Month: March 2024

Minutes 21st March 2014

                                               HALSTEAD IN BLOOM 
           Minutes of a meeting 21st March 2024 at 6.00p.m. at Royal British Legion Club 

Chairman welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.
Minutes of the meeting of 29th February 2024 had been circulated and were adopted.
UPDATES and NEWS: *Hope for Tomorrow donation (£60). A letter of thanks was received for this donation. *Co-op Community Event feedback – 4 people from HiB attended and 1 from the 21st Century Group so the evening was not as Debbie had hoped. Debbie, as Community Champion, is hoping to set up a community network for idea sharing and general support. Further information will be sent. Thanks to Debbie for arranging this evening, shame it wasn’t more beneficial. *High Street Regeneration; HiB has been told that all necessary licences are in place and a contractor has been appointed. However an email asking for information about containers required (which HiB has offered to purchase) has not been answered. No further news. *Stones; some 590 have been collected so far and team has varnished all received. Stones have been allocated for ‘H’ ‘A’ ‘A’ ‘L’ and ‘T’ so three more letters to go! Stones will be collected from Little Pickles Nursery next week and hopefully from Holy Trinity School and some others that are being painted by team. This should mean that we have enough for all letters with some ‘spares’ to fill in gaps. Groundworker has been contacted regarding laying a concrete bed for the stones. The surrounding wood will need some treatment. There are some white stones on the outer parts of the bed and some shingle inside the letters but further supplies will probably be needed. Another varnishing session will take place later. *Re-vamp on W81 bed (outside Fire Station) Peter Robertson has this in hand.
EVENTS: *Next community litter pick is planned for 31st March (Easter Sunday). Meet at 10.30 in Chapel Street Car Park. Total bags collected will be added to the amount cleared for the Great British Spring Clean event – target 50 bags and after the litter pick on Tuesday this target is well within reach! *Next River Clean event will take place on 7th April. * *HiB Plant Sale will be on Saturday 11th May, Joan has purchased plants, some have been offered to us. Pat has knitted some stunning flower displays that will be on sale *Summer Plant Sorting Saturday 18th May. Paul from Plants that Grow will be delivering but it is feared that this may be a slow process, we will see what we can do to collect plants in good time. The area for sorting won’t be available to us this year but Peter Robertson has made part of his field available – thank you Peter and Claire! Planting commences Sunday 19th May *Halstead Summer Fayre ’24 will be held on 3rd August. *There is proposal for a Guys in the Park event. Details when released. *Annual Town Meeting will be 29th April, 7.15pm at Queen’s Hall, format of the meeting was explained – meeting is open to all and questions can be asked.
ANGLIA IN BLOOM 2024. Spring Launch will be held on Thursday 28th March at the Rugby Club, Wymondham. 4 people from HiB will attend plus Joan, Graham and Julia. This year entries for Its Your Neighbourhood in 2024 will be given a National Garden Gift Token of £15 – to be distributed with certificates in October, we entered 6 areas last year – surely we can beat this in 2024! RHS is looking for any stories related to In Bloom, especially about friendships made through the scheme.

WORKING PARTIES: Joan gave details of upcoming days: Tuesday 16th March Annie would like a couple of the team to help at the Loom clearing and digging (speak to Annie if you can help). There will also be some deadheading in the town. 2nd April – Linda would like some help in St. Andrew’s Churchyard, usual hand tools please. 9th April there will be another stone varnishing session! Gloves required!! Some work will also be required in the Surgery garden.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: . Christine asked about arrangements for collection of HiB green bin at the Empire. BDC missed collection on the first week of March, although it was collected a day late when requested. Collection was also missed this past week and hasn’t been collected yet in spite of requests. HiB has been assured that it will be collected on first date after Easter (2nd April) and the collection will be made regularly thereafter. Joyce spoke about Mount Hill and the fencing panels that have been left on the bank by owner of adjoining property. Joyce was also concerned about fallen branches laying on the bank that could fall into the path/road. Our Essex County Councillor will be contacted to see if a clearance can be made. Margaret C noted that the owner of the new craft shop in Bridge Street has some small pots of varnish that she would like to donate to HiB – all contributions gratefully received. Linda spoke about the dog poo bins at Willow Park. She has reported the overflowing bins and has asked for an extra bin. Linda will monitor the situation. Annie and Joan went to Olivers and to Cherry Lane and have purchased some plants for the Loom (Olivers gave a 10% discount on purchase and were very helpful.) – as an aside Don said he had visited Perrywoods recently and had been very surprised at the cost of plants. Margaret E reported a loose paving slab outside Gregg’s in High Street and also the loose manhole cover near to the roundabout at Kings Road. Both will be reported.
Margaret spoke about a recent meeting between trustees of HiB and Halstead Town Councillors, Town Clerk and 2 Town Council groundsmen about the way forward for HiB. It is recognised that existing volunteers are progressing in age and that it seems to be difficult to attract new volunteers; HTC has suggested that they try some volunteer recruitment. HTC is planning to employ a person for 10 hrs per week from June to September to cover the watering that Tim can no longer take on board. It is understood that interviews will take place shortly – if you know of anyone who might be interested in this work please contact Town Clerk. Concerns were raised that it might be difficult to attract someone who would be retained for future years but help with watering will be very necessary. It was said by HTC that entry beds are very difficult to water (we knew that!) and HiB has already said that we will look to putting in sustainable planting where maintenance is awkward. HTC said they would be interested in entering Anglia in Bloom but the team felt that at the moment with the poor state of shops and the necessary regeneration work it would be very difficult to get to the required standard. There was a general desire from HTC and from HiB to continue with discussions about the future of Halstead in Halstead in Bloom.
*There being no other business meeting closed at 6.50 pm.
Next meeting is Thursday 25th April 2024 6pm at Royal British Legion Club.

