poppy field




Minutes of the Toddington Branch of The Royal British Legion

Committee Meeting 7.30.p.m. on

Tuesday 16th May 2023

1. Present

Kelly Grumoli, Bil Levinson, Melanie Parker, Pippa Brazier, Debbie Gibbons,

Glen Gadsden, Graeme Kelly


 2. Apologies

John Wood, Linda Washington, Nigel Washington, Melanie Parker, Shaun Prior, Lee Stone


 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 16th April 2023

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

Proposed – Glen Gadsden

Seconded – Bil Levinson


6. Chairman’s Report and Matters arising

 King Charles Ⅲ has now been Crowned “God Save The King” what a wonderful sight on our TV screens, especially with all of the armed forces represented at the Coronation Parade from Westminster Abbey.

Our Coronation Party last Saturday started a s a very wet and damp affair, but after having rained all day, the clouds cleared and the rain finally stopped just as the Ukulele band got started, this brought out the people that had been sheltering in the pubs and pretty soon we had a sizeable crowd out on the green enjoying themselves, there was a brisk trade at the RBL raffle stall and also surprisingly at the ice cream van. Although the street food van was not as busy as they had hoped to be, but I can attest that their Burgers were very nice. The band were as always brilliant, giving us a rousing rendition of the national anthem after a blessing from Rector Linda Washington and some words from our President Nigel Washington.

I would like to thank all of the RBL members who braved the wet and cold that day to make what turned out to be a very memorable evening.

During the evenings, festivities there was a presentation of a cheque for £856.13 for the Poppy Appeal from Barton Le Clay Scouts. This money was raised from them making 2000 poppies from recycled plastic drinks bottles.

The evening concluded with the lighting of the Village Beacon, just before the rain started

Our new Gazebo’s were also used for the first time at the event, they kept the band nice and

Remembrance Service Booklets.

We shall continue now with looking at the new Remembrance Service Booklets, I will be asking the working group to arrange another meeting along with Rector Linda Washington to move forward with discussions regarding the Prayers, Readings and Hymns to go into the revised booklet.

Memorial Bench.

We are in discussions with the parish Council to commission a memorial Bench in Memory of our late

President Mr John Bryant, the bench is likely to be sited following consent from the Parish Council, on the Village Green. And would replace the wooden bench that is facing the high street and is between us

“Lest We Forget” bench and the Village Sign. The parish Council met last night and have now approved this.

I have sought and received approval from Lynda Bryant for this and would now ask the committee for their approval as well to continue with the process of purchasing the bench from the Parish Council.

Pippa Brazier.

Our Standard Bearer, Pippa Brazier, attended the London Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey two weeks before the Coronation for a St Georges day parade and service.

Pippa can be seen here 2nd from the left, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey.

John Wood



7. Secretary’s Report

During the meeting we discussed purchasing the below items

  • Straw Coloured Standard Pole
  • Union Jack Standard
  • St George’s Standard
  • Red/White/Blue Tassels
  • Dark Polished Hardwood Standard base
  • 2 X Standard Bearers Blouses (Embroidered with the branch Standard)

The vote was unanimous to purchase all apart from the St George’s Standard which will be discussed at the next meeting.

We also talked about our late Presidents Bench, which we are all in agreement that we should commemorate a Bench for John but would like to change the style of the bench.  I have proposed that we vote for the bench and wording on the plaque, of which was unanimous, but we will go to the council and ask for approval to choose a different bench.

It was mentioned by our treasurer that we need to discuss the Village Fete and who was doing what.  There were several questions that came out of this subject.  Most of the committee members that were present were not aware that much of the RBL’s presence was needed as it is a Parish Council run event.  It was suggested that we speak to our chairman and ask him to report back to us if we are needed. 


8. Reports

Branch Community Support

There were no welfare issues discussed.

TreasurerDebbie Gibbons


BFI as at 30-Jun-22


Current Account


Petty Cash


Sept - Jun 23 - BFI


Unpresented Cheque


Grant not Received


Balance 18th April 2023



2022 Poppy Appeal Report – Melanie Parker

With recent fundraising at the Coronation event on the green our total stands at £20,964.75 this was increased by:

  • Raffle - £178.00
  • Merchandise - £87.61

The separate Luton schools amount remains unchanged at £21,010.72

Making our overall total £39,736.60 with the national total at £47,701,210.81

Our next fundraising event with be the Fete on the village green on Saturday, 24th June.

Membership Secretaries Report – Bil Levinson

From the membership list on 14th May 2023, we have 58 members.  Our secretary does not appear on the membership listing, I have contacted Clare and Kelly is going to call the membership team to check if they have her still.

Web Site Report

The website is up to date from the information I have received.  I have also loaded the April 2023 newsletter and updated the Future Events.


9. 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 are set out below.

21st Apr 2023  Funeral of Mr Jim Olden at Luton Crematorium

22nd Apr 2023   St George’s parade at London Cenotaph and Westminster Abbey. (RAFA Standard)             12th May 2023  Coronation, Thanksgiving Service at St George’s Church, Toddington


10. 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.

  • Certificate of the Grant awarded to Toddington RBL, from the Parish Council.
  • Email from the RBL describing Branch Subscription Rates for 2023/2024 – The committee agreed we would not be changing rates


11. Future Events – Memorable Dates.

79th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy.

6th June 2023

Armed Forces Day Flag Raising at Chicksands

19th June 2023

Toddington Village Fete.

24th June 2023 Toddington Village Green – RBL Merchandise stall

Toddington RBL Coffee Morning,

10 - 12pm Saturday, 28th October 2023

Armistice Day 11th November 2023

Armistice Day Service 11am Toddington Village Green.

Remembrance Service and Parade 12th November 2023

From 10:30am Toddington Village Green.


12. Next Meeting

The next meeting will be at 19:30 on Tuesday 20th June 2023 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 8:44 pm