Rochford Town Team Meeting - 26 Apr 2021 - Minutes


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


Alan Hughes (AH) - Sarah Beth
George Ioannou (GI) - Rochford District Council (RDC)
Rebecca Kimberlin (RK) - Volunteer Social Media Support
Roger Hill (RH) - Rochford Hundred Historical Society (RHHS)
Tim Fransen - Local Business Web Designer

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

  • Geoff Durham and Graham Stapleton confirmed that they would be prepared to continue as Chair and Vice Chair respectively.
  • There were no other nominations.
  • 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.
  • Annual Accounts
    • GS talked through the financial transactions that formed the end of year accounts.
    • GS confirmed that outstanding invoices have all been settled and that the Town Team account remains in credit.
    • The annual accounts were unanimously approved for signature by the Chair and the Treasurer (GS).
    • GS and GD confirmed that the tapestry project had used all the available budget. An additional grant from the Elim Estuary Church Group has been made to cover the additional costs incurred above the budget. No further spending is expected until the exhibition is allowed to go ahead. Costs for this are hoped to be low and therefore covered by income from booklet sales.

4. Marketing & Communication

  • Actions from previous minutes:
    • Town Team, Heritage Trail & Tapestry information will be added to the RPC website from the information previously provided. Action: JM.
  • Social Media
    • RK has seen an increase in followers and likes since starting to increase the number of posts. Facebook followers is up by 20% since October (from 615 to 739) and page likes up by 14% (from 587 to 675). It is hoped that this will increase as more details are available about viewing the tapestry.
    • JM suggested that a post is made to advertise where the Tapestry booklets are on sale. This post could also be sent to the attendees of this meeting so that they could post in other social media groups, including Rochford Market which is also seeing an increase in its followers. Action: GD.
  • Other Media
    • There have been no further articles in other media channels.
  • Rochford station heritage notice board
    • GD is in discussion with Nathaniel Dodd (who has adopted Rochford station) to display heritage information at the station.

5. Events & Initiatives

  • Actions from previous meeting
    • RPC may be able to display some of the tapestry panels as part of a local event.
    • GD and GI are discussing the possibility of displaying Town Team & Heritage information in the Rochford Banking Hub. Action: GD/GI.
  • Ongoing activities
    • The Heritage Trail booklets have not been on sale due to the Covid restrictions.
    • Guided tours have remained suspended due to the Covid-19 situation.
    • Tapestry booklets are now being made available for sale as shops re-open.
  • Tapestry update
    • The end of project report for the lottery has been completed and accepted, so the project is now formally closed from their perspective.
    • The Heritage Tapestry panels are now all framed and the display easels are ready.
    • Brochure stands have been modified to hold the information relevant to each panel.
    • Numerous knitted figures and buildings have been created related to each panel.
    • An A5 booklet and trifold leaflet are now available. All participants in the project can receive a free copy of the booklet.
    • Additional heritage information is continuing to be added to the Town Team website about the history behind each Heritage Tapestry panel.
    • A section for Books & Research has now been added to the Town Team website to promote books and articles by local historians as well as encouraging people to discover more about their local heritage.
    • Storage
      • Physical storage of the tapestry panels, easels and concertina display stands still needs to be finalised for when the panels are not at an exhibition and not being displayed at venues across the district. Action: GD.
      • Online storage of photos, documents, etc remains an issue as the current free Dropbox solution is now virtually full. Alternative options are being assessed. Action: GD.
  • Recent/planned events
    • Whilst an exhibition is still not currently feasible, it is now planned to display about 3 panels where the public can view them, as a ‘taster’ for the exhibition:
      • Current offers for display are Rochford Library, Holy Trinity church in Rayleigh, Rayleigh Museum.
    • Discussions have commenced about the feasibility and potential date to hold the postponed tapestry exhibition at Elim Ashingdon church.
    • JM advised that the Rochford Art Trail was not going ahead this year, so it was agreed it would be good to display the tapestry panels in Rochford venues at that time of year. JM to advise dates and co-ordinate with GD. Action: JM/GD.
  • Future events & initiatives
    • Exhibition venues for future display of all the tapestry panels currently include Sutton church, Rayleigh Museum, Rochford Methodist (in May 2022) and at the Discover2020 exhibition (which has now been postponed until 2022). Other display venues are welcomed.
    • The W.I. Hall was suggested as a good venue for an exhibition.

6. Any Other Business

  • It was welcome news that the Financial Hub has opened and is being very successful at drawing people into Rochford. NJ stressed the benefits and interdependence between the Hub and the Market.
  • All agreed that the initiative by the Free Market Radicals would be very good for the town if they are successful.

7. Date of Next Meeting

Date to be agreed.