Association Annual General Meeting And Reunion Swindon 2015
Below are a few photographs taken by me at the Swindon reunion in June 2015. If you have your own pictures you would like to see published here, please send them to me
Gallery Of Photographs Taken By Our Official Photographer
To View The Full Gallery Simply Click The Link Below To Download Images Right Click On The Picture And Choose Download http://1drv.ms/1EoIqx7
MINUTES OF THE 18TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE RAF ADMINISTRATIVE APPRENTICES ASSOCIATION HELD ON 13TH JUNE 2015 AT THE SWINDON MARRIOTT HOTEL
Committee Name Entry Post
W J Wilcox 5th President
B Schofield 33rd Chairman
R Wise 4th Vice Chairman
G Hoyland 330th Treasurer
P J Ralph 46th Newsletter Editor
M Heritage 11th Archivist
A Burchell 38th Membership Secretary
T McKnight 318th Almoner
D Johnson 313th Publicity Officer
B Hoare 307th Social Secretary
A Bell 29th Website Manager
T Hammonds 305th Golf Secretary
Members present (in entry order)
5th B Huggins, 13th J White, 14th T Richards, John Gent, 15th T Moore, 17th B Bullivant, G Wright, B Blundell, B Mabbott, 19th A Cowan ,J Evans, T Parsons, I Thomson, J Waltham, 22nd B Yost, 23rd P Bullock, D Marshall, B Shepherd, J Reynolds, 24th, D Bulleid, 28th B Kent, M Owen, 29th R Burrow, B Croucher, P Culley, D Davies, G Masson, R Pipe, H Trumbell, 30th P Reed, P Williamson, 32nd, D Brown, B Scott, P Wentworth, M Wilkinson, B Danes, 34th K Hendry, P Bunn, R Orr, C Morgan, 35th R Dickinson, 38th M Day, D Linney, K Williams, 40th P Charnell, R Cleife, M Boyle, M Hamill, 41st T Jones, 42nd H Gilbert, B Hoggarth, 45th I Hunter, 46th S Foley, 301st B Beedie (Total attendance 66)
Item 1 Opening of the meeting by the Association Chairman
The Chairman opened the meeting at 1400 hours and welcomed members to the 18th Association AGM; in particular those members who are attending for the first time. He thanked all who had travelled long distances, especially Ray Burrow from Cyprus and Alan Bell from France. He and the Committee hoped they would all enjoy the weekend. He then briefly handed over to the Almoner. The Almoner requested that, Mr. President, Mr. Chairman, Fellow Committee Members and Association Members, please stand to Honour the memory of those Association members who have died since our last
Annual General Meeting: Joe Green 1st, Ted Bolton 1st, Peter Pendlebury 4th, Peter Bullick 5th, John James 7th. Ray Harle 8th, Anthony Mitchell 11th, Chris Mackie 13th, Michael Gardiner 20th, Frank Carroll 38th,Jim Butcher 44th, Andy Lanning 324th, Mrs Betty Heale Honorary. Please remain standing to pay our respects in memory of Mrs. Elaine Lindop, wife of Alan Lindop 324th Entry who also sadly passed away in August 2014. Please also think of members and their families who are unwell at this time and those members who have been prevented from attending the reunion because of ill health. We are aware that quite a number of our members are suffering with poor health at the moment and have learnt of two with terminal cancer in the last week; please join me in wishing them all well.
Item 2 Apologies for Absence
Apologies have been received from: 1st M Jeffrey, 5th D Burlingham, P Holmes, 9th J Williamson, 11th D Gibson, 16th P Baker, 19th D Hobson, B Hilton, 24th E Huntley, 25th P Homden, 29th R Anders , S Spooner,30th B Phillpott, 33rd G Goddard, 36th L Porter, K Rossiter, B DeVecchis, 38th Paul Dyer, John Nash, M Gunning, 39th S Avery, 40th I Richie, 41st P Hirst, 42nd G Ash, K Green. 304th G McCullough, T Proctor, DAinsworth, 305th K Finter, 307th S Sanders, 314th E Reilly (Secretary), 324th N Tarbard
Item 3 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 14th June 2014
A copy of the Minutes was circulated with the September 2014 Newsletter and therefore they are taken as read. Proposed: Don Davies 29th Seconded Dixie Dean 40th that the minutes be accepted as a true
Item 4 Matters arising from the AGM held on 14th June 2014 (Other than items on today’s agenda)
There were no matters arising from the minutes that are not covered elsewhere in these minutes.
