Bedford Bamberg Association

Minutes of Annual General Meetings of the Bedford Bamberg Association

MARCH 31ST 2017

1. To Open Meeting

Edward welcomed all members attending.

     2. Apologies

   From Pam Kenworthy, Malcolm & Hazel Rees, Rosemary & Bill Bootiman, Anna Maudlin, Ron & Edna Stringer, Peter Thomas, Eric Kelk, Wendy & Clifford Herbert, Ian Baillie, Elizabeth Bray.

Edward provided the meeting with an update on Eric’s situation and also that George & Miriam Mathers would not be re-joining the BBA.  Their contributions over many years had been much appreciated in supporting the BBA.

     3. Minutes of AGM 2016

    Accepted.

     4.     Secretary’s Report

   Our first event was the Annual Dinner at Pavenham Golf Club on April 23rd. This had been well attended with friends from Great Barford joining us.

On May 21st there was a Spring Walk from Mowsbury Park Golf Club, led by Alfons.

The Stammtisch was again held at Cranfield University Social Club on June 11th; unfortunately this had not been very well attended.

The Summer Supper was held on July 23rd at Edward & Jo’s where the weather was kind to us; a supper organised by the Committee, games and quizzes provided by Mary Bromley were much appreciated.

 21 visitors from Bamberg arrived on September 6th; on the first morning visits were organised to the Panacea & John Bunyan Museums, later in the afternoon Edward & Jo hosted the Welcome Party.  Thursday – a trip to Newmarket Stables and Bury St. Edmonds, Friday to Hatfield House.  Saturday was a day trip to London by train and on Sunday evening the Farewell Dinner was held at Cranfield.  Monday was a free day to spend with hosts before the group departed on Tuesday morning.

In September Edward, Jo, Graham & Sharon attended the Sportsfest which is held every 4 years, this time in Bamberg.  A gift was presented from the BBA to the Oberbürgermeister to mark his 60th birthday [6 bottles of wine from Old Warden Vineyard].

Finally the St. Nikolaus Party was held on Friday December 2nd with a delicious German supper and a concert given by Spirits of Ayre.

     5. Chairman’s Report:

   Edward proposed that membership subscriptions be increased to £10 per person; this was agreed.  We were not raising much money from events and it is essential we recruit new members.

The website needed to be maintained and running costs were involved.

Contact with Great Barford Twinning group was ongoing, and Edward & Jo are going to Wöllstein in May.

For the 40th Anniversary of Twinning plans were already well underway and Bamberg is very keen to continue the relationship.  In May a delegation from Bamberg will be visiting and we would need to spend some money to host a Reception – the meeting agreed. School musicians would be coming and had been invited to play for us, certainly at the Annual Dinner; Malcolm Chalmers would be organising this. A Sub-Committee comprising Edward, Apu Bagchi, Graham & Malcolm has been set up to liaise with Bamberg and Bedford Council.  It was hoped the Mayor would attend our Dinner.

A Reception would be hosted by the BBA on May 11th, the visitors would be going to The Mayor’s Parlour on Friday 12th, followed by a walking tour of Bedford in German led by Malcolm.  The Annual Dinner would be at Pavenham Golf Club on Friday evening.  The group would be leaving on Saturday morning for London; Edward would be organising a tour. 

Edward would be contacting Councillors for possible donations to fund the visit and it was hoped the Mayor would confirm attendance very soon.  Robin Farman asked if we could invite the German Ambassador – but it was agreed this should be done by the Mayor. There would also be an exchange of gifts at the Dinner to mark the Anniversary.

Our visit to Bamberg in September had been advertised as a Wine & Beer tour; currently 21 people were going, some by car. On September 6th there would be a Reception at the Old Town Hall and a Brewery Tour followed by lunch.  The next day a trip to Schweinfurt and Bad Kissingen, with a wine tasting in the evening.  Friday would be a free day until the evening when we were invited to Anniversary celebrations and a Dinner hosted by the Deutsch-English Club [also celebrating 40 years].  It was hoped the German Ambassador from Berlin would be attending.

On Saturday there would be a Farewell Party at Geisfeld, Sunday a free day and Monday a visit by train to Würzburg.  The return flight was on September 12th in the evening.

June 24th – Stammtisch.  We needed 20 people to make this event viable. Possible venue Vesuvio in Sharnbrook.

July 22nd – Summer Supper at Edward & Jo’s, Pavenham.  £10.

An event in the Autumn was under discussion.

December 1st: St. Nikolaus evening.

Edward concluded by thanking the Committee and Alfons proposed thanks to Edward & Jo for their hospitality.

    6. Treasurer’s Report

    Mike Kenworthy had audited the Accounts.  The only events which raised funds are the Summer Supper and St. Nikolaus.  Our main expenditure had been during the visit by our Bamberg friends. We were paying for the website to be maintained for the first time.  Graham also noted that our gift to the Oberbürgermeister had been much appreciated.

    7.  Election of Officers:

   Honorary President: Eric Kelk. 

   Chairman: Edward Keech. 

   Treasurer: Graham Hayes. 

   Secretary: Rosemary Adams. 

   Social Secretaries: Margarete Nichols & Robin Farman and   Mary Bromley.

    8. A.O.B:

    A question was raised about the Twinning signs on  entering Bedford – if these would be re-instated. 

Apu wondered if Bedfordshire University would be willing to provide any sponsorship/funds for our Anniversary celebrations.  If the Council failed to provide a gift for the Bürgermeister the BBA would ensure one was purchased.

Alfons highlighted the lack of knowledge and interest in Germany shown by the population in general; which of course was very regrettable.

Graham proposed a Vote of Thanks to Edward at the close of the meeting.