October '17

October '17

Minutes of the Branch Committee Meeting held on 27th September 2017 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield and subsequently, on 3rd October 2017 in The Royal Oak, Eydon

A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS Russ welcomed eight Members to the Committee meeting. He also commented that he had brought the meeting forward 24-hours to accommodate Terry, who was away from base on Thursday 28th. At the following general meeting in Eydon's Royal Oak on the 3rd Oct. he welcomed fifteen Members and Mark Spinddles, our Speaker for that evening.

B.  MATTERS ARISING from last meeting’s Minutes:

B.1. Halton House visit: This took place on Saturday 9th September and had been very successful; there is a report of our visit and some snaps elsewhere on this Web site. Because it was so interesting and we had such a warm welcome, there is a possibility we might arrange another visit next year.

B.1.1 Bernard has donated a water colour print of Halton House in winter that we will auction on a suitable occasion. Vernon will arrange to have it framed.

B.2 Schools’ Poetry Competition: To date only Byfield and Aston-le-Walls have indicated they will be entering, however all six schools have been contacted by telephone and e-mail more than once since the beginning of the autumn term and it is hoped all will provide verse. To assist schools that might be very busy at the moment it was suggested we postpone the closing date but that was rejected and it was agreed to keep it to 20th October, the end of the first half of the autumn term.

B.2.1 Due to unforeseen circumstances, Terry has had to bow-out of the task of chasing-up and collecting the Poetry Competition’s entries during the next three weeks; Joy has kindly agreed to take-over and Terry has since advised all the schools of this change in admin.

B.3 Great Pilgrimage 1918 – GP90. At a meeting of National, County & District Chairmen on 15th September where the Events Director presented an update on GP90, our County Chairman reports that the National Chairman said that only just over 500 Branches had so far registered and that if they didn’t have 1,000 Branches registered by the end of the year the event would have to be cancelled. It was decided unanimously to bank the donations we have and register the Branch but not claim the Gift Aid until the event is definitely on. This means that the Gift Aid element of the £1,000 registration fee (£156) would be met temporarily by Branch Funds in the BFI (Branch Fund Initiative account) until the Gift Aid was claimed. That was agreed by all. If the event is cancelled it would then be easy to repay the contributors directly from Branch Funds; reclaiming Gift Aid isn't easy.

B.4 Remembrance Services & Ceremonies:

Remembrance Sunday 2017 (103 years since the outbreak of the First World War). Vernon & his good lady will represent us at the Royal Albert Hall this year.

Children of Byfield School will plant crosses by the Byfield War Memorial at 09.30 a.m. on Friday 10th November. On Saturday the 11th at 11.00 a.m. the Last Post will be sounded at the Byfield War Memorial 

The Remembrance Service in Byfield will be on Sunday 12th November, commencing at 10.00 a.m. in Holy Cross church, continuing at 10.55 a.m. at the War Memorial.


Aston le Walls 10.15 a.m. Service in St. Leonard's church then joining with the local Roman Catholic congregation at the War Memorial in St. Leonard's churchyard. The R.C.'s service will commence in their St. Mary's church just before and continue in that church afterwards, once the ceremony at the War Memorial is complete.

The Boddingtons Children of Boddington School will remember the fallen at 10.50 a.m. on Friday 10th November. On Sunday 12th, the village's Remembrance service will commence at 10.15 a.m. in St. John the Baptist's church and at the War Memorial outside.

Canons Ashby St. Mary's Priory church - no service - see Moreton Pinkney

Catesby (& Lower Catesby) The Service will be in St. Mary the Virgin's church STAVERTON at 09.30.a.m.

Charwelton Wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial at 1100 on Saturday 11th and at 8.30 a.m. on the 12th the Service will be in in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd (opposite the Village Hall).

Chipping Warden 10.15 a.m. Service in church of St.Peter & St.Paul.

Culworth 10.15 a.m. Service in St. Mary the Virgin's church and at the War Memorial afterwards.

Eydon 10.15 a.m. Service in St. Nicholas's church and at the War Memorial afterwards.

Fawsley 11.00 a.m Service in St. Mary the Virgin's church.

Hellidon The Service will be in St. Mary the Virgin's church STAVERTON at 09.30.a.m.

Moreton Pinkney 9.00 a.m. Service in St. Mary the Virgin's church.

Preston Capes 9.30 a.m. Service in St. Peter & St. Paul's church.

Woodford Halse 10.15 a.m. normally the service would be in St. Mary the Virgin's church and at the War Memorial outside but as the church is under renovation, the venue may be altered.

