Verwood and Three Legged Cross Twinning Association - UK

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A group from Verwood
visited our friends in 
"Liederbach am Taunus" 
on Thursday the 15th June 2017, 
departing on Tuesday the 19th June.

In response to an invitation from Verwood's twin town of Liederbach in Germany to visit them in order to celebrate the 25 years anniversary of twinning between the 2 towns; 18 members of the Verwood & Three Legged Cross Twinning Association travelled to Liederbach on a self funded trip.


Report on the Group extending their visit.


10 members of the group opted to travel by car and extend the visit in order to visit places of interest in the Ardennes and the Vosges Mountains. The group met in the port of Dover on Sunday the 11th of June in order to catch the DFDS 14:00 hrs sailing to Dunkirk and then travelled to their first hotel in the walled town of Bergues in France where they gathered together in a local bar for something to eat and drink.

On the following morning they visited the extremely large market in Bergues before travelling 197 miles on to the next hotel at Houffalize in Belgium for dinner bed and breakfast.

(The picture shows some of the group in a bar in Houffalize.)


On Tuesday the 13th of June the group travelled the short distance to the "Bastogne War Museum" which is situated just a stone's throw from the famous "American Mardasson Memorial".


The "Bastogne War Museum"  represents a new way to remember the past, specifically devoted to the Second World War in Belgium. It gives a fresh perception into the causes, events and consequences of World War ll through the lens of the Ardennes Counter offensive - the "Battle of the Bulge".

(The picture above shows the Mardasson Memorial above the Crypt
and the picture below shows the driving group

at the war museum with the Memorial in the background)


After visiting the Bostogne War Museum the driving group then travelled to the Hotel at "Kedange-sur-Canner" for an evening meal and a comfortable nights sleep.


On Wednesday the 14th June a leisurely drive was made to the "Hackenberg Fort" which is part of the "Maginot Line".


Construction of "Hackenberg Fort" started in 1930 as one of the very first to be built. For that reason, it was considered as a prototype for the artillery fortresses of the Maginot Line. During six years, around 1800 workers, with rudimentary means, were employed to build 19 combat blocks and to drive more than 10 kilometres of galleries. After 1933 and the achievement of the major works, the fortress was fitted out with its equipments and delivered to the military command in 1936.

After the declaration of war in 1939, the fortress was placed in full alert state all the Phoney War long and was involved in the fights during the German offensive of May and June 1940. It only surrender a few days after the armistice, signed on the 25th of June.
Later, in November 1944, it had been breached by General George S. Patton's Third US Army on the occasion of the bloody battle for Moselle River. Please visit their site for more information.


("The first picture shows the effect of General Patton's attack on block 6 of Hackenberg  Fort,  while the next picture Shows the start of the tunnels from the main entrance.
The train and railway track for moving Ammo & used by visitors can clearly be seen")



At the conclusion of the visit to the "Hackenberg Fort" the group made their respective ways to the next Hotel at "La Petite Pierre", 74 miles away and the "Hotel aux trois Roses" for another excellent meal and nights stay. La Petite-Pierre is a commune in the Bas-Rhine department in Grand Est in north-eastern France within the Vosges Mountains.


This picture shows the town of La Petite Pierre sitting high up on its walls.


On Thursday the 15th June the group travelling by car spent the morning strolling around the old town and had a relaxing coffee in one of the restaurants there prior to travelling the remaining 150 miles into Germany and up to Liederbach where they met at around 1900 hrs  in the "Liederbach Halle" for a drink and to meet their hosts and the group flying.


Group flying from Heathrow to Frankfurt.


Unfortunately the group flying had a few problems. The aircraft was full and all the hand luggage could not be accommodated in the cabin of the aircraft so some passengers agreed to have their hand baggage put in the hold. The flight was then delayed and on arrival in Frankfurt airport 2 families in the group did not get their hand baggage back. One set of baggage actually went to Vienna before being returned. but it was all returned within the next 2 days. The group flying were picked up by the Liederbach Red Cross and taken to the "Liederbach Halle" but because of the delay the first group had left with their hosts.


Main Twining visit starts.


