Annual Report 2016 - 17

Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary


1. This report covers the year from 1st April 2016 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 22nd March 2017.


2. Membership. The Association has 36 members as at 1st March 2017, a reduction of two from last year.


3. Management. The following people were elected to the ExecutiveCommittee at the 2016 AGM; Peter Copsey (Secretary), Sue Rapley, Rod Rapley (Vice Chairman), Trevor Stansfield, Howard Watson (Treasurer) and Marion Wilson (Chairman). The Executive only met twice during the year.


The Chauvigny Sub-Committee (The Friends of Chauvigny) met regularly during the year under the chairmanship of Jeannine Watson. Similarly, the Fishers sub-committee met under the chairmanship of Marion Wilson.


4. Chauvigny Activities. The significant event of the year was the visit to Chauvigny from 13th to 18th July by fifteen of our members. There was a reception on the first day when our members were welcomed by our French hosts. The second day was the 14th July, the French National Day; there was a picnic in the forest (moved indoors due to rain) and in the evening the guests were taken to the public park in Chauvigny where there was a concert by the lake followed by a spectacular fireworks and light show with the backdrop of the ancient castle of the old town. The following day was a visit to the old town of Cognac which included a conducted tour of the Hennessy establishment and a tasting session of their products. There was a walk around Chauvigny town and countryside on the following day with the evening reserved for the official dinner at the Salle de Poterie.


The visit was much enjoyed by all from Billericay and we thanked our French hosts for the organisation and efforts made to ensure the success of the visit.


The Walk of Friendship was in August in the Black Forest and was organised by the twinning organisation of Geisenheim (twinned with Chauvigny). The accommodation was an excellent hotel in the town of Zell am Harmersbach. Eight members from the Association attended, the same as the previous year. The visit included five days of walking and a visit to the city of Freiberg on the “rest” day.


Our Association were invited guests to the twinning gathering in Chauvigny in June where the twinning between the towns of Chauvigny, Trino, and Geisenheim were celebrated; Janet Cosgrove attending.


A garden party for Association members was arranged at Janet Cosgrove’s house on 25 June. Because of rain, the activities was confined to indoors. A pre-Christmas get-together also took place at Janet’s on 4th December. Thanks go to Janet for opening her house on both occasions.



5. Fishers Activities. Because of financial constraints, there have been no visits of school students and teachers during the year.


Our Chairman has been in contact with the Head and teachers from Mayflower School who are trying to set up future visits with their counterparts in Fishers.


The artwork from Buttsbury Junior School was sent to Fishers and was displayed in the corridors of Brooks Elementary School, whilst the Fishers art work was on display at Buttsbury.


6. Fund-raising. John Baron’s Fun Walk took place at Barleylands in May. Only four Association members were involved as the day clashed with other events in the town. An Association stand was set up as part of our promotion. Despite the small number of Association walkers, a reasonable sum of money was raised. Thanks go to Janet Cosgrove for the organisation.


The Chauvigny Quiz Night took place on Saturday 21st January at Canon Roche Hall, Laindon Road. Attendance was good with eleven tables, an improvement on the previous year. Thanks go Martin Hart for the questions and for being quiz-master, to Maggie Kingston and Jeannine Watson for the organisation and to Mary Hawkins for the raffle.


7. Publicity. The Association Newsletter Issue 26 was sent to all members in December.


The Association's brochure (including application form) is available to the public from time to time in the Library.


The web-site is regularly updated with thanks to Rod Rapley.


The Association supported the Mayflower High School by sponsoring prizes for the annual Prize Giving Evenings in July. Marion Wilson represented the Association and handed out the sponsored prizes for French and German.



Peter Copsey

19th March 2017.