Charente • Deux-Sevres • Vienne • Haute Vienne • Limousin

To receive email or not to receive email, that was the question!

Not receiving emails is one thing I have tried to address with the new site. All posts (that is everything entered on the site) go through a web service designed to maximise delivery. Gmail and most email ftm; have two potential problem areas, their own automated “trustworthiness”detection, that can mean you never see the problem emails -this should be resolved by the mail service. The second area is the partly automated and partly personal spam detection. Always keep an eye on your spam folder. If you receive spam mark it as such. If you find emails in your spam folder that are not spam, be sure to mark them as not spam. Gmail will learn.

Hope this helps.


New website goes Live 1st Sept.

Good Morning 

I am pleased to announce that the New CLE Website will go live on the 1st September 2017. 

We are sorry for the delay but there has been several difficulties in setting the new site up, especially with all the new interactive activities now available. These will enable members to become more involved if they so wish and also allow members to publish their own events and many other new ideas.

We still have a couple of issues to resolve so please bear with us. Notably that upon login you are taken to your profile. Click “CLE – Members Pages” top left to go to the home page.

As you should all be aware the 13th September at 10.00 -12.00 their will be an introductory seminar in the lecture theatre in Confolens, (the same venue as the Tax Forum) which will enable you all to understand the new site and also to give any constructive ideas. We are able and willing to continue development and I am sure that there will be some good ideas from the membership. To those who did not receive or read the e-mail I sent regarding the newsletter, I confirm that because of no content being received from members the committee ceased the production a couple of months ago. However this will be replaced easily by the content that will be hopefully posted by members onto the new website.

Any problems that you may encounter with the website can you please let us know, but no doubt they can be answered more directly at the seminar.

As we enter a very interesting new era for CLE, I trust that you will help us to yet improve your membership opportunities and make it more enjoyable. There are a few seats still available on the L’Isle d’oleron trip, which is an excellent trip and designed to ensure that even members with limited mobility will have an enjoyable day. Any requiring a booking form please e-mail me on

Kindest regards


Wrong date

I am sorry that my last post on the date of the website seminar stated it was being held on the 12th September, my apologies as it is actually being held on Wednesday 13th September as stated in my e-mail of the 18th August. I apologise for any confusion, a simple typo error.

Hoping to see many of you there on Wednesday 13h September.


Lucky Encounter

 The french expression ‘Les ennuis n’arrivent jamais seuls’ translates to ‘Problems never come on their own’ or to the English ‘It never rains but it pours’. The motorhome was packed for departure the next morning at 7.00 am.  Our Cocker Spaniel (Toby) and Labrador (Poppy) had been to the vets and had their expensive, designer worm tablets.  The Eurotunnel for our Christmas return to Blightee was booked.  We had just finished a very pleasant lunchtime meal. What could possibly go wrong? We were driving back through Lessac as the creature was staggering across the road narrowly avoiding traffic.  I say creature because at first it was difficult to work out what it was.  As we got colder we realised it was in fact  a dog. Skin and bones would be an exaggerated description of his state of health.  He showed no reluctance to be picked up and placed in a blanket in the boot of the car.  The reality check kicked in before second gear.  It was Saturday afternoon, we were leaving for England the next morning and had a dog on two last legs, literally, in the boot of the car.  We had a vague awareness of the work of voluntary animal groups and that the Maire was usually the ‘fountain of knowledge’ on all matters.  For the former we had no contact details and the latter was shut.  However, a receipt indicated that our vets were actually open for business on a Saturday afternoon.

On arrival the empty car park did not bode well and we fully expected to see the all encompassing but non specific ‘Ferme Exceptional’ on the door.  Leaving our passenger asleep in the boot we ventured in and found a receptionist and vet.  They were not unsympathetic but after a brief discussion it appeared we had three choices, take him home, take him back to where we found him or pay a €30 consultation fee.   The first was impractical, the second inhumane so we went for number 3.  A closer examination revealed a pathetic young puppy of probably less than 3 months with no fur but a coat of cuts and sores and listless eyes.  The vet established he had probably been living rough from early November to now mid December and concluded initially that an injection may probably be the best way forward.  However , before we had considered this in detail the receptionist arrived with a watery food mix which was eaten with enthusiasm and the conversation quickly turned to other options. 

