The first week of June 2013 was sunny spells and sunny times for Bristol-Hannover Council. We were visited by members of the Hannover-Bristol Gesellschaft (our counterpart association in Hannover), who enjoyed not only beautiful weather, but also a “new look” tour of the city some of them know very well. When planning the visit, we had resolved to take them to places they were unlikely to have seen before in order to show them different parts of our city.
The visit began with a journey to the past as we ventured down to the Bristol Record Office for a tour. There we were given exclusive viewings of some of the city’s earliest records and an exhibition on the Bristol-Hannover Twinning, which included the Twinning Charter, signed in 1987 at the 40th Anniversary by Lord Mayors Marmaduke Alderson of Bristol and Herbert Schmalstieg of Hannover. This was followed by tour of Bristol Cathedral by former churchwarden and Bristol-Hannover member, Frank Clarke.
As well as tours there were excursions by road and river to Tyntesfield and Beeses Tea Garden. Now owned by the National Trust, Tyntesfield is a Victorian country house, which used to belong to the Gibbs family, who made their money trading in South American guano. As the old rhyme goes, “Mr. Gibbs made his dibs, Selling the turds of foreign birds” and German and British members alike went away reciting this as a reminder of their visit. We had a ride to the Tea Garden on the Bristol Ferry boat and spent a glorious summer afternoon by the river in the company of the Tea Garden’s founders Derek and Alma Brockwell, who are also longtime Bristol-Hannover Council members.
Our Reception with the Lord Mayor of Bristol took place at the Mansion House. This time was extra special as it was also the birthday of John Veale, whose involvement with the Bristol-Hannover Twinning goes right back to 1949. Councillor Faruk Choudhury (Lord Mayor, 2013-14) made a special point of congratulating John and expressed his strong desire to visit Hannover during his term in office.
The Farewell Dinner was held at the Failand Inn between Bristol and Clevedon, where our German guests enjoyed a delicious meal at an authentically British country pub. Anne von Thadden gave a final vote of thanks on behalf of the Hannover-Bristol Gesellschaft and congratulated Bristol-Hannover Council for putting together an itinerary that included no place any of their members had visited before.
We concluded with a reminder that the preparations for the 300th Anniversary of the Hannoverian accession to the English throne are well underway. The dates for next year’s trip to Hannover are now set as the 22nd-27th May 2014 and with direct flights from Bristol Airport now available, getting there couldn’t be easier.