All welcome. Contacts: Margaret Eskins, Chairman: 01787 269443; Joan Gibson, plants/working parties: 01787 473070. Julia Smith, Secretary 07762587141 email;: Facebook: halsteadinbloom; Instagram @halsteadinbloom
Join membership of National Co-op (Colchester Road) and note HiB as your preferred charity to donate .

Minutes meeting 29th February

Minutes of a meeting 29 th February 2024 at 6.00p.m. at Royal British Legion Club
Chairman welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.
Minutes of the meeting of 25 th January 2024 had been circulated and were adopted although
Chairman pointed out that a venue for wreath making has not yet been finalised.

UPDATES and NEWS: *Christmas Card donations – amount of £60 realised. It was decided to
donate this to Hope for Tomorrow, the Cancer Treatment ‘bus. (Linda announced that the recent
‘Cuppa for Cancer’ event held at Queen’s Hall by Halstead Town Council raised £2,350.00 for this
charity, a brilliant effort). *Calendars ’24, all but 11 were sold/donated an excellent effort.
*Afternoon tea at Queen’s Hall – all agreed that this was a lovely event and the food was delicious!
Chairman gave thanks to Margaret T who had arranged the afternoon. *Factory Shop VIP event –
HiB was thanked for attending as several places were invited but attendance (apart from HiB
team) was poor. Everyone attending was given a special scratch card giving a discount on future
purchases! *Co-op Community Payment – first instalment has been received amounting to
£603.46. *High Street Parking – proposal for paid parking on High Street and The Centre was
discussed and HiB has written to North Essex Parking Partnership asking that this proposal be
reviewed. Debra thought that a scheme for 30 minutes free parking and then an hourly charge
might not be a bad thing. Anyone wishing to lodge their thoughts can write to NEPP. *High Street
Regeneration proposal: HiB has been told that scheme plan has been lodged with Essex CC but
that it has been said that appropriate licences need to be sought. HiB, together with Clerk of
Halstead TC walked round the town with ECC officer about 5 years ago and all planting was
logged, containers measured, etc. and all was agreed. HTC should hold licences. *Halstead
Flower Club, that disbanded last year, has donated their remaining funds of £46.39 to HiB and has
been thanked for this gift. *Essex Life magazine will be running an article on Halstead in a future
issue and has asked HiB for some details and photos (they have been supplied)
EVENTS: *Next community litter pick is planned for 31 st March (Easter Sunday). Meet at 10.30 in
Chapel Street Car Park (there’s lots of litter to collect after the recent high winds!!). *Next River
Clean event will take place on 3 rd March. *Great British Spring Clean will take place 15 th March-31 st
March ’24 – HiB’s target is 50bags *HiB Plant Sale will be on Saturday 11 th May, Joan will
purchase plants, some have been offered to us. Pat has knitted some stunning flower displays
that will be on sale *Summer Plant Sorting Saturday 18th May, Planting commences Sunday 19 th
May *Halstead Summer Fayre ’24 will be held on 3 rd August. *There is proposal for a Guys in the
Park event again in 2024-details when released. *Annual Town Meeting will be 29 th April, 7.15pm
at Queen’s Hall.
ANGLIA IN BLOOM 2024. Spring Launch will be held on Thursday 28 th March at the Rugby
Club, Wymondham. Cost is £20per person and refreshments will be provided. Doors open 10am
for 10.30am start. Jon Wheatley, an eminent garden designer and member of the RHS Federation
who has recently been given a prestigious award by RHS, is coming to speak and there will be
information about themes for the year celebrating 60 years of Britain in Bloom. Please let
Margaret E know by Tuesday 5 th March if you’d like to attend – there is a cap of 4 people per
It was announced that entries for Its Your Neighbourhood in 2024 will be given a National Garden
Gift Token of £15 – to be distributed

