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CVST Victorian Christmas Market – November 2017

Report by Brenda Snow:

Saturday 11th November saw the annual CVST Christmas Market take place in the Town Hall.  TTA members hosted visitors from Świdnica in Poland and Biberach in Germany.  Sadly, this year, no visitors from Valence were able to attend.  With our visitors arriving on Friday, the early evening was spent preparing the stall for the following day’s market.  This was soon done and the rest of the evening was spent with their hosts.  Petra and Sarah enjoyed an Indian meal at the Blue Sari – especially appreciated as it seems Biberach doesn’t have an Indian restaurant.

Saturday was a busy day, selling produce, being photographed, renewing old friendships, shopping in Clacton and, when the market closed, being hosted, in the inner sanctum of the Town Hall, by the Chairman of the Council, Mark Platt and his wife. Mark entertained us all by producing a number of objects, books and certificates relating to twinning over the years that he had unearthed in various council offices, with a view to having them on more permanent display. 

He also admitted to, on his first visit to our German twin town, driving to the ‘wrong’ Biberach before finally arriving in Biberach-an-der Riss!  He impressed our Polish visitors by pointing out a painting of Świdnica in the background of his official portrait. It is very encouraging to see Mark’s support and enthusiasm for town twinning.

Saturday evening was an opportunity for more members of the TTA to come along to the Martello Inn to join our visitors and hosts for dinner and a very noisy and sociable evening was had by all.

On Sunday our visitors spent the day with their hosts visiting various local places, shopping in Colchester and Norwich always being popular destinations with Christmas looming.  All too soon though, Monday morning arrived and, with a very early start, our visitors were off home again – until the next time.

Reminder: 11 November – CVST Victorian Christmas Market from 9.30 to 3.00pm at the Princes Theatre, Town Hall, Clacton on Sea.

The CVST Victorian Christmas Market will take place on Saturday 11 November 2017 in support of a variety of local voluntary and charitable groups. Admission is £1 and children are free.

As always, unusual and interesting Christmas gifts will be available from stalls prepared by representatives of our three twin towns. Do come and meet them all.

The market will also offer all sorts of other delights including Father Christmas, cards, decorations, jewellery, candles, toys, hand made crafts, books ,tombolas, stocking fillers, preserves, cakes, lunches and refreshments

There will be guest appearances on stage from: Alton Park School Choir, Holland Park School Choir and of course Father Christmas…..


Reminder: The TTA half-yearly members’ meeting is on 3 November 2017

A reminder to all members about our half-yearly meeting.

This will be a time to get together with the minimum of business, bring along friends and meet other members socially.

It is going to be held at Holland Haven Primary School,  Primrose Rd, Holland on Sea CO15 5PP  from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. There will be drinks and nibbles. 

The Ganesha Visarjan Festival in Tendring – 10 September 2017

Clacton beach recently hosted the  Hindu ceremony celebrating elephant god Ganesh representing wisdom and learning.  The Ganesha Visarjan festival comes at the end of ten days of prayer and celebration. Offerings were made to Ganesh during the three-hour event and a statue of the elephant god was carried into the sea and lowered into the water.

The Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre in Clacton has  held the ceremony for seven years now, celebrating its association with the town.

With thanks to Richard Taylor for these photographs.

Tendring Twinning Annual Garden Party – Sunday, 16 July 2017

Imagine a typical English Sunday summer afternoon garden party: a beautiful garden, summer sunshine, birds singing, people talking, playing croquet, background music, children playing, cakes, drinks a-plenty. What bliss!

Our hosts, Sue and Keith Hockley had everything organised: between our helpers we had everything ready to enjoy our summer’s afternoon – cakes, pavlovas, Pimm’s … and more.

However, the vagaries of the English weather did not cooperate. Initially trying to ignore the ‘drizzle’, we finally had to admit that our garden party was experiencing a rain situation.

Whilst our smallest person used the trampoline to keep dry, the rest of us found other solutions …


Under the gazebo, staying close to the drinks …



…in the kitchen, ready to head back out as soon as the weather allowed



Not too much of a hardship – food and drink weren’t too far away



In the dining room – probably the most civilised solution – and of course the cakes were kept safe

The inclement weather didn’t last – and we soon returned to the garden, continuing our conversations and drawing the raffle in aid of the RNLI.





One of our highlights was being serenaded in German by our very own Doris – a real treat, thank you Doris!


