The Verwood & 3
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
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
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
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).
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
pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.