Visit from Notre Dame de Gravenchon 2019

6th April – 10TH April 2019

44 friends from Gravenchon travelled to Street and there were some new visitors, including children which is fantastic for the continuation of twinning. There were a few hiccups along the way in organising this visit but with great team work by the subcommittee and communication with Sharon in France everything ran smoothly during their stay.

They travelled by Ferry from Calais to Dover and arrived slightly earlier than expected. Each member of the subcommittee had been given a group of hosts and those hosts were made aware of their contact in case of emergencies. This system worked well and enabled hosts to be informed quickly of the new arrival time.

During the day on Sunday and Monday there was time to relax, catch up and time for new hosts and guests to get to know each other. The Dinner and Dance was held at Meadway Hall in Compton Dundon on the Sunday evening. A team of volunteers, including a few French guests, decorated the hall with the theme of a train trip to the beach. There were props of a train, photo frame and accessories that many people enjoyed taking photos with. Everyone was greeted with a glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival. We enjoyed excellent catering by Claire and team and danced to the lovely singing of Sally Vinyl.

evening the Street Parish Council hosted a reception in Crispin Hall. Tasty non-alcoholic beverages and a wonderful ploughman’s supper went down well with both English and French. We enjoyed music by Dylan Thomas and John and Ann Diment. Gifts were exchanged and a plaque celebrating 50 years of twinning was presented by Marie-Francoise Loison, deputy Mayoress of Gravenchon to the Street Parish Council and received by the Chair, Nina Swift. Stars displayed on the plaque were decorated during last year’s visit to Gravenchon and also by local school children during their visit to France. One plaque will be displayed in Street and the other in Gravenchon.

Tuesday was the trip day and a large group of 96 people travelled by coach to Bishops Lydeard and then onto Watchet by Steam train. The Subcommittee were informed with not much time to spare that maintence to the line from Watchet to Minehead had overrun and so would be closed. With quick adjustments made the trip still ran smoothly. West Somerset Railway provided a great service with two train carriages reserved for the twinning and we had a chance to take photos up front with the train driver.

Once in Minehead we walked to the Hairy Dog where we were all seated together and promptly served fish, chips and peas. Some then enjoyed deserts, drinks or a walk along the sea front before catching the coach to Dunster Castle. The drizzly rain didn’t spoil our enjoyment. Many went into the castle, some wandered around the gardens and tried their hand at archery or shooting whilst others ventured into Dunster village. We had a good journey home with a friendly coach driver and a great service provided by Taylors coaches.

Wednesday morning was an early start and time to say goodbye. With long lasting friendships reinforced and new friendships made, twinning is still going strong. We look forward to visiting our friends over in Gravenchon in 2020.

Minutes March 2019

Minutes of the committee meeting held in the John Webster room. Wednesday 27th March 2019. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.

  1. Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence
    PRESENT: David Brunt (chairman) DB, Marina Richards MR, Jacqui Knight JK, Tom Winn TW, Claire Axten Cl.A, Francis Knight FK, Gabbie Butler GB, Catherine Atkins, David Atkins DA, Rebecca Wells, Paul Badman, Barbara Cowell, Avril Berry, William Berry, Simon Carswell SC.
    APOLOGIES: Peter Fry, Barbara Fry, Trevor Skinner, Kay Strain, Katrina Dumontroty and Sally Wood who passed on her apologies to the secretary after the meeting.

  2. Minutes of the January meeting
    DB checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record.

  3. Matters Arising
    No matters arising

  4. Treasurers Report
    Current account balance £4,622.95
    Reserve account balance £8,038.07
    MR presented the Treasurers Report. This showed fundraising has totalled £2904.69 so far this year and incurred expenditure of £500.85. MR thanked FK for his input into updating the structure of the financial report. FK stated that based on recent accounts and costs of visits to us from Gravenchon and Isny that to breakeven we need to raise funds of about £6800 over a two year period, so £3400 per year.

  5. Financial Procedures Working Group (Marina, Tom and Catherine)
    TW reported that the group had made a start and will be looking at updating the financial procedures in the constitution. The constitution does mention property and TW asked DB if the Twinning items in the Parish Rooms are property of the Twinning or of the Parish Council. It was clarified that they were gifts presented to the Parish Council and so their property.

  6. Membership update and renewals
    DB welcomed Simon Carswell to the meeting. SC is a Parish Councillor who has shown interest in possibly joining Street Twinning.
    JK Reported that we have 74 members to date. 57 twin with Gravenchon and 25 twin with Isny. There are 8 members who twin with both.

