Bedford Bamberg Association

News Archives

February 2019

Hello Members

While our planned evening on 5 April was about Twinning and not to discuss the merits or otherwise of Brexit, we have decided that it would be best to postpone to a future date until the current political situation hopefully settles down. We would have now needed to start advertising the evening and I do not believe that it would have received favourable publicity given all that is going on. We will let you know as soon as a revised date has been scheduled, assuming Brexit actually happens.

Our next event is the AGM on Friday 22 March from 7 pm at St Marks in Brickhill, Wren Room, when we will outline events planned for the forthcoming year, including the visit to Bamberg in September with 29 so far indicating they will be joining the group. There will of course be an opportunity for members to be updated on our financial position and have a say on any issues they wish. Our Treasurer Graham will also be collecting membership subscriptions held at a very reasonable £10 per member to be paid by cheque or cash. Coffee/tea with cakes will follow. We look forward to a good attendance and meeting new members especially.

Most of you will recall that last year we held our Annual Dinner as well as the Bamberg Visit Farewell Dinner at Vesuvios in the Sharnbrook Hotel, both events being most enjoyable. So we plan to hold the Annual Dinner there again on Sunday 28 April from 5.30 pm with serving to commence 6 pm. A price of £20 for 3 courses plus coffee/tea has been agreed and I am sure you will agree this represents excellent value. The menu is attached.

I will need to pay a deposit of £100 next week from my own funds and so I would ask that those wishing to attend please confirm by email and pay me £5 per head, either by a direct remittance to my bank account or cash at the AGM. I will then pay any excess deposit onto Vesuvios so you pay £15 plus the cost of drinks on the evening. You can either let me have your menu choices when confirming or at the latest by Thursday 11 April.

If you have any queries, please email me.

Best wishes.


November 2018

A reminder that our St. Nikolaus Evening is not far off now – on Saturday December 1st, starting at 6pm.  We meet in St. Mark’s Church Hall and you will be welcomed with a glass of Glühwein, before a German-style supper and delicious desserts.  Wine, beer and soft drinks will be available throughout.

We plan to sing some German and English carols at the end, especially as several of the Bamberg students will be attending.  We will have musical accompaniment too.  There will also be a quiz for the table.

The cost is £12, payable on the evening.

October 2018

Our next event will be on November 2nd at.7.30pm in the Wren Room, St. Mark’s Church, Calder Rise. Robin Farman will be giving a talk ‘Some cross currents in a stormy sea. The saga of the German language from the 16th to the 19th century.’  Please do come along for an interesting insight into the development of the language.  Refreshments will be served; charge £5.

Also a reminder of our St. Nikolaus evening on Saturday December 1st, starting at 6pm.  More details will follow in due course, but do please make a diary note!

Finally looking ahead to next year – some of you will remember that a suggestion was made at our AGM to hold a ‘The Importance of Twinning post Brexit’ meeting.  The date for this will be Friday April 5th 2019; arrangements are of course ongoing but we do know that the Oberbürgermeister Herr Starke will be coming from Bamberg.  Our Mayor has also been invited to speak.

Best wishes


September 2018

Hello Everyone

I am writing to thank you all for making the visit from Bamberg such a great success it is always a relief when things go according to plan. This extends from finding hosts for 20 visitors, many of whom were new to Bedford and even England thanks to the non-members who helped here and I hope you will accept complimentary membership for the rest of this year with a view to rejoining next year. There were around 60 at both the Welcome Party and Farewell Dinner, at the latter wonderfully entertained by Clifford and his Four in a Bar quartet.

These events can only work with your support and hard work. I am also grateful to Murray for arranging the excellent Eagle Brewery tour (surely a regular fixture from hereon), Graham for the visit to the Mayor's Parlour and Robin for the Sikh temple visit. Thanks to those who joined us on the coach trips to Althorp and Wimpole Hall, also those who came to a busy London to help manage the group (we lost only one of them!).

The gift given to me by the hosts was much appreciated, but I arrange all of this because I believe in the Twinning and seeing people across the two towns having such a good time is sufficient reward in itself. We have events scheduled for the rest of this year, a talk by Robin on Friday 2 November on the German language and our St. Nikolaus party evening on Saturday 1 December. However the next big event will be on the evening of Friday 5 April "The Importance of Twinning Post-Brexit", which the Oberbürgermeister Andreas Starke has agreed to attend, also John Hobley from the British German Association and possibly a representative from the German Embassy, so we hope you will give that your full support.

