Month: March 2019

Minutes of AGM 8th March 2019



8th March 2019.

Apologies received:  There were some apologies from team members and apologies from President David Hume.

About 35 people were present including  Cllr Andy Munday, Mayor of Halstead, Cllr Mrs Shirley Diver and Cllr Mrs Eileen Penn of Halstead Town Council and Ms Hannah Powell of Perrywoods Garden Centres.


Chairman Margaret Eskins welcomed all present  and acknowledged that there were other events in the Town that evening.  Margaret invited Mayor Cllr Munday to speak.


Cllr Andy Munday, first of all gave apologies from President of HiB, Cllr David Hume who had been for his first session of chemotherapy that day and although felt well and was in good spirits had been advised not to attend the meeting.  The good wishes of all present will be passed to David.

Cllr Munday said that he had found working with the HiB volunteers an uplifting part of his mayoral duties and said that he had been very proud to receive the Gold Award and Trophy for Best Town in Anglia in Bloom 2018 on behalf of Halstead and the HiB volunteers when he attended the Awards event in Bury St. Edmunds in September.  He noted the various floral displays around the town in summer 2018 and was particularly pleased to note the Junior Bloom initiative.  Cllr Munday pledged the continuing support of Halstead Town Council to HiB in the Anglia in Bloom and RHS Britain in Bloom campaigns and wished all well for the coming year.


Hannah Powell from Perrywoods Garden Centres gave an illustrated and very informative talk about the growth of this local, family business.  She noted that she was the third generation in the business that was started by her grandfather in 1955 who was a stockman at Braxted Park but who had an idea for a small holding at Tiptree.  He bought, with the help of a loan from a family member, the ground with a small bungalow and a goat shed. Hannah said that in the 70’s turnover of the business was £75,000 per annum and now that amount is taken in a day.  She noted that from those humble beginnings the business that was recently given an award as Third Placed in the top 100 of Garden Centres League in the UK.  Other Awards had also been achieved including a 2nd place for catering and best plant area in the UK.  Hannah noted that recently the business had acquired the former Wyevale Garden Centre in Sudbury and hoped that this would be turned round to become another award winning centre.  Meeting was told that there are now three siblings of the third generation in the business.  Hannah did not charge for coming to speak to those attending, but asked for a donation for the charities supported by the business (HiB gave £50 to be given to a children’s charity dealing with mental health issues in young people).  Hannah noted that last year the Company raised over £26000.00 for charity. It was said that tours can be arranged of the premises in Tiptree.
During a Q&A period Ian asked if Perrywoods had made plans regarding Brexit, and the meeting was told that at present some precautionary plans had been made but not in any great detail as it was believed that it is in the interest of all business that trade continues.


Chairman Margaret Eskins gave a brief review of 2019 which was, she said, a busy year.  The achievements in Anglia in Bloom  was noted.   Margaret noted that team had given presentations to several groups both within Halstead and also in surrounding region which it was hoped would spread the In Bloom word and encourage others to care for their environment.  HiB has taken part in many Town events over the year including marshalling at the Halstead Marathon and helping at the Torchlight Procession.  Fund raising stalls have been set up at events such as the May Fayre and help has been given to the River Care Group and also HiB has arranged litter picks.  The Halstead fund raising calendar was on sale again as were Christmas cards printed from original artwork by Joan Gibson.  Our sponsors, and sponsors in kind, have supported efforts and regular Halstead in Bloom Partnership meetings have taken place as have meetings with Halstead Town Council/Braintree D.C./Halstead Rotary and Greenfields as part of the In Bloom Partnership initiative.   Margaret thanked all for their efforts in 2018 and hoped that they were looking forward to 2019  although with entry into RHS Britain in Bloom there would be more opportunities for hard work!.


Joan Gibson gave a report on plans for 2019.  Colours will be bright pink/paler pink & blue that will give fresh and cheerful aspect to the town displays.  Joan said that at Weavers’ Court, in front of the former Blacksmith’s building there will be a display commemorating 50 years since the first moon landing and this will incorporate last year’s Sopwith Camel artwork to note how far aviation has developed in a short time.  At the Loom garden, near to Halstead Hospital, there will be bedding to depict the phases of the moon and will be planted in vanilla marigolds and black grasses that should cut down on deadheading!  Hopefully there will also be artwork of a spaceman at the Loom!  In the Public Gardens there will be a bed showing the Townswomen’s Guild logo and Joan asked for all to save and donate small plastic bottles to be used in this display.  Joan said that the Lancaster Bomber artwork will also fly in the public gardens to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.


