** Once upon a time . . . when the youth exchanges between teenagers from Bristol and Hannover were regular events, groups from the two cities decided they enjoyed the adventure so much they should repeat it.
It took 50 years to organise but the reunion was finally shared and enjoyed immensely over the weekend of July 17-19 when eight members the Hannover Class of ’65 and ’66 flew to Bristol.
Waiting to meet and greet them were 13 of their old friends from Bristol for a 50th anniversary reunion which owed an enormous amount to some remarkable police work in both sides of the reunion.
Two members of the original groups had stayed in touch down all the years: Ingrid Hüper (nee Rose) from Hannover and Sarah (nee Stocker) from Bristol and now Australia.
Last summer Ingrid ‘found’ Jonathan Radnedge on the internet through his journalistic work, he contacted the Bristol-Hannover Council . . . and secretary Lynne Evans set to work.
Ultimately Ingrid found a dozen of the Hannover originals and Lynne tracked down a similar number of the Bristol group. Hence the reunion with a ‘memorabilia evening’ in Clifton on the Friday evening, a stroll down memory lane to the city centre on the Saturday – taking in the Cabot Tower, former Youth House in George Street and Lord Mayor’s Chapel – and then an afternoon enjoying the Harbourside Festival.
The afternoon also included a ferry trip around the harbour to the SS Great Britain – a modern addition to the Bristol scene since the days of the original exchanges – and back.
Saturday evening featured a dinner at the Cote Brasserie in Clifton which Chair Ann Kennard, committee members Frank Titmarsh and Katerina Seery attended on behalf of BHC – in addition to Lynne Evans who was presented with a bouquet and a specially-inscribed Bristol Blue Glass paperweight as a gesture of thanks for all her sleuthing.
Sunday morning featured a guided tour over the Suspension Bridge and the day ended in happy informality in Clifton’s pubs and bars.
To all those who made it possible, 50 years ago and now – cheers!
From Hannover: Klaus Auerswald, Renate Gronenberg, Ingetraud Herms, Ingrid Hüper, Arnhild Leggett, Knut-Peter Martin, Monika Rähse-Weber, Torsten Wünnecke.
From Bristol: Sarah Burns, Dave Clark, Mavis Gray, Chris Jones, Roland Lethbridge, Sandra Lee, Jacqueline, Norma McGready, John Peacock, Jonathan Radnedge, Ken Riggs, Diana Swales, Carole White.