The only other option given our impending trip appeared to be that the puppy would stay at the vets and in a week time we would phone for an update.  Whilst there would be costs associated the vets would not charge their normal rate. A week later a tentative phone call was made.  The enthusiasm of the receptionist quickly conveyed that Lucky was making progress.  Indeed photographs and a brief video-clip followed showing a still pathetically  fragile dog but at least he had stopped limping and his eyes had a bit of sparkle.  After a brief discussion we decided to return slightly earlier than planned. Lucky was collected two weeks after we had dropped him off and his recuperation continued for several more weeks.  We debated whether it was chancing fate to keep the name Lucky.  However, it was agreed with the vet that even if he suffered misfortune he had been Lucky in that he probably would not have survived a couple more freezing nights if we had not picked him up.  Retrospectively if we had named him after his appearance, character or main physical activity he would have been Chewbacca, Gremlin or Zebedee respectively.  He is quirky and of unknown parentage.  His passport acquired before his hair had grown back indicates Cocker Spaniel Cross.  I think the vet used the same method to determine his breed as my mother did to win £5- 1s – 0d on Foinavan in the 1967 Grand National. (ie a pin)  Hopefully, Pet Passport control will accept the microchip as proof of identity and not request an identity parade.                                                                                                                       

Lucky is now a happy, healthy and integrated family member. Our Labrador regressed at times to puppy behaviour and our older Cocker Spaniel keeps the newcomer in place. I think we all reflect that it was a ‘Lucky Encounter’.

Minutes 2017 3rd July

Minutes of The Charente Limousine Exchange, Committee meeting held at the Social Centre Confolens on Wednesday 3rd July 2017.

Present: Barry Leech, John Welch: Susan Hutchins; Brian Robinson.

Apologies: Justine Faroux, Pat Bell, Susan Robinson, Ronnie Ogier, Richard Ogier.

Fuel Prices recorded from Intermarché, Confolens.               Petrol: 1.269             Diesel: 1.149 Acceptance of Minutes of 6th June 2017.

Proposer: Susan Hutchins                   Seconded: Brian Robinson                   Carried unanimously.


Standing Items.

Secretary’s Report:

The secretary had been told by a member, that payment had been made to the new Webmaster prior to this being agreed at committee. He told the member that this was not the case as he had been present at the meeting where the Webmaster had been told that payment for the work would have to be agreed by the committee. This is recorded in the minutes 24th April 2017 where the expenditure was unanimously agreed.

The secretary then reported that resignations from the committee had been received by e-mailfro Jan and Kevin Cokayne and Keith and Carol Monks.


Treasurer’s Report:

In the absence of Susan Robinson, Brian Robinson gave the following report. The current account stood at €6100.20 and Livret A remains the same at €6561.

The President had requested permission to claim €25 against a thank-you gift for Jackie and Alan Barnes for their work and hospitality at the recent Cheese and Wine event. The gift had been purchased at a cost in excess to this by €18 and it was proposed and seconded by J.Welch and S.Hutchins that the full amount be reimbursed from the excellent monetary return that had been as a result of the day.


Newsletter report:

Due to lack of submissions from members there was no content available for the newsletter. This was further discussed under website.



In the absence of Pat Bell, Brian Robinson who represented the committee’s views, had been in lengthy dialogues with Pat Bell and had been reporting direct to the President on the work in progress. He then outlined this work and it was intended that the new website would start to be rolled out at the end of July. Various new ideas were discussed and agreed upon. It was felt however that until we knew of the impact and full cost of ensuring that the site was compatible with mobile phones and tablets and whether these costs could be justified, this will be deferred until a later date.


Membership Report:

No change in member numbers had been received. The President had received an invite to attend and give a informal presentation on what CLE achieves to members of the Melting Pot Association in Bellac.

Those present agreed that this would be very useful both to them and CLE.


Gardening Group.

No report had been received.

The President had been asked by Michael Moat if he could give a presentation to CLE members. This was agreed to be pursued later in the year.



Considerable internet reports are available on this subject and it is thought that unless a serious issue arises then we will not be replicating for the sake of it.



Events Feedback.


Meet and Eat.