Annie Rees Listed some diary dates for HiB in 2019:
Judging:  Anglia in Bloom will be between 5th and 21st July; RHS Britain in Bloom will be between 29th July and 15th August – actual dates not known as yet.
26th March Spring Launch for Anglia in Bloom, in Norwich. 14 from HiB attending
31st March will be Halstead’s Spring Clean event with a community litter pick. All welcome!

20th April. HiB will have a cake stall – all donations are welcome.  6th May is the May Fayre in Halstead Public Gardens.  11th May is a Meet and Greet event at The Bull.  12th May is Halstead Marathon. 24th May HiB will have a plant stall. 1st and 2nd June is the Summer Bedding event. 3rd August is the Summer Fayre in Halstead Public Gardens and 18th October is the popular Quiz Night at the Con Club.  All are welcome to attend all events.

A financial report
was given by Treasurer – copies of all reports were available and further copies can be supplied.  Accounts will be scrutinised by Cllrs Radley and Gronland – Chairman and Vice Chairman of Halstead TC as sponsorship in kind. Accounts will be posted on the Charity Commission web site. It was noted that the team still has a 1 year cushion of finances as required by Charity Commission and Halstead in Bloom is thankful for the support of local business and residents.  Treasurer’s report is attached..


Election of Officers. There were no nominations for Chairman so existing Chairman.  Margaret Eskins  indicated that she would be willing to serve for a further year as Chairman of Halstead in Bloom.  Nomination of Margaret Eskins as Chairman for 2019 was made by Cllr Andy Munday and seconded by Cllr Dave Gronland. Vote for proposal was unanimous.  There had been no nominations for Secretary or Treasurer so existing Secretary/Treasurer  Julia Smith  indicated that she would be willing to serve for a further year as Secretary/Treasurer of Halstead in Bloom.  Nomination of Julia Smith for post of Secretary/Treasurer for 2019 was made by Annie Rees and seconded by Christine Laurence.  Vote for proposal was unanimous.


Chairman thanked all the speakers at the meeting and hoped that all had enjoyed the evening.  Margaret wished all a safe journey home and thanked everyone who attended.


A raffle had been drawn.

There being no other business the meeting was closed at 8.30p.m.

Refreshments were available.

Monthly Meeting

The March meeting will be at the Icing Shop Thursday the 28th March at 7.30 pm

Minutes of meeting 28th February 2019


Minutes of a meeting 28th February 2019  7.30p.m. at Halstead Icing

 Chairman, welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend. 

