Bedford Bamberg Association

News Archives


Message from Rosemary: St Nikolaus Party

Hello everyone,

We are celebrating St. Nikolaus on Saturday December 3rd from 6pm in the large hall at St. Mark’s Church, Calder Rise, Brickhill.

As in previous years – which seems like a long time ago now – the Committee will provide Glühwein, a choice of other drinks, a hot supper (with vegetarian also available) and desserts. It is a good opportunity to meet up before Christmas festivities begin in earnest and I do hope you can join us. The cost will be £15 per person; please let Margarete know by Saturday November 26th if you can come by email: or by telephone: 01234 764295.

Thank you and best wishes



Town Twinning Visit to Bedford

Bamberg – Following a 45-year tradition, the Bamberg- Bedford exchange visit took place again this year.

For the trip, organised by Ursula Kalb, a member of the German-English club, 19 visitors from Bamberg flew to stay with host families in the twin town of Bedford.

On the first day, the group were welcomed to the town hall by the Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson. A first for this year was an opportunity to visit the new Bavarian Delegation in Stratford Place London. The group were cordially received with typically English tea and biscuits. A tour of the capital completed the day.

Oxford and more.

Further highlights were visits to Oxford and the stately home at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. As usual the hosts treated their guests to typical English specialities and warm hospitality.

On the last evening to close the visit, the farewell dinner was held at Pavenham Golf Club. In a relaxed atmosphere the Bamberg visitors took their leave of newly made friends and the BBA, hosted by their Chairman, Edward Keech. In September next year, a group from Bedford will be visiting Bamberg.

Those who would like to be involved next time can register their interest by email to or find further information on the homepage of the Deutsch-Englischen Clubs at:

Translation of newspaper article courtesy of Murray Turner



Message from Edward

I would like to again express my thanks to everyone who helped with the recent visit by our friends in Bamberg, whether acting as hosts, as well as joining in the events or visits. Everything went according to schedule which is always a surprise to me and also the Bürgermeister seemed to be very happy throughout his time with us.

The Mayor's Reception got the visit off to a good start on Thursday morning and then the afternoon Welcome Party gave everyone a good opportunity to relax and get to know one another. I am grateful for the excellent spread that members contributed to, but we still have one or two serving dishes needing to be returned, so please let me know if something belongs to you.

Ursula and I have already discussed options for our visit to Bamberg next year. While it may be a year away, I have already booked flights for Jo and myself departing from Stansted on Monday 4 September and returning Monday 11 September. The flight times of 8.35 and 11.40 respectively are a little more bearable than on some of the other days. You can book sooner or later, but the important thing is that the dates are fixed so no excuses about being double booked. If you wish to travel to Bamberg by other means, that is also not a problem.

Those who hosted will hopefully be able to stay with their guests, but if you did not take part this year, Ursula is confident that she can find new hosts, but obviously please let me know before booking a flight.

Rosemary will shortly be sending out details on our future events and I look forward to meeting up with you shortly.

Best wishes




Hello everyone,

Many of you will have taken part in some of the recent events which took place when our Bamberg visitors were with us. We are extremely grateful to Edward – and Jo – for their hard work in making the visit such a success.

We have a couple of dates for your diaries: firstly Sunday October 9th from 5pm our Stammtisch which this time will be at The Red Lion in Elstow. There is plenty of parking. No need to book, please just come along.

Secondly we will be organising our St. Nikolaus evening on Saturday December 3rd at 6pm, as usual at St. Mark’s Church Hall. More details will follow nearer the time – you will need to book for this please.

With best wishes


JULY 2022

Edward has provided the following detailed itinerary for our visitors from Bamberg later in the summer.

Wednesday 31 August

Group land on flight from Nuremberg at Stansted 17.05 and will be met by myself at the Arrivals and hopefully join the Expresslines coach by 18.00 for the journey to Bedford with estimated time of arrival around 19.30 at Mowsbury Park main car park off Wentworth Drive (to be confirmed). Hosts: please check Stansted arrival information before setting out to collect guest[s] although I will try to message if long delay. Bürgermeister Wolfgang Metzner and Bamberg officer Brigitte Riegelbauer will join the visit until the Saturday to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Twinning.

