Verwood and Three Legged Cross Twinning Association - UK
 "Currently Twinned with Oree d'Anjou in France and
Liederbach in Germany."

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The Verwood & 3 Legged Cross 
Visit to Liederbach - (December 2005). 



(This occurred 13 years after the initial formal Twinning.)



On the 1st of December 2005, early in the morning at 06:30 a group of bleary eyed travellers gathered in Morrison's car park for the journey to Liederbach in Germany to visit our friends, and to visit some Christmas markets. After a long trip we arrived at the "" late in the evening and were greeted with a drink and a chance to meet our individual hosts.

On the Friday morning at 8.30 a.m. we gathered outside the Fire Station where our coach was waiting to take us initially to "Rüdesheim am Rhein" near the confluence of the river "Main" with the "Rhein" where we boarded a boat to sail north down the Rhine, past the famous "Lorelei" to the town of "Goarhausen" which is opposite the town of "St. Goar". There was a heavy frost and initially we were not allowed to visit the upper deck so enjoyed ourselves having brandy coffee and Stollen cake. During the trip we passed by the town of "Niederheimbach" which is the German town twinned with the French town of "Champtoceaux", with which "Verwood" is also twinned.

When we arrived at "Goarhausen" we were met by our coach which returned us to "Rüdesheim am Rhein", after a short stop at the top of the "Lorelei", where we had chance to take photographs for those brave enough to face the bitterly cold wind.

In "Rüdesheim am Rhein" we had chance to enjoy a good meal, and visit the Christmas Market before returning to Liederbach and an evening with our host families.

On Saturday morning a later start of 09:30 was agreed for our trip to the town of "Speyer" where we arrived shortly after 11:00 ready for a visit to the "The Imperial Cathedral of Speyer" with an English speaking guide (actually an American with a French Wife). 

The Imperial Cathedral of "Speyer" was constructed between 1030 -1134 as an Episcopal Church which it remains to this day, and is reputed to be the greatest Roman church in the world. The Crypt is the oldest part of the cathedral with pillars built of red and white sandstone which with the soft light, invite the visitor to fall in silence. In the part bearing the apse, an old font of the cathedral can be found. Nowadays, you can visit all the tombs of the emperors and kings of the Salian and Stauffen dynasty via the crypt. From the very beginning, the imperial cathedral was intended to be a tomb for all emperors. In 1025, during the coronation ceremony of Conrad II, the Archbishop of Mainz told the German king: "You are the Vicar of Christ." And the words were engraved in the imperial crown: "By me monarchs rule." (Pr 8,15). The Bishops Chair can also be seen in the Crypt.

After the tour of the cathedral the majority of the party crossed the square to enjoy lunch while afterwards some went to see the Christmas Market and others made there way to the "Technique Museum". Unfortunately these were only short visits due to the time left and the Museum alone deserves a full days visit. Another time perhaps.



The party then returned to Liederbach and their hosts before returning in the evening to the "Liederbachhalle" for the Official Twinning Celebrations during which the mayor of Verwood (Mr Mike Daymond) read his speech in German with the help of Sigrid Grether the German organiser. Additional speeches were made by Gerhard Lehner (the Bürgermeister) and Catharina Green (Chair of the Verwood & Three Legged Cross Twinning Committee). Gifts were also exchanged. The food was to the usual high standard with more than enough for everyone and music was provided by "The Jumping Daddies".

On Sunday morning from 11.00 a.m. most of the party visited the Christmas Market in Liederbach which takes place around the Kulturscheune. The Verwood Stall again sold out and thanks must go to all the helpers who manned it including our Mayor. Some then went of to see other things and in our case that included two more Christmas Markets with an extremely nice meal at the place where the daughter of our hosts had been married in August.

The party met again at 9:00 a.m. in the morning for our return journey to Verwood where we duly arrived at 11:00 p.m. after 15 hours of travel which, as well as rest stops, included 1 hour in Köln (to see the Christmas Market!) and stops at a Chocolate Factory and a Wine and Beer Warehouse. A good time was had by all.

Thanks must go to Peter Aisthorpe-Buckley for organising the Verwood end, Sigrid Grether and Lisa Leismann for organising the Liederbach end - not forgetting our coach drivers Chris and Wayne from Blueways Coaches (formerly Victory Tours).

The first picture below shows the Mike and Angela Daymond (Mayor and Mayoress of Verwood) and the second picture shows Gerhard Lehner (the Bürgermeister) with the Mayor & Mayoress of the French town of "Villebon sur Yvette" south of Paris which is also twinned with Liederbach.

(c) J. S. Clifton    (c) J. S. Clifton

pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.


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