Registered Charity Number 219279
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
COLSTON BASSETT, OWTHORPE AND COTGRAVE BRANCH
Chairman: John Ludlam, Trowell Stud, Owthorpe Road, Cotgrave, NG12 3PU. 0115 9899094
Secretary: Peter McLaughlin, 4 Eastwold, Cotgrave, Nottingham. NG12 3NQ. 0115 9894610
SPRING SUPPER Friday 16 FEB at Cotgrave Golf and Country Club
I hope that you all had a good Christmas and New Year and are ready for a busy on 2018. This is my Spring Newsletter to bring you up to date with what is going on in the RBL and the Branch and what we will do throughout this important year.
RBL Nottinghamshire County Conference. Peter McLaughlin and I attended the Nottinghamshire County RBL Conference last Saturday. It was good and informative although we were a little disappointed that there was not much detail on National and County events during this year the centenary of the last year of WW1. Nevertheless we did come away with a few snippets which might interest you.
RBL National. There are over 8 million people eligible for RBL support and requests for assistance are in the hundreds of thousands. There are over 2000 Branches, 700 of which have thus far signed up to attend the ‘Great Pilgrimage 90’ in Ypres on 8 August 2018. There are 240 thousand RBL members and the exodus of members, now at 4%, has reduced and is reducing. As well as supporting the community during last year the RBL sponsored 200 ex-servicemen and women at the Invictus Games in Canada, funded a new Remembrance Centre at the National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk and continued to fund the new Rehabilitation Centre being built at Stanford Hall just North of Loughborough. They have developed the Veterans Gateway project which is now being advertised on the television. www.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/cumbria/news/mod-veterans-gateway-great-news
2018 National. RBL will open 3 new Poppy Homes in the next few years, one is intended for the East Midlands. They will deliver a campaign to say ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation who helped to shape our world as we know it today. A series of events, starting with the ‘Great Pilgrimage 90’ on 8 August will run for 100 days up to and including Remembrance Sunday on 11 November. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/ww1-centenary/thank-you/
County. In the last year the County RBL has distributed grants totalling £70,000 to eligible people in Nottinghamshire. In partnership with the County Council they will join in with the ‘Thank You’ campaign and have a provisional series of events ready to put to their members. The annual rededication of the County Standard will this year take place in Southwell Minster on 3 June and a Concert will be held at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham during the afternoon of Sunday 4 November.
Membership. We now have 124 members. In the last calendar year we have welcomed 10 new members against our target of 5! Those joining us were: Mick Astill, Peter Gregory, Matthew Lymn Rose, Nigel Pick, Brenda Pickers, Joe Rhodes, Daren Short, Nick Wheatley, Barrie Widdowson and Harvey Woodward. All have connections with the Services, 6 have served and 2 are still serving. Unfortunately, and very sadly, 4 members have passed away. They were: Walter Bint, Roy Blowers, Sybil Griffiths and Mr Treadgold. 6 members didn’t re-join when the new payment system was introduced last year and since then 1 member has not renewed his membership.
Fundraising. 2017 was our best fundraising year ever. The Branch has made a year on year increase in the money collected during the Poppy Appeal with over £8K in 2015 and over £17K in 2016; this year we collected an incredible £19,300. 65 CBOC members were joined by 23 other volunteers to put in nearly 400 hours in supermarkets alone. A fantastic effort and everyone is to be congratulated. Our non-poppy appeal events collected £2044 increased by adding £1176 from the Coop Community Fund and £1137 from Tom Bee cycling to Ypres. A total of £4357. Overall you raised £23657 this year!!!!!
Remembrance. On Remembrance Sunday we supported services at all 3 churches and paraded with the other uniformed organisations in Cotgrave. Unfortunately neither the Army Cadets nor St John Ambulance could raise a contingent so our numbers were depleted, however we continued to be supported by the Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force Bugles and Drums. The Cotgrave Town Council in cooperation with volunteers from CBOC and Nottinghamshire 4X4 successfully carried out traffic management for the first time. 73 members and friends had a good lunch at the Cotgrave Golf and Country Club after the church services.
AGM. In October we held our AGM, this time at Cotgrave Welfare Club; 49 members and 5 guests attended. We decided that our 2017 donations should go to: Our attendance at the ‘Great Pilgrimage 90’ - £1000, Nottinghamshire RBL Welfare Fund - £1176, Alderson House - £500 and Galanos House - £500. I would be grateful for volunteers to go to Bridlington (Alderson) and Warwickshire (Galanos) to present the cheques in the next few months. It is quite an eye opener as those that have been in the past will tell you. Please get in contact asp. FCFS.
Granby, Barnstone and District (GBD). GBD have now returned to full Branch status and have thanked all our members for their hospitality and assistance during their time as our sub branch.
Fundraising. At the CBOC Committee meeting on 8 January we confirmed our target to raise £2000 from non-Poppy Appeal sources. For the Poppy Appeal we decided that this year we would try and achieve 400 hours collecting. Please be ready to answer the call later this year.
Events. Your committee discussed long and hard as to what changes we could make to our events program to attract some youngish new members while retaining those events we have enjoyed in the past. Additionally this being the Centenary year of the end of WW1 we wanted to join in with the ‘Thank You’ campaign. The results of our discussion can be seen with some explanation on the next page. As you will see many of the events cannot be finalised until we have booked the venue and coordinated with other organisations so please allow us some flexibility. We are also trying to add a ¼ peel of Bells in Nov, an Art Competition for children throughout the year and a CBOC Great War Project exhibition!
16 February Event. We will definitely start our events with the Spring Supper at Cotgrave Golf and Country Club on the evening of Friday 16 February. The call in notice and menu are on the last page of this letter so please get in touch asp as I need your menu choices.
Knitted Poppies As part of the ‘Thank You’ Campaign Cotgrave Town Council have asked the Cotgrave community to knit as many poppies as they can manage. There are 3 patterns which are available from Cotgrave Library, All Saints Church and the Post Office. Other outlets for patterns will open as the year develops. Exactly how the Poppies will be displayed is yet to be decided but what is needed now is for you all to start knitting, spread the word and recruit others knitters. Incidentally one of our male members has already completed 6!
PS. I am having a new hip on 1 February so will be out of action for a short time. However having had the new hip and a little time off I will have learnt how to knit and will be dashing about all over the place with my needles getting you mobilised.