  7. New venue for meetings as from May
    Cl.A explained that in May there will be preparations to move the library into the Parish Rooms and this is why we will need to find a new meeting place. The upstairs of the Parish Rooms is not big enough for large meetings. We do not pay to use the Parish Rooms. SC suggested the back room of The Bear, DA said that this is usually free of charge and offered to make enquiries. MR suggested the Victoria Club, TW stated that there is only the large function room and offered to make enquiries.
    Other suggestions were the Methodist Hall, United Reform Church, and British Legion.
    DA and TW will report back in April and it was agreed to try and stick to the fourth Wednesday of the month.

  8. Plaque from Gravenchon
    Cl.A said that the Parish Council has discussed the plaque and it could possibly be placed on an outside wall of the Parish Rooms. The plaque will be presented by Gravenchon to the Parish Council at the Parish Council event.

  9. Visit from Gravenchon 2019
    West Somerset Railway contacted MR stating that due to overrunning track maintenance at Blue Anchor the train will now stop at Watchet and not travel to Minehead. All hosts have been made aware of this change. Taylors coaches have confirmed that they will now pick up from Watchet Station and we will then travel by coach to Minehead. WSR have confirmed that we will still have sole use of two carriages.
    JK informed the committee that the Walton road will be closed on the day of the trip and so there will be a diversion for the coaches. It was agreed that the departure time would stay the same but please could everyone going on the trip make sure they arrive by 8.15am at the latest as the coaches must depart by 8.30am.
    GB showed the committee a photo of the finished train prop which looks fantastic and DB thanked all involved. Committee members suggested that this photo prop could be used at future events as a fun addition to our fundraisers.
    Sharon from France has informed JK that the Gravenchon guests will not be stopping for food in England and so they will probably all arrive hungry!

  10. Visit to Isny 2019
    Cl.A reported that the Isny organising group has looked at flights but they have not been released yet. Isny are happy to pick everyone up from any airport and so the group are looking at possibly flying to Basel again with EasyJet as this is likely to be the cheapest.

  11. Publicity / recruitment of new members
    FK reiterated how important it is to find new members for the twinning to thrive. There have been quite a few of our older members who have sadly left twinning recently. There are families, couples and individuals in both Gravenchon and Isny waiting for English Twinners.
    DB suggested that once the upcoming visit from Gravenchon has taken place then there should be a concerted effort to attract new members.

  12. Fundraising for 2019
    a) Quiz. Trevor Skinner had provisionally booked the Victoria Club for Friday 15th November. This is the same night as Wells Carnival. The committee suggested a change of date to Friday 8th November. TW will contact Trevor.
    b) Bric a Brac market stall. Trevor had sent a request to enquire about another stall as the previous one had been so successful. Cl.A said that Barbara and Peter Fry who had organised this in the past had found storage a problem and did not feel able to organise a future stall. There is no Bric a Brac left in storage. DA suggested that if we could find the people to man a stall then Merriman Park Community Group may have bric a brac to sell and we could possibly join forces and split the profits. It was agreed for DA to contact the Merriman Park group.
    c) Cheese and Wine. DB stated that Tina is happy for a maximum of 40 people to attend the event on Fri 17th May at her home. DB will print tickets. The first glass on wine will be free and then donations for subsequent glasses. DA will source the wine from France for the event.
    d) Strawberry Tea. Avril and William Berry have kindly offered to host this event again. It will take place at their home on Sunday 23rd June. DB will print tickets.
    e) Choir. DA and Tina have discussed this event and the idea is for 5 or 6 local groups to sing, play instruments for 15-20mins each at a local venue. Mix of music with a raffle, tea and biscuits and entry by donation. FK pointed out that there is a very similar event taking place in Crispin Hall soon and so it will be interesting to see if this is a popular event. DA asked if anyone has any suggestions of musicians, choirs, schools, soloists etc. to contact him. This event will hopefully take place in the autumn and maybe in a local church.

  13. Website / Facebook /Twitter
    All being kept up to date.

  14. Congratulation to the March lottery winners
    1st Kay Strain
    2nd Ed Rawlings
    3rd Tony Della valle

  15. AOB
    DB read out an email from the Parish Council which invites Street Twinning to attend this year’s investiture of the new chairman of the Street Parish Council. This will take place on Thursday 16th May 2019 at 6.30pm in Strode Theatre followed by light refreshments. Some of the committee members had been previously and said what a lovely event it is and how interesting it is to hear about activities that happen in Street.
    They need to know numbers by Friday 3rd May and so if any member would like to attend please contact Jacqui Knight our secretary before our next committee meeting or 01458 840471. Six members have so far shown interest.
    Date of next meeting: Wednesday 24th April at 7.30 pm
    in the John Webster Parish Rooms