Bedford Bamberg Association

Minutes of the Bedford Bamberg Association Annual General Meeting

MARCH 22nd 2019

1. To Open Meeting: Edward welcomed those present and expressed again our condolences to Margarete after the loss of Barry, who had been a loyal supporter of the BBA, previously playing the part of St. Nikolaus for many years.

2. Apologies: Bill, Vladimir, Pam, Helen, Lucie, Elizabeth, Corin, Simon and Julie.

3.  Minutes of 2018 AGM: Approved.

4. Secretary’s Report: Our Annual Dinner was held at Vesuvio restaurant in Sharnbrook at the end of April followed by a very successful Stammtisch evening at the Pilgrim’s Progress pub in early June.  Some members attended a concert on July 5th at Wootton Upper School where their musicians played with students from the ETA Hoffmann Gymnasium in Bamberg. The Summer Supper in July at Edward and Jo’s house was as always a great success and a good opportunity for us to raise funds.

In early September visitors from Bamberg arrived; the group included people who had not been over before and we were very grateful to new hosts for providing accommodation.  Following the Welcome Party on the first day there were visits to the Heritage Shopping Complex and Althorp House in Northamptonshire, Wimpole Hall, Charles Wells Brewery, the Mayor’s Parlour and the Sikh Temple in Bedford,  sightseeing in London and the Farewell Party at Vesuvio’s on the last evening.

Robin gave an interesting talk on the development of the German language in November and the year ended with our St. Nikolaus evening.

5. Chairman’s Report:  Edward was pleased to report that 30 people are travelling to Bamberg this September and repeated the need for new members to join.  We are very grateful to Helen for taking over the administration of the website, a few adjustments were still required. Our proposed event on Twinning Post-Brexit in early April had been postponed, but all the preparations are in place to re-schedule.

Our programme for 2019: The Annual Dinner is to take place on Sunday April 28th this year [Saturday being unavailable] at Vesuvio’s restaurant.  Response had so far been poor and there was a discussion about reasons – Sunday not being a good day, distance out of Bedford etc. Edward proposed a survey of members to see if people really want an Annual Dinner and welcomed any suggestions from members, especially if there were able to research alternative venues.  [Pavenham Golf Club, a popular venue in the past, requires a minimum of 20 people].  Thanks were proposed to Edward for organising our Dinner this year, with a good value meal at £20.

A Stammtisch get-together is proposed, possibly a Sunday lunch on June 9th at Pavenham Golf Club; again other suggestions welcomed.

Summer Supper on July 13th; possibly with Clifford and his band providing music.

Organisation of our visit to Bamberg from 2 – 9th September was progressing; people travelling either by car or flying to Munich.  On the first morning there would be a Reception in the Old Town Hall, lunch and an optional walking tour of Bamberg. The next day would be a day trip to Kulmbach, then to Ansbach and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. An optional excursion by train to Nürnberg on the Friday, Saturday is a free day until the Farewell Dinner, Sunday a free day also.

There would be a talk in November and a St. Nikolaus  evening in early December.

Attention was drawn to the Goodbye Germany Exhibition at the National Army Museum, Chelsea from Easter until November, illustrating more than 70 years of the British Army’s presence in Germany.

6. Treasurer’s Report: A copy of the audited Accounts Year ending 2018 were circulated.  Thanks to Mike Kenworthy for auditing.  There had been some fraudulent activity on our bank account which had been quickly resolved.

Our main fundraising events are the Summer Supper and St. Nikolaus and now our website costs will decrease. 2020 will be an expensive year when visitors from Bamberg are due.

Graham reported that at the beginning of May the World Cultural Heritage Run was taking place in Bamberg and 36 members of the Bedford Harriers were taking part in four races.  A letter has been sent from ourselves to the Harriers to wish all the runners good luck.  It was hoped the Mayor would also write.

Bedford has been invited to have a stall at the 3-day Christmas Market in the Old Square in Bamberg; contacts at Sharnbrook Upper and Bedford Modern schools had expressed interest, also Bedford College. It was pointed out that when we had a stall previously at the big market, mini Christmas puddings were extremely popular, as well as mince pies, baked by catering students from Bedford College.

Subscriptions would be held at £10 per person for this year; it may be necessary to increase them in due course.  Thanks were expressed to Graham for his work as Treasurer. 

7. Election of Officers: All members were re-elected to the Committee. 

8. Any Other Business & Closing Remarks:  Apu mentioned the Beerfest due to be held in May – and it was confirmed that this unfortunately had been cancelled.

If you would like to see the Minutes from earlier AGMs, please contact our secretary, Rosemary.