Last months event included the committee meeting as the due date was a Bank holiday. Once again about twenty members attended and several stayed for lunch. It had been mentioned that some might find that this event would be demeaning to CLE and what it stood for. However it was pointed out that this comment had emanated from persons not at the last AGM, where several members had asked for this type of event. The President reminded the committee to always bear in mind the various requirements of members and not to be elitist.


It was also thought that perhaps we could change the Gourmet Club to a name that did meet what the average member envisaged. This needed some thought and would be revisited at the next meeting.


Cheese and Wine.


John Welch reported a very successful day, with thanks to all those who helped especially our hosts Alan and Jackie Barnes.


Events Update. Meet and Eat.

The next date is Wednesday 2nd August and John Welch and Susan Hutchins will be responsible for this day.


Charity School events.


Nothing had been progressed so this event is sadly cancelled. Gourmet Club.

Nothing had been progressed so this will be progressed at next months meeting. Coach trip to L’Isle d’Oleron.

This will take place on 20th September. The President will have confirmation in time for the next meeting.



Christmas Fayre Lessac.

Organisation by John Welch is ongoing. The Lessac hall is booked for Sunday 5th November and bookings

are already being received from stallholders.



Cultural Trips.

Nothing has been booked as yet, dates to be looked at with regard to availability.


Self-drive history tour covering the SAS Chemin de Liberté was being progressed by both the Secretary and President.


Self Drive or Coach to Brantome and the Police Horse sanctuary questionnaires will be sent out to all members.


John Welch will be looking at booking a CLE stall at the Chestnut Fayre at St. Maurice des Lions as we had attended at Dournazac for the past two years and it was felt that we should look at another venue.


The Christmas Lunch was agreed to be held at Étagnac again this year due to the popularity of the venue.



Future Committee meeting dates had been booked. 31st  July 2017

4th       September 2017

2nd    October 2017

6th    November 2017

4th    December 2017





The date of the next meeting will be 31st July 2017 at 10.00.  Confolens Social Centre, First floor. The meeting was concluded at hrs.




Association No: 0163001445                                  

Minutes 2017 7th June


Minutes of The Charente Limousine Exchange, Committee meeting held at the Confolens Cafeteria on Wednesday 7th June 2017.


Present: Barry Leech, John Welch: Susan Hutchins; Keith Monks: Carol Monks; Brian Robinson; Susan Robinson;

Apologies: Justine Faroux, Richard Ogier, Ronnie Ogier, Kevin Cokayne, Jan Cokayne


Fuel Prices recorded from Intermarché Confolens.                 Petrol: 1.309             Diesel: 1.179 Acceptance of Minutes of 24th April 2017.

Proposer:             Keith Monks  Seconded:       Susan Robinson            Carried unanimously.

Standing Items. Secretary’s Report:

The Rochefort coach trip cheque had been delivered to the coach company. The President requested a volunteer to take the role of Vice President.

Brian Robinson who had previously stated he was a willing volunteer withdrew his offer on hearing that John Welch was also willing to stand.

As there were no other volunteers, Susan Hutchins proposed that John Welch be elected, seconded by Carol Monks and agreed unanimously.

The President asked that the committee consider using the BH Assurance sponsorship to help towards the setting up and continuing running costs of the new website. A discussion ensued and it was agreed that if Pat Bell could provide suitable billing then this would be put to BH Assurance for their agreement, which had already been given verbally to the President in principal as well as by e-mail.

The President then pointed out that it had always been accepted that, the responsibility of any Committee member, organising a function, to ensure that it was run correctly throughout its duration. It was agreed that the e-mail addition to the minutes of 3rd April submitted by Ronnie Ogier be accepted.

It was also pointed out that the committee had unanimously agreed on the 24th April not to proceed with any CLE involvement with the organisation of holding a seminar for the Sharon Millward initiative with


The President also reminded the committee that they were culpable for any CLE event organisation where a member encountered a subsequent health or other problem. It was mentioned that as SAMU was a national institution it should really be their responsibility to take such an initiative forward.

However there was no problem in informing members of a future seminar, but not as a CLE sponsored event. All committee members present again agreed that this was the correct way forward.


