The Verwood & 3
1990 : Visit by Champtoceaux
- Naming of Champtoceaux Green.
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 picture shows Mr
(Mayor of Verwood), M. Jean Carr (the French organiser of
the visit) and Alain Levoyer (Mayor of Champtoceaux)
after the unveiling of the "Champtoceaux Green"
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.
Discussions on possible
twinning with Liederbach in Germany .
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
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,
Coates and Sandra Ground were elected.
1991 : Initial visit from
Liederbach to Verwood
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
Cathedral and an evening of skittles at the Old Barn Inn
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.
Return visit to
Liederbach to celebrate their 1200 year Aniversary.
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
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
Kennet & Avon
, south of
, where we boarded a longboat and cruised a few miles up
the newly-opened canal and back to Wooton Rivers, for a
welcome supper at a local inn.
1992 : Social Events and visits
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
May - Twinning is
expanded and the Champtoceaux Canton visits Verwood.
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.
- Saint Christophe La Couperie
- Saint Laurent des Autels
- Saint Sauveur de Landemont
- La Varenne
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.
Verwood twins with Liederbach
Taunus near Frankfurt in Germany
(site in German)
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
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
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
, conducted in English and German, our Band giving their
second performance. In the afternoon, we were taken on a
coach trip to
, a show village which consisted of dwellings, shops,
craft workshops and public buildings to make a complete
village. These had been dismantled from various parts of
Hessen and reassembled to show how an old village would
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.
During the visit Ron Curd happened to say
"this is a remarkably good wine".
"Yes, it is a Hock" they replied.
"But in the
", he said "we regard
bottles labelled Hock as very ordinary". They
were appalled. "The best wine in Germany comes
from the Rheingau" and they told us the story
of how Queen Victoria, on a visit to her daughter,
the Empress, having suffered a slight mishap with
her coach, stayed a night in Hochheim situated
overlooking the confluence of the Rhine and the Main
at the at the southern end of the Rheingau wine
region. With her evening meal she had some of the
local wine and was so impressed that she ordered
wine to be delivered to
Palace. Subsequently she purchased one of the
vineyards and the locals erected a statue to her.
Ron explained that nowadays we called all wine from
area. Hock not just that from
Hochheim. This was a bit of a shock to them.
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
1993 : Liederbach Initial Return
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
, and a small party of our French friends came by car.
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 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
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
to Swanage, and we held a Cockney evening in the autumn.
That year also saw the introduction of Verwood Twinning
Association sweatshirts, which members were able to