Rochford Town Team Meeting - 26 Oct 2020 - Minutes

​Attendees:

Geoff Durham (GD; Chair) - Ashingdon Elim Church
Graham Stapleton (GS) - Howard & Stapleton
Jo McPherson (JM) - Rochford Parish Council (RPC) & Rochford District Council (RDC)
George Ioannou (GI) - Rochford District Council (RDC)
Mike Webb (MW) - Rochford District Council (RDC) & Hawkwell Baptist Church (HBC)
Rebecca Kimberlin (RK) - Volunteer Social Media Support

Apologies:

Alan Hughes (AH) - Sarah Beth
Roger Hill (RH) - Rochford Hundred Historical Society (RHHS)
Nick Janes (NJ) - Rochford Market

1. Welcome, Apologies & Introductions

  • Apologies were noted and introductions were made as appropriate.
  • Rebecca Kimberlin was welcomed, joining the team to focus on increasing our social media presence.
  • 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. Finances

  • Action from previous meeting:
    • Website & App analytics were provided to Tim Fransen for review.
  • Tapestry budget:
    • GS and GD confirmed that the project was still within budget. The remaining budget is expected to be fully used as we finalise the framing, display and literature.

3. Marketing & Communication

  • Actions from previous minutes:
    • Town Team, Heritage Trail & Tapestry information has been provided to RPC for inclusion on their website. Action: JM.
  • Social Media
    • RK has joined the team and will provide administrative support for the website as well as focusing on ways to increase our social media presence.
    • RK advised that Facebook and Twitter posts were now being issued on a regular basis and that the most recent posts were gaining more views. It is planned to put photos into albums on Facebook. Instagram is also being considered, probably to commence using once we have the tapestry display venues confirmed.
    • JM offered to introduce RK to other relevant social media groups in order to increase the reach of posts across the district.
  • National & Local Media
    • GD advised that the Heritage Tapestry project continues to receive considerable publicity.
    • This started with the double page feature article in the Daily Mail during September, which has been followed by a video interview for Heart Radio (which is now on their Twitter feed) and articles in U3A newsletters and the Leigh Times. The Quaker Tapestry also plan to include an article in one of their newsletters.

4. Events & Initiatives

  • Actions from previous meeting
    • RPC are looking into whether they can offer any display or storage options for the tapestry panels.
    • GD and AH discussed the possibility of displaying a panel in Sarah Beth but unfortunately the panels are too large for this to be feasible.
  • Ongoing activities
    • The Heritage Trail trifold leaflets and booklets continue to be popular.
    • Guided tours have had to be suspended due to the Covid-19 situation.
  • Tapestry update
    • The project has been a huge success, with around 90 adults and 80 children involved. Even during lockdown, people have been able to continue working on tapestry kits at home and have enjoyed having something positive to focus on and talk about. It took 20 months from the initial concept to the completion of the final panels ready for framing.
    • The Heritage Tapestry panels are now all complete and are currently being framed.
    • Display easels have been made. A brochure stand will be placed alongside each easel to hold the information relevant to that panel.
    • A booklet and trifold leaflet are currently being prepared.
    • The Town Team website and Heritage mobile app have been enhanced to include details about the Heritage Tapestry.
    • Whilst an exhibition is not currently feasible, it is planned to display as many panels as possible at venue around the district where the public can view them, thereby creating a Tapestry Trail:
      • GD advised that displays in windows should not be in a sunny outlook as this could fade the tapestry colours.
      • It is hoped that venues will display panels for a long period to enable people to view them and to limit the need for regularly moving panels.
      • Current offers for display include Rochford Library, Holy Trinity church in Rayleigh, Rayleigh Museum, Essex Dizziness Centre (1 West Street).
      • MW confirmed that HBC would be able to display 2 panels in their windows facing onto Rectory Road.
      • GI confirmed that 1 or 2 panels could be displayed in the windows of the old carpet shop in West Street until the Financial Hub is launched in January 2021.
      • JM offered to find a display venue in the Wakering area.
    • Storage
      • Physical storage of the tapestry panels, easels and concertina display stands needs to be finalised for when the panels are not at an exhibition and not being displayed at venues across the district. RDC and RPC have both said that they may be able to accommodate this. JM agreed to discuss this with both organisations. Action: JM.
      • Online storage of photos, documents, etc is becoming an issue as the current free Dropbox solution is now virtually full. GI suggested OneDrive as an option. MW suggested there could be funding available if it was just for a small amount.
    • Insurance
      • It has not been possible to insure the tapestry frames against damage during storage, transportation or display as the insurance requirements are not limited to a single venue and the insurance value is low.
  • Recent/planned events
    • The planned tapestry exhibition (initially for June, then for Oct 2020) had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
    • It is planned to hold an exhibition as early as possible in 2021 and also to display the full tapestry at the rescheduled Discover2020 exhibition.
  • Future events & initiatives
    • Exhibition venues for the future display of all the tapestry panels currently include the Elim Ashingdon church, Sutton church and Rayleigh Museum. Other display venues are welcomed.
    • It was agreed that adding a section for Books & Research to the Town Team website would be beneficial for promoting books and articles by local historians as well as encouraging people to discover more about their local heritage.
    • GI offered to have a small permanent Heritage Display at the Financial Hub. Action: GD to discuss with GI.

5. Any Other Business

  • GI updated the group on the plans for a Financial Hub to be opened in Rochford during January 2021. This will be in the old carpet shop on West Street, which will involve a number of financial participants, including the Post Office, 6 banks, CAB debt management and the Rayleigh pensions advice service.

6. Date of Next Meeting

  • Date to be agreed.