Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary
This report covers the period from 1st April 2009 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 15th March 2010.
The Association has 61 members as at 15th March 2010, an increase of five from last year.
3. Chauvigny Activities.
The major event of the year was our visit to Chauvigny between 6th to 11th May when 21 members of the Association visited our twinned town. Following a reception at la Mairie, our hosts treated us to an enjoyable and most interesting few days. May 8th was a public holiday to celebrate the end of World War II and our Chairman was invited to lay a wreath at the war memorial and we helped raise the Union Jack alongside the Tricolour. A day trip to the ancient port of La Rochelle was the high spot of the visit. We were taken on a guided tour of the city and a boat trip to the Ile de Ré. An official dinner was organised, attended by the Mayor of Chauvigny and his wife.
A social evening to receive feed-back from the visit took place on 13th July at the Coach House.
Planning of the visit of the guests from Chauvigny to Billericay from 12th to 17th May 2010 is well advanced.
Three students came to Billericay for one-month work experience; two at Stockbrook Manor and one at Presence.
A get-together was arranged for the Friends of Chauvigny on October 30th at the Canon Roche Halls. Members were invited to bring with them a French dish. The evening was well attended and enjoyed by all with thanks to David and Patricia Clark for the arrangements.
Mary Hawkins was the sole representative from the Association in the Walk of Friendship involving the three twinned towns of Chauvigny, Trino and Geisenheim. The walk took place in August in northern Italy near the ski resort of Abetone.
4. Fishers Activities.
The student exchange with Fishers continues to be a regular event thanks to the generosity of the Twinning Association of Fishers.
Two teachers and four students from Mayflower High School and Billericay School visited Billericay from Wednesday 24th June to Wednesday 1st July. Time was spent at the two Billericay Schools and a reception at the Coach House gave the opportunity for our hosts to meet Billericay Youth Town Council. Time was spent on a barge from Paper Mill Lock travelling up and down the Chelmer. The hosts arranged various trips for our visitors at the weekend. On Monday, the day was spent in London (sponsored by the Residents' Association) taking in the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. Tuesday included an enjoyable get-together at the Hoop in Stock before our visitors left the next day.
The return visit took place between Wednesday 30th September and Wednesday 7th October. Again two teachers and four students together with Trevor Stansfield, representing our Association, visited Fishers. Days were spent at the two High Schools in Fishers where our visitors experienced the teaching methods and magnificent facilities. The weekend was spent at the Renaissance Faire which celebrates the similarities between Billericay and Fishers. The event, set in 16th century Billericay, attracts about 14,000 people and is the main money-raising endeavour for Fishers Twinning. On Monday the party visited Indianapolis taking in the motor racing track and the Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts. The last day was spent visiting the Fire and Police Departments, visiting Billericay Park and touring the town.
Considerable effort has been put in by various members in fund-raising for the Association; their contributions are gratefully acknowledged.
John Baron's Fun Walk took place on May 24th in which twelve members of the Association took part, the largest showing to date. Thanks go to Patricia Clark & Sue Rapley for the arrangements, to David Clark who was one of the marshals and to those of us who took part.
Our Association was represented at the Rotary Club's "Fun Day on Sunday" at Sun Corner on July 19th. Our usual "Treasure Hunt Game", with hard work, made a little profit. Thanks go to all those that helped that day and to the sponsors who donated the prizes.
A car-boot sale took place at Barleylands on 16th August followed by a table sale of remaining items. Thanks to Sue and Rod Rapley and Marion Wilson for their efforts. Regretfully the Fishers Quiz Night planned for 24th October had to be cancelled.
Two successful coach trips took place; one to Bluewater Shopping on December 6th and a second on 17th December to the Thurston Christmas Show. Both times thanks go to Trevor Stansfield for the arrangements.
On January 23rd the Chauvigny Quiz Night was organised at the main Canon Roche Hall. This event, similar to previous years, was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Nearly 100 people attended. It was again highly successful and profitable. Thanks go to David and Patricia Clark for their organisation and writing the quiz, and to Ray Keilthy, the quizmaster.
The Council Office Car Park at Basildon was manned by the Association on Saturday 6th March.
The Association has been mentioned in The Resident, the Town Cryer, the Gazette and other local papers as a result of our activities.
The Association Newsletter Issues 10, 11 and 12 were sent to all members in July 2009, November 2009 and February 2010 respectively.
The Association's brochure (including application form) has been revised and is available to the public in the Library.
The web-site has been regularly updated and the newsletters added with thanks to Rod Rapley.
The Association supported Mayflower High School by sponsoring prizes for the annual Prize Giving Evenings.
50 Key Rings with the Association's Logo on the fob have been purchased and will be used at appropriate times as gifts to advertise the Association.
The Association put on a display at the Coach House on December 2nd as part of Billericay Christmas Family Fayre. Thanks go to Sue and Rod Rapley for their attendance and help at the exhibition.
Other Matters. Relationships with Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association (BMTA) are most satisfactory with exchanges in information taking place regularly.
A joint application for Grant Funding was made by the Association and BMTA to Billericay Town Council for a replacement Twinning Sign to replace the one taken from the London Road. The application was approved and a reflective sign was ordered and manufactured by Kaspa Sign Products of Laindon. The situation now waits on Essex County Council (Highways) replacing the Town Sign on London Road so that the Twinning Sign can be fixed beneath it. ECC advise us that this town sign and the new one for Noak Hill Road will be erected very soon.
The Association has been represented on the Tourism Project Group from October 2009. The Group has been set up by the Town Council to promote tourism to Billericay.