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.