Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 9th January in the Lower Annexe of Byfield Village Hall
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
Russ wished all members a Happy New Year and welcomed our visitor to this meeting, Rob.
B. MATTERS ARISING from last meeting's Minutes:
B .1 Monthly Meeting Day: As agreed at the December meeting, the 6 month trial of slipping the meeting by one day each successive month was due to commence in February. However it was found that the Lower Annexe was booked on a regular basis on Tuesdays by the Art Group, and the following month which was planned for a Wednesday, clashed with the Group 4 meeting, which is attended by Russ and Alan. So Russ proposed that we start the trial one month later, i.e. the February meeting will be on the first Monday as usual in Byfield Village Hall’s Lower Annex, with the March meeting on the first Tuesday at the Byfield Bowls Club, behind the Byfield Village Hall’s Lower Annex. Bob confirmed that the Bowls Club would welcome a donation similar to the amount we pay for the lower annex. Alan will advise the February Speaker (Alan Carroll on Antarctica) of the change of date. The revised dates would be published on our Web site and in the Byword, Byfield’s Parish Magazine, in its next edition.
B1.1.Venues for the April, May and June meetings are yet to be arranged.
B.2 Eydon Standard: This is planned to be laid up during the normal church service at Eydon on 17th May. Russ will agree the formalities with Rev Stevie, and Alan W will decide where and how the Standard is to be fixed in the church. County will then be notified and Standards from other branches will be invited to attend if this is agreeable.
B.3 Byfield War Memorial Green: It was agreed that responsibility for establishing which village organisations would be asked to continue to maintain the roundels on the Memorial Green should be the responsibility of the Byfield Parish Council, so that will be discussed with them at the next Parish Council meeting.
B.4 Group 4 2016 Band Concert: That concert, scheduled for just before last Christmas, was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances only three days before the event. Alan has arranged for the five who purchased tickets to be reimbursed.
B.5 RBL Riders Christmas Present Run: Alan reported he had an extremely good response from members and managed to squeeze over 60 items into his ditty-bag attached to the carrier of his vintage Ariel motorbike. Having ridden down to the Long Itch Diner, he presented those to the Warwickshire Rep of the RBL Riders Branch, and then with others from that Branch, rode up to Galanos House to hand the gifts over. The residents were thrilled to receive them, and several came outside later to wave the riders off. The branch subsequently received a thank you letter and a Certificate of Recognition from the RBLR, and these thanks were passed on to the members. A report with pictures can be found on our Web site.
C.1 DACT Annual Affiliation Fee: The sum of £25 has been paid.
C.2 Annual Donation to the Byfield "Byword": The sum of £35 has been paid. For an additional personal donation, a separate RBL “recruitment” advertisement will be run in each edition, as it was last year.
C.3 County Conference Agenda: The County Conference will be held on 14th January and will be attended by Russ, Alan and Chris.
D.1 Status: Alan reported that the finances as at the end of December were in the black.
D.2 Anonymity? Some concern was expressed about the need for anonymity for private donations, so John proposed that a donation should be made public unless the donor has asked to remain anonymous. This was agreed by all. In this particular case, Roger E’s father had been the Memorial Greenkeeper in Byfield for many years, and has made a donation to the RBL every year; his dedication and generosity was appreciated by all.
D.3 Eydon subscriptions: Some discussion took place on the viability of reimbursing the Eydon Members’ additional £1 subscription to their Branch funds. However it is not known if that £1 was taken before the official transfer of the Eydon Branch (correct), or after (incorrect). It was considered not worth the effort or expense of taking this matter any further.
E. POPPY APPEAL:
John reported that £9,976.92 had been banked to date and with a further £77.50 to be deposited by the 12th passes the magic £10,000 hurdle for the 2016 Appeal. It was agreed to publicise this across the district, so Russ will write to each of the village correspondents to request an appropriate note be placed in next week’s Gusher and the Banbury Guardian. The meeting thanked John and everyone involved for all the hard work.
Home visits made during the last month included two by Russ and one by Vernon. David also reported that he visits Elisabeth S as a carer every day.
Terry reported that there were now 62 official members, with one more who had not paid his annual sub, who he had not been able to contact. Although four prospective new Members had approached us at the last Quiz night, all of whom had been visited subsequently and given Membership Forms, none of those had been seen to progress those; Terry will follow them up. Chris said he knew of a Police Officer who lives in Byfield and serves in Leicester who has expressed interest in attending.
G.1 Promotion: Terry explained that our Website was now linked to the Parish Council Websites of Byfield, Chipping Warden, Culworth, Boddington, Woodford Halse and Moreton Pinkney but not yet at Eydon, Hellidon or Charwelton's Village Hall's site. He had also approached all the villages in the district and asked them to add a mention of the RBL in their other village periodicals and publications. Although some had responded and all were positive, we have yet to see any result.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
It was decided to hold the next lunch meeting on 25th January at the Royal Oak in Eydon.
Flag Flying Days: None.
Terry raised the question why we did not adhere to the official Government list of Flag Flying days? Russ explained the history and background to obtaining Parish Council agreement for days when the flag is flown, and agreed it would be worth asking for approval of the latest list.