poppy field



Minutes of the Toddington Branch of The Royal British Legion

Committee Meeting held via Zoom at 7.30.p.m. on Tuesday 16th January 2021

  1. Present


Harvey Silver, John Wood, Melanie Parker, Debbie Gibbons,

Bil Levinson, John Morris, Lee Stone.


2. Apologies

Glen Gadsden, Shaun Prior, John Bryant, Pippa Brazier.


3. Previous Meeting – Committee meeting 18th February 2020.

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

 Proposed – Melanie Parker

 Seconded – Lee Stone


 4. Matters Arising

The main item arising from our last meeting of 18th February 2020 has been the effect that the pandemic has had on all of us.

We were in the process of organising a celebratory event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, although this could not go ahead, it was lovely to see so many people having a socially distanced street party outside their own homes instead.

We are keeping a close eye on the evolving situation, and with the roll out of the vaccines, we are hoping to be able to attend any of the village events that can go ahead this year. One of these being the 100th Anniversary of the RBL in May.

 A virtual County Conference is being held on the 6th of February 2021; John Wood will be attending as a delegate representing the Toddington Branch.


Chairman’s Report  January 2021

It  has now been over a year since we last met in the club and we have been unable to hold meetings as RBL and Government guidelines have stipulated this, which we of course must abide.

Our AGM had to be cancelled and all those on the committee were asked to continue in their roles until voting can take place.

There was one significant change for our branch to note and that was the retirement of our County Chairman; Eric Robinson who has been replaced by Paul Sawyer.  This took place just before Covid-19 struck.

VE day celebrations planned were abandoned.  However, we managed to hold a short service around the memorial as we did for Remembrance Sunday.  Both short services were conducted by Reverend Linda Washington whom we offer our sincere thanks along with all those that were able to attend albeit, distanced.

Christmas and New Year have come and gone but coronavirus still remains.  The RBL will be celebrating the British Legion’s centenary this year.  With covid-19 dominating our lives, who knows what celebrations will be permitted or if they will take place at all.

I would just like to wish you all well and stay safe for 2021 and that we all should remain optimistic that we can get back to normality and again raise much needed funds for our servicemen and women past and present,  who may need our services even more this year than ever before.

 Best wishes,


6. COVID-19 Report.

 As mentioned above the pandemic has been the overriding factor in all of our lives since March 2020, we were able to hold a few small ceremonies to commemorate VE Day, VJ Day and Remembrance Sunday, all of which were held at the Memorial on the village green whilst complying with the government guidelines on social distancing at the time.



7.Remembrance Review

We were going to conduct a full review of the 2019 Remembrance Sunday event; last year’s event was a very small affair with only about 20 people being in attendance.

We are hoping that by November this year we can return to having our normal full Remembrance event with the Town Band and Parades, fingers crossed.



 Welfare Report - Harvey Silver.

 I have spoken with the family of Roy Hawkins who is recovering after having a fall.

Otherwise, we have had no other welfare issues to deal with lately.


Website – Bil Levinson

 Our Member. Bil Levinson is continually updating the Branch Website, if you have any items to add to the website, please contact John Wood or Harvey Silver with the details.

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

We also have someone who is able to post items on the two village Facebook sites, please go to either site to see details of our upcoming events.


Standard Bearer –  Shaun Prior

 Our standard bearer has not attended any events since the last meeting except for the three small services held on the village green mentioned earlier, Pippa Brazier also attended these events as well as a small Remembrance event at Chalgrave on Remembrance Sunday.


Membership Secretary – Bil Levinson

 Through Lockdown, we have lost 4 members and gained two new ones.

Thee lost members were removed during a flush of the database whereby all unpaid members were removed from the database.

 This means, we now have 69 paid up members instead of the previous 71

 Bil Levinson (Membership Secretary Toddington Branch)


 Treasurers Report. – Debbie Gibbons

 Toddington Branch Accounts Summary.

 Our current balance is £1506.48

 This is made up as follows:-

 Current Account           £1450.09

BFI                              £56.39

Balance as of 16/01/2021        £1506.48

We have also received a donation of £12.00

 The Committee also agreed to make a payment to the Poppy appeal to cover the costs of the wreaths used in the services we held at Toddington and Chalgrave last year.


Poppy Appeal – Toddington – Melanie Parker PAO.

 2019 to 2020 


  • Bedfordshire 2019/2020 - £383,558.97
  • National 2019/2020 - £44,180,209.13

 2020 to 2021


2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
£8,365.28 £7,770.23 £8,457.25 £10,824.78 £13,647.29 £12,345.40 £10,950.69 £21,531.61 £15,221.59 £7,512.39


  • Poppy Appeal - PAO banked income and cash collection is higher than anticipated for 2020! Poppy Appeal totals Nationally so far this year stands at £14,000,000 an incredible achievement considering cash collections were ceased across the nations due to lockdown. 
  • Legion 100 - May Centenary County event will probably not be taking place now. However Nationally we will still be looking at events depending on status. 
  • County Conference - has 3 delegates so far, the conference will be an online meeting with no guest speaker. Copies of all reports will be sent to each Branch.


9. Correspondence

  • An email has been received from our MSO Sharon Turton, regarding Branch Community Support Training, these will be online sessions on the afternoons of 22nd and 23rd February 2021 between 2pm to 4pm

This training is for the telephone buddy service which gives a much-needed lifeline to those in need of some companionship whilst we are all still in lockdown.

 If anyone would like copies of the item mentioned above or more information on it, please contact either John Wood or Harvey Silver.


10. Future Events

 Ashby ‘Big Band’ Concert

We still have a deposit held by the “Ashby Big Band” from the postponed concert we were going to hold last year, once we have some sort of idea when we can hold the concert again, we will be re-booking the band.

 As with the concert mentioned above, there are several events that we are hoping will be held this year, most, but not all of these are set out below, we will keep you all informed as and when we may be able to attend or hold any of these.

 Village Fayre, April

100th Anniversary of the Formation of the Royal British Legion, May

 Armed Forces Day, Bedford, June

 Village Fete,  June

 Newmarket Races Poppy Race Day, August

 Coffee Morning Methodist Hall,  October

 Remembrance Sunday, November

 Christmas Tree festival, December


11. Next Meeting

 Tuesday 16th February 2021 @ 19:30 ( online via Zoom)

 The meeting was closed at 8:30pm