It will be our turn to visit Bamberg next year and I have already discussed options with Ursula for places to visit. Nothing is definite yet but trips to the historic Ansbach and the nearby tourist hot-spot Rothenberg ob der Tauber on one day, a coach tour through the beautiful Swiss Franconia to the famous beer-producing town of Kulmbach on another and then a day in Nuremberg by train. There will also be plenty of time for our UNESCO World-Heritage partner town, not least the usual invitation to the famous Altes Rathaus for a welcome reception.

Flights are not available to book yet, but I hope to get a week from Monday 2 or Tuesday 3 September 2019, possibly going with Easyjet to Munich if the times are more sociable. This makes for a longer journey over there but is probably worth it, and we can always find a place to visit on the return journey if time allows. Once booked, I will update you so please keep that week free if you wish to join us. If it will be your first visit, then Ursula will look to allocate hosts I assure you, you will have a great time . I know some plan to drive for a longer holiday which is fine.

I look forward to seeing you all at our forthcoming events. Best wishes.


June 2018

Hello all,

you may remember that a  concert was mentioned at the AGM - we can now confirm that this will take place on Thursday July 5th at 7.30pm.  There will be musicians and singers from Wootton Upper School and the ETA Hoffmann Gymnasium from Bamberg.  The venue is Kimberley Sixth Form College which is part of Wootton Upper school, in Green Lane, Stewartby.  

Attendance is free of charge and there are parking spaces on the college complex.  Previous concerts have been of a very high standard and an enjoyable evening of varied music is guaranteed.

Best wishes, Rosemary

May 2018

Hello everyone,

You are warmly invited to our Stammtisch on Saturday June 9th – meeting at 6.30pm at The Pilgrim’s pub in Bedford.  There will be plenty of space for us to find a table and order meals as we wish.  Parking is available free after 6pm in Greyfriars opposite the Bus Station.  Do please come along for a social get-together.

Our next event will be the Summer Supper on Saturday July 21st from 5pm at Edward & Jo’s house.  This is always a popular event; the charge for supper and drinks is just £10. 

Plans are progressing with the programme for the Bamberg visitors; they arrive on September 4th.  The Farewell Dinner – to which everyone is invited – takes place on Sunday September 9th at Vesuvios.  Edward will provide more details – including day trips – at the Summer Supper.

Finally a reminder to look at our website  We try to keep this updated – if you know of anyone who might be interested in the BBA please direct them to it!

Best wishes, Rosemary

March 2018

Hello everyone,

This should be a Spring Newsletter – the first of 2018!

A reminder that our AGM will take place on Friday March 23rd at 7.30pm in the Wren Room, St. Mark’s Church, Brickhill. On that evening subscriptions of £10 each are due.  Refreshments – tea, coffee and homemake cakes will be provided at the end of the meeting.

We are holding our Annual Dinner on Saturday April 28th from 6pm at Vesuvio restaurant, Sharnbrook Hotel. I am attaching the Party Menu for you to choose from, 3 courses including tea/coffee for £22.50. Click here to view menu. Please let Margarete know BY APRIL 6th latest  WITH YOUR MENU CHOICES – ALSO IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND.  This means that we will know who to chase nearer the time!  Payment will be on the night.

I recently received a lovely thank-you note from June Paull explaining how they became involved with the BBA; copies of this will be available for you to read at the AGM.

Best wishes


November 2017

As you know we have our St. Nikolaus evening on Friday December 1st in St. Mark’s Church Hall, starting at 7pm. The price this year is just £10 per person which includes a welcome drink of Glühwein, hot supper with German-style food and desserts,  and a choice of drinks. Money is payable on the evening please.  It is a very sociable evening to start the festive season.

October 2017

Hello everyone,

Our next meeting is on Friday November 3rd at 7.30pm. Please note however that the venue is St. Mark's Church, Calder Rise, Brickhill.

I hope to see you there!

July 2017

Hello everyone,

As you know our Summer Supper is to be held on Saturday July 22 nd starting at 5pm, at Edward & Jo’s house, The Walled Garden, Church Lane, Pavenham, MK43 7PU. A hot supper with salads, delicious desserts and drink will be provided and hopefully we will be able to sit outside in good weather. The cost is as before just £10, payable on the night. Please do support this event as it helps us to raise money to fund twinning activities.