Item 5 Presentation, review and acceptance of the Association Accounts for the financial year ended 31 March 2015
The Treasurer stated that copies of the audited Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet had been distributed to the members attending. These accounts had been audited by John Waltham and there were no formal comments from the auditor. The treasurer continued, as could be seen from the Income and Expenditure Account, the excess of income over expenditure had again shown an increase; this time from £1,675.46 to £2,507.50, which is an increase of £832.04 (just less than 50%). He continued, on the income side; Income from the sale of ties & badges was very slightly up for the year. Bank account interest was up from £11.47 to £141.44. This was due to the first receipt of interest from Cambridge & Counties Bank 95 day notice account. This account currently pays 1.95% although the rate would be going down to 1.75 % on 27 Apr 15 (compared with around 0.32% from the previously held High Interest Bond with HSBC). A further deposit of £1,859.56 has been invested in this account and the balance now stands at £15,000. Interest is added annually at the end of Apr. The 2014 Re-Union deposit had been returned by the hotel. Other changes were of a minor nature. Changes on the expenditure side were: Postage +£21 Up 29%.Stationery -£10 Down 37%. Printing +£36 Office Equip -£21 Telephone +£6. Newsletter +£91 Up 10% Travel Exps -£253 Down 11% Donations £20 Down 17% . Farewell Gift £58 Area Rep. FABEA Lunch £49.96 (It was our turn to pay). There had been a net cost of £210.00 for last year’s re-union made up of the cost of the coach for the Ladies’ trip £60 (£65 deposit paid last year), Dinners £100 (£50 received last year and £50 this year), flowers for staff etc. On the Balance Sheet – Hendon Museum Project Reserve – £1,550.00 – remained available. The re-union hotel deposits for 2015 and 2016 had been paid this year and show as assets on the balance sheet. Overall, the Association remains on a sound financial footing. Proposed by H Gilbert (42nd), Seconded by R Wise (4th) that the accounts be accepted. Carried.
The Treasurer stated that there had again been a number of late payers resulting in 46 needing one reminder to pay (last year 65) and 22 needing 2 reminders to pay (last year 20).
Item 6 Annual Subscription for 2015-2016
The Treasurer stated that the Association remained on a sound footing and there are no reasons to increase the current level of subscriptions at the moment. Proposed by P Ralph (46) seconded by S Foley (46) that subscriptions remain at £10.00 per year. Carried.
Item 7 Reports for the period 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015 from the following Association Committee members:
The Chairman thanked our President and the whole of the Committee for their continuing support to him and in particular for their dedication and many hours of hard work they undertake on behalf of the Association. Before starting the individual reports he invited our Association President, Jim Wilcox, to say a few words.The President thanked The Committee, particularly The Chairman, for all their dedicated work for the Association over the past year and hoped that the new committee would continue likewise.The Chairman continued by saying that the Association has a number of very well established Regional Groups; namely SW Herts, Gloucester, Dorset, Cyprus and Spain: sadly Frank Carroll the coordinator for the Spain Group passed away on 18th May. The Groups all meet on a regular basis and he thanked the Group Coordinators for their significant contributions to the Association.It was very disappointing to see so many former members failing to renew their subscription at the end of last year. Six members resigned and a further 6 allowed their membership to lapse. The Chairman thanked the members for all the positive feedback received following the Peterborough Reunion last year. We are pleased that you are happy with the existing format of reunions and will continue inthe same vein. We were asked about Ladies outings to National Trust properties, but some years ago this was a problem when we visited Burghley House, we prepaid for a number of discounted tickets before the event and on the day a number of members changed their minds and would not pay for the unused tickets.
b. Membership Secretary
The Membership Secretary reported that there had been a drop in membership since the last AGM, caused by 13 deaths, 12 resignations and 12 lapsed members, on the plus side we managed to recruit 12 new members. Membership numbers as at 12th June 2015 were: Full members 517, Ex Ruislip 12, Life 1, Honorary 32, Affiliated 1, Friends 2, Associate 3, and Total 568. The Chairman confirmed these figures and commented that as members will have seen from the membership numbers that there had been a significant decline in membership over recent years. In June 2009 we had 626 members and 194 members/partners attended the Reunion. This year we have 56 less members and 72 less attending the Reunion. Of interest, in addition to the 12 Ruislip and 37 Affil, Honorary, Friends or Assoc members, our membership comprises 400 members from the 1st to the 46th Entries and 121 members from the 301st to the 330th Entries; Bearing in mind that from the 1st to the 46th Entries 2,181 apprentices were trained and that 3,856 were trained with the 301st to 330th Entries, clearly it can be seen that there is a recruitment problem with the 300 series entries which we have been unable to solve. Should our membership continue to decline at this rate the future of Reunions with a format such as this one could well be in doubt. Our rooms take up and volume attendance attracts the generous discounts we are able to negotiate on both room rate and bar prices. The future of our Association lies in the hands of the later entries and it would be a great pity if we continue to lose members at such a high rate. Therefore, the Chairman invited members to encourage former fellow apprentices to join the Association, particularly those from the 300 series entries. From the contacts received on the website and also from other social media outlets we know they are out there and interested, they just cannot be persuaded to join the Association.
