Annual Report 2017 - 18

Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary


1. This report covers the year from 1st April 2017 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 21st March 2018.


2. Membership. The Association has 35 members as at 1st March 2018, a reduction of one from last year.


3. Management. The following people were elected to the ManagementCommittee at the 2017 AGM; Peter Copsey (Secretary), Janet Cosgrove, Mary Hawkins, Grace Herbert, Margaret Kingston, Trevor Stansfield, Howard Watson (Chair and Treasurer), Jeannine Watson (Vice Chair) and Marion Wilson. The Management Committee met four times during the year.


On 5th January Trevor Stansfield, our first Association Chairman passed away. Several Association members were present at the services to remember him and at his wake on 26th January. The Management Committee remembered Trevor at their meeting on 31st January and thanks were given for everything that he had done for the Association, in setting up the Association with his wife Margaret, in his involvement with the twinning charter with Chauvigny and in his dedication in fostering friendship through twinning.


The Management Committee dealt principally with the affairs of the Chauvigny twinning and the Sub-Committee which had previously been dedicated to Chauvigny was disbanded. Twinning with Fishers has been dormant during the year for the reasons explained at the 2017 AGM.


4. Chauvigny Activities. The focus of Chauvigny activities has been preparation for the visit of our Chauvigny friends to Billericay from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th May 2018.


Plans are in place for the party to be met at Stansted Airport on the 16th and then taken for greetings and welcoming at the Town Council offices in the evening. The following day will be spent with the hosts. On 18th May, guests and hosts will spend the day in Canterbury when a conducted tour of the Cathedral will take place in the morning followed by lunch and a tour around the city in the afternoon. Representatives from the two twinning managements will meet on Saturday morning and in the evening there will be a dinner at Downham Village Hall. Our French guests depart on Sunday morning.


The Walk of Friendship was in August from 19th to 26th in Le Gers region of France and was organised by Chauvigny Twinning. Our friends and acquaintances from Chauvigny’s twinned towns of Geisenheim and Trino made up a party of about 100 walkers. The accommodation was cabins in a ‘village de vacances’ near the town of Fleurance. The visit included five days of walking and a visit to the city of Auch, the capital of Le Gers Department, on the “rest” day. The visit will be remembered by the extreme heat (touching 100˚C on one day) and the observatory located within the village where we stayed. There were nine walkers from our Billericay Twinning.


Our Association were invited guests to the twinning gathering in Trino in June where the twinning between the towns of Chauvigny, Trino and Geisenheim was celebrated; Maggie Kingston and Martin Hart attending.


A garden party for Association members was held at Janet Cosgrove’s house on 23rd September. Thanks go to Janet for hosting and opening her house and garden.


5. Fishers Activities. Fishers twinning is presently dormant as explained at the 2017 AGM.


Arrangements are in hand to provide a bench in Lake Meadows to celebrate our twinning with Fishers and to be dedicated to Trevor and Margaret Stansfield.


6. Fund-raising. John Baron’s Fun Walk took place at Barleylands in May. An Association stand manned by Jeannine and Peter, was set up as part of our promotion . Despite our small involvement, a reasonable sum of money was raised. Thanks go to Janet Cosgrove for the organisation and Roberta Copsey for the walking.


Members of the Association braved the cold and manned the central car-park at Basildon on 9th December. Thanks go to all involved.


The Chauvigny Quiz Night took place on Saturday 27th January at Canon Roche Hall, Laindon Road. Attendance and proceeds were good. Special thanks go Martin Hart for the questions and for being quiz-master and to Maggie Kingston for the organisation. Thanks also to Mary Hawkins for organising the raffle and other members of the Association for their help on the night.


7. Publicity. The Association Newsletter Issue 27 was sent to all members in October.


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


A Facebook page has been created for the Association as a closed group. Thanks go to Janet Cosgrove for this initiative.


The website is regularly updated with thanks to Rod Rapley.


Marion Wilson represented the Association at the Civic Service at Billericay Baptist Church on 4th March 2018.



Peter Copsey

19th March 2018 (revised 29th March)