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2019 AGM : Chairman’s report

It is customary for the chairman to present a report to the AGM of the Society’s activities during the previous year, and to make a few pertinent comments.

Needless to say the exchange visit is always the highlight of the year, and so it was that on Friday evening, May 18th, we welcomed what was believed to be the largest contingent to come over from Beaumont in the 31 year history of exchanges between the two communities. (Details of the visit published previously, see Exchange Visit 2018).

Our programme of social events began on 9th March with our annual skittles evening at the Beaufort Arms in Hawkesbury Upton. On May 11th Tessa and Macrae McLusky once again hosted a pre-exchange get-together. On July 22nd Cathy and Derek Aston kindly hosted a Barbeque at Westend, Wickwar, and on October 13th members and friends gathered in the Club Room in Gloucester Street for our annual repas cordial.

During the year the Society was represented at the Clubs and Groups Fair in April, the Charities Fair in November and the street event (Christmas under the edge) at the beginning of December. We also organised Town Hall teas in July.

Town Hall teas, the BBQ, the repas, the Charities Fair and the street event were all valuable fund raisers, and thanks are due to all those who supported the Society on those occasions.

I think it appropriate to mention that on Remembrance Sunday I laid a wreath at the war memorial on behalf of the Society.

During the year the committee has devoted time to considering the implications for the Society of the General Data Protection Regulation, upgrading our membership data and communication using “Group Spaces”, and the possibility of joining the Wotton and District Recreational Trust.

Finally. I would like to say a big thank you to all the members of our committee for their support during the year; in particular Cathy, supported as ever by Derek, who expertly organised another full programme of social events and other activities; John, who is working tirelessly to organise our forthcoming visit to Beaumont; Martin, who has taken on the role of treasurer; and Ken, who has acted as minuting secretary and been a constant support to me as chairman. Thanks are also due to Mark Woolfrey for continuing to look after our website and for providing valuable assistance to John with the setting up of a membership data base.

Roger Gunning

Exchange visit 2018

Exchange visit 2018

On Friday evening, May 18th, 2018, 58 guests (41 adults and 17 children) arrived in Wotton from Beaumont-le-Roger, being what was believed to be the largest contingent to come over in the 31 year history of exchanges between the two communities. Our visitors were met by their respective host families and welcomed into their homes for the week-end. On the Saturday we took a river trip together from Upton-upon-Severn to the city of Worcester where, on disembarkation, we were welcomed by a peel of the cathedral bells (to celebrate a royal wedding apparently). Picnic lunches and games were enjoyed in the sunshine by some while others patronised one or another of the several local restaurants. The return trip to Wotton was made by coach. During Saturday evening and Sunday our guests were entertained by their host families. On Sunday evening we all gathered together again at Swinhay House, by kind invitation of Sir David and Lady McMurtry, for a time of eating, drinking, dancing and general bonhomie. We were blessed throughout the weekend with glorious sunny weather. The French coach departed on the Monday morning after all the fond farewells had been made. We look forward to making the return trip to Beaumont in May, 2019.

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2018 AGM : Chairman’s report

Beaumont-le-Roger Society – AGM, February 2nd 2018 – Chairman’s Report

It is customary for the chairman to present a report to the AGM of the Society’s activities during the previous year, and to make a few pertinent comments. Needless to say the exchange visit is always the highlight of the year, and so it was that on the last week-end of April 48 members of our Society travelled to Beaumont to celebrate the thirtieth exchange between our two towns.
The majority of our members made the journey by coach, leaving Wotton on the Thursday morning and taking the ferry from Dover to Calais and enjoying an overnight stop in Boulogne-sur-Mer; while others travelled by car. A highlight of the exchange visit was a trip, on the Saturday, to the gardens of the Palace of Versailles where we witnessed a water fountain display accompanied by Baroque music. This was followed by a picnic in the park of St. Germain-en-Laye on the outskirts of Paris, from where we had a spectacular view of La Defense and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. On the Sunday, the second full day of the exchange, we were given a guided tour of the town of Beaumont-le-Roger in the morning, and were entertained by our host families in the afternoon. The week-end culminated on the Sunday evening with a soirée of dining and dancing in a local village hall. The enjoyment of the event was testimony to the strong bonds of friendship between our two communities which have been built up over the past 30 years.
Our programme of social events in the past year began on 24th February with our annual skittles evening at the Beaufort Arms in Hawkesbury Upton. On April 20th Tessa and Macrae McLusky once again hosted a pre-exchange get-together for us. On Sunday, May 14th it was our turn to provide Town Hall teas. On July 15th Cathy and Derek Aston hosted a Barbeque at their new home at Westend, Wickwar, and on October 14th friends gathered again in the Club Room in Gloucester Street for our annual repas cordial. To complete the year, on the afternoon of December 2nd, during the Christmas under the Edge street event, we served hot French onion soup, as well as hot chocolate with marsh mallows. The Town Hall teas, the BBQ, the soirée and the street event were all valuable fund raisers as well as social occasions, and it is pertinent to say that the BBQ and soirée were very much enjoyed by all those attending. Finally, I think it appropriate to mention that on Remembrance Sunday, accompanied by Tessa, I laid a wreath at the war memorial on behalf of the Society.
My thanks are due to all the members of our committee for their support during the year; in particular Cathy who expertly organised another full programme of events; Derek, an essential partner in Team Aston, who efficiently managed our accounts; Ken who has acted as minuting secretary and been a constant support to me as chairman; and of course Tessa who as ever has worked tirelessly on the Society’s behalf as exchange secretary. Last but not least, thanks are due to Mark Woolfrey for continuing to look after our website, especially during a year when the website underwent major refurbishment.