UK Reunion
 
 

MINUTES OF THE 26TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

held on SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 2019

at QUORN GRANGE HOTEL, LOUGHBOROUGH 

INTRODUCTION

Following a group photograph outside the hotel, the meeting, attended by 41 members, was opened at 1100 hrs by the Chairman, Rod Goddard. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced himself and the Committee:

·         President: Maj Gen Tim Inshaw CB

·         Chairman: Rod Goddard MBE

·         Treasurer: Stephen “Farmer” Vaughan (absent from the meeting)

·         Secretary: Charlie and Jud Charlesworth

·         “Our Man in UK” Dick Pickup 

LAST POST

The Chairman asked everyone to be upstanding to remember those members/non-members who had passed away since the last AGM:

PETER RADNIDGE

BOB ALLUM

TED APPLEBY

RUSTY ROSSON

BRIAN KEIGHTLEY

MICHAEL BRAHAM

BOB RIDLEY

MARLENE BROOKS 

HELEN NEAL

DEREK IRWIN

ERNIE COOPER 

The Exhortation was cited and a minute’s silence kept. 

APOLOGIES

Apologies were received from: Dennis Weir, Horst Funke, Stephen “Farmer” Vaughan, Tom Perkin, Arnuff Baumann (very ill in hospital and wished a speedy recovery), Jim and Betty Hardy (who, with bags packed, were unable to travel as Jim was hospitalised the previous morning), Tom Neal, Ron Mason, Bob Kay. 

MINUTES OF THE 25TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Secretary presented the minutes of the 25th Annual General Meeting to the meeting. Ernie Callaghan proposed and Jim Husband seconded, that the minutes were a true reflection of proceedings at that meeting. 

MATTERS ARISING

At the last meeting the Treasurer, Rusty Rosson, through the Chairman, had indicated his wish to hand over the role but, at that time, no-one volunteered. Subsequent to that, Stephen “Farmer” Vaughan had come forward and has taken the post.

PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS

The President stated that he was conscious that he was very much the “new boy”: not only was he never stationed at Langeleben, he was never stationed in Loughborough either! The closest he had come was a two ­day familiarisation visit on his way to command 9 Signal Regiment in 1995. An even more tenuous link was his attendance at Welbeck College – when it was in Welbeck and not in Woodhouse Eaves. He and his wife, Sally, looked forward to meeting those members they had not yet met and to catching up with others. 

On behalf of the members he thanked the Committee, and in particular Dick Pickup, for their work in organising the reunion this year. 

He then spoke about the challenges facing the Army today, from two perspectives: 

Firstly, its size. He compared the manning numbers over the decades and concluded that now, our Army is very small, smaller that it had been for over 200 years. Military charities glean a considerable amount of their income from the ‘one day’s pay scheme’ from serving soldiers. The fewer the soldiers, the less money is available to Corps charities and, as Chair of the Royal Signals Benevolent Fund, he had seen a considerable drop in revenue over the years. 

Secondly, the type of operations the Army is expected to be able to conduct today. The expectation is that it continues to carry out what it has traditionally done over the past 60 decades as well as increase its capabilities in the new challenges such as Cyber operations. With a smaller Army and less funding for equipment the Army is facing challenging times and the skills possessed by the Royal Signals and the Intelligence Corps – with their supporting Services - are probably more in demand now than ever before. 

2020 is the centenary of the Royal Corps of Signals and one of the ways the Corps would be marking the milestone is the production of a book covering the history of the Corps through a series of very short articles. He had been involved with the production of the book and was hopeful that one of the stores included might be about Langeleben and the Reunion Association. 

He then turned his attention to the future challenges to the Reunion Association. To have reached a 25 year point in such good shape was a fantastic achievement, but the challenge would be to keep the reunion going. Having done the sums he concluded that it would be quite possible to reach another 25 year mark and spoke about the issues that may stop the Association achieving that goal: 

One – the lack of volunteers to serve on the Committee. He particularly commended Rod Goddard for the fantastic job and number of years that he had served both as Vice President and Chairman, but that he needed to handover the position of Chairman. He encouraged the younger generation to step up to the plate and also to re-double their efforts to encourage their generation to enrol as members. 

