Minutes of the Branch Committee Meeting held on 26th July 2017 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield and subsequently, on 1st August 2017 in The Royal Oak, Eydon
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS We would have liked to have our August meeting in Woodford Halse but unfortunately the venues in Woodford are booked solid on Tuesday evenings for the foreseeable future. Following our new practice of ensuring every other meeting is on a Tuesday and outside Byfield, we shall return to Eydon.
B. MATTERS ARISING from last meeting’s Minutes:
B.1 Cascade: The Cascade rapid information dissemination system is now complete. 53 Members will be informed of significant short notice events by e-mail. Apart from 4 Members, for whom we have no telephone number or e-mail address, the remaining 13 Members who do not use e-mail will be informed by telephone. There is one more Member but he has changed his e-mail address and has yet to inform us of its revised designation; we do have his telephone number however.
B.2 BBQ: at Joy’s home Sunday 23rd July: a successful day with a profit of £400. Many thanks to Joy of course, and to all who helped and brought salads and puds. Grateful thanks to Tim and Lynne for doing the cooking AND to Chris Lowe, who has very generously donated the gas BBQ we use every year to the Branch; Joy has agreed to keeep it at her house.
B.3. Halton House Visit: This will now take place on Saturday 9th September 2017. We intend to arrive at Halton House by 1030, after which we’ll tour Halton House; the tour lasts about an hour, during that time we’ll be provided with tea or coffee. We’ll then go over to the Trenchard Museum. A two course lunch will be provided at 1300 in the Airman’s Mess near the museum for those who would like it; the cost will be £12/head. If lunch is not required the cost for coffee would be £3; a small donation to the museum would also be appreciated. After lunch we return to the Trenchard museum and James McCudden Flight Centre.
B.3.1 Names of those wishing to go on this visit to Halton House, and whether they will take lunch are required in advance. Names and car registrations need to be submitted for security purposes.
B.4 Largest Human Poppy: This Guiness World Record attempt was made by 2,609 people, including 5 from our Branch, at Southam School on Thursday 13th July. It was very well organised. See photos in correspondence book and on Web site. Was the record broken? As yet, there's been a loud silence from Guinness!
B.5 Schools’ Poetry Competition: Terry has approached all six State Junior schools in our District and they seem keen on the idea. Theme: "Remembrance" in its broadest terms. The best entry from each school to be awarded a book and the best overall some other prize. A panel of three or four independent judges will be appointed. The competition will be open during the first part of the 2017 autumn term with results before Armistice Day.
B.6 Festival of Remembrance: Royal Albert Hall, London, Saturday 11th November, Vernon and his wife Judith’s names have been submitted to County in the hope that we can obtain tickets for them for the evening ceremony. Tickets for the afternoon performance will go on sale to the public at 9am on 4 September 2017.
B.7 Grand Pilgrimage 1918 – GP90. Terry has launched an appeal amongst Byfield & District Branch Members to raise the £1,000 required to send two of our number (including Chris, our Standard Bearer) on GP90. This is looking very promising and we hope to be able to ensure our representation before the end of August '17. Anyone who would like to chip in please contact Terry on 01327 260093 - A Gift Aided donation would be much appreciated.
C.1 War Memorial Competition: County have announced this year’s competition would take place during September and October, with both Branches and Parish Councils taking part. Alan Short has explained that he will make a list of Branch Memorials entered and will compare that with a list of parishes submitted by ACRE, and where there are parishes not covered by branches, he will write inviting them to enter the competition.
C.2 The Responses by the Board of Trustees to Motions carried at the Annual Conference were discussed. In general terms, the Trustees’ responses were mostly negative. See Correspondence book.
D.1 End of year accounts were approved by the committee and the books have been forwarded to the auditor. See Correspondence book.
E. POPPY APPEAL Final total for 2016/17 = £10,247.98
E.1 John reported that he had now ordered a special wreath to commemorate 100 years since the WRENs were formed - Women’s’ Royal Naval Service (WRNS). It was agreed that a photo be taken of Annabel laying the WRNS wreath on Remembrance Sunday.
E.2 John had also ordered a PARA's wreath for Andy, the landlord of the Griffin in Chipping Warden.
F. WELFARE One house visit has been made this month
G.1 Current Membership for Byfield & District stands at 71. There are two prospective new Members in Chipping Warden but they have yet to appear on Legion records (latest update 29/07/2017). One prospective new Member living in Byfield is also expected to join us next month.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
H.1 Byfield War Memorial and Green - children's cross planting ceremony: As there is no longer any garden area surrounding the War Memorial, Tony W has provided aluminium channels to support the small wooden crosses placed by the children annually around our War Memorial.
If anyone wishes to see that it will remain in place for the next few days. There are photos above and in the Correspondence book. A vote of thanks was made to Tony for a job well done.
H.1.1 It was agreed that the device should be screwed down onto the concrete surround around the War Memorial but to do that, we needed Parish Council permission. Russ would apply for the Same.
J. DATES of FUTURE MEETINGS
Wednesday 30th August pub lunch at The Fox & Hounds, Charwelton (The Four Candles at Moreton Pinkney, where we had intended to go, appears to have closed).
Thursday 31st August, 1000 Branch Committee Meeting at Russ’s
Monday 4th September – Byfield V H – Alan Bailey will speak about his “Time in the Territorial Army”
Tuesday 3rd October - Royal Oak, Eydon – Mark Spindles will speak about “Moving the Colchester Garrison”
Monday 6th November – Byfield V H – AGM
Tuesday 5th December – Griffin, Chipping Warden – Speaker TBA
Flag Flying Days: 15th August Birthday of the Princess Royal
3rd September Merchant Navy Day (NB: fly the Red Ensign instead of the Union Flag)
At the meeting on the 1st August, for the sake of good order, Tony W then formally introduced Russ, who told us about his tour of South Africa late last year. He illustrated his experiences with slides and video clips and wove a potted history of SA into his talk. This rounded off an an informative and entertaining evening.