poppy field


Minutes of the Toddington Branch of The Royal British Legion

Committee Meeting 7:30 pm

Tuesday 20th February 2024

 1. Present

 Kelly Grumoli, Pippa Brazier, Debbie Gibbons, Graeme Kelly, John Wood, Bill Levinson, Melanie Parker, Lee Stone


2. Apologies

Nigel Washington, Linda Washington, Glen Gadsden, Shaun Prior


3. Silent Tribute.


4. Exhortation

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

we will remember them.

5. Previous Meeting – Committee Meeting 29th November 2023

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

Proposed – Bill Levinson

Seconded – Lee Stone


6. Chairmans Report – 20th February 2024

Christmas Tree Festival 2023.

The Christmas Tree Festival run by St Georges Church was a great success again with the RBL tree’s theme being the 70th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War, the Friends of St Georges raised over £1500.00 towards the renovation costs of the church. They also raised a further £120.00 for the Alzheimer’s Society with a knitted Gnome stall.

County Conference 3rd February 2024

The annual Beds County Conference was held again in the Pavilion at Henlow, 16 Branches attended, along with 9 Standard Bearers. I have a bulletin from Clare Pillinger for you all to take a look at.

RBL Members Survey.

Clare sent out a member’s survey, which she has asked all who are online to complete, if anyone needs the link to do this it is https://research.shift-insight.co.uk/RBL-3

D-Day Events.

In June we will be holding two D-Day Events to commemorate and celebrate the 80th anniversary of the amphibious assault that started the end of the 2nd World war in Europe.        On the 6th June at 8pm we will be holding a Remembrance Service on the village green, which will include the lighting of the Beacon at 9pm, then on the following Saturday the 8th June at 6pm we will be holding a second D-Day event with the Ukie Toons Ukelele band, a Hot Food stall, and an Ice Cream van, with the Beacon being lit again at 9pm.  We have received permission from the parish council for both events, we have applied for a grant from the Parish Council for £400.00 towards the costs of the band and the first aid medics. I have obtained a reading from the RBL that Melanie has sent to Linda Washington to read for us, along with a Town Crier type proclamation to be read out prior to each beacon lighting. The Parish Council has also arranged for the trees on the greens to be lit in red on both evenings to symbolise a poppy.  On the 8th/9th June here are two other events taking place, Toddington Rovers are holding their “Funday” on the Glebe on the Saturday afternoon, The Town Band is holding a concert on the Village Green on Sunday 9th June.

Thorn Springs Care Home.

Myself, Pippa, Debbie, and Kelly attended the Thorn Springs Care home last November, and we have been in contact with them again, regarding another service again this November, as the residents enjoyed it so much.

RBL email addresses.

Clare Pillinger has emailed regarding Branch officers not using RBL email addresses.

Claire says that going forward the RBL wants us only to communicate with officers using RBL email addresses. This is a work in progress and if this has landed with your personal email by mistake my apologies. If though you do not have an RBL email address please do get in touch.

I think I am correct that none of us, use an RBL email address, so this is something that we will all have to do, those of us that are branch officers will each have to contact Clare to arrange for a new RBL email address.


7. Reports

  • Treasurer – Debbie Gibbons




Branch Funding Initiative

+  57.79

Branch Funding Initiative 23/24

+    0.44











AGM Food


Deposit Ukie Toons


Medics 08/06/2023


Medics 10/11/2023











  • Poppy Appeal Report – Melanie Parker

2023 Poppy Appeal - Toddington

No recent poppy appeal has taken place this year, currently our local figure for the 2023 poppy appeal stands at £13,898.05

The separate Luton schools amount now stands at £19,449.21 so this makes an overall total of £31,765.07, about £3k down on this time last year.

 County Conference

An interesting day, 40 people or so attended, 9 standard bearers. Some interesting facts from the Lynda Atkins, National Vice Char given and below:

  • 47m poppy appeal 2022 at the end
  • 42m poppy appeal 2023 at the moment so higher than the 2022 at this time of year, however homes are incurring much higher costs i.e. utilities so more expensive.
  • In 2023 RBL gave out to 27,000 beneficiaries
  • 39m paid out by RBL to help claimants from the MOD for compensation.
  • 80m paid out in grants.
  • 1,700 people with dementia helped per month.
  • Membership is falling currently have 194,181 vs 202,261 same time last year.
  • Bedfordshire last year was 36% compliant vs 76% this year.

80th anniversaries this year

  • D-Day going to be very big in Normandy.
  • Montecasino
  • Operation Market Garden
  • Kohima

Next year’s date booked as Sunday, 2nd February. Henlow Park Pavilion, Groveside, Henlow, Bedfordshire SG16 6AP 

  • Membership Secretaries Report – Bil Levinson 

From the membership list on 19th February 2024, we have 63 members. This is an increase of 3 new members!

Web Site Report

The web site is up to date as far as I can tell. I have also loaded the De-Brief 2023 newsletter and updated the Future Events. 

  • Standard Bearer – Pippa Brazier 

Our Standard Bearer, Pippa Brazier, continues to go to various Funerals, events, and parades that she is requested to attend, the most recent of these since the last meeting are set out below.


We would just like to say a huge Thanks to Pippa for her dedication to her Standard Bearer role.

14th December 2023    Funeral @ Bedford Crematorium

21st December 2023   Funeral for Mr Stan Dunkley @ North Herts Crematorium, Bedford

21st December 2023    Funeral for Mr Paul Haverly @ All Saints Church, Great Barford

25th January 2024        Funeral for Mr Thomas Peters @ Luton Crematorium

9th February 2024        Funeral for Mr Harold Charles @ North Herts Crematorium, Bedford

15th February 2024      Funeral for Mr John Mace @ Norse Road Crematorium, Bedford

19th February 2024      Funeral for Mr John Bellingham @ Crownhill Crematorium, MK


8. Correspondence

All items of correspondence are now sent out via email to the committee members prior to the meeting taking place, so that they can be read beforehand and discussed as necessary during the meeting. If any member would like a copy of any correspondence item, please contact John Wood or Kelly Grumoli (details at the top of these minutes) and we will get copies to you.

  • St Georges Christmas Tree Festival
  • County Conference 2024
  • Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue – Community Volunteering
  • Heath & Reach, and Woburn Branches.
  1. Future Events – Memorable Dates
  • 6th June, D-Day Commemoration and Beacon Lighting on the Village Green
  • 8th June, D-Day event on the Village Green
  • 22nd June – Toddington Village Fete.
  • 26th June – Coffee Morning
  1. Next Meeting

 The next meeting will be at 19:30 on Tuesday 19th March 2024 and will be in the top bar of the Social & Services Club, High Street Toddington.

If any member would like to attend a committee meeting, please contact John Wood or Kelly Grumoli and we can send you the details.

The meeting was closed at 20.41 pm