Two – BREXIT. Whilst the reunion in Germany was not everyone’s cup of tea and some could no longer make the journey, he felt it to be the mainstay of the Reunion Association and supported more by the younger generation. He thought that very little would change in the event of leaving the EU, and it would be a huge shame for BREXIT to be an excuse for not making the trip across the channel, and thus threaten the future of the Association as a whole. The Association had been specifically invited by the Stadt to be their guest at its Schutzenguild 550th anniversary next year and thus even more reason for the younger element to persuade their mates to return to Konigslutter for a great time. 

So, rather than seeing the 25th anniversary as the beginning of the end, the President asked the membership to see it as the beginning of the next 25 years and asked the younger generation to lead the charge in filling positions on the Committee - starting with the Chairman - and increasing the membership in order to prolong an Association that he described as truly special.   He felt it was a great privilege to our President.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Each member had received a copy of the Annual Accounts. In the Treasurer’s absence, the Chairman gave an overview of the Association’s accounts for the year. The Opening balance on 1 January 2019 was £3,917.45 and the closing balance at 13 August 2019 was £2,371.73. 

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Since the last AGM the Association had sadly lost eight members. Of those eight members, three families had requested the use of the Reunion Coffin Drape at their funerals, and it was much appreciated. The Secretary reminded the meeting that this facility is available to all members.

The Association had gained one new member - GRAHAM SLACK - and a warm welcome was extended to him. 

The total of active and honorary members stood at 272. 

With the demise of Marlene Brooks, the Association had lost its Listening Post Editor. The Secretary paid tribute to the considerable time and effort Marlene had given to the Association with the publication of the Listening Post over many years. He stressed that the Listening Post played a huge role in keeping those members who cannot attend meetings in touch with what is happening in the Association, and gave them an opportunity to relive old times. 

It was stated that the previous venue, Burleigh Court, had served the Association well in the past but had become too expensive. He then thanked Peter Ellis for finding and recommending the Quorn Grange Hotel. He hoped the present membership agreed that the rates were very competitive and rooms very good. 

Special mention was given to Dick Pickup who had liaised, on behalf of the Association, with the Hotel Conferencing Co-ordinator, had collated all accommodation and meal choices, and was the main point of contact for the entertainment artistes, The Hotsie Totsies. The members were asked, and showed their appreciation for the work Dick had put in. 

Finally, he thanked Tom Perkin, for all his efforts in maintaining and up‑keeping the Langeleben website. 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

The Secretary and Treasurer had indicated a willingness to continue to serve in those posts and, as there were no new nominations for either post, the proposal that they should continue for a further year was carried. 

The Chairman indicated his desire to hand over the role but would continue for a further one year only if no volunteer was forthcoming. No-one stepped forward and, subject to anyone volunteering outside the meeting, it was agreed that Rod Goddard remain Chairman for one final year. 

LISTENING POST EDITOR

With the demise of Marlene Brooks the very important role of Editor of the Listening Post had become vacant. No-one from those attending volunteered to take the role. The President made a plea to the wider membership to look around them (sons/daughters/grandchildren) to identify anyone who might have a passion for IT editing. *See footnote. 

COFFIN DRAPE

The Chairman reported that it had become apparent that when the current coffin drape was laid over a coffin and word ‘LANGELEBEN’ was upside down. It was proposed, and unanimously agreed, that a new coffin drape be purchased. It was suggested, and agreed, that members donate towards this purchase. A plea, via Tom Perkin and the website to be initiated.

WEEKEND ARRANGEMENTS

Dick Pickup gave comprehensive details of all the timings, logistics and payments for the weekend. 

2020 27TH REUNION

The Chairman announced that the next reunion, in Germany on 28th – 30th August 2020, would coincide with the 550th anniversary of the Schutzengild. While the general format for the weekend would change very little, he stated that many more Schutzengild groups would be joining Konigslutter for their celebrations. The need was therefore identified to book accommodation with the Avalon Hotel at the earliest possible opportunity via “our man in Germany”, John Richardson. 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Gerry Kane mentioned that an Attendance Book was missing. It was agreed that the previous Secretary (Clive Saunders) be approached and, if nothing transpired, a new book be purchased. 

A member from the meeting stated that it was very good that Gail Baldwin continued to support the Association and all in attendance heartily agreed. 

There being no further business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 1215 hrs. 

Chairman: ……………………………………………….                 Date: ……………………………… 

*Footnote

Following the AGM, Chris Jones contacted the Chairman and Secretary and volunteered to become the Editor of the Listening Post. His offer was very quickly and gratefully accepted.

 
 

Last updated 17 September 2019