Skip to main content

Rochford Town Team Meeting - 25 Apr 2022 - Minutes


Geoff Durham (GD; Chair) - Ashingdon Elim Church
Graham Stapleton (GS) - Howard & Stapleton
David Dobbin (DD) - Rochford Methodist Church
Jo McPherson (JM) - Rochford Parish Council (RPC) & Rochford District Council (RDC)


Paula Chapman - Rochford District Council (RDC)
Roger Hill (RH) - Rochford Hundred Historical Society (RHHS)

1. Welcome, Apologies & Introductions

  • Apologies were noted and introductions were made as appropriate.
  • The notes from the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.
  • Actions from the last meeting were covered within the relevant agenda items.

2. Elections of Chair and Vice Chair

  • As there were no other nominations, Geoff Durham and Graham Stapleton confirmed that they would be prepared to continue for one final year as Chair and Vice Chair respectively.
  • Geoff Durham and Graham Stapleton were formally nominated by JM to continue in their positions, seconded by DD.
  • The following appointments were unanimously decided by all attendees:
    • Geoff Durham – Chair of Rochford Town Team.
    • Graham Stapleton – Vice Chair of Rochford Town Team.

3. Finances

  • Action from previous meeting:
    • None.
  • Bank account
    • GS advised that all bills are paid and income has been received recently from the booklet sales.
    • The bank account funds will support additional printing of leaflets/booklets and other small items but additional funding would be needed for any new initiatives.

4. Marketing & Communication

  • Actions from previous minutes:
    • Town Team, Heritage Trail & Tapestry information to be added to the RPC website from the information previously provided. Action: JM.
    • Tapestry booklets are on sale at Sarah Beth, Miss Daisy and Rochford Library. These venues are advertised on the website.
    • JM to establish whether booklets can be put on sale at the Parish Office in the Kings Head. Action: JM.
  • Social Media
    • Facebook and Twitter posts are continuing to generate interest. However, new volunteer support is required to make this effective. JM suggested scheduling posts as that is more effective use of time. Scheduled posts can also be shared with groups at the same time.
  • Other Media
    • There have been no further media articles about the tapestry or heritage tours.

5. Events & Initiatives

  • Actions from previous meeting
    • No meeting has been arranged to discuss the Welcome Back initiative or to arrange an acknowledged forum for discussing/progressing heritage initiatives. It was agreed that this is no longer required.
    • There were insufficient volunteers available to support Old House tours on 5th Dec 2021.
  • Ongoing activities
    • The tapes recorded by Peter Whittingham have now been obtained. These now need to be transferred to digital recordings and made into YouTube videos before being uploaded to the Town Team website.
    • The tapestry booklets are very popular and sold well at the exhibitions. There are just over 200 remaining out of the initial 1,000. It was agreed to reprint 2,000 leaflets and 1,000 booklets.
    • A severe shortage of volunteers is hampering all areas, making events hard to put on:
      • More tour guides are needed; people who are willing to dress up and use the tour scripts to tell people about the Old House and Historic Rochford.
      • Website and Heritage Trail administration needs more volunteers.
      • Tapestry transportation and setup needs more volunteers.
  • Recent/planned events
    • Tapestry displays since last meeting:
      • Tuesdays from 1st Nov – 14th Dec 2021: Rochford Parish Rooms.
      • 18th Jan. 15th/17th Feb 2022: Barling Magna Parish Hall.
      • 18th Feb - 20th March: Scott’s of Southend in Sutton.
      • 22nd - 31st March: Hockley Methodist.
      • 25th - 29th April: Westerings Primary Academy.
  • Future events & initiatives
    • Confirmed future tapestry displays:
      • 1st – 26th May: a few of the panels will be part of History Month at Rochford Library.
      • 27th - 31st May: Rochford Methodist Church for their 200th anniversary.
      • 1st - 12th June: St. Nicholas Church, Great Wakering.
      • 14th June - 20th July: Southend Forum.
      • 22nd July - 24th Aug: Rayleigh Museum.
      • Other display venues are welcomed.
    • At the previous meeting, a number of potential new initiatives were discussed and agreed as good ideas if funding could be obtained. Although these have been brought to the attention of RDC and RPC, there is no movement on any of them:
      • Heritage plaques on the numerous listed buildings in Rochford, similar to those in Rayleigh and Hockley.
      • Heritage scene discs or murals depicting events and locations around the town (painted by local artists).
      • Improved road signage (e.g. brown signs on Bradley Way, better signage for Back Lane car park) and ‘within town’ signage to heritage locations.
      • Updated heritage map and historic timeline in the square and at the station (using the map from the Heritage Trail booklet as a basis).
      • Information centre and museum.
      • Market square aesthetic improvements.

The heritage plaques and painted scenes have been discussed in outline with the Heritage Lottery who saw a major issue being the cost of planning permission. They were interested in the concepts but would not wish any funding to be swallowed up by the cost of permission for each building. A blanket planning permission approach would probably be the only way that the painted scenes initiative could proceed.

6. Any Other Business

Rochford Town Team is no longer viable in the long term unless there are additional volunteers to take the lead
and progress new initiatives. It is recommended that RPC is approached to incorporate the Town Team under
their organisation, including the Town Team website and all materials, except for the tapestry which should ideally
be handed over to RDC for its permanent display, since it was a district-wide Town Team project. Action: GD.

7. Date of Next Meeting

Date to be agreed.