Thursday 1 September

Reception with Mayor Dave Hodgson from 10.00 at the Mayor's Parlour in St Paul's Square, followed by a planned tree planting ceremony along the River Embankment (precise location still to be determined). Lunchtime and early afternoon free, then Welcome Party to commence 16.00 in the village of Pavenham. This is on a bring and share basis so hosts please bring sufficient for you and your guests. Please let me know if you are bringing savoury or sweet or both to ensure balance. Drinks will be provided. Members not hosting are more than welcome to attend.

Friday 2 September

Visit to Wrest Park from 11.00. I will make a group booking for guests and any hosts who wish to join the visit. Cost will be circa £10 unless English Heritage members (free). Depending on weather, visit will last around 2 to 3 hours including lunch. I would ask hosts not joining the visit to drop off and pick up their guests. If this is a problem, please let me know and I will try to arrange alternative transport. Rest of day free.

Saturday 3 September

Train to London 9.05 to London Farringdon then to Bond Street area in good time for 11.00 visit to Bavarian embassy, Pub lunch before a visit to some of the tourist sights of the capital in the afternoon. Train back to Bedford in the early evening. Hosts are welcome to join this trip. To avoid possible queues at Bedford station on Saturday morning, it may be desirable to buy travelcards in advance.

Sunday 4 September

Free day with hosts or an opportunity to explore Bedford and the surrounding area. Perhaps book a relaxing afternoon cruise along the Great Ouse with the John Bunyan Community Boat, possibly enjoying a Cream Tea or Ploughman's Lunch.

Monday 5 September

Coach trip departing Bedford 8.30 for Oxford with a 45 minute stop at Bicester Retail Park on the way. Once in Oxford, I will give those interested a guided walking tour of the main sights before leaving free time for lunch and afternoon visits before departure at 16.30. There are a limited number of free seats available for hosts/members on a first come first served basis at a cost of £20. Precise pick-up/drop-off location to be advised.

Tuesday 6 September

Free day with hosts or perhaps take a train or bus to a nearby town.

Farewell Dinner at Pavenham Park Golf Club to be served from 19.00 so arrive at least 30 minutes before to order and pay for your drinks from the bar and find your table. This will be a 3 course meal followed by coffee and mints. As normal, there will be no charge for the guests and hosts. Members not hosting are more than welcome to join the evening at a cost of £25. A menu will shortly be provided and I will need your choices at least a week before.

Wednesday 7 September

Coach to leave Bedford (probably Mowsbury Park car park again) T 9.45 for Stansted so please ensure that you drop guests off in good time.

MAY 2022

Hello everyone,

I hope you have been keeping well; it was lovely to see so many of you at our AGM recently.

Two upcoming events:

Stammtisch: Sunday June 12th, from 5pm

at The Pilgrim’s Progress Pub in Bedford for an informal ‘Stammtisch’ evening. No need to confirm in advance; please just turn up.


Summer Supper: Saturday July 16th

at Edward and Jo’s 5pm. Supper and drinks will be provided by the Committee; the cost per person is £12. Please could you let Margarete know by Saturday July 9th if you are coming. 01234 764295 Or email:


Visitors from Bamberg arrive Wednesday August 31st (evening) for a week; a provisional programme is being organised. The Farewell Dinner will be Tuesday September 6th in the evening.


Visit to Birmingham Christmas Market (a German market as Birmingham is twinned with Frankfurt) – November 6th. Organised by Saffords Coaches.


Best wishes



MARCH 2022

Hello everyone,

We are holding our Annual General Meeting on Friday March 25th at 7pm in the Wren Room at St. Mark’s Church.  An Agenda will be issued on the evening.

It will be a good opportunity to meet members again after so long and Graham will be collecting  subscriptions - £15 please.  These funds will be necessary to  help finance the visit by guests from Bamberg in early September.