Treasurer’s Report:

Sue Robinson stated that the balance of accounts stood the same for the Livret A at €6561 and the current a/c €5680.70 There were still cheques to be paid in which would slightly increase this figure.


Newsletter report:

B.Robinson stated that Pat Bell had arranged a secure access for members to pay their future subscriptions by PayPal at a cost of €10 per month.

The newsletter will eventually be superseded by the new website.


Membership Report:

There was no report as Richard Ogier being absent.


Gardening Group.

There was no report from Ronnie Ogier except the fact that the Cheverney Chateau visit had been a success.



The President after speaking with the new English Ambassador at the recent BCC AGM stated that he had been very interested about CLE and would eventually like to visit us locally and speak with members and non-members. The visit was worthwhile as John Welch had also met with many representatives and they were now well aware of what CLE’s aims and objectives were.


Events Feedback.


Meet and Eat.

30 members attended and 21 stayed for lunch. All enjoyed it and the one today had several booked in again. The book swap was also well received.



This was covered as above under Brexit.


Rochefort Coach Trip.

An excellent day with many reports of enjoyment and overall satisfaction, especially the Hermione talk by a very enthusiastic member of crew.

Carol Monks pointed out that perhaps on long coach trips, comfort stops could be arranged.


Meet and Eat at Ruffec.

Brian Robinson reported that some members had travelled over an hour to the venue and a very enjoyable meal and company was the general opinion. It showed that some members would travel quite a distance for a meal at a new and recommended restaurant.

He would liaise with Kevin and Jan Cokayne and would providing there was no conflict with the Gourmet Club, the next event would be on Monday 20th July in Lessac.

The next Meet and Eat would be on 5th July in Confolens being the first Wednesday of the month.

An idea was then discussed on the possibility of combining the monthly Committee meeting with this event on a regular basis, to assist those committee members who lived further away from Confolens The President pointed out that the Social Centre was the registered address of the association at an annual cost of €30 and it would need to remain as such. He wanted the full committee view before considering any such change. There were pros and cons to this idea and it needed more thought.


Treasure Hunt.

Everyone attending enjoyed a lovely day, which was further enhanced by the subsequent visit to St. Jean de Côle for the flower festival.

Organised by Mike and Sheila Wilton the day was a great success, so much so that the President ased that a vote of thanks to them both be recorded.


Tax Forum.

Nearly Brian Shatwell and Isabelle Want covering the many new aspects of form completion gave a full auditorium of members attended and thanks to an excellent presentation had already been passed on by  the President.  He then referred to how some people are unable to even comply or maybe understand an instruction that is given quite explicitly. He was referring to his statement on the day, where he asked on at least two occasions that if anybody attending wanted the instruction slides to simply e-mail him direct with Tax Slides as the subject and he would simply reply direct. One member had still questioned that this instruction was ever given despite at least 40 e-mails had been received correctly.


Events Update.


Meet and Eat

As above.


Spring Charity School event.

No report.


Cheese and Wine

Arranged with Alan and Jackie Barnes for Saturday 10th June. All preparations were in place for the day



Gourmet Club.

No report received.


Coach trip to L’Isle d’Oleron.

This will take place on 20th  September.


Christmas Fayre Lessac.

Organisation by John Welch is ongoing.


Cultural Trips.

Nothing has been booked as yet, dates to be looked at with regard to availability.

Self drive history tour covering the SAS Chemin de Liberté ws being progressed by both the Secretary and President.

Self drive or Coach trip to the British Police Horse sanctuary would be put to the membership to see whether

1, Gauge interest 2, Mode of Travel

Also Advertise the Christmas market at that venue in December.





The date of the next meeting will be 3rd July 2017 at 10.00.  Confolens Social Centre First floor. Please note that the Secretary’s e-mail has changed to     


The meeting was concluded at 11.50 hrs.





















Association No: 0163001445                                  

Minutes 2017 24th April

Minutes of The Charente Limousine Exchange, Committee meeting held at the Confolens Social Centre on Monday 24th April 2017.

Present: Barry Leech, John Welch: Susan Hutchins; Keith Monks: Carol Monks; Brian Robinson; Susan Robinson; Kevin Cokayne; Jan Cokayne;

Apologies: Justine Faroux, Richard Ogier, Ronnie Ogier.

