April 2016: A bumper turnout, unexploded ordnance, charity events and proof of members’ long memories


27 people, including several visitors, came to our “summer venue” Stowmarket Golf Club, for April’s networking breakfast and AGM.

Former treasurer Bob Boxhall-Hunt came “out of Africa” to catch up with old friends and to test memories with his famous tagline “BBH AKA ERA”. Plainly his brain-washing technique worked and it was engraved on a number of brains.

Steve Stoddart, of Wandering River photography and videography, and Peter Stanway, of Project HR, have both been dealing with unexploded ordnance.

Steve has been making a video for a company that deals with it. Peter updated us on developments a situation he described at the March breakfast.  He has managed to “put sandbags around”  the potential bomb facing a client who had made themselves vulnerable to an accusation of ageism following an email meant for a colleague that was mistakenly sent to a job candidate.

Kim Morrison, of Morrison Social Media, is helping with the marketing of a fundraising business networking event and charity auction to raise money for EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices). It will be held at Bury St Edmunds Farmers’ Club on May 11 from 10am to noon.

Andrew Bingham, of Andrew Bingham Independent Funeral Service, will have been in business for 30 years this year. His company is also raising money for charity, this time for Somersham Ward at Ipswich Hospital, with a charity car wash on Saturday, April 30.

Kim and Graphic Designer Sammy Teather, as Teather & Morrison Online, are also seeking people to test a course they are planning to be called “Your next big idea” that will help people to assess whether a new idea they are considering will work before they go out and spend a lot on development and launching.

Cameron Beaton, of Go Ape, Thetford, is looking for businesses that want a location for a corporate day out for either team building or a fun day out for their employees.

April 2016 Networking attendees refilled their coffee cups before the AGM

Attendees refilled their coffee cups before the AGM

Tell us what you want

Chairman Allan Scott is happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your want lists) to [email protected]



Our now Honorary President, Peter Down, who had to step down as chairman earlier this year on health grounds, thanked Allan Scott and Dave Baker for taking over as acting chairman and acting vice chairman.

He also thanked those who had worked on the new website, as well as those who were involved in funding and organising the previous one.

Commenting on the diversity of business talent in the room he suggested it might be worth considering possible collaborative skill and services packages to offer to larger companies in the area, which might then encourage them to become members.

Allan Scott reported on a successful meeting with Suffolk Chamber to discuss the future of the relationship with Stowmarket and District Chamber, which will remain “Linked to” the Suffolk Chamber.   We will have one event for Suffolk members at our member rates, and they will have one for Stowmarket members at THEIR member rates. For other meetings, members of the visiting Chamber will pay visitor rates.

Given the size and nature of our membership, he suggested that Stowmarket Chamber should become “the voice of the micro business” as smaller businesses make up a high percentage of Suffolk businesses and are not well represented to decision makers in places where it matters.

Secretary Keely Taylor outlined proposed events for the next two years, including another Learn Laugh and Loiter in June, a Quiz night in October and potentially a business fair and murder mystery evening in 2017.

Treasurer Kate Kelly presented annual accounts in the context of the change in Stowmarket’s relationship with Suffolk Chamber to “Linked to” status. While we lost the income Suffolk Chamber paid us for those county members operating within our territory, a gradually diminishing three-year grant was negotiated to help Stowmarket during the transition period towards financial autonomy.
She reported that membership had increased from 16 to 34 in just a year and the bank balance had gone from zero to £1377.

There have been slight increases in payment for breakfasts and annual membership fees this year, she said, and there is a plan to introduce a monthly membership that could be a help to smaller and new businesses.

Stowmarket Chamber of Commerce Committee Members April 2016

Members voted to re-elect the whole committee for a further year.


Dates for your diary:

May Coffee Morning May Breakfast
Needham Market Community Centre Stowmarket Golf Club 
Friday, May 6 Friday, May 20
10am-noon Starting at 6.45am

For more information contact Keely Taylor

phone: 01449 770965

e-mail: [email protected]

Anyone who has a story to publicise should contact marketing officer Alison Withers:

[email protected]

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