Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 6th February 2017 in the Lower Annexe, Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
Russ welcomed our Speaker for tonight Alan Carroll. He also mentioned that the Speaker for the July Meeting and potential new member Bob was also welcome to sit-in.
A.1 Speaker: Alan Carroll who was an Historic Advisor to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), spoke about his time in Antarctica with FIDS the foreunner to the BritishAntarctic Survey (BAS) many, many years ago.
B. MATTERS ARISING from last meeting’s Minutes:
B .1 Eydon Standard: This is planned to be laid up during the normal church service at Eydon on 7th May. Rev Stevie is happy with the suggestion that only two Standards will be present, Geoff with the Eydon Standard and Chris with Byfield’s. Russ will explain this to the next Group 4 meeting on 1st March, and invite other members of the Group to attend, but without their Standards.
B.2 Byfield War Memorial Green: Alan reported that Byfield Parish Council are arranging to turf over the flower beds at the side of the Memorial, and will also turf the bed previously cared for by Barbara and her husband.
B.3 Group 4 Band Concert: Alan reported that Russ B and Denis had decided to cancel it because so few tickets had been sold prior to the event without taking into account the fact that many are usually sold at the door. Alan also reported that he had been reimbursed for the five tickets he had sold.
C.1 County Conference: Russ reported that he had been unable to attend with Alan and Chris because of illness.
C.1.1: Alan reported the major points: Russ B was now County Chairman, Allan S, previously County Secretary, was now County Vice Chairman.
C.1.2: War Memorial competition winners were: External Joint winners Brackley/Thrapston, Internal winner Wellingborough, Parish Competition (where no RBL Branch exists): External Aldwinkle and Internal Sudborough.
C.1.3: A short address was given by Roz of the Women’s Section, but nothing new was said about their future.
C.2 Message from Charles Byrne Director General: Russ explained a message received from the Director General - a new 5 year “Gateway” strategy having four priorities: Support, Remembrance, Membership and Operational excellence. So that the RBL can deliver on this strategy, he has created three new roles which he expects to have filled by the Summer, they are: Director of Membership and Volunteering - Director of Strategy and Campaigning- Director of Information, Systems and Data Management
C.3 Holiday Cottage in the Pas de Calais: Russ announced that Terry had passed him details of holiday accommodationinthe Nord – Pas de Calais region of France which is conveniently located for visiting the War Cemeteries there. It has 5 bedrooms and can sleep 10 people. He has details should anyone be interested.
C.4 Additional Flag Flying Days: Russ explained he had requested Parish Council approval of an up to date list of 18 official flag flying days, these including several additional ones to those approved by the Parish Council in 1999.
D.1: Alan reported that David had now taken over as Treasurer. David then reported that the finances as at the end of January were in good health.
D.2: Russ proposed that a donation of £500 be made to the Battle Back Centre, with a further donation to be made later in the year should finances permit. This was agreed by all. He also proposed that we consider inviting a team from Battle Back to take part in the next Quiz as they have been the beneficiaries of the Quiz proceeds for a number of years.
E. POPPY APPEAL:
John had advised Russ prior to the meeting that he was not well enough to attend, and had reported to him that there was no significant change to total collected to date.
Three home visits made during the last month.
G.1 Terry reported on his actions following up those who expressed interest at the Quiz in joining the Branch, but with little success so far. The RBL article in the current Byword canvassing for new members and speakers had some success; one gentleman, Bob, offered to speak, has been booked for the July meeting and plans to join on line.
G.2 Alan W reported that Mr. Simon T joined the Eydon Branch just before they merged with Byfield & District but he does not yet appear on our Membership list; Russ will follow this up.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
H.1 Alan W also advised the meeting about Olly who lives in Eydon who is a mentor to an ex Grenadier Guardsman injured in Afghanistan who is using art for rehabilitation; he agreed we could approach him via his mentor to ask if he would be interested in giving us a talk on this work.
H.2 Russ will check the suitability of the Red Lion at Hellidon and the Griffin at Chipping Warden for the next lunch meeting on 22nd February.
Flag Flying Days: 19th February; the Duke of York’s birthday.