MINUTES of  31st January had been circulated and with one amendment – talk arranged for 6th March was at Silver End and not Tiptree (this talk has now been cancelled) – were adopted
NEWS:  *Geoff’s Trees. Were planted on 9th February – about 50 yds along from the end of the board walk. A bench was also installed facing the three silver birch trees.  HiB will pay for one tree.  All agreed this is a fitting tribute to Geoff and the area has been improved by these additions.  *Sudbury Road Litter Picker is Bob Bell. He has been thanked;  he works as part of the Green Heart team but is doing a great job for Halstead and his community effort is applauded.  *Visits to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. Attendees at both events found the tours informative and valuable.  The Teams are held in the highest regard and it was reassuring to know that the Doctors and Paramedics are very highly trained and qualified and the equipment carried is second to none.  All agreed it is very reassuring to know that they are there for the people of Essex and that they will take casualties to the best possible place for treatment.  It was interesting to see that when the helicopter can’t fly  – at night and in bad weather – there are two motor vehicles ready and equipped to take over;  a fantastic service.  The team are always pleased to arrange for tours, which are free, so if you know of any group who’d like to attend please contact them. *New HiB logo. At last month’s meeting it was suggested that HiB should have  a new logo that is able to be successfully enlarged for printing.  Ramsey Academy was contacted, and the art teacher is keen to take on this project.  Watch this space!  *Mugs ESO Print spoke last month about making some items for HiB to sell and Chairman has obtained a mug printed with current HiB logo.  All agreed that these were a saleable item, and Chairman will order 10 to be sold at the AGM;  price to be £5.50.  *Voter ID details of ID to be produced by voters at the Local Elections in May have been sent to households.  HiB has been advised that if anyone wishes to comment about this to email by 7th March. *Feedback from recent HiB talks.  Halstead Baptist Church warmly received us on Thursday 7th Feb and gave donations. Margaret and Margaret were given a tour of the building and were surprised to see the large hall upstairs with kitchen facilities and access by a lift.  On 21st February team went to Ridgewell W I and  were well received; many questions were asked; they have membership of 16 and 16 people attended! They are trying to get the community together, and have arranged a ‘pop up cafe’ at the Village Hall, 2.30 – 4.30 pm on the last Friday of each month (next will be 29th March). All are invited! Tea and cake £2.  There will also be a guided tour of Ridgewell Church Saturday 15th June starting at 2.30pm.  Some ancient graffiti was discovered during renovations of great historical interest.  Tour, Talk and Tea costs £5.00.  Let me know if you are interested in attending.
  **Rivercare.  Next event is Sunday 3rd March.  Meet 10am at Sainsbury’s Car Park. *Next Community Litter Pick. Sunday 31st March. ALL WELCOME.  Meet 10.30am at Sainsbury’s Car Park.   *HiB AGM is Friday 8th March at United Reformed Church, Kings Rd.7pm for 7.30pm.  Speaker will be Hannah from Perrywoods Nursery – one of the top ten nurseries in the country. Event is free, light refreshments will be provided.  ALL  WELCOME.  *Rivercare annual conference at Rutland Water on 4th April;  2 places booked for HiB  *Spring Clean Event organised by K.B.T. Group from 22/3 to 23/4 – we will log our Community Litter Pick on 31st March.  *May Fayre will take place in Halstead Public Gardens on Monday 6th May between 2pm and 4.30pm.  Theme for the day is SAFARI  ADVENTURE and all are invited to dress the part!!  HiB will have a stall selling various promotional goods and hopefully planting sunflowers and/or nasturtiums in newspaper pots.  *The Bull Hotel is to hold a ‘Meet and Greet’ event on Saturday 11th May 12pm to 3pm in the function suites and gardens.  Aim is to support stronger community cohesion and to give information about what’s on in Halstead.  HiB will attend with information and promotional goods.  *Halstead Marathon will be 12th May.  Names of volunteer marshalls so far are: Joan, Iola, Margaret E, Ian, Wendy, Margaret T, David T, Carol, Dave, Annie, Fiona, Dave, Linda, Julia and Graham.  Names will be passed to organisers.  *Summer Fayre. is planned for 3rd August in Halstead Public Gardens. *HiB Quiz for 2019.  David has booked the Con Club for Friday 18th October.  *Cake stall is planned for 20th April, outside Solar, donations of cakes to sell will be appreciated.  *Plant Sale is planned probably for 24th May (Friday market) but may be 25th. Further details later. *Collecting and Planting Summer Bedding will be 1st and 2nd June. Details later. *Neighbourhood Watch There will be an event on Wednesday 27th March and details will be published in local press.

ANGLIA  IN  BLOOM’18.  *Anglia in Bloom Spring Launch on 26th March at Notcutts Garden Centre, Norwich.  Cost is £15 per person, including a buffet lunch.  A delegation of 14 from HiB will attend.

