Minutes of the committee meeting held in the John Webster room, Wednesday 5th September 2018
The meeting started at 7.30 pm.
PRESENT: David Brunt (Chairman), Claire Axten, Tom Winn, Reg Alford, Marina Richards, Paul Badman, Gabbie Butler, Barbara Cowell, Sally Wood, Barbara Fry, Peter Fry, Katrina Dumontroty, Jenny Lewis, Jacqui Knight, Stuart Wells, Catherine Atkins, Kay Strain
APOLOGIES: Dianne Baker
1. David welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. David checked that everyone had read the minutes from the August meeting ad signed them as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
No items were raised.
4. Treasurer’s Report
Marina reported that the bank accounts were favourable. However, fund raising is always very important and support from members of the association is very much needed.
Receipts – for accounting purposes please can it be noted that full receipts will now only be accepted and any other non detailed receipts must be agreed at the committee meetings before payments can be made. This refers to any purchases you may make on behalf of the association and need to claim the money back.
5. Visit from Isny
Barbara read out a comprehensive report on the recent visit of our guests from Isny.
(report can be found at the bottom of this page)
6. Planning for AGM
AGM is on Wednesday 3rd October, 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Street. Parking is available in the Cranhill Road car park. We would like as many members as possible to attend.
The calling notice has been sent out and some replies have been received.
At the moment David Brunt has been nominated as Chairman and Jacqui Knight as Secretary.
7. Merriman Park Fun Day
A very successful day. We raised just over £300 with the Water or Wine and the card game for children. A huge thank you to everyone who helped on the day, with special thanks to the Knight family!
8. Cheese & Wine Evening
Sadly, this event has been cancelled due to lack of numbers.
9. Street Christmas Cracker
Saturday 1st December. More details to follow.
10. Christmas Party
After much discussion it was decided to cancel this event. Unfortunately, due to lack of numbers.
11. Visit from Gravenchon Twinners 2019
Dates to be confirmed.
If anyone has any suggestions of places we could visit with our guests please let one of the committee members know.
12. Publicity/Recruitment of new members
Some new fliers have been produced and these have gone to some local schools, Strode Theatre – if any members would like some to hand out to friends and family they will be available at the AGM or we can post some to you.
Publicity is very important for the continuing success of the Twinning Association. Please encourage your friends and family to think about joining.
13. Website & Facebook
Both are being kept up to date.
Winners this month:
1st Prize – Fiona White
2nd Prize – Gabbie Butler
3rd Prize – Shirley Gunter
We have applied to Street Parish Council for a grant of £1000.
Reg told everyone how much the Isny visitors had enjoyed their trip, saying it was the best they could remember and wanted to pass on their thanks to everyone involved.
It’s possible that the Twinning Association may have a market stall in Street on Thursday 27th September – to be confirmed. If you are in the area please check out our Bric a Brac stall!
16. Date of next meeting
Wednesday 3rd October, 7.30pm at the United Reformed Church, Street. Parking is available in the Cranhill Road car park
Report on the Twinning visit from Isny August 23rd to 29th 2018
This has been the longest Twinning visit to date, our visitors having arrived on Thursday 23rd August and departed on the following Wednesday the 29th.
Seventeen German guests made the trip. Sixteen of them were met at Heathrow and, to make the most of the coach hire and journey, we made a short stop at Windsor on the way home. There was time to walk around the town and to serve tea and cake in the park by the river before continuing to Street. The Seventeenth person flew to Bristol and was met by his hosts.
We have written to the Parish Council to thank them for the warm welcome and excellent lunch that they provided on the first day following a guided tour of points of interest in Street given by Cathy and Dave Atkins. We stopped at the Quaker meeting house where Sheila James showed us round and gave a short talk about the Friends and their impact on the development of our town. We hadn’t expected longstanding twinners to join this tour but it turned out that none of them had done it before and found it interesting.
After lunch in the council chamber decorated with flags and flowers, and to complete our local Somerset day, we drove ourselves to the Willows and Wetlands centre where our visitors were shown a short film about the growing of withies and given a guided tour of the workshops showing how the willow is stripped and dried and woven into baskets, fences, coffins etc. A low key but informative and enjoyable day following a day spent travelling.
The next day was a busy one spent in Bristol firstly visiting the SS Great Britain, a resounding success enjoyed by all ages (8 to 75) and followed by buffet style lunch at Za Za Bazaar which our visitors really enjoyed. The coach then picked us up and drove to the Clifton suspension bridge with time to walk across it for those who wanted. To finish the day we drove up onto the Downs and parked and served tea and cake before returning home.
The following two days were left to the hosts to decide how they spent them because it was a Bank Holiday weekend. Several groups went to Wells on the Monday where the Moat Race was taking place others visited various local National Trust properties. But we did organise evening events for these two days. On the Sunday evening we hired the United Reform Church and had an excellent buffet supper catered by Claire and team followed by a beetle drive and quiz organised by Dave, Cathy and Trevor suitable for all ages and with the express purpose of mixing people up. On the Monday evening we had a voluntary bring and share supper at Barbara and Peter’s house followed by a film of the Sea Dragon fossil discovery at Lyme Regis in preparation for the following day’s visit. Most people decided to come so we squeezed in 34 people for a ‘sit where you can find a space supper’. Both these low cost events had the desired effect of bringing people together and were enjoyed by our German visitors as we learnt that they didn’t all know each other well before the trip. We heard them discussing copying the idea when we go to Isny.
Our last day was spent at Lyme Regis, the sea being particularly attractive to our land bound visitors. We included visits to both the fossil and dinosaur museums, a fish and chip lunch and time to stroll along the Cobb, look for fossils or swim as one intrepid German lady did which inspired our youngest visitor also to plunge in.
The weather obviously makes some difference to the success of a day trip and we were lucky in having good conditions for both days out. The only really bad day was the Sunday family day when we had torrential rain in the morning.
It has been a bonus this year having younger people as part of the group. The enthusiasm of Thierno, the 8 year old German boy and his older sister Nina, rubbed off on us all. Seeing their reactions reminded us of the purpose of Twinning in broadening our minds by meeting new people, observing a different culture, listening to a different language and tasting some different food. It was great having a mix of ages and also important for the future of Twinning and I believe we have another family interested in joining the German exchange alongside some other new people.
Having put together a proposed itinerary and budget early this year we are very pleased to report that the cost of this visit has come in under budget and we have attached detailed accounts to this report for future reference. We used both Taylor’s and Aston’s coach companies, going for the cheapest quotes for each occasion and were happy with both. The cost of coach hire for 4 days was clearly a major part of the total cost and our other costs were very reasonable in relation to the amount of social activity offered because we provided and shared the catering ourselves. We said goodbye to an enthusiastic group of twinners all saying that they would be back.
We don’t have a date yet for our return visit to Isny next year. It is likely to be during the school summer holidays or the end of October holiday week. One challenge for the German Twinning is finding reasonably priced travel particularly if we want to encourage families to join. No one seems to want a long coach journey with overnight stop so we have to investigate all flight options.
We have also been asked about the possibility of finding extra accommodation if the Isny brass band comes to Street with the Twinning group in 2020.
Barbara Fry on behalf of the German exchange organising committee.
Sept 5th 2018