Friends of Siegerland

Friends of Siegerland  Report from the Chair 2018-2019

I am pleased to report that despite my various health problems this year, things have picked up to the extent that I am now able to drive again. Although I am no longer able to host I am hopeful of participating in some of our events and of course some of the German visit too.

We have attracted some new members this year and also increased the number of activities that we organise, so, happily, things are travelling in the right direction.

There were 2 short walks this year – one from Barnet to Whetstone in June and the other around the historic parts of High Barnet plus a visit to Barnet Museum. The latter was dogged by heavy rain sadly! However both involved a sociable cuppa in a nearby café.

Another special event was having a stall at Barnet Christmas Street fair. We shared the cost of the stall with Friends of Chaville and Friends of Montclair and put on a fine dispay with notable help from Clive, Laure and Christian. Our special thanks to Laure also for all the  wonderful cakes which raised £70.

Many events, of course, centre around food! Strawberries and Scones at Ann and Michel’s were much enjoyed on a very hot July day in their luckily shady garden. In September, we held our first Deutsches Mittagessen. With a fine selection of dishes to which many contributed. We had Kohlrouladen, Rotkohlsalat, Bratwurst, Bockwurst, Bayerische Kartoffelsalat, Deutsches Bier, followed by Apfelstrudel and other desserts. Many thanks to all who contributed. I am sure the German Lunch will be a regular addition to our Programme!

In January we had a good crowd for our New Year meal at Melange Restaurant in Barnet and again a good number for our Soup and Dessert, held as was the German meal, at Irene and Wilf’s in March. This necessitated borrowing extra tables and chairs and splitting everyone into 2 rooms but it all worked well. Again many thanks to all of you who contributed soups, desserts or raffle prizes. 

Of course, beyond these events in Barnet we had a lovely trip to Siegerland with 9 people travelling. As always, we had a very warm welcome from our hosts and other members of the Frendeskreis at our usual rendez-vous point, The Car Wash in Siegen. The group had organized many lovely trips for us. There was a guided tour in English of the Upper Caste in Siegen, which included a Show Mine in the cellar and the life and works of Peter Paul Rubens, with reference to his paintings in the Castle. This was followed by the local delicacy, Kartoffelbrot. Delicious. That evening we had a wonderful meal at the Grillhütte out in the countryside where we entirely took over the restaurant. On another day we all went by coach to Koblenz on the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers. There were probably 40 or so of us.  Another highlight was the lovely afternoon of eating and drinking in Jürgen’s garden. The Farewell Meal was in the Bismarckhalle and so, sadly, another visit came to an end. Now we are looking forward to seeing them here in Barnet at the end of May.

Keith Dyall (chair), Irene Nichols (secretary)

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