As in so many instances, our garden party wasn’t quite the one we planned. We couldn’t control the weather, but what we did do was to enjoy our afternoon together. Because of the rain, we all had to move several times – none of us sat in one place and only spoke to those in our proximity – most of us ended up speaking to just about everyone, which was a real plus as we had folk with us that we didn’t know too well.

Thank you to everyone for coming and making it a memorable occasion. It was good to spend time together, get to know each other, eat and drink, raise a little money for a cause so important to our coastal community and display our British bulldog spirit in the face of climatic adversity!

English Event 22–27 June 2017

What do we call an event that in the past has been called an English language course?  This year we didn’t run a language course, but rather a series of events that introduced our visitors from our twin towns of Valence and Biberach to some very English-style activities. ‘English Event’ doesn’t quite give the correct impression, but we can let our readers make up their own mind. All our planning was designed to involve others from the Tendring Twinning Association (TTA) so that our guests were able to meet many different people from the Tendring District.

A photo-journal of the entire visit was also produced containing many images of events, places and people. You can see it here.

Friday, 23 June – we all met at the Walton and Frinton Yacht Club (WFYC) for a morning of introductory activities and a light lunch: our fellow twinners come from land-locked regions, so we made our coastline an important part of their activities. Martin Jenkins, the Club Commodore, welcomed the group, along with Peter Sweeney, Vice-Commodore with the technological support. The group were welcomed to the Tendring District by Councillor Mark Platt, Chairman of Tendring District Council accompanied by his wife and Councillor Maurice Alexander. After all the introductions were completed, we made our way to the Naze Tower and the newly-opened Visitors’ Centre. Peter, our very knowledgeable guide gave everyone a real flavour of the area and its importance.

Saturday, 24 June – and it’s off to Colchester: a quick tour of our historic neighbouring town, followed by entrance to the Food and Drink Festival in Castle Park. Our grateful thanks to organiser, Don Quinn for making this possible – we appreciate your welcome – quite a number of cheeses have found their way back to Germany and are being enjoyed by our friends in Biberach! The afternoon, most of our group wended their way to the Annual Wivenhoe Regatta: thanks to the Poloms for their local knowledge and their warm hospitality. A very English experience built on our coastal locality to show off to our twinners!

Saturday wasn’t yet done – we finished our day with a disco of 60s and 70s music, dancing to all the old favourites with enthusiastic twinners ranging in age from 10 years to 80 plus. 

Sunday, 25 June no lie-in for the intrepid twinners! We began our day with a bargain hunt at Ardleigh Car Boot Sale – who knew you could get your hair cut as well ‽ This was followed by a wonderful picnic in Frinton with the chance to pay a visit to as many charity shops as possible before arriving for the Tendring Brass Band concert at the McGrigor Hall. Fantastic! Superlatives are not adequate to describe the lovely performance put on for an appreciative audience.

Monday, 26 June – another focus on our coastal advantage point, this time enjoying a warm welcome from Walton Pier. The plan had been to spend a few minutes on the slot machines then to bowl. Well, our visitors were so keen to win prizes, they spent an hour trying to ‘win’ on the ‘penny gobblers’!

Our bowling game was very competitive, and ended with a clear winner – well played Roland! A stroll down Mill Lane ensued and back to the WFYC for another lovely lunch preceded by the welcome pipes from Esther Killington and time spent with other members of the TTA. Our final meal, a barbeque graciously hosted by the Hockley family was a fitting ending to a busy few days.

English course? I think not. But it was a time of learning – about each other, the Tendring District, some rather uniquely English activities and the opportunity to share our lives for just a few days with folk from our twin towns.

Tuesday, 27 June. Homeward bound – very early. Tired, but with heads full experiences and new friends made.

Thank you to all who have made this visit possible – you are too numerous to mention and thank properly here – your efforts are sincerely appreciated.

Joy Phillips

Chairman, TTA

Affiliate Membership – Now Available

Tendring Brass Band now appears as an Affiliate member on our home page. We are delighted to welcome our first Affiliate Group to our membership and look forward to others who may be considering taking the step.  An Affiliate  logo or identity  is easily visible and accessible on our site, and can link to the member’s own site.

As affiliated members we can be mutually supportive of each other: for example the Tendring Brass Band is giving a concert in Frinton on Sunday, 25 June which about 30 of us twinners will be attending  and including a number of German and French visitors.

Pooling ideas, resources and talents mean that we can become more active in our respective special interest fields. It’s not expensive, so please do contact us if you are interested in knowing more about the benefits of Affiliate membership.