c. Newsletter Editor
The Newsletter Editor stated that the Newsletter continues to be issued on a quarterly basis in both Email and print versions. He reported that he was retiring as Editor at the AGM and hardly had any articles to pass to his successor, he urged members to provide more material in the future. He gave his gratitude to everybody who contributed during his tenure and gave particular thanks to the Chairman for his help in issuing the Email version. The Chairman recorded that Peter has just issued his final Newsletter as he is stepping down as Editor with immediate effect. Peter has been Editor since February 2012 and in that time he has produced 16 Newsletters. He was sure you will agree that Peter has transformed the Newsletter in that time, The Chairman thanked Peter for all his hard work and for the outstanding contribution he had made to the Association over the last 3 ½ years. He was sure the Committee will agree with him that Peter’s valued contributions to Committee meetings will also be missed. He hoped that Peter would now be able to enjoy his cruises etc and not worry about the next newsletter while relaxing in some faraway country, The Chairman will miss the postcards confirming he is away on leave though.
d. Social Secretary
The Social Secretary reported that he had received several favourable reports on the 2014 Peterborough reunion and not one unfavourable report. Coach trip was a success. The Hotel was very pleased with our attendance. He thanked the Chairman for his continued support. For this year’s reunion we have 123 sitting down for dinner, less than 2014, due to several serious illnesses – we wished those members a speedy recovery. This year we have an Official Photographer at the dinner. A photo would be taken at each table and Neil, the photographer has set up a studio in the function room bar, should anybody require individual photos. The table photos will be paid for by the Association, studio ones at the individuals own expense. All drinks have a 35% discount when you show your discount card.
e. Publicity Officer
The PRO outlined his attempts at publicising the Association, this included; Adverts in RAF News, Air Mail magazine & on Facebook. He still hasn’t given up on National and Local press. He has tried the RBL but needs to follow this up. He has scoured the internet for Aviation museums, many, but not all have been sent laminated A5 size posters, with the request that they be placed on their notice boards. A4 size is cost prohibitive. He is going to try non-aviation museums next. If any member would like a copy of the posters available please contact PRO direct. He would also appreciate any additional feedback.
The Almoner stated that as well as sending Condolence Cards to the widows of Association Members who have died, it is the duty of The Almoner to maintain contact with members and honorary members who are either ill or suffering other hardships in their lives. In that respect, Get Well Soon Cards have been forwarded to four members during the last year. In addition, four Thinking of You Cards have been sent to Association members who were suffering particularly difficult times in their lives as recognition that they are not alone and their fellow Association members were remembering them in their thoughts. Furthermore, at the request of our Association member, William (Dixie) Dean, 40th Entry, a Golden Anniversary Card was sent to John Wildish 39th/40th Entry and his wife Mary. The Almoner then said that whilst this may all sound good news in respect of Get Well Soon and Thinking Of You Cards in that the numbers are relatively small but, these were the only ones notified to him and, he is sure that there are othermembers out there who have been ill or who have experienced difficult times during the past year but the information was not notified to either himself or a fellow committee member. He also asked that, if you do
hear of any occasion where you feel a card should be sent, please do get in touch. This is important as he does know from speaking to members who have received cards that they are very much appreciated. His contact details, as well as those for all the other committee members, are on the Association website. One of the Almoners roles is to write letters to the widows of Association members offering Honorary Membership to them. Since our last Annual General Meeting, nine offer letters have been sent. The only reply received was from, Mrs Mary MacKie and unfortunately she declined the offer of Honorary Membership. As no other replies were received to the other offer letters sent this is taken as an indication that the offers have been declined. Many ex Administrative Apprentices are out there and, if everyone at the meeting managed to recruit at least one additional member to the Association during the year, we would more than make up for the losses to the Association through death or resignation. It is really up to us all to try and seek out and recruit additional members to ensure the future of our Association.
g. Golf Secretary
The Golf Secretary informed the meeting that due to falling numbers, and after consultation with our own members and the Aircraft Apprentices, it had been agreed that the Elsworty Shield match on July 22nd would be the last one. He reported that our own Burnett Shield is suffering from lack of numbers (6members + two guests this year), however this will continue as an integral part of our own future reunions. More support would be much appreciated. He stated that what might be putting some members off is the timing of the event, not much can be changed, only to remind members that the Association rates with Marriott also apply on the Thursday night of our reunion weekends, so why not come a day early and participate. Six members took part in this year’s match and he asked the defending champion(H Trumbell 29th) topresent the trophy to this year’s winner T Hammonds 305th.
