Minutes of a meeting 28th October 2021 7.30p.m. at Royal British Legion Club

 Chairman, welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.   
Chairman congratulated Billy on the Award for Best School Garden in London given to the school where he is caretaker and leader of the gardening club.  Well done Billy and children.

Minutes of meeting of 30th September 2021 had been circulated and were adopted.

UPDATES.  *Community Centre Ground. This area has been tidied at the personal expense of one of the Trustees.  Team expressed thanks to this Trustee for her efforts.  *Kerb stones out of alignment.  ECC Highways were informed of location but nothing has been heard back. *Plant Stall. Just over £200 was taken on the day with other sales post plant sale day amounting to just over £27 with more to be added.  Sale was deemed to have been worthwhile.  Carol offered to take some of the indoor plants to keep overwinter for the proposed spring plant sale. *Butler Road hedges- matter was discussed at recent Partnership meeting and it was said that HTC could write to owner of the hedge that is overgrowing the footpath and if no action is taken then ECC could cut back hedge and charge householder if it is deemed to obstruct the pavement.  It was noted that the hedge at top of Factory Lane West is causing difficulties for pedestrians; this is verge area and will be reported.  *Ivy over footways. This has been cleared by Eastlight contractors. *Weed Buster machine has been trialled in Halstead but results not known.  At Partnership meeting it was said that surface weeds are dealt with but machines tried don’t grub out roots so results are not long lasting.  Other weed control methods have been tried. *Trinity Flats area has been tidied but suggestions were given to further enhance the area.  It was noted that although HiB gave some cash for planting in the beds at Trinity Flats car park it does not seem to have been used and the beds are not in good condition.  Will be reported. *Buddleia on footway at River Walk should have been cut back now (my fault it wasn’t done earlier as I neglected to report it, apologies).  *Containers for top of High Street (outside nail bar/T-shirt printers).  There is an area of private land that will take a couple of half barrels – these to be purchased for summer planting; shop to care for planting.  *Bench at Parsonage Street now has a licence to be renewed as a memorial to Linda McCarthy.  Bench and plaque are ordered and contractor ready to install.  Existing bench will be removed and it was agreed that this could be placed at the Resource Centre when the gazebo is removed. 

ANGLIA  IN  BLOOM Virtual Campaign 2021. Results to be published on Anglia in Bloom web page and Facebook page on Friday 29thPost meeting note: they are there and Halstead has been awarded a Gold mark.  Results of the Neighbourhood judging are also on the sites.  There is to be a Spring Launch for Anglia in Bloom 2022 on 24th March at RHS Hyde Hall, Essex and certificates for the ’21 campaign will be presented at this event.  The Awards Day for 2022 event will be on 7th September ’22 at Orsett Hall, Essex – not so much travelling for us next year!!    It has been made known by Anglia in Bloom that the entrants designated for RHS Britain in Bloom in 2019 will also be invited to take part for 2022 (that includes Halstead).  Team agreed that they would like to take part, but felt that statutory bodies will need to give assistance in areas such as weeding, painting/renewing of street furniture, etc.  Further discussions to take place!

CALENDAR 2022.  Calendar is now on sale at Halstead Icing, Hardys Menswear, Phil the Egg Man, Halstead Town Council, Greenstead Green P.O. Stores and Willow and Gray.  So far, on our stalls, we have sold 123 calendars so several more to sell.  It was agreed that we should try having Fridays and at Chapel Street Car Park.  So for Friday 5th November (at Chapel Street). I have 9-10 Carol and Pat; 10-11 Chris and Nicky; 11-12 Margaret T and Ian; 12-1 Fiona and Julia.  We will use this as a trial event and maybe have other Friday stalls.  If weather is not good we will have to transfer to usual place outside Solar – watch the WhatsApp group for details.  On  6/11 at Solar – 9-10 Linda and Sue; 10-11  Nicky and Margaret T;  11-12 Annie and Mick; 12-1 Alan  and Margaret E.  On 13/11 at Solar- 9-10 Linda and Annie; 10-11  Don and Joan; 11-12  David and Barry; 12-1 Margaret E and Ian.  On 20/11 outside Solar- 9-10 Linda and Joan; 10-11  Don and Helen; 11-12   Billy and Karyn; 12-1  Margaret E and Ian.  27/11 – This is the Christmas Fayre. Starting at 9.  Joan, Annie and Mick; 10-11  Linda, Joyce and Sue; 11-12  Debra and ??  12-1 Ian and David; 1-2 Billy and Karyn; 2-3 Linda and Tony; 3-4 Graham and Julia.  Just the one space to fill on 27th, offers please! 
EVENTS.  *Community Litter Pick – Sunday 31st October. Meet 10.30 at Sainsbury’s Car Park.  *Remembrance names will be placed at WW1 memorial (St. Andrew’s churchyard) on Monday 8th November starting at 10am.  They will need to be spaced out a bit more than last year to allow people to move and view and place wreaths on the memorial. WWII names will be placed on the same day.  We will put our poppy fall on the railings of HPG as we did last year, that will be probably w/e 6th/7th November.  David spoke about the poppies placed on lamp posts in Witham with names of fallen and questioned whether we might think of something similar for another year.  We guess that we will have to seek permissions for this.  *Event arranged by 21st C group at Empire Theatre on 17th November.  Local author James Canton will be speaking about Ancient Oaks and Other Wonders of North Essex.  Doors open at 7.00pm for 7.30pm start.  Admission is free.  Email info@halstead21stcentury.org.uk or phone 07842907501 to book a place. *Christmas Fayre.  Is  27th November and there will be stalls in Weavers Court, behind the gates (hope the grass gets cut!!).  We will need to move the plane to accommodate stalls (this is in hand). *Torchlight Procession is on 1st December.  8 of the team have volunteered to act as marshalls/collectors and as far as I know we will need to be on the Hill for 6.30pm.  *Christmas Tree event in St. Andrew’s Church is planned for 26th/27th/28th November.  HiB will have a tree and has booked an ‘advert’ in the programme.  Margaret T noted that youth groups haven’t yet been invited to take part – Mike and Annie to chase this up.  *There will be some Christmas trees in Holy Trinity Church, some trees and decorations have been retained in the church from previous years and HiB will have a working party on the afternoon of 23rd November to set up a display.  Speaking events: HiB team has been booked to speak at U3A AGM on 5th April ’22; Tollesbury Gardening Club on 25th April ’22 and Great Notley Gardening Club on 12th October ’22.  There may also be a booking for West Bergholt Flower Club date to be advised.  It was agreed that our presentation needs to be revamped, team will meet to discuss.
HiB Christmas ‘do’  It won’t be possible to have the usual dinner, open to all, this year as St. Andrew’s Church Hall will be too small for a socially distanced event and it isn’t possible to have a full meal at Queen’s Hall.  It is thought that perhaps an afternoon tea might be a nice idea just to celebrate success of 2021 and look forward to 2022.  Margaret T to explore options. 

