We had another great year at the Biberach Christmas Market, fundraising, renewing friendships and strengthening the bonds of twinning. We had some very interesting and enjoyable conversations with visitors to the stall, all keen to speak to us about life “at home” and to share their hopes and best wishes for the future.
Helen and I were on the Tendring stall over the last weekend from Thursday to Sunday (13-16th December) . This meant having the pleasure of offering interesting last-minute Christmas shopping to many of our customers and the disappointment of sending others away empty-handed when no more lemon curd, chocolate orange or whiskey marmalade could be found.
The weather was pretty bracing each day, with a nice dusting of snow on Sunday morning. Luckily for us we had the steaming Gluhwein stall next to us and the heat of the Dampfnudel bakery opposite.
Christa, Stephan and Marianne were our attentive and very generous hosts, keeping us warm, well fed and safely transported to and fro. Other members of Biberach town twinning were as always ready to cover the stall whenever no-one from Tendring was available, and our grateful thanks go out to them all.
Notice on door handle: “Please do not close this door!”
English Week in Biberach is a misnomer! Such is their enthusiasm for all things English that it ran from Friday, 5th October and finishes Tuesday 6th November.
Adrian and I went for the first weekend when Adrian came back home and I stayed until Wednesday 17th. Sue and Keith also came for the first weekend and went home on Tuesday. Mary and Sharon came over for the second weekend.
Our time in Biberach was made all the nicer as the weather was superb. We were officially welcomed by Norbert Zeidler, the mayor of Biberach on Friday 5th and then we dine together. On Saturday our market stand was manned by the Germans as we didn’t take the van over – we sold our products well and has helped our finances. The Saturday evening was a wonderful ‘English’ meal followed by pipers and dancing. On Sunday evening my hostess Anne and I went to the pub to participate in the English Quiz. It was so full that not all those who wanted to could get in. Thank you to Rachael for her wonderful questions.
Monday evening there was an English film on at the town’s cinema – it was called ‘Venom’ and probably not a film I would go to see normally, I did however thoroughly enjoy it. It’s good sometimes to step outside our comfort zones and do something we wouldn’t normally do! Club night on the Saturday evening was enjoyed by Mary and Sharon – I wasn’t able to go as I didn’t have transport, but I do hear on good authority that it was a really good evening. Sunday was our English cream tea afternoon with some very able dancers showing us their skills. Unfortunately the weather was beautiful and more people went out walking and bike-riding. Consequently there were only about 30 of us. Of course that meant that some could have extra scones! Although not well-attended we had a lovely time watching the dancers -both professional and not and drinking English tea.
Another Monday evening and another film: this time it was ‘A Star is Born’ and was about the history of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame. We enjoyed this – especially with our popcorn and coke! Tuesday was my last activity and was Romeo and Juliet performed by and English-speaking company of actors. This was well-attended especially by the young students in Biberach. My goodness! It was done in Shakespeare’s English – the youngsters didn’t make a sound, but many of the adults found it difficult to follow.
I had a wonderful time in Biberach – English Weeks can stay! Thank you to all of you who worked so hard to make each and every experience memorable and a pleasure to attend.
Calling all twinners – old members and new members! We will need help with TTA’s stall at the Biberach Christmas Market.
It will be held from the 1st to 16th of December this year and help will be welcome on various dates. We usually fly from Stansted to Memmingen with Ryanair. From when we arrive to when we depart we are well looked after by our Biberach twinners.
If you would like to go please contact Joy either by using the Contact on this web site or email. It’s a great opportunity to help our association and also to make new friends or renew old acquaintances.
This year the International Market in Valence was held on the 22nd of September and the TTA took over the van loaded to the gunwales with products from our area and wider afield. Carol and Bert travelled in the van whilst Adrian and I flew to Grenoble and hired a car.
This is the 3rd year we had had the market on the same weekend as ‘la Fete de la Gastronomie’. Our experience has varied year to year and this time we had a lot more music, with singers and musicians and we drew quite a good crowd. Our stand did well and there were many old friends to chat to and new friends to be made. Carol had done an excellent job of choosing what we would sell, and we made a good hole in our produce. Bert was kept busy in his customary role as ‘sales advisor’ telling all clients what his personal favourite is and convincing people to purchase.
This year we did not take the ingredients to sell English breakfasts. Adrian was kept busy on the stand, taking the money from Bert’s conquests.
Our photos show that we displayed our children’s work. This was from the end of March in coordination with the Essex Book Festival. One of the schools from Valence contributed, and there was a lot of interest in their replies from ‘What does PEACE mean to you?’ Next year we will be continuing to work with the EBF hopefully with some schools the same and others joining in. Of course the question will be different.
The market is only part of the experience when we get together in Valence. On the Saturday evening we went to eat and dance together with all the other twin towns. It was a lovely meal and a great opportunity to relax and enjoy being a part of Twinning.
On Sunday morning, having been given some tickets, we went to experience ‘la Fete de la Gastronomie’ for ourselves. I’m not sure I can use sufficient superlatives to tell you how wonderful it was! We began by looking around cheese stalls which was great – when suddenly we were attracted to a stand providing Cantal beef with Cantal potatoes. We had never eaten something so delicious! Then we crossed the road into the rest of the Fete and ate three desserts each, got a bottle of lovely fruit juice, drank a beer and watched a top chef cooking. What an unexpectedly wonderful experience! Thank you to those in Valence who gave us the tickets – your generosity was much appreciated.
We flew back on Monday having done the market in Valence, but also having had a great time experiencing so many other things as well!
It has been quite a challenge within the Tendring Twinning Association to include young people and children to participate in our activities. Because of the age of its members – not forgetting that next year we will be 50 years old – children don’t always fit very well into our activities. So when the Essex Book Festival asked if we would like to be part of their finale at the end of March, we were very excited. Their idea was to create a ‘peace panel’: to ask 3 classes of Year 6 pupils from Tendring and a class from Biberach, Świdnica and Valence to write and draw what they think the word peace means to them. Children also learned about the story of the folded-paper Peace Cranes made famous in Hiroshima after WW2.
The finale of the Book Festival took place at the Jaywick Martello Tower on 29 March 2018 and was managed by Kerith Ririe, one of our members. Some children came from Rolph Church of England School and also Two Village Church of England School. Our partner school in Valence sent us their replies and also a video; our school in Biberach sent us lovely replies as did the school in Świdnica. Not only did Świdnica send us their replies they also sent us 3 of their children accompanied by 2 parents!
We had a very happy morning at the Martello Tower: the children were invited to read out some of the replies to the question; Mr Mark Platt, Chairman of Tendring District Council spoke to everyone; then we did separate activities that included making cranes to be used in the peace display.
We are hoping to take the display of replies to all our twin towns in the next few months so that as many people as possible can appreciate all the hard work that went into our peace panel.
We are already talking to the organisers of the Essex Book Festival to invite our children to Harwich for the launch of the festival.