poppy field





 Minutes of the Toddington Branch of The Royal British Legion

Committee Meeting held at Toddington Social Club in the Top Bar at 7.40.p.m. on Tuesday 21st August 2018.



Harvey Silver, Pippa Brazier, Christine Baker, Melanie Parker, Glen Gadsden, Debbie Gibbons, John Wood.



John Bryant, Lee Stone, Shaun Prior.


3. SILENT TRIBUTE - Held at 7.45 pm.


4. EXHORTATION. Read by Harvey Silver


 5. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING – Committee meeting July 17th 2018

The minutes were read and agreed to be a true report of the meeting.

Proposed – Melanie Parker

Seconded – Pippa Brazier


6. CHAIRMAN – Opening Remarks

The chairman welcomed back those members that attended the Great Pilgrimage (GP90) in Ypres, Belgium at the beginning of August, and noted the lack of media and television coverage in the UK of this event.

There has been a statement issued concerning this by our Membership Support Officer a copy of which is attached to these minutes.

The Beacon that will be used for the “Battle’s Over” event on the evening of November 11th

has now been fabricated by EKA fabricators at Chalgrave Manor.

We are now arranging for its installation onto the village green. This will be installed on a temporary basis because of the village green being part of a conservation area.

Poppy Bench

We have been informed that it is not the “Old Boys” bench that will require replacing soon but one of the other benches near the memorial, we have written to the Parish Council regarding this and a possible second bench with a Royal British Legion/Poppy theme to them. We will be looking to have these in place for this year’s remembrance service if possible.



From and since the last meeting on 17th July 2018

Battle’s over event. Remembrance Sunday

The raffle tickets for lighting the Beacon will shortly be on sale at Punch Opticians, at £1.00 per entry

 There will be a free barbeque on the Village Green with the Town Band to entertain us on the evening of the 11th November, along with our poppy stall, and hopefully a few other community stalls.


The itinerary will be to start gathering from about 5pm to enjoy the music and the barbeque. There will be a short service from the Rector, Linda Washington followed by:

6:50pm A ‘Tribute to Millions’

6:55pm ‘Last post’

7:00pm Lighting of the Beacon.

7:05pm St Georges Bells will ring out.



 Our standard Bearer Shaun Prior and his wife Anne Marie were our representatives in Ypres for this, 1200 standards with over 1200 wreath layers and officials paraded through the town for the ceremony at the Menen Gate.

We have many photo’s and some video’s that we can share with you, if anyone would like a copy of these, please contact John Wood or Harvey Silver for details.


Dunstable Fire Station Open Day.

This will be taking place on Sunday 2nd September at the Dunstable Fire Station on Brewers Hill Rd Dunstable.

As well as our Poppy Stall, there will be Fire Bikes, Police cars, St Johns Ambulance,

Ice creams, a BBQ and refreshments, Rescue exhibitions, and a raffle to name some of the attractions.

The event is from 12pm to 3pm, we hope to see you there.



We have received three emails from our membership support officer, Sharon Turton.

The first is the sad news that Graham Church passed away on the 2nd August 2018

Graham was the County Parade Marshall, Woburn Branch Chairman, Vice Chairman and Standard Bearer.

The second item concerns the scrapbook that Sharon is compiling from the postcards that some people are sending her to create a memorial for our fallen.  If anyone requires more postcards, please let either Harvey Silver or John Wood know and we can arrange this for you.

The third item is the statement regarding the television and Media coverage of theGP90 event.

And is set out below.

 “The GP90 event was a great success and achieved its objective of commemorating the Great Pilgrimage of 1928 in the year that marks the end of the First World War Centenary. The event has been captured through video and some stunning photography. This footage and the images will be shared ongoing through the Remembrance period.

Throughout the day of the “100 days” event our digital and social channels were dedicated to covering the proceedings and thousands of followers on each platform engaged with the content.

The PR team secured national print pieces including a double page spread in the Daily Mirror on the day, hundreds of regional and local news pieces, and the event was covered by all of Belgian’s main broadcast media. Unfortunately, British national broadcasters decided our event was not a priority story when put into context with the rest of the day’s news and we have to respect their editorial decisions.”

Our Area Manager Patricia Chadwick has stated “I know that there has been a lot of unhappy comment and queries from members regarding lack of media coverage, and I have highlighted with PR the need to inform where events might be televised away from the main channels”.

 I know there are many of you who are becoming increasingly frustrated with this but unfortunately, there is nothing that I or anyone else can do about it. This is the official line from the PR Team that we have been asked to cascade down.

Therefore, could I please ask you all, respectfully to cease from sending me emails regarding this.

 Kind Regards



Sharon Turton

Membership Support Officer

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire


9. Reports

Branch Community Representative. Harvey Silver

Nothing to report at the moment.



Please visit the branch website at http://branches.britishlegion.org.uk/branches/toddington

Standard Bearer. Shaun Prior

 I attended Standard Bearer training on the 26th July and received outline details of the remembrance concert to be held at the Bedford Corn Exchange on the 9th of November 2018.

 I attended the Funeral of Mr Douglas George BEM. At Bedford Crematorium on the 30th of July, Mr Douglas was aged 90 and had served in the Army.

 I attended the funeral of Mr Alexander Mills at Hatfield, Mr Mills was from Glasgow and has no family, he served in the Royal Army Service Corp.  The funeral was well attended with Four Standards, a piper and members of the rider’s branch along with about thirty other mourners in attendance.

We attended Ypres for the GP90 event from the 5th to 9th of August. There will be more details to follow.

 I attended Bedford Priory Park on the 12th August for a short parade and wreath laying ceremony before the Honour Walk, this was very pleasant and thankfully the rain held off.


Treasurer. Debbie Gibbons

This month’s balance is at £1765.34

 We had £434.20 income into the branch and expenditure of £455.15.


Membership. Christine Baker

We currently have 74 members

Four members showing as their membership is due.

All four have been emailed reminders along with one member from last month who has been sent a second reminder.


Poppy Appeal update –Melanie Parker

Toddington Appeal for 2017 /2018 total still stands at - £10,786.66


10. Future Dates for your Diary

County Family Fun Day

Henlow Pavilion Sports Field from 10am Sunday 2nd September 2018

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Open Days

Dunstable Fire Station 12pm to 3pm Sunday 2nd September 2018

 Please see details in item 7 above.

Toddington Fire Station Open Day

Saturday 22nd September 2018

Several members will be attending with our Poppy stall, along with displays and exhibitions by the Toddington Fire service.


Ampthill Armistice 100

Saturday 13th October 2018 at Ampthill Great Park

A Living history event giving an insight into camp life during the First World War

Coffee Morning Methodist Hall 27th October 2018

Including the draw for beacon lighting competition. Tickets available soon at Punch Opticians.

(Volunteers please, for serving tea & cakes plus volunteers to make cakes)

Festival of Remembrance Bedford Corn Exchange 9th November 2018

Some committee members are already attending. Tickets are available from the Corn Exchange box office.

 Remembrance Sunday & Battles over event 11th November 2018

Please see items above for details of this event, there will be a free BBQ, the Town Band and the lighting of the Beacon.

AGM 17th November 2018

Toddington Social Club

Melanie to confirm if Mark Smith is available to speak at our AGM.

 Christmas Tree festival December 2018

Poppy Boxes Count. November 2018

Volunteers required, please contact John Wood or Harvey Silver if you can help count the Poppy Boxes.


11. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be at 7:40pm on Tuesday 25th September 2018

The meeting was closed at 9:20pm