The Archivist reported, once again, that it had been a very quiet year. The highlight of the year was receipt of a number of Hereford magazines which were of great interest to several members of the committee.He displayed these magazines at the AGM. There had been the odd addition to the photographic records, which had been found by members who had moved or cleared out attic/garage. Please keep these coming,but let him know if we can keep or just take a photo copy.
j. Website Manager – Linked with proposal at Item 10
Item 8 Hendon Museum Project Progress Report
The Chairman reported that there was some progress with our toblerone display at the RAF Museum. He advised that he had recently been contacted by the staff at Hendon and they have sent him a project application for completion and submission to the Museum’s Display Committee. He was advised that they could not see permission being granted for our display in the immediate future due to the placement of other major displays, relating in particular to the ongoing anniversaries of the two world wars. However, there is hope that if our application is approved by the Committee the display could be in place in the not too distant future. He was assured that costs should not exceed our anticipations but that the display would need to be more of a photographic display with limited script describing the photographs. If you the membership would like to continue with this project he will complete and submit the application in conjunction with our Archivist, although understanding the application is another thing. After considerable discussion, the consensus of opinion was that because of the length of time that the project had been ongoing, the lack of a positive timescale, the obstacles being put in our way by the new Museum staff and
also the fact that in the light of the removal of the Halton Apprentices display, our toblerone may not be in place for any length of time and would probably appear insignificant to the general public alongside the now large and often interactive other displays. Consequently it was proposed by J White 13th and seconded by B Danes 33rd that the project would be discontinued and that the donations made towards the display would be transferred to a different project. Carried unanimously. The Chairman agreed to issue a notice to all members who had made a donation to ask if they were content that their donation should be transferred to another project or if they would prefer a refund.
Item 9 Admin Training School – Award Sponsorship
The Chairman announced that we have been invited to sponsor awards for RAF recruits undergoing personnel support and logistics training at Worthy Down. The Treasurer subsequently made contact with the Officer Commanding the Training School and was invited to visit. The School has expressed a preference for the award of an engraved pen for the best student. Garry Hoyland visited the School on 5 June to discuss the proposal face-to-face and was invited to apprise you of his visit. Garry stated he met with Flt Lt Laura-Jane Piercy (Airmen Training) and Flt Lt Paul McDonald (Officer Training). He went through our short history of RAF Apprentice Clerks and RAF Administrative Apprentices. Flt Lt Piercy (Airmen Training) advised that the trade name is now Personnel Support and that all 3 services are trained on the same course at Worthy Down. At the moment there are 3 courses per year for the Personnel Support trade training (or Phase 2 training as it is now known). The first course of 2015 had already graduated and the
remaining 2 courses for 2015 are due to graduate on 24 Jul 15 & 27 Nov 15 respectively. The Assn has previously been in contact with the school and we asked them about the possibility of sponsoring an award for the best RAF student on each trade training course. At the time the school conducted a straw poll of students on what they thought would a suitable award and an inscribed pen set was the most popular as it was considered to be a lasting memento. The School has since presented such an award to the best RAF student at the first graduation review held in Apr 15. The cost of the pen set at that graduation was just over £100. The set consisted of a Parker fountain pen and a ball point pen in an inscribed box. The graduation review itself lasts around an hour and consists of a presentation by the students, a further presentation by Flt Lt Piercy (which also includes the giving of any awards) and finally the students are told of their postings. If this AGM agree on sponsoring the awards, representatives of the Assn would be
invited to make the presentation at each graduation review. OFFICER SECRETARIAL COURSE Flt Lt MacDonald (Officers’ course commander) asked about the possibility of the Assn sponsoring an award for the best RAF Officer student. Garry advised him that he did not think this would be possible as members of the Association joined the RAF as apprentices (non-commissioned) although some were commissioned later in their service.WISE OWL T BAR Garry visited the Wise Owl Tea Bar. There were 15 entry plaques on the wall plus a painting of the 330th entry pass out parade. The School has other memorabilia in store, which had moved from Hereford to Halton to Southwick Park to Worthy Down and they wanted to develop what was already on display in the tea bar. Garry said we would provide a framed A4 size history of the Assn to hang alongside the existing entry plaques. He also advised that we had items that may be of interest and which could be used in the display. He would liaise with our archivist (Mike Heritage).RLC MUSEUM Flt Lt MacDonald advised that a museum was being built to house the history of the RLC. The foundations had just been laid at Worthy Down. The School was looking into the possibility of having a ‘corner’ for the RAF personnel so the Assn could look into the possibility of some form of display.VISIT TO THE SCHOOL Flt Lt Piercy offered to sponsor a visit from the Assn to Worthy Down. They had previously had a visit from the local Rotary Club. We would be