking them up on the latest Membership list, some are “opted-out” for e-mail, but others aren’t. Terry will take this up with our new MSO Kevin Tobin.

D. FINANCE: With all the Finance documents being with John Freeman for auditing all month, there have been no payments or receipts made, so the figures reported at the August 6th meeting and signed-off by your Committee on 31st July are unchanged.

E. WELFARE: Now that we have a better idea of what the RBL needs to know in this regard, we can report that 24 visits have been made during that month. In the absence of Russ, Alan will check with our MSO to find out what reporting format is required by the RBL.


F.1 Filling of Poppy Boxes will take place at John’s house in Byfield on Saturday 12th October 10-11am. Names of those definitely assisting are required. Repeating the information circulated via last Meeting’s Minutes John has 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. 

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. Meeting Colin, Laurie, Alison, Chris, Vernon, Joy and Alan volunteered to help John pack the poppy boxes. John reported that he now has all the stock for this year except for the badges. He does however have in excess of 1000 badges showing out of date years; he will give those to Terry to “sell” at Boddington and elsewhere. Those “unsaleable” (because of the year shown upon them) badges are also presenting a problem to Aylesford, so for this year the quantity to be sent will be based on the sum collected in previous years. 

F.2 Also at this Meeting, John formally announced that he wished to retire as PAO after this year’s Remembrancetide. VOLUNTEERS TO TAKE HIS PLACE REQUIRED.

G. MEMBERSHIP: Apart from welcoming Fr. James, and commenting on the recruitment course (see B.5 previously herein) there were no issues to discuss.


H.1 War Memorial Competition: County have advised that this year’s competition will be held in early October and November, and that entries need to be submitted by 26th September. It was agreed that entries be made for Byfield, Hellidon and Boddington – the logic behind these two latter villages being that their memorials are very unusual (Hellidon’s possibly unique). Details of those Memorials are on our Web site under main page “Remembrance”, sub-pages “Boddington” & “Hellidon” respectively.

H.1.1: If anyone residing in other villages would like us to include their War Memorial in this competition’s application, please make sure you advise Alan immediately. 

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. Meeting it was agreed that Charwelton, Eydon & Culworth should be added to the application on the premise that taking part is politic. 

H.2 Byfield War Memorial Wreaths: Those were to be removed at the end of August to provide a clean break between this and next year’s Remembrance ceremonies. However that will NOT now be done until after our 2nd September Meeting in case you all think it would be better to leave them in place until the competition judges have visited. 

Secretary’s Note: At the 2nd Sept. Meeting it was agreed that the wreaths on Byfield’s War Memorial should be left in place until the weekend before Remembrance Sunday. 

H.3 On 14th July we circulated information on how to obtain tickets for this year’s Remembrance ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall. We are pleased to report Bob & Bernadette will be going to that ceremony on the evening of Saturday 9th November. 

H.5 County have offered us an “A” frame pre-printed RBL sign at cost (£59). The assembled company at the 2nd Sept. Meeting thought this expense could not be justified; County has been informed. 

H.6 Terry also explained that at the Earl’s Barton Transport show recently he had seen an attraction that was encouraging people to visit Rushden RBL Branch’s gazebo. This was an approximately 3’ x 2’ x 2” deep wooden box, painted to represent the three main services with the top peppered with holes; each hole had a white golf tee inserted. Three of those dozens of tees had a painted tip, which was of course, out of sight in the hole. Players paid £0.50 to select any tee, or 3 for a quid. If they picked a coloured tipped tee they won a fiver. THIS IS SOMETHING WE NEED FOR NEXT YEAR’S FETÉS. Are there any carpenters out there?


J.1 Date of this month’s Branch Meeting: Monday 2nd September Byfield Village Hall’s meeting Room 8 pm. Speaker: Terry – Subject: “All at Sea, or What I didn’t do Down Bugis Street”. We’ll be in The Cross Tree beforehand (from 7.30) if anyone wishes to be sociable.

J.2 Date & Venue of October’s Branch Meeting: Tuesday 1st October in The Griffin Inn, Culworth Road, Chipping Warden OX17 1LB. No speaker will be present. 

J.3 Date of next Committee Meeting: 25th September Joy’s House. 

J.4 Date of next Lunch: Wednesday 25th September inThe Cross Tree” Byfield NN11 6UY, 1230 onwards. 

Flag Flying Days, September: 

3rd September – Red Ensign for Merchant Navy Day (thanks to Crystl for the loan of the flag). NB: There will be a Daventry RBL Branch ceremony to commemorate this day on the field behind the Police Station in Daventry at 1030hrs.

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