PLANT  COLLECTION Plants due to be collected on Saturday 30th October.  Van booked. Please meet at Gate House (next to Fire Station) at 10.30am to help sort the 6,500 plants! 
Planting will be on Sunday 31st. Those helping to set out please meet on Town Bridge at 9am.  Those planting from 10.15 onwards, meet at Town Bridge.  Please bring gloves and hand tools (and steps for Bridge planting).

WORKING  PARTIES From 2nd November working parties will be for planting.  We will be selling calendars at Priory hall on 4th November so anyone available to assist will be welcome.  Hopefully planting will be complete by 18th November so that the Road Runners’ bed can be tidied. 23rd November will be at Holy Trinity Church (see above) and 25th November will be setting up tree(s) at St. Andrew’s Church.  After that work will be as and when required.

ANY  OTHER  BUSINESS.    *Margaret T noted that the Halstead Horticultural Society will be having their autumn show on 13th November at Queen’s Hall.  HiB to sell calendars (let me know if you can help).  Schedules will be sent round.  *Fiona spoke about cars/parked on verge at Parsonage Street.  This was raised at Partnership meeting but land is owned by Essex CC and it seems that nothing can be done to stop this erosion of the verge and dangerous blocking of sight line.  *Alan asked if the cart at Blamsters Crescent is due for a revamp but it was thought it is in an OK condition for now.  *Karyn and Billy offered to help on Saturdays when required – Billy offered to cut back vegetation opposite the Empire and in Factory Lane West if necessary.  *Carol says she has been given a donation from Barbara Coe and will hand this in over the weekend.  She also asked if Holy Trinity School Gardening Club had made requests for grants for the required poly tunnel.  Christine said that the Gardening Club hadn’t yet started up and that there were no funds for the Club so she wasn’t sure of the future. (Margaret T said that the future of Halstead Brownies and Rainbows wasn’t sure because fees have been set so high for future).  *Julia spoke about the Local Community Fund set up by the National Co-op Society and noted that a further payment of £662.28 is due to be paid this month.  There will be a presentation ‘do’ sometime between 18th and 20th November, no details to hand as yet.  HiB has been made a recipient of the Local Community Fund for 21/22.  Julia then spoke about Halstead in Bloom going forward.  It was said that recent events and recent difficulties encountered by local groups have highlighted that HiB must make plans for the future, for instance if/when HiB comes to an end.  Our constitution says that any assets should be ‘given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Charity’  All were asked to consider this point and what would be desirable.  Chairman asked what thoughts the team have about future workings and noted that some members aren’t able to work as previously and asked for considerations about what the team should be tackling. Do we do too much?  Should we be tackling weed clearing and painting?  If the answer is no, and if these duties can’t be carried out by statutory bodies should we still be entering Anglia in Bloom and if asked RHS Britain in Bloom?  Team felt that entering gives a focus for efforts but that some decisions would have to be made.  All are urged to consider and pass on thoughts to Trustees.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.58 p.m.

Next team meeting on   Thursday 25th November  7.30p.m. at Royal British Legion Club, The Causeway.    
Contacts:  Margaret Eskins Chairman.  01787 269443;  Julia Smith, Secretary. 0776 2587141 / 01787461806. e-mail jaygrey@btinternet.com; Joan Gibson, plants and working parties. 01787 473070www.halsteadinbloom.org.uk                                                                                                Facebook: halsteadinbloom.
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