shown round the school etc, speak to instructors and sit in a lesson for a while etc.They were also interested in us possibly giving a presentation on the Assn to staff and instructors – Garry said the Assn would look into that possibility.SUPPLIER AWARD Supplier training (now Logistics (Supplier)) is currently still carried out at RAF Halton but will be moving to Worthy Down once the £270m re-build had been completed. Garry had already spoken to the School WO at the Supply Training School and also the Trade Sponsor WO at HQ Air about sponsoring a similar prize for the supplier trade. Garry had sent him details of both the Assn, and what we may be doing for the clerk trade, but he had no response as yet. However, we could still go ahead and agree in principle at this AGM to sponsoring an award for the supply trade.We suggest that the actual proposal is for ‘up to £100 per award and for it cover a period of time’ (say rest of 2015 and all of 2016 or longer?). This should be a cost of £500 plus and we will review at the
next/future AGM. Additionally, we emphasise that any member of the Assn could make the presentation at the graduation review, the offer of a visit to Worthy Down and finally the possibility of displaying Assn memorabilia in the Wise Owl Tea Bar and the RLC Museum. After considerable debate it was felt that whilst the sponsorship of awards was worthwhile, the annual cost was too high. Therefore, it was proposed by T Moore 15th, and seconded by B Shepherd 23rd that further investigations should be carried out in conjunction with the School to find a less expensive award and to discuss the matter further at the next
Item 10 Resolutions
Two resolutions are proposed by the Committee. The first proposed by Alan Bell and seconded by Bryan Schofield is to use a Web Design Company to migrate and update the Association Website. As I am sure you will have seen Alan has been having some significant problems with updating the website using Yahoo’s Sitebuilder website creation programme. One of the biggest frustrations is the length of time his personal internet connection, and by definition his computer, is tied up with uploading and downloading vast amounts of data. Alan’s computer is frequently tied up for a complete day whilst publishing the whole of our website in an effort to overcome problems. Alan has resisted suggesting doing this, but now he has reached the stage where he thinks we have to get ourselves into the modern world and get a more professional looking website that can be maintained without continual hosting problems. He recently spent 90 minutes on the phone to Yahoo and whilst very patient; they have been unable to find out the source
of the problems. Amongst other things, he is experiencing images that have been placed correctly when creating new entries on a page using Sitebuilder, but when the site is opened on the net, images are obstructing text. There are other irritating things that keep cropping up again and again even after they have been supposedly resolved by Yahoo. Alan has followed Yahoo’s advice, he has tried all the usual, so called, fixes e.g. clearing the cache, deleting the content of the site.xml files, re-downloading the complete site and re-publishing (both latter operations take a huge amount of time) only to find the problems still exist. All this is beginning to convince him that Sitebuilder has outlived its sell by date by a long way. Although he has resisted change due to the fact that by and large it has ‘done the job’ he now feels that the time has come to look at something else more modern that will enhance the Association’s presence on-line. We therefore propose a migration of our site to WordPress or something similar. Alan is aware of the fact that the site is currently a large one and could probably do with some tidying up on the way. However, as an Association we must bear in mind that such a move would be expensive. Approaches have been made to Website design companies who could carry out the work to redesign and enhance our website and bring it into the 21st Century and I ask Alan to give you his annual report and to expand on what I have just said.
Website Manager Report
The Website Manager reported that he had continued to update your website on roughly a monthly basis over the last year. However, over the last 2 years the amount of traffic to the site has gradually diminished suggesting that there is now not much original material left out there to add to our existing archives. However, the Noticeboard as its name suggests, does keep pace with the latest items of news sent to him. On the down side, despite several posts on the Noticeboard and reminders in the Newsletter there has unfortunately, continued to be a lack of cooperation in particular from those reporting on Regional Group Meetings. While coordinators have been sending their reports to the Newsletter Editor they have, with the exception of the Cyprus Group, failed to copy their reports to him as Website Manager. This of course has meant that those visiting the site on a regular basis have had to wait for the publication of each Newsletter to read these reports. The same applies to announcements about such things as forthcoming entry reunions and deaths and obits where he has always thought it would be useful to use the medium of the website to publicise sooner rather than later. He would hope that as he is now to be responsible for both
the Website and the Newsletter, this problem will finally be resolved. He has continued to receive a number of requests from members of the public related to ex-admin apprentices seeking information about their fathers, uncles etc. He has managed to resolve a number of these requests or if not point the person in the direction of the National Archives, or other websites dealing with ex-servicemen. Recently he was approached by one of the organisers of a site called RAF Mates – Where Are They Now. He can recommend this site for any of you seeking an old RAF friend you would like to find. A link to the site is now on our Useful Links page.