I look forward to seeing you there,

Best wishes


Message from Edward:

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday at the Summer Supper if you are able to attend. Please remember that the road between Oakley and Pavenham is closed so you will need to travel via Milton Ernest or Stevington. We can take around 8 cars so if some of you are able to travel together, that would be useful. If you have to park on the road, please park on the other side next to the churchyard.

I am still trying to complete the itinerary with Ursula but it is going to be rather full so here are some brief details before I provide a complete breakdown with timings. It is likely that travel to and from Stansted will be by 2 minibus taxis starting at Pavenham (one could leave from Bedford if that would be helpful]).

Wednesday - optional morning walking tour of Bamberg followed by a brewery tour at Klosterbräu and lunch there (payable separately) before visiting the Brewery Museum at Michaelsberg

Thursday - a coach trip to the  Franconia Wine region visiting Schweinfurt (walking tour), Bad Kissingen and finishing at the oldest wine town of Hammelburg with a guided tour followed by a wine tasting for those interested in buying some bottles.

Friday - a Welcome Reception by the Council at 5 pm followed by the Official Dinner.

Saturday - evening party in the village of Guisfeld.

Sunday - morning walking tour of Bamberg in the War with the Deutsche Englische Club, evening performance of "Jekyll and Hyde" at the ETA Hoffmann Theatre.

Monday - travel to Würzburg by train for a guided tour and visit to the Residenz.

Full details of hosts will be provided over the next week or so, particularly for those visiting Bamberg for the first time.

Please let me know if you have any queries.

Regards. Edward

March 2017

Hello everyone,

Firstly an invitation to attend our A.G.M. on Friday March 31st at St. Mark’s Church – in The Wren Room, starting at 7.30pm. This is an important meeting, not least because subscriptions will be due for the year to come.  The Meeting proposes to increase membership to £10 per person; there has been no increase for very many years now.  As always tea/coffee and homemade cakes will be served after our meeting.

Friday May 12th is the date for our Annual Dinner at Pavenham Golf Club. On the previous day a delegation from Bamberg will be arriving to celebrate our 40th Twinning Anniversary and plans are being finalised. Once again the price is held at £20 per person which represents excellent value. 

Best wishes,


February 2017

Hello Members

A Happy New Year to you all. 

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Bedford Bamberg Town Twinning so we are hoping that it is properly celebrated. Graham and I were at a meeting with the Mayor earlier this week and while unsurprisingly there is no money available, a small delegation may come over from Friday 12 May for the weekend. Sadly the annual Springfest is not going to happen but we hope a programme can be put together, possibly with a road or more to be named relating to Bamberg. Our Annual Dinner has also been scheduled for the Friday evening, again at Pavenham Park Golf Club with the cost held at £20 which represents excellent value. Please await further detail.

Bamberg are also planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary during our visit from 5 to 12 September, probably during the weekend with full details yet to be provided, but we believe there will be an official dinner together with the Deutsche Englische Club also celebrating their 40th. Indeed the UK ambassador in Berlin hopes to attend, but if not able to, he will ensure a senior diplomat takes his place. 

This will be a special celebratory visit, so anyone not wishing or able to be hosted, we could on this occasion look to arrange hotel accommodation at an extra cost. I understand some of you may make your own way by car to Bamberg - that is fine but can you please now confirm this is your intention and if you have host accommodation arranged. Those intending to fly, can you please book your flights asap. If you are not planning to travel this time, can you also let me know if you have not already done so. Some have commented on the unsocial flight times - these are unfortunate but it would cost considerably more to use other flights, but again, if you wish to make your own way to Bamberg, that would be entirely acceptable. I need to update Ursula so can you please inform me as to your intentions without delay.

Our next event will be the AGM on Friday 31 March from 19.30 at St Marks Brickhill so please do try to attend. Furthermore Great Barford have invited us to their Cheese and Wine evening on Saturday 28 January from 8 pm at their Village Hall. It was a good evening last year but unfortunately Jo and I will be away. If you would like to attend, please let me know by next Wednesday so I can advise Great Barford.

Best wishes.