Fuel Prices recorded from Intermarché Confolens. Petrol:1.339 Diesel: 1.239 Acceptance of Minutes of 3rd April 2017.

Proposer: Keith Monks Seconded: Kevin Cokayne Carried unanimously.

Mr Pat Bell was introduced to the committee. He had offered to take the responsibility of creating a new and up to date style website, meeting the needs of the association as Webmaster.

B. Leech, J.Welch and B. Robinson, had previously met with P.Bell and discussed the association needs and had at length outlined their requirements.

Mr Bell then proceeded to show the committee work in progress on the design and seeking comments from all. A discussion took place on this and it was agreed that B. Robinson would be the first point of contact concerning this.

Various ideas concerning payment of subscriptions and for events to ease the work carried out by organisers and the Treasurer were put forward for future implementation.

A one off fee of €350 for setting up and a monthly fee to cover all updating and needs of €15 was proposed by S. Robinson and seconded by J.Welch, was agreed unanimously.

The president then stated as an AOB item that the co-option of P.Bell would need to be proposed and agreed at the end of the meeting.

Standing Items. Secretary’s Report:

The secretary asked that both K and C Monks obtain details of monthly events for the newsletter in their

local area, to which they agreed.

Treasurer’s Report:

Sue Robinson stated that the balance of accounts stood the same for the Livret A at €6561 and the current a/c €7090.20 It has to be remembered that there are large outstanding liabilities against the current account due to prepayments for events.

Newsletter report:

B.Robinson stated that he hoped that the new website would eventually supersede the newsletter and reduce the workload for the future. It was generally agreed that this would seem to be the best way forward providing that the membership benefitted from this. The president stated how difficult it was to obtain details of events in sufficient time to ensure that they would be published prior to them taking place.

Membership Report:

There was no report as Richard Ogier being absent.

Gardening Group.

There was no report from Ronnie Ogier except the fact that the Cheverney Chateau visit had been a success.


The forthcoming French Presidential elections would hopefully allow the negotiations to proceed and updates would continue.

Events Feedback.

Online Tax registration.

49 members attended and everybody thought the event was extremely useful to them.

Cheverney Coach trip.

30 members attended and enjoyed a very interesting visit but future trips need to be mindful of distance and time travelling..

Alpacas Visit.

46 members attended and were taken from the birth of the animal to the final wool product by two very interesting talks and demonstrations. Refreshments in a Norwegian style, which was enjoyed by all, followed this. Our thanks had been given to the family and we look forward to supporting them in the future and we also donated €50 on the day.

Events Update.

Meet and Eat

A once monthly event would commence on Wednesday 3rd May and this day would be supplemented by a book swap followed by luncheon. Future venues will include the Auberge at Ruffec and possibly the Catering College in Civray.


The President and wife were being accompanied by John Welch to represent CLE. The President stated again that Sue Leech would not be funded by CLE.

Treasure Hunt

This is still scheduled for Saturday 13th May at a cost of €5 per vehicle.

Spring Charity School event.

Kevin Cokayne stated that they were still negotiating a date for this.

Coach Trip Rochefort. 40 members booked so far. Tax Forum.

This event has been booked for 10.00 on 11th May at the Lecture Theatre 80 members had booked.

Cheese and Wine

Arranged with Alan and Jackie Barnes for Saturday 10th June.

Gourmet Club.

The next event will be in late June.

Coach trip to L’Isle d’Oleron.

This will take place 20th September.

Christmas Fayre Lessac. Organisation by John Welch is ongoing. Cultural Trips.

Nothing has been booked as yet, dates to be looked at with regard to availability.

Walking Football.

This is still being progressed a member has agreed to ascertain the viability of using the sports halls.


The next meeting scheduled for 5th June will need to be cancelled due to it being a public holiday, other venues would be pursued by the President.

Pat Bell was then asked if he was willing to be co-opted on to the committee to which he agreed.

It was then proposed by Susan Robinson and seconded by John Welch that he be so co-opted and agreed unanimously.

The date of the next meeting will be 7th May 2017 at 10.00.

Venue has subsequently been arranged at the Cafeteria for that date.

The meeting was concluded at 12.15 hrs.

Association No: 0163001445

Posts navigation

1 2
Scroll to top