In May, a party of 59 people from
Champtoceaux came, to be present at the official naming
ceremony of Champtoceaux Green; an area at the junction of
Vicarage and Manor Roads acquired by the Town Council,
which had arranged for planting, landscaping and provision
of three oval name plates. The ceremony was attended by
the Mayors of both towns, and music was played by the
Verwood Concert Brass and a newly-formed band from
The Saturday evening's entertainment was enlivened by music by a group called "The Old Pull & Push', and, during the interval, by an exhibition of Morris Dancing by a local troupe.
Judy and Geoff Higley with Ron and Marina Palethorpe paid semi-official visits to Liederbach and were greeted by the Bürgermeister and members of the Council.
A very comprehensive report of the visit was given to the Committee, and the Twinning Committee looked forward to a return visit from them.
The usual events were held, and, at the
AGM, Jon Palethorpe and Hilary Noble resigned from the
Committee, and Pauline Harvey,
1991 saw the beginning of a closer
relationship with Liederbach. In April, we entertained a
group of fourteen Councillors from their
"Parliament", led by their Burgermeister, Herr
Gerhard Lehner, and their Chairman, Frau Marianne
Schrodter. Although we had some problems with hosting and
transport, the visit went very well, and included visits
Liederbach is a town of 7300 inhabitants lying between Frankfurt (16Km to the east) and Wiesbaden (25Km to the West). It is largely an agricultural and rural community and is also close enough to Frankfurt for people to commute on the local train service. It has 6 restaurants, three public houses, an hotel and two guest houses. As well as club facilities for most sport and leisure activities, the town mounts a number of annual festivals and fairs including, of course, a wine festival which take place in summer.
Later in the year we were invited to send a party of members to join in their celebrating 1200 years of Liederbach. Verwood was represented by Town Mayor & Mayoress, Bill and Rose Williams, Chairman Geoff with Judy Higley, Arthur and Doris Hopkin, Stuart and Vivien Clifton, and the Verwood Concert Brass. The visit was a huge success. Bill, as Mayor, was invited to ride in one of the official horse-drawn coaches which were part of a procession some half-a-mile long.
Vehicles representing clubs, trades and events in their history were manned by folk in medieval dress. Those travelling in the official coaches were so well plied with liquid refreshment that the cheering crowds must have passed in a pink haze. All our party said how much they had enjoyed the visit, Geoff having taken the opportunity to make tentative arrangements for the twinning ceremony. Our Concert Brass had been complimented on their performance, and were invited back. We were subsequently presented with a video tape of the celebrations, and this was shown at our AGM.
The summer event that year was a bus trip
1992 was a very busy year. Our winter social event was in the Leisure Centre with the 'Old Pull & Push'. The autumn event was a European theme and the Committee enjoyed an evening at Hall & Woodhouse Brewery.
The first big event of the year was the visit to Champtoceaux in May, when we took part in celebrations to mark the enlargement of the civil area, to include eight of the outlying villages, to be called SIVOM (later changed to Champtoceaux District). Take time to visit their new "Cantonal de Jumelage de Champtoceaux" site which is in English. The Canton villages are as follows.
To mark this event, a vine-planting ceremony was arranged in the open space in front of the Gendarmerie; each Mayor of the nine Communes and the twin towns planting one vine - ours being planted by our Mayor, Bill Williams. The gathered throng then moved round to the local Fire Station, where we were entertained to wine and biscuits by the Maire and the Fire Brigade.
Taunus near Frankfurt in Germany
September saw the first part of the official twinning ceremony with Liederbach and we were fortunate that the Verwood Concert Brass were able to accompany us. The main party went by 'plane' and the rest by car.
The signing of the Charters was carried out by Mayor Bill Williams and Burgermeister Gerhard Lehner in the 'Carl Winnaker Haus', and our copy now hangs in our Council Offices. Speeches were made by their MP for Hessen, the Chairman of the Liederbach Parliament (their Town Council), and by the Burgermeister. Classical music and National Anthems were played by a string quartet. Our Mayor, who had signed for Verwood, replied suitably, and gifts were exchanged. A gala event was arranged for the evening, and the Verwood Concert Brass gave its first performance, which was well received. Further presents were given, Geoff presenting the town with a cut-glass rose bowl.
A member of the Band (who was a volunteer fireman) presented their Fire Brigade with a gift from the Verwood Fire Brigade, and the Band presented a photograph of themselves to the Burgermeister.
On Sunday we attended a morning service in
In the evening we were taken on a short cruise up and down the River Main, finishing in the middle of Frankfurt, where we were treated to a magnificent firework display (although not laid on for us).
On Monday we were taken to Eberbach Monastery, where the Band played at the request of Herr Gerhard Lehner, and were much admired. After lunch at a Gasthaus in Kiedrich, where people stocked up on wine to take home, the coach took the air passengers to the airport for their return flight.
The only changes to the Committee this year were the replacement of Ron Curd as Treasurer by Nino Barrella, and a new member from Three Legged Cross, John Pettitt.
In 1993, the Verwood part of the Twinning
was timed to coincide with the Carnival weekend at the end
of May. The German guests arrived by coach from
The formal ceremony was held in the Memorial Hall on the Saturday morning. With flags of all three nations fluttering on a beautiful sunny morning, a guard-of-honour at the entrance was provided by local Guides, Brownies, Scouts and Cubs. Members and guests found the Memorial Hall attractively decorated by the Verwood Flower Club, with four beautiful arrangements on the stage.
The proceedings opened with a fanfare, written and played by Verwood Concert Brass, followed by the European Anthem. The Twinning Charters, which had been expertly prepared by a local lady, Mrs Helen Humber, were duly signed.
Speeches were made by our MEP Mr Brian Cassidy, and the Mayor, Mr William Wells, and responded to by Burgermeister Gerhard Lehner and Champtoceaux Mayor and Deputy of France, Monsieur Alain Levoyer. As each speaker was introduced, the appropriate National Anthem was played by Verwood Concert Brass. A message from the Queen was read out, toasts were drunk in English wine (from Horton Vineyard) and the cake, made and decorated by Mrs Anita Cox, was cut and handed round.
Shortly afterwards, the official guests departed for the Verwood Council Chambers, where they were entertained to lunch by the Mayor and Councillors. The evening entertainment was held in the Leisure Centre, where a formal dinner had been arranged.
Presents were exchanged by the two towns - a specially-cast pottery model of an old Verwood thatched cottage to Liederbach, who had brought for us a Bundespost Telephone Box- They had also brought over a number of cases of local Rheingau wine, together with some glasses engraved with all their twin towns' crests. The evening's entertainment was enlivened by young Scottish dancers from Ferndown. Incidental music was provided by Courtlye Musicke, and, of course, by our own Verwood Concert Brass.
A service was held in St Michael & All Angels Church on Sunday evening, and our guests departed the next day.
Geoff and Judy Higley visited Liederbach that summer to represent us at a street festival and painting exhibition being held there. Representatives of all three twin towns had brought examples of local arts and crafts. Verwood exhibited watercolour paintings by Mrs Muriel Williams, all of which were sold.
Our summer outing that year was a coastal