Turning now to the direction our website might take in the future.
Alan stated that he has been your website manager for more years than he can remember having been stupid enough to suggest to our President (then Chairman Jim Wilcox) at one AGM that the Association could do with a Website. His meaty finger pointed at me and he said something like ‘OK you are it mate so get on with it’. So it was and we launched the site hosted by Yahoo around 10-11 years ago. However, having no HTML or website design skills he did then and he still do use Yahoo’s very basic Sitebuilder programme to update and manage the site. It is old technology compared with the intuitive tools used to construct and maintain modern websites, and to say it is buggy is an understatement. He has spent more hours than he cares to think about dealing with problems associated with this programme and Yahoo’ssupport for the programme is pretty awful. Over the years, the site has become too big containing a significant amount of out of date and frankly superfluous data most of which needs to be dispensed with. He therefore proposed to the Chairman that the time had come for a major rethink on how our site should look and on 11th April this year, your committee considered His proposal that the site be the subject of a complete modernisation. Such a redesign would retain all the essential historical data but leave the site much smaller and more manageable. Web design and development will entail costs but the result would leave us with a much more effective website easily maintained under the umbrella of professional support team. Even if we were to continue with the existing website, changes had been necessary. In consultation with the Chairman therefore, he has already made a number of significant amendments. The following are some of the changes either already implemented or will be implemented whatever theoutcome of this debate:
Annual Reunion pages with the exception of the most recent reunion have been removed. Existing photographs of previous Annual Reunions will be incorporated into a photo gallery. Minutes of the latest AGM will be posted on the current Annual Reunion page and on the Noticeboard. Minutes will be removed from the Noticeboard after 2 months. This will give individual members the opportunity to download the minutes if they so wish. Should the modernisation plan be approved, both the Noticeboard and the Annual Reunion pages will be restricted to ex-Admin Apprentices and subjected to a password. Details of how this will be achieved will be announced in due course. Existing Entry Reunion Pages will be removed and content incorporated into the relevant Entry Scrapbook Page. Individual pages currently in existence for Regional Groups have been removed. In future, Regional Group Reports will be posted on the Noticeboard and then removed when subsequent reports are posted. A photo gallery featuring photographs from all the past and future Regional Group meetings will be created.The existing Golf Secretary’s page been closed and any future Golf Notices displayed on the Noticeboard. The Noticeboard will form the basis of the Newsletter (the latter created as a separate page and againrestricted by password.
The Visits Page and all its content has been removed. With a couple of exceptions, He has been the only member that has ever contributed to this page.The Contact Us Page has been adjusted to include the names and contact addresses of all Regional Group Organisers Newsletter Extracts Page has been discontinued. Member Articles taken from the Newsletter have not been published on the website for several years. Member’s Articles currently on the website will remain as a dedicated page. Future articles will be published in both the Noticeboard and the Newsletter and later transferred to the Member’s Article Page.Find A Friend Requests over 12 months old have been and will continue to be removed.The Archived Notices pages have been removed. In future all notices placed on the Noticeboard will remain there for sufficient length of time to enable members to take appropriate action should they wish to do
so.Entry Lists will be incorporated into the appropriate Entry Scrapbook Page
The Redesign Proposals
From several the website design companies approached, two companies have submitted competitive bids to revamp our site:
1 Webchoice UK www.webdesignchoice.co.uk Contact Sam Dunning
Website requirements:Alan Bell is wanting to completely re-vamp the website for the Royal Air Force Administrative Apprentice Association.The existing website is now very outdated, the navigation is not very clear, information is fairly cluttered and the website in not optimized for mobile. Therefore, a highly professional, visually engaging and user-friendly new website with clear navigation is required. The website must be designed and developed with a wholesome user-experience as the prime objective. High quality photographs are to be used throughout. The existing logo and branding will need to be maintained for the new site. The site must be built with a responsive design to ensure that it adapts to the major mobile devices. All content from the existing website will need to be transferred over to the new website. Authorised staff must be able to easily login to the Content Management System (admin side to the website) and have full access to manage & update the website and content on a regular basis. We will provide the following features as part of your web development:
• Highly professional website built to meet your requirements.
