King's Lynn/Emmerich Twinning Club

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Visit from Emmerich 18th to 22nd May 2018

This was an action-packed weekend, made more so by the fact that it coincided with the King's Lynn Hanse Festival.

The coach arrived punctually in the Tuesday Market Place at 11.30 am on Friday, 18th May and the party then convened at the Town Hall for a welcome by the Mayor and Mayoress and a presentation by the Mayor of Emmerich, Peter Hinze, to newly installed Mayor, Councillor Nick Daubney.  The Emmerich club had decided to mark the 40th anniversary of the twinning by presenting a gift of money to King's Lynn to be given to charity.  As Nick Daubney's chosen charities for the year were the Purfleet Trust and the King's Lynn Winter Night Shelter, this money would be given to them.  The gift was a very generous 400 euros, which they had thoughtfully already converted into sterling.  To make things even better, a party of six school children were also in the group and they had raised money in their school by making and selling cakes and presented us with a further 200 euros.  The Mayor expressed his heartfelt thanks for this very generous donation.

After the reception the party congregated in the attractive garden area behind the Town Hall, for an unveiling of the sundial given by the citizens of Emmerich to King's Lynn back in 1988 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the town twinning.  The sundial had just been moved from its previous location behind Juniper House to its new position and it was good to be able to start the celebrations of our 40th anniversary in this way.

The Saturday was a free day and the good weather meant that many people were able to enjoy a day out, while others stayed indoors to watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. The Town Band was hosting the Praest Blasorchester and they gave a performance outside the Hanse House that evening.  Some members also enjoyed a concert given by the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra in St Nicholas Chapel and we were grateful that the Orchestra had kindly invited two members from each of our clubs to the concert and treated them like royalty!

Sunday was the main Hanse Festival day, which began with a parade from the Tuesday Market Place to King's Staithe Square.  The schoolchildren in the Emmerich party joined in, waving Emmerich flags and a festive atmosphere prevailed - again, helped by the weather.  Sunday was also the day on which we held our main event of the weekend - a lunch at Congham Hall.  We enjoyed a three course meal and speeches from Brita Weber and Penny Dossetor chairmen of the Emmerich and King's Lynn clubs respectively, and the Mayor of Emmerich, Peter Hinze.  In the evening the King's Lynn Town Band and the Praest Blasorchester gave a joint concert in St Nicholas Chapel, which was very well attended and much enjoyed.

On Monday a party of 25 took advantage of the availability of the Emmerich coach to make a visit to Boston under the guidance of Paul Richards.  We were given a guided tour of the 'Stump' (St Botolph's church) before a leisurely lunch with people finding their own places to eat - and an introduction to Fish and Chips for some!  We reconvened at the Guildhall, which was opened especially for us and we were then treated to afternoon tea at Fydell House next door.  For a number of people from King's Lynn this was their first visit to Boston and they were mostly very pleasantly surprised and impressed by what Boston had to offer, including its shared Hanseatic history. 

As always the coach left at crack of dawn on Tuesday morning after what felt like a full and happy weekend with old friendships renewed and new ones formed.