B.5 Annual Quiz: This will be held on the FRIDAY evening of 24th November. Attendees would be asked to assemble by 7.15pm for a 7.30 start. Russ reminded us that this is our principle fund raiser where we donate the profit to help disabled service men and women rehabilitate through adventure training.

B.5.1 There will, as usual be a bar managed by Alan, a raffle, which Alison and Laurie would handle, and bacon butties prepared by the PTA. John R will collect table fees and David the answer sheets. Bob Cross, Peter G & Vernon would mark the papers. Mr. Start would call but due to the absence of his wife that day, an enumerator needed to be recruited; to help inter-organisational relations, Russ may ask the PTA about doing that.

B.5.2 Set up time 6 p.m. and volunteers are required to rig the hall for the gathering.

B.5.3 Russ asked that we try to form at least two RBL teams to attend the quiz. Maybe inter-District rivalry could be generated e.g. between Eydon and Byfield?

B.5.4 All Members were asked to bring raffle prizes.

B.6 War Memorial Book: Russ reported he had found it hidden amongst other large books and apologised to everyone.

B.7. Children’s Crosses support structure: With regard to fixing the aluminium channel to the memorial's surround, Russ explained he had been unable to contact Byfield PC's John Gillic to date but would continue trying. 

C. CORRESPONDENCE: There was no correspondence to discuss.

D. FINANCE: Our Books have now been signed off by the auditor.

E. POPPY APPEAL: Seven Members will fill boxes on Saturday 14th October at John’s house. 10.00 a.m. This task shouldn’t take more than an hour.

E.1 Poppy Knick-Knacks: John displayed a box of knick-knacks that were aimed at youngsters, with the poppy motif and slogans, and a suggested donation for each item. John emphasised that donations for those items should be made to the Poppy Appeal, which was separate from Branch Funds, the latter being the beneficiary of the Quiz profit for subsequent donation to The Battle Back Centre. To avoid confusion it was agreed that we should not have those items for sale at our Quiz.

F. WELFARE: Our Chairman Russ, and Alison attended an RBL Welfare presentation on Saturday 30th September.


G.1 One new Membership application has been received this month from “Nell” (everyone knows Nell). She’s ex Army and has been a Member of the Byfield RBL Womans’ Section for many years. Sadly, with the RBL’s recent reorganisation, that Section in Byfield closed. We welcome Nell and anyone else who wishes to transfer-over.

G.2 WE OWE ONE MEMBER (John) A FREE LUNCH, for recruiting another "Rob" of Byfield - this is the FIRST "FREE LUNCH" we have had to fork-out; we would love to have to do that more often - hint, hint!


H.1 Bingo? Angie, a resident of Byfield who has experience of such events has volunteered to arrange a Bingo Night in aid of our Branch. Angie will be advised that we gratefully accept her offer, date and venue to be arranged.

H.2 RIBBON of POPPIES Project: Terry presented information on the Ribbon of Poppies project by the Memorial Mob to create a carpet of crimson from Lands End to John O’Groats for 1918 by the planting of poppies. Committee members were all given a packet of seeds to sow NOW, as were all Members attending our 3rd October meeting.

H.3 Staggered Meetings? It was agreed that the pattern of alternate Monday Byfield Village Hall/Tuesday local hostelry monthly meetings would continue throughout 2018, with the first one in January being on the 8th in Byfield Village Hall's Lower Annex. Alan will book that location for alternate month's Mondays for the full year with Byfield Village Hall's Booking Secretary. Tuesday venues will be booked as required.

*H.3.1 Terry mooted the idea that at either the December or January meeting in place of a speaker anyone present could talk for a few minutes on their memories and reminiscences. Hopefully at least four or maybe five Members present could be persuaded to contribute. Examples of the type of experiences we are suggesting folks relate can be found on our Stories page.


Monday  6th November: Byfield Village Hall Lower Annexe – AGM

Tuesday 5th December: The Griffin, Chipping Warden – Speaker TBA*

Lunch meetings:

Seventeen of us were at the Red Lion, Culworth last Wednesday, including one guest from the USA.

Wednesday 25th October in The Griffin, Chipping Warden.

Wednesday 29th November in the Cross Tree, Byfield.

Flag Flying Days: 

Friday 10th November – during the children’s poppy planting at 0930hrs. 

Saturday 11th November - Armistice Day. 

Sunday 12th November – Remembrance Day 

Tuesday 14th November – Prince of Wales’ Birthday 

Monday 20th November – HM the Queen’s wedding anniversary

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