• Comprehensive Design Modification – Subject to fair use policy.
• Utilize existing logo and branding within design
• Responsive Design – The website will be optimize for mobile devices such as: iPhones, iPads, major Android phones, major Android tablets and major Windows phones & tablets. The website will re size and
adjust to the screen size it is being viewed on giving the best possible user experience.
• Transfer all content across from existing website
• Content Management System (CMS) – This allows easy editing of the website and its content
• Professional JQuery banners – To keep users engaged and promote services
• Pages as per your requirement
• Menu Navigation as per you requirement
• Professional JQuery banners – To keep users engaged and promote services
• Newsletter Area – Members will be required to sign in with their RAF Service Number in order to have access to the Newsletter page
• Photo Galleries
• Video integration if required
• Contact enquiry form that will send you email alerts when an enquiry is made through the site.
• Google Optimized site – Since Google ranking is the most important key to the success of any on-line business, the site will be built fully Google optimized. This includes options for linking keywords to search
engine indexing such as page title, SEO friendly URL’s and alt tags for images and much more
• Fast loading website
• Social media integration – Buttons added for all the major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn) this increases site recognition and helps with advertisement
• Project Management through a dedicated project manager working with our online project management tool- Choice Do to ensure your development runs smoothly from start to ‘Go-Live’
• Web Statistics by Google Analytics
• Website license and copyright is yours for life
Here is your total cost breakdown for your website development:
Design & Development Costs: £2,495 + VAT
Hosting: £20 Per Month (if required)
Here is your payment schedule for the development:
On Project Approval: 50%
Website Completion: 50%
The Estimated Project Schedule for this development is:
Delivery within 1 Month of Design Approval (to an agreed structure)
2.Sitewizard www.sitewizard.co.uk Contact Tom Garfield
Tom Garfield reviewed the site and he is confident they can help us a great deal.He thinks the best way forward would be for us to create a new bespoke design which would be for £1895+vat. This would include the design of up to 24 pages.They would then give you the editor in which you could easily add more pages yourself, along with our tech supports help.He has outlined our process for below.
Stage 1 – Home page mock up
They produce the first draft in jpg format (an image), which is created to depict how the homepage will look. This is where the visual side of the site is developed, including the structure, banner, menu placement,size and colour scheme.
Timeframe – Depending on the amount of work they have, this will take up to 10 working days from the date the design questionnaire was added to our design queue.
Stage 2 – Alterations to the Design
Once the first draft has been completed it will be sent to you for your approval. If you are happy with the design then we skip straight to stage 3. If you require any alterations to the design, send them over and they’
ll get the mock up adjusted.
Timeframe – Each set of revisions are usually completed within 5-10 working days.
Stage 3 – Coding site into HTML
Once they get the thumbs up for the design, the site will be coded following the visuals in the approved design.
During this stage the site will be held on a development server and won’t be visible to anyone unless they have the specific link.
Timeframe – Up to 10 working days from when the mock-up is approved and any outstanding payments and monthly hosting fee details are received.
Stage 4 – Content
At this point they will need to receive content and images to place into the site.
Timeframe – This all depends on how quickly we supply the website content.
Stage 5 – Sign off/Completion
By this stage our shiny new website will be coded into HTML and contain the relevant settings/data.This is the final closure of the design process.Once these tests are complete we are then sent passwords and login details for the Content Management System. We will be provided the option of the site being made live straight away, or if we would prefer we can have until you are ready to modify the site.
It is therefore, strongly recommended that Association funds be used for this project to update our existing website. In attempts to obtain funds the Committee has been in contact with two charitable organisations who, in the past, have contributed towards the funding of websites similar to ours but unfortunately with no success as both only fund new and not existing websites.
The meeting unanimously agreed to go for the Webchoice UK package.
The second resolution, proposed by Tom McKnight, is to consider some form of light entertainment at future Reunions following the Saturday night Gala Dinner. The last time we had any post-dinner entertainment was at Huntingdon in 2008 when Peter Wentworth performed an excellent tribute to Max Miller: Prior to that we were entertained by two musicians at the Gloucester Reunion. If the membership considers we should have some light entertainment following dinner, please give a show of hands if in favour and against and if you are in favour the Committee will pursue it for future reunions. Majority in favour, 5 against.Carried.