*Route for AiB judges’ tour 2019.  A draft route was shown and has been timed for Anglia in Bloom: Will start at Bull Hotel (subject to agreement) to view Weavers’ Court and meet Rivercare group.  Walk past Library/Trinity Court to Halstead Public Gardens; Walk to Holy Trinity School to meet Gardening Club; Drive to Adams Court; Drive via Butler Rd. Car Park, up High Street, past Birds Butterflies and Bees Garden to Loom and Hospital; Drive up Mill Chase to Playing Field; Drive up Sudbury Road/Churchill Avenue/Winston Way to Coggeshall Pieces; Walk to Hawthorn Close to view new community planted area; Drive to Road Runners Bed, drive through cemetery, down Mallows Field/Parsonage St. to Resource Centre; Walk to Halstead Auto Electrical/Dale Hire; Walk to River Walk entrance and short way into River Walk; Drive to Courtaulds Close to Guides Allotment.  End of Tour.  Various areas where work is needed along this route were identified, and route will be properly timed and sent to Braintree DC/Halstead TC for their info and input.  Team members to walk/drive the route to get ideas about where it’s best to walk and where to drive. David commented on the Riverwalk, and where the bird boxes/wild flowers can be seen – watch this space! *RHS Britain in Bloom tour is shorter in time and the above route will need to be adjusted to suit.  Joan and Julia attended a Britain in Bloom seminar in Manchester on 8th February and met one of our Judges – Alan Gray.  The second Judge will be Kim Parish. We noted that Alan hates litter, and is keen to promote community spirit and help for the disadvantaged.  We were given information about new marking system – 40% for floral and 30% each for Community and Environment.  We were also told about Discretionary Awards that are put forward by Judges – we don’t have to ‘enter’ them.

WORKING  PARTIESFor all working parties meet at 2pm. on Town Bridge/Halstead Icing car park unless advised otherwiseTuesday 5th March – Work at King’s Road/Dr’s surgery area..  Tuesday 12th February – Butler Road area.  After that dependent on weather and what needs to be done.  Joan explained that the Surgery have asked  HiB to tidy up the central garden at their premises – they will fund.  More details later.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:  *Calendars. The new format as shown at last meeting has been weighed by Post Office and there is no difference in cost to post the new style.  After discussion it was decided that this style will be taken forward for 2020.  The Camera Club at U3A has offered to make a ‘Halstead now and then’  calendar and this was enthusiastically received. Well done Sue for your research into this!  *Allotment. Sue has taken this forward and viewed plot 17b at Parsonage St. which is deemed suitable.  Cost would be £17.50 per year.  It is agreed that the current HiB team can’t take this on, but Sue is prepared to lead a team and suggested that a note be put out on Facebook asking for volunteers for this project. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING FOR THIS PROJECT.  Again, well done Sue!! *Fiona asked that Braintree DC be thanked for prompt action in collecting bags from litter picking and of green waste.  Fiona asked if she could bring some pond plants for the plant stall – everything is welcomed.  Fiona again mentioned the Factory Lane road sign – has been reported.  Fiona also spoke about the fencing around Hunwick former site.  To be discussed at a later date.   *Chris asked if anyone has photos of gardens entered into our Local Garden Competition last year – please pass them to Chris. *Annie spoke about gardening tools on sale at Lidl which look to be very well priced and of good quality.  *Joyce remarked on the hard work at the Road Runners Bed, but said it was very worthwhile! *Linda noted that faulty lights in the Churchyard are in hand.  Linda said that two trees in tubs in the Churchyard need to be removed – Joan to identify suitable forward locations.  Linda (and others) spoke about the ‘gardens’ in Solar Car Park.  HiB can’t take these on, Contractors are engaged to do the work there.  *Margaret T Spoke about the bed on corner of Fenn Road/Colchester Road.  This is BDC’s and will be noted at Partnership meeting.  Margaret said she will litter pick New Street.  Margaret advised of  a lady litter picking at Box Mill; her name will be ascertained (her dog is named Hero!).  Margaret advised that  trees along the river bank from Town Bridge to Box Mill have been trimmed to ‘aid the flow of water’.  Margaret said that Beavers will join the April community litter pick. *Oliver gave some (impressive) Facebook stats:  In February there have been 1150 views, most on 15th Feb of Barry’s pictures.  649 people viewed post on Community Litter Pick.  There have been 101 searches for the HiB page and HiB has 500 followers.  Great!!  Oliver also noted that an updated poster for the community litter pick is in hand.


There being no other business the meeting closed at  9.30  p.m.

Next team meeting on   Thursday 28th March  2019     7.30p.m. at Halstead Icing.       All welcome


Contacts:  Margaret Eskins Chairman.  01787 269443

Julia Smith, Secretary. 0776 2587141 / 01787461806. e-mail
Joan Gibson, plants and working parties. 01787 473070        Facebook: halsteadinbloom.
join membership of National Co-op (Colchester Road)   and note HiB as your preferred charity to donate via Co-op purchases.

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