RHS events 2024

RHS events:
Tuesday 26 th March 10-1pm – Big Seed Swap One Colchester Community Hub in
the High Street. Please come along and share seeds or just come and tell us what
you do and more about your group. (Poster attached)
Tuesday 26 th March – ONLINE Peat Free Workshop at 7pm to 8:15pm on Zoom
sign up will follow soon. This is an opportunity for In Bloom, Community groups and
It’s Your Neighbourhood groups to find out more about Peat Free and find out how
other groups are coping using Peat Free compost.
1 st – 7 th April Community Garden Week (could you do something that involves your
community to showcase your hard work? Invite other community groups to your
gardens? It is the Easter Holidays, so what about a family fun day?)
22 nd – 29 th April ‘Grow with it’ This year’s seasonal programme being delivered by
the RHS. Here is the link to the page to register your interest and where you will
receive updates.
1 st – 7 th June Volunteers week-  (could you do something that involves your
community to showcase your hard work? Alison used this opportunity to gain new
volunteers for the Colchester Hospital project)
Britain in Bloom celebrates 60 Years this year and their theme for 2024 is
Friendship. We would love to hear of stories from your groups, gardens and
projects around the theme of Friendship. You can share them with me or send them
to . If your groups uses social media then tag the RHS on
your posts. Instagram: @rhsgrassroots. X: @rhsbloom. F: @rhscommunitygardening
This would be the perfect time to sign your groups up to ‘It’s Your
Neighbourhood’. This will put your group on the RHS Map of Community Groups.
Here is the link.

AGM Minutes 29th February 2024



28 th February 2024.

Apologies received: There were some apologies from team members.
Chairman Margaret Eskins welcomed all present and acknowledged that this was an AGM
similar to that of 2022and is still compliant with our Constitution.
Chairman Margaret Eskins gave a brief review of 2023 which was, she said, another busy year.
Some new containers had been purchased although the promised Town Centre Regeneration
programme still had not taken place. Consequently there had been no town entry into Anglia in
Bloom 2023 although a virtual entry and some Its Your Neighbourhoods were lodged. HiB took
part in the Annual Christmas Tree event at St. Andrew’s Church and at other events in the town
such as the Torchlight Procession and the decoration of Holy Trinity Church at Christmas. The
celebratory Afternoon Tea at Queen’s Hall in January ’23 had been a success thanks to Marie’s
great catering. Annie and Mike organised a Quiz event which was well supported and Margaret
Tyler, Helen Rose and Karen and Billy Ballard ran a very successful Local Garden Competition.
The Spring Launch for Anglia in Bloom was held at Swiss Garden, Old Warden and members of
HiB attended – and got wet as it poured with rain! Bedding for summer ’23 was purchased from
Plants that Grow at Great Yeldham and plants were of good quality and made a great display.
Chairman thanked Joan for designing all displays and thanked all who assisted with watering
duties. Calendar 2024 had been a success and all who assisted with selling and those who
supplied knitted goods for sale on stalls were thanked. Halstead in Bloom had received many
donations and sponsors this year.
Chairman made the point that nothing would happen if volunteers were not so generous with their
time and efforts and Chairman thanked all those who had helped Halstead to Bloom in 2023.
Secretary Julia Smith had prepared a report that is attached herewith.
A financial report was given and is attached herewith. All Accounts Documents were displayed
and copies of the Balance Sheet and other reports were available. (Please do let me know if you’d
like a copy of any of the reports and if you wish to view the various invoices, etc.)
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. It was proposed that Margaret Eskins should stand as Chairman of Halstead in Bloom for

  1. Vote for proposal was unanimous. Margaret Eskins was elected as Chairman of Halstead in
    Bloom 2024.
    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. It was proposed that Julia Smith stand as Secretary/Treasurer for 2024 and.
    vote for proposal was unanimous. Julia Smith will stand as Secretary/Treasurer for 2024.
    Any Other Business There was no other business.
    Chairman thanked all for their input

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