Item 11 Election of Association Committee for 2015/16
Before continuing with the business of electing a Committee, the Chairman expressed concern that the decline in membership numbers advised previously is having a significant knock on effect with Committee appointments; volunteers to join the Committee are not forthcoming. One Committee member is resigning at this AGM and our Secretary is unable to attend because of a long term injury; and we do not have an Assistant Secretary: He had recently received good news from Ed that he hopes to return to the fold in October. Whilst the vacant post is proposed to be taken on by an existing Committee member, despite numerous requests there have been no volunteers from the membership to join the Committee. Without volunteers to take on Committee roles, the workload of running the Association cannot be expected to be undertaken by the diminishing existing stalwarts on the Committee, the majority of whom have served on the Committee for a considerable number of years. Contact has been made with every member who agreed to join the Committee on their application forms to join the Association but again no volunteers. There are Committee appointments to be filled today. Please, if you would like to join the Committee in any
capacity, offer your services during the election process or let any member know over the weekend. Attendance at twice-yearly Committee meetings is desirable but not essential whereas attendance at the AGM is essential. Gentlemen, without a Committee the Association simply cannot function.Other than the Treasurer and the Secretary, all other Committee appointments are scheduled to be elected/re-elected today. All these Committee appointments are for one year; although any member volunteering to be Assistant Secretary would be welcomed.
The Chairman stepped back for our Vice Chairman to take the floor to enable you to propose and elect a Chairman for 2015/2016. The Vice-Chairman asked for volunteers, non-forthcoming. Bryan Schofield was happy to continue in post. Proposed T Burchell 38th seconded P Reed 30th that Bryan Schofield be re-elected Chairman.
Unanimous. As previously mentioned Peter Ralph our Newsletter Editor stands down today: The Chairman was delighted to say that Alan Bell, our Website Manager, had volunteered to take on the additional role of Newsletter
Editor for which he thanked him. Whilst this dual role makes perfect sense in this age of electronic communication, he remained concerned at the considerable workload Alan undertakes on behalf of the Association. To meet the requirements of our Articles of Association a proposer and a seconder is needed for the appointment of Alan Bell as Newsletter Editor :- Proposed B Danes 33rd, seconded P Ralph 46th. Carried. Newsletter Editor Alan Bell
The New Newsletter editor made a point regarding the Newsletter, whilst he appreciates that those of you that do not have access to the internet continue to rely on the Newsletter to keep up to date with Association news, now the same content will be available at the same time to those with access to the internet via the medium of the Website. As usual, Alan will be pleased to receive your contributions forinclusion both in the Newsletter and the Website, Photographs, articles, Regional Group Reports, in fact anything you think will be of interest to your fellow members will be welcome.Other committee members So far, have all indicated their willingness to serve on the Committee for a further one year term and unless any member objects or would like to volunteer to take on the appointment, a proposer and a seconder for these appointments were required. Proposed H Gilbert 42nd, seconded D Davies 29th. Committee Members are: Bob Wise – Vice Chairman. Tony Burchell – Membership Secretary. Bryan Hoare – Social Secretary. David Johnson – Publicity Officer. Tom McKnight – Almoner. Golf Secretary – Tony Hammonds. Mike Heritage – Archivist. Alan Bell – Website Manager
Item 12 Cenotaph Remembrance Day Parade 2015
The Chairman advised that we were well represented by 9 of our members at last year’s Remembrance Day Parade at the Cenotaph and we received some excellent coverage from the BBC. Depending on today’s response we will be requesting tickets at next month’s Federation meeting for this year’s parade on Sunday 9th November. Tickets were requested by: R Anders 29th, B Croucher 29th, G Masson 29th, D Davies 29th, R Pipe 29th, B Danes 33rd, B Beedie 301st, B Schofield 33rd. N Tarbard 324th.
Item 13 Any Other business
There was no other business.
Item 14 Date and Venue of next AGM/Reunion
The Social Secretary stated that we have negotiated a 2-year package with Marriott Hotels where the room rate will remain much the same as this weekend. We will also receive a 35% discount on all bar prices along with a complimentary AGM room including audio visual equipment and also free car parking. The Reunion for next year will be held at the Northampton Marriott on either 10/11/12 June or 24/25/26 June. Dueto the non-availability of the 2016 Formula One Grand Prix programme, this date has yet to be confirmed. Accommodation rates for Northampton are £65 pppn with a £15 pppn single supplement. (Secretary’s Note: The F1 Programme has since been announced and the 2016 reunion will be held over the weekend 10/11/12 June).
Before closing the meeting Alan was invited to close with his annual light hearted presentation. This was well received.
The Chairman closed the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Royal Air Force Administrative Apprentices Association at 4.20 pm