A very warm welcome to the Eastern Branch page of the new AGTO website.
We aim to keep the features, events and news from the Branch as up-to-date as possible so enhancing what is happening in our area. Eastern Branch stretches from the south, through Essex into Suffolk and Norfolk, then inland to Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, finishing just north of the Thames.
With 90 plus members, communication has always been difficult because the area covered is so large. Also transport costs, and of course time, are important to our members. We hope to improve the way in which we can talk together more regularly without the expense.
Due to the lockdown and stay at home advice, many of you have been able to maintain contact by email, Zoom, Skype and other online platforms. Our aim at Eastern Branch is to try to embrace this by means of added information designed for you and your group. This should bring together like-minded people who might share their plans and events for when we are free to travel again.
Watch this space for news, views and features
The Eastern Branch welcomes enquiries from budding and new group organisers to our existing family of over 90 members in the Branch which covers Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Suffolk and the London post code areas of London E, N and NW.
All Members, please advise the Membership Secretary if your email contact details have changed since you first joined the AGTO – this is most important for continued contact and Membership updates.
Catherine Skeggs – Chairman
Enid Pamment – Vice Chairman
Joan Hanks – Director & Events Co-ordinator
Maria Maltby – Secretary
Linda Nicholas – Treasurer
Yvonne Hudson – AGTO magazine Co-ordinator and Communications
Jackie Ames, Committee Members
Graham Scarse – Committee Member
Tony Wright – Official Branch Photographer/Branch Web Contact
We held an Eastern Branch Social Event on 17th October at Stockwood Park Discovery Centre in Luton.
Photographs of the day can be viewed here.
Bill Gillman – 18-01-32 – 10-01-2021
It is with regret we inform you of the passing of Bill Gillman. Bill was one of the early members of the then G.T.O.A (Group Travel Organiser’s Association). To belong one had to organise one’s own trips and holidays, Bill’s was The National Trust and the most successful and largest trip he arranged was “Oberammergau” of which he was very proud. Bill organised this with the help of ‘The Norman Allen Group’ and also from Pauline Hutchinson who at that time was printing and producing the magazines from her home. Bill’s thoughtfulness, care and consideration went into everything he chose to do.
GTOA was beginning to grow, so Bill was asked to join the National Committee and attended meetings which were then held at Vauxhall, the offices where the G.T.O.A magazine was produced. Margaret Davies was the Chairman. In those days it was not heard of for an ‘Associate’ member to be in the same room during a ‘GTOA’ meeting!! During this time the country was split into two groups ‘Northern Branch’ and ‘Southern Branch’ but it was not long before the ‘Eastern’ Branch was born so Bill then became the ‘Eastern Branch Treasurer’ the position he held until quite recently.
However with two representatives on the National Committee from each branch, and more branches joining, it was necessary to reduce numbers to just one but wishing to keep Bill on board he was the first to be co-opted. He had a unique skill of being able to accept bookings for the GTOA AGM ( around two hundred and twenty members ) and give the designated hotel a spreadsheet with all relevant details of members room and dietary requirements without the aid of a computer, email or mobile telephone………just a pencil…… incredible.
Bill’s co-option continued until 2014 when GTOA became AGTO, a Board was formed and all of the administration was passed to a Management Company.
Bill was always positive in his thinking, would always give you an honest answer, kind, certainly not selfish but always a gentleman.
Enid Pamment – 1136E