Minutes of the RBL Branch Meeting held on 4th January 2016
Lower Annexe, Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS:
On this occasion, Russ simply welcomed the New Year and wished everyone well for its duration; his sentiments were reciprocated.
B. MATTERS ARISING:
B.1. Eydon Branch: Russ reported that we were still awaiting approval from the RBL's Membership Council.
B.2. Recruitment Poster: Poster printing and distribution had been delayed slightly but Alan would progress that task forthwith.
B.3. Payment of Subscriptions: (Background: Late last year, the method by which subscriptions were collected had changed; Branches were no longer responsible for this and subs were now to be paid direct to RBL HQ.)
This change was causing difficulties and Russ advised that the sub’s renewal date had been put back again, this time from 10th January to 31st March 2016. Concern was expressed by Branch Members that those who had previously paid cash might decide that the new method of payment, as detailed in the recent letter from RBL HQ to all Members, would be too much trouble and therefore not bother renewing. It was decided that Russ would make a personal call to those personnel to help anyone who had difficulty accepting the new situation.
B.4 Quiz: As explained last month (Item B3.1), Barbara had retired from butty duty. It was suggested that we ask the PTA if they would take this on for the next Quiz. This would give them some income, as well as giving the Branch some useful exposure to younger people.
B.4.1: Russ also explained that the results of the Quiz had been challenged! This was because of a forgotten “Joker” (Quiz attendees will understand); an amicable agreement to a mutually acceptable resolution of this embarrassing problem had been reached ("say no more!").
B.5 Christmas Dinner: Nineteen members and spouses attended and had a very enjoyable evening (see News & Events herein). A vote of thanks to Russ was passed for organising this once again.
B.6 Website: This had been on the Internet since November 2015 and as reported previously, an edited version of Branch Meeting Minutes would now be included.
B.6.1: Members had been asked if they would like to submit interesting anecdotes for the Stories’ section of our Web site – the aim being to attract outside interest and anticipation of future additions. Russ had written two articles that were now “up” for everyone’s perusal and he was preparing a piece about the Battle of the Somme to coincide with its centenary to add to this collection. Douggie had published his narrative about fingerprinting a Gorilla and Terry had added a couple of his experiences.
B.7 Outings: Russ explained he had investigated several options for visits and presented the details:
RAF Cosford Museum – 82 miles, open 10 – 6, entry free, car park charge, guided tours max 12 people £30
Middle Wallop – Army flying museum - 92 miles, open 10 – 4.30, £10
Cotswold Motoring Museum, Bourton on the Water - 40 miles, open 10 – 6, £5.25
National Memorial Arboretum - 60 miles
Harrington Carpet Baggers Museum, American SOE Squadron – 30 miles, open w/e and Bank Holidays £5
Russ agreed to issue an e-mail providing full details to allow members to make their choice at the next meeting.
B.8 Speakers: A Speaker had been “booked” for our March meetings: an illustrated talk on ‘A Northamptonshire Hero” William Rose-Moorhouse VC, RFC’, the first pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross.
B.8.1: Alan is following up possible talks by Branch members Sandy and Graham Pattenden.
B.8.2: Others to be followed up include:
Matt Hawkins: ex RAF Red Arrows, now a BA pilot, who lives in Aston le Walls – Russ to contact.
Romer Adams: various flying talks, John to contact.
David Adams, talk on Borough Hill, Daventry, Tony W to ask him to contact Russ…
STOP PRESS: David Adams will talk about Borough Hill, Daventry on 01/02/16.
C. FINANCE: Alan reported finances were in the black.
D. POPPY APPEAL: See Poppy Appeal Page herein.
E. WELFARE: Following a discussion on how best to be aware of welfare needs across the whole of the district, and whether we should establish one point of contact in each village, it was agreed that Russ would write to all Branch members in the form of a ‘Chairman’s New Year Message’ based on his Annual Report and including details of the RBL Contact Centre Help Line 0808 802 8080.
E.1: Lesreported he had contacted the family and that a rose bush for Mrs. P front garden would be the most appropriate gesture in memory of her late husband Ken, a stalwart RBL Byfield Branch Member who sadly passed away late last year. A small plaque would also be provided stating the rose had been presented by the Branch: Alan will arrange this.
F. MEMBERSHIP: Russ had one prospective new member to follow up.
F.1 Russ raised the question about continuing to use the formal induction process for new Members, with the Branch Standard being raised, and the new member shaking hands with all those present. He felt that in certain circumstances this might not be appropriate and asked the meeting for their thoughts. John proposed that it should be for the Chairman to decide when he felt it was pertinent, and this was agreed by all.
G. DATES & EVENTS: See “NOTICES” page on our Web site; Chris J will be giving a talk on the Battle Back Centre to the Banbury Supper Club at 6 pm on Thursday March 17th at Marlborough Road Methodist Church, OX16 5BZ. Anyone wishing to attend should telephone David H on 01295 253891 by 14th March at the latest.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Terry suggested it could be beneficial to hold some of our monthly meetings in the other villages in the district. While this has been tried in the past and failed to bring in new members, it was felt appropriate to try it again. Russ will try to find suitable venues (see “Notices” on our Web site).
J. DATE of NEXT MEETING: Monday 1st February 2016, Byfield Village Hall, lower annex. Assemble beforehand in The Cross Tree, Byfield.