November 2016

Hello everyone,

Christmas is fast approaching and our thoughts turn to St. Nikolaus again. We are celebrating on Friday December 2nd, starting at 7pm in St. Mark’s Church Hall, Calder Rise, Bedford.  There will be a welcome glass of Glühwein, and a hot German-style supper, delicious home-made desserts and a choice of drinks.  After the supper, at 8.45pm there will be concert of Christmas music performed by Spirits of Ayre (Rosemary Bootiman and her singers).  As the evening includes the concert,  tickets will be £15. 

Looking forward to seeing you there to start the festive season.

Best wishes


August 2016

It is now less than a month before the group of 21 arrive from Bamberg and so I attach a revised itinerary which hopefully will be clear, but please let me know if you have any queries.

In case of a flight delay on the arrival evening, I will set up a way of letting people know on a round-robin basis but of course you can also check the Stansted website.

The Welcome Party will be on a bring and share basis and Margarete is to collate if you plan to bring savouries, sweets or both, so we have a reasonable balance. Normally there is too much but better than too little. Please let her know your intentions. The Walled Garden can accommodate around 9 cars, after which the gates will be closed, so if you arrive after that, there is a turning place at the top of the hill and come back down to park alongside the churchyard across the road. There is also parking in the Bury at the top. For those travelling in ones or twos, perhaps you can car share if possible - let me know and I will try to assist.

There are still a few seats left for the two coach trips, so please let me know if you would like to join one or the other. For those booked and yet to pay me, can you please do so asap as I have to pay for the coaches and Hatfield next week.

If anyone is very keen to join the trip by train to London, you will be welcome although I can only accommodate a few extra otherwise the group would simply be too unwieldy to get around the busy streets.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Farewell Dinner at Cranfield. As normal, it is complimentary to guests and hosts, but for other members, the charge is still a very reasonable £15 payable on the evening. Please contact Margarete if you wish to reserve a place, ideally by the end of August, so we can be sure of total numbers attending.

Well, if everything runs as planned, it should be an enjoyable week for guests and hosts alike, also members taking part in any of the events. I am looking forward to seeing you all.



July 2016

Hello everyone,

This newsletter is to invite you to our Summer Supper on Saturday July 23rd, from 5pm at Edward & Jo’s house, The Walled Garden, Church Lane, Pavenham. 

The cost is just £10 per person, payable on the night, to include supper with desserts, drinks and entertainment in the form of games/quizzes. 

As you know we then welcome our visitors from Bamberg on September 6th; they are staying a complete week this time.  Edward will outline the programme in more detail at the Summer supper; but all members are most welcome to participate in the events and day trips.

I look forward to seeing you on July 23rd.

Best wishes,


May 2016

Firstly a reminder about our Spring walk; we meet on Saturday 21st May in Mowsbury Park Golf Club Car Park at 11am. The walk will be led by Alfons and afterwards we will go to Mowsbury Park café for refreshments.

Our Stammtisch is taking place as usual at Cranfield University Social Club on Saturday June 11th.  We meet from 6pm for dinner to be served at 6.30pm; many of you know we have 3 substantial courses, wine, tea/coffee and mints for £15, which is payable on the night IN CASH please.

Please make a diary note that our Summer Supper is on Saturday July 23rd at Edward’s house – details to follow in due course.

Best wishes


January 2016

Dear Members

A Happy New Year to all of you.

It is incredible to think that one month has passed since our St Nikolaus evening, which again was a great success and our thanks goes to the committee plus others for the hard work put into this event.

We are now planning events for the forthcoming year starting with the AGM on Friday 18 March 7.30 pm at St Marks in Brickhill - please attend as this gives you an opportunity to have your say. As usual it will end with coffee or tea plus cakes.

I have agreed a date of Saturday 23 April with Pavenham Park Golf Club for our Annual Dinner. The menu is attached with this email. They have kept the price unchanged and those who have attended in the past will acknowledge this represents excellent value for a quality meal in such a lovely venue. There is one understandable caveat - they need to have at least 20 attending to make the event viable in terms of bringing in their catering and serving staff. Last year we just made it to 20. I have agreed to confirm definitely by the end of the month. Members are welcome to invite family or friends.

Finally just a reminder that our friends from Bamberg will be arriving on the evening of Tuesday 6 September and an itinerary is being arranged with Ursula. They will depart on the morning of Tuesday 13 September so please keep this week free if you are able to host or wish to take part in any events or excursions.