On Thursday the 15th June all the visitors met at the "Liederbach Halle" at 0830 for the coach trip which initially went to the town of Heppenheim in the Odenwald region of Germany which is a low mountain range in the German states of Hesse, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The Odenwald is located between the Upper Rhine Plain with the Bergstraße and the Hessisches Ried in the west, the Main and the Bauland in the east, the Hanau-Seligenstadt Basin – a subbasin of the Upper Rhine Rift Valley in the Rhine-Main Lowlands – in the north and the Kraichgau in the south. The group was split into two and had a guided tour of the old town of "Heppenheim" which is the home town of Sebastian Vettel, of Formula 1 fame; It is understood that he is paying for the restoration of one of the old buildings there.


On leaving the centre of Heppenheim the group were taken by the coach up a very narrow road, not suitable for coaches, to the Burgschanke Starkenburg restaurant which is situated next to the castle on the top of the hill. The last part of the climb had to be carried out on foot but the Liederbach Red Cross bus was in attendance for those unable to make the climb unaided. There was some confusion as to what had been ordered and by whom but there was plenty of excellent food and drink and everybody left in excellent spirits.


On returning  to the coach (Later than planned) the group were taken to "Morlenbach" in order to board the worlds first solar powered trolley ride of around 11 km on a beautiful listed railway line which terminated after a tunnel at the "Wald-Michelbach" terminus where drinks and cake were provided. The group were then taken back to the "Liederbach Halle" to be picked up and spend the evening with their hosts.


Liederbach International Strachen Fest


The twinning visit was organised to coincide with the annual Street Festival (Strachen Fest) and the committee agreed to set up a stall to sell Dorset produce. The townsfolk of Liederbach loved our local  marmalade, biscuits and selected teas, all provided in a Union Jack carrier bag with a copy of the Verwood Town Guide included.


The picture above shows part of the Verwood group and friends,
testing the local produce - as a necessity.


Most of the other stalls were selling different types of food as well as numerous stalls selling beer and cider and other drinks. There was also a children's section to keep the little ones amused.

On the stage there were many local acts throughout the afternoon and evening.

     The picture shows Lisa interviewing the local cowgirls.


On Sunday the 18th June the group returned again to the "Liederbach Halle" for a short walk to the Europe Tree which was a tree gifted by Verwood to Liederbach 10 years ago where a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the event. Unfortunately and embarrassingly the plaque had been incorrectly worded (with Villabon) so needed to be replaced, this has now been done as the picture shows.


The picture shows all the group at the Europe Tree.


On the way back to the "Liederbach Halle" for the official ceremony and meal with Guests and Hosts one of the artefacts found in Liederbach was an old GPO Telephone Box donated by Verwood which is now being used as a library exchange.



The trip was climaxed in the "Liederbach Halle" by an official ceremony to mark the 25 year Anniversary and attended by all the host families and local dignitaries. Speeches were made, with greetings also made to the small group who had visited from Saldus in Latvia. Presents were exchanged with Verwood providing a picture of Durdle Door and Liederbach presenting a slate plaque to Verwood.


Above is the slate plaque given to Verwood and Three Legged Cross

during the visit. This now resides in Verwood's Town Hall.


In addition the Twinning charter was renewed to celebrate 25 years of Twinning/Partnershaften between the two towns and was signed by Clive Grove, the chairman of Verwood and Three Legged Cross Twinning Association and Eva Sollner the Burgermeisterin of Liederbach.


The picture shows Clive Grove, the chairman of Verwood and Three Legged Cross Twinning Association who signed on behalf of Verwood with
Eva Sollner the Burgermeisterin who signed on behalf of Liederbach,
with both copies of the 25th Anniversary Twinning Charter shown below.



On Monday the 19th June early in the morning the group flying were taken to Frankfurt Airport for their relatively short flight home. The group travelling by car left around 10 p.m. for the longer drive to Ghent where they rested overnight after an enjoyable and relaxing meal at a restaurant in the square. On Tuesday the 20th of June they left Ghent for the noon DFDS ferry sailing from Dunkirk and onward travel to Verwood. All arrived home safely after a very enjoyable twinning visit.


"Brexit makes partnerships even closer".

pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.


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