Annual Report 2018 - 19

Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary


1. This report covers the year from 1st March 2018 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 18th March 2019.


2. Membership. The Association has 32 members as at 1st March 2019, a reduction of three from last year.


One of our early members, Patricia Clark, passed away on 15th November 2018. Patricia played a prominent part in our twinning with Chauvigny. She was a fine French speaker. She was on the Management Committee for many years and her presence will be sadly missed.


3. Management. The following people were elected to the ManagementCommittee at the 2018 AGM; Peter Copsey (Secretary), Janet Cosgrove, Mary Hawkins, Grace Herbert, Margaret Kingston, Howard Watson (Chair and Treasurer), Jeannine Watson (Vice Chair) and Marion Wilson. The Management Committee met three times during the year.


The Management Committee dealt principally with the affairs of the Chauvigny twinning.


4. Chauvigny Activities. The focus of Chauvigny activities has been the visit of our friends from Chauvigny to Billericay from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th May 2018. Much work took place in preparation for the visit and thanks go to all involved.


A coach was arranged to meet the Chauvinois at Stansted Airport on 16th May and they were then taken for greetings and welcoming at the Town Council offices. The following day was spent with the hosts who took their guests to visit interesting places. One party went to Lavenham in Suffolk and another party visited the first-world-war airport and museum at Stow Maries; others went to London.


On 18th May, guests and hosts spent the day in Canterbury. A coach was arranged for pick-up at Stock and a conducted tour of the Cathedral took place in the morning. This was followed by lunch at Chapman’s Restaurant in Canterbury and a tour around the city in the afternoon.


On 19th May representatives from the two twinning managements met in the morning at the Chantry Way Centre. In the evening there was a formal dinner at Downham Village Hall; the meal being provided by Lambourne Catering. Our French guests departed on Sunday morning and a coach was arranged to take them back to Stansted.


The Walk of Friendship was in August from 19th to 25th in Brentonico, above Lake Garda in Italy and was organised by Trino Twinning. Our friends and acquaintances from Chauvigny’s twinned towns of Geisenheim and Trino made up a party of about 60 walkers. The party from Billericay was reduced this year due to health problems with some of our members, and only four Association members took part. Accommodation was at Hotel Bucaneve, south of the Brentonico. Visitors from the Association enjoyed the walking and the company of their European friends.


Our Association were invited guests to the twinning gathering in Geisenheim at the end of April. Howard and Jeannine Watson attended on our behalf.


A get-together for Association members was held at Janet Cosgrove’s house on 12th September, mainly to provide feed-back and to discuss the twinning visit in May. Thanks go to Janet for hosting and opening her house.


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


A bench dedicated to the memory of Trevor and Margaret Stansfield and to celebrate 20 years of twinning with Fishers was unveiled in Lake Meadows on 7th April. The bench is located near the café in the Park.


6. Fund-raising. Chauvigny Quiz night was on 26th January 2019 at the Canon Roche Centre, Laindon Road. It was well attended and enjoyed by all who attended. 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 28 was sent to all members in January.


The Association's brochure (including application form) is presently being rewritten.


The Association’s Facebook page continues to attract visitors. Thanks go to Janet Cosgrove for her involvement.


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

17th March 2019 (corrected 20th March).