King's Lynn/Emmerich Twinning Club
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Twenty four people attended the Annual General Meeting held in Thoresby College on November 4th, to a backdrop of the sound of fireworks coming from the Fawkes in the Walks event. At the business meeting Horst Hofmeister, the one Committee member due for re-election was duly re-elected, while two new members, Kate Mould and Peter Eyre, were elected to join the Committee. Penny Dossetor was prepared to continue as Chairman and Penny Harrison had kindly agreed to stay on as Secretary, but Carl Webb resigned as Treasurer, as he had said he would at the previous year's AGM. The Chairman thanked him for acting as Treasurer for a number of years, and was particularly appreciative that he had continued to do so in the last year despite suffering from a very debilitating illness. Kate Sayer volunteered to stand for election as Treasurer and she was duly voted in with thanks.
Annie Ricketts, who had been Exchange Secretary for several years, had moved away in the summer, and Philip Mole had agreed to take on the role. He said that he had been in touch with Brita Weber, the Chairman of the Emmerich club, to check the acceptability of our proposed dates for a visit next year - from midday on Friday, 26th May to Tuesday, 30th May. She had confirmed this. Philip pointed out that it would be necessary to leave Norfolk on the Thursday, either by day boat or night boat in order to arrive in Emmerich by noon on the Friday. He would shortly be sending out a letter to members to find out who intended to go.
As Social Secretary Kate Sayer asked for ideas for future social events. A suggestion of a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday was enthusiastically endorsed as was a Sunday lunch in a pub, possibly in April.
The meeting was followed by a two course supper prepared and served by Francis Bone and his colleagues from the Gravy Boat, and a convivial atmosphere prevailed.
Visit from Emmerich 13th to 17th May 2016
The coach party from Emmerich was due to arrive in the Tuesday Market Place at 1pm on the afternoon of Friday, 13th May, having first had a tour of Cambridge in the bus. In the event they arrived at 2pm, as the driver had been required to have a rest after driving round Cambridge for two hours. On board were some 30 visitors, including a party of four adults and six children from a newly formed comprehensive school in Emmerich, who were hoping to establish a school partnership in King's Lynn. Waiting to greet them all in his Parlour were the newly installed Mayor, Councillor David Whitby and Mayoress Linda, and guests and hosts were soon tucking in to a splendid finger buffet prepared by the Club's own Paul Brandon from Smith's the Bakers. After the reception the hosts left with their visitors, while the school party and some other members of the Emmerich Club went off to check in at the Globe Hotel, their home for the next few days.
The main social event of the weekend was a concert by the Male Voice Choir, interspersed by speeches from Penny Dossetor and Brita Weber, chairmen of the Lynn and Emmerich clubs respectively. This was followed by a buffet supper in the Good News Centre in St John's Church in the Walks. The German guests were very impressed by the fact that it was possible to hold such an event in a church, and felt that it was rather more 'geműtlich' than the Town Hall, even if less prestigious. Caterer Sarah Shapeero-Lown did us proud with her two-course buffet, with some people going back for 'seconds' more than once, the drink flowed freely and a congenial atmosphere prevailed.
Sunday was a free day to spend with hosts, while the school party visited Norfolk Lavender at Heacham and sampled the delights of Hunstanton.
On Monday sixty eight people took part in a trip on the Southern Comfort Mississippi Steamboat, with the majority having travelled to Horning in the Emmerich coach. The weather was kind and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience. The leisurely ambiance of the Broads provides quite a contrast to the busy shipping activity on the Rhine at Emmerich. After an hour's stop for tea in Reepham we arrived back in Lynn at 6pm to find Frank Pieper, the teacher from Emmerich, waiting for us. Thanks to Councillor Andy Tyler, he had been able to make contact with the Head at King Edward Seventh (KES) Academy and had spent some time at the school during the day. The future for an exchange arrangement now looks bright.
As always the weekend was over almost before it seemed that it had begun, and the coach left King's Lynn very early on Tuesday morning en route for Harwich and the 9am ferry.
We now have two years to decide how best to celebrate our 40th anniversary when our Emmerich friends visit us again in 2018. Meanwhile we are looking forward to going there and renewing our friendships over the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2017.