It would be very helpful if you could let Margarete know if you can come as refreshments (homemade cakes!) will be provided at the end of the meeting.  01234 764295  or

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on 25th,



Hi everyone,

I hope you are all managing to keep well in these times of covid which are now hopefully coming to an end.

It is about time that the BBA reactivated following the unfortunate need to cancel our pre-Christmas gathering as Omicron began to spread through the population (unfortunately I am suffering the symptoms now but it could just be a very bad cold as we have no tests available). An AGM is long overdue so we will aim to hold that around the end of March and then work out a programme of events for the forthcoming year.

Brigitte has been in contact from the Rathaus in Bamberg and is proposing an official visit to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the twinning between our towns, to coincide with a group visit albeit probably for a lesser time. I have agreed with Ursula that the best time for this would be from Wednesday 31 August to Wednesday 7 September, so I am letting you know the dates so these can be kept free if possible. Naturally we will be looking for hosts and I hope that those who are in contact with their previous hosts/guests will be willing to take part. Nobody knows how the covid situation will be by then and I will understand if there is some reluctance to host, but eventually life has to go on.

We will be in contact again soon.

Best wishes



Hello everyone,

It’s been so long since we have been able to meet and the Committee would like to invite you to a Christmas celebration on Saturday December 18th, 2.30. – 5 p.m. in the Wren Room at St. Mark’s. Glühwein, soft drinks, Stollen and German Christmas treats will be provided; please could you let Margarete know if you can join us – the cost will be £5. 01234 764295 or by email: We hope that by arranging an afternoon/daylight time, members will be encouraged to join us.

Also Graham has asked me to remind you that he will be collecting subscriptions from anyone who has not yet paid for 2021/22[and possibly even for 2019/20!] before we start a new year at our AGM in 2022. £15 per person would be gratefully received.

We look forward to seeing you,

Best wishes


JULY 2021

Hello everyone

I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the summer months. 

Edward has asked me to let you know that in view of the pandemic situation constantly changing it will not be possible to organise a Summer Supper in the next few weeks, but when the Committee is able to meet we will certainly discuss plans for later in the year, including our usual St. Nikolaus party.

With our best wishes,

Edward and Rosemary


Hello Everyone

Well, it has been a strange and difficult year for most of us. I hope that all of you are coping with this new way of life and managing to stay healthy. It did seem that we were getting on top of this virus during the Summer months but the situation has recently deteriorated and we can only hope the vaccines now being introduced help to bring it back under control.

Ursula has just written to me explaining how bad things are in Germany and in particular in Bamberg, when in the first wave they had not suffered as badly as the UK. Life seems to have closed down almost completely there, although like us, they are going to be allowed a degree of freedom over the festive period.

I have no idea when the BBA will be able to start meeting up again and we may have to hold our AGM via Zoom in March having cancelled the one this year. Membership subscriptions will be carried forward over to next year so there will be nothing to pay for those who paid this year. Will an exchange visit be able to take place in September? Who can tell?

Wishing you a peaceful and safe Christmas.


JUNE 2020

September Visit Postponed to 2021

Sadly I have agreed with Ursula in Bamberg that the official visit this year cannot go ahead due to the virus. Who would have thought that things would get so bad? Even if there was to be a marked improvement by September, there are still likely to be significant restrictions in place such as "social distancing". Arrangements have to be made long before such as booking coaches, places to visit and a venue for the Farewell Dinner, none of which is of course possible. There are also several visitors (and hosts) that are of a certain age, so they are understandably going to be reluctant to take part with the possible risks in travel and sharing homes.

Some Bambergers had already booked their flights with Ryanair and they will probably not be refunded. I have said to Ursula that she is still welcome to visit us privately, but that assumes life is almost back to normal by then. If you are in contact with your visitors and know they have already booked their flights, you may wish to do the same but that is entirely your decision. What happens next year will depend upon circumstances then - do we have a visit here in the Spring and then visit Bamberg in the September, or do we have their visit in September with ours in 2022?

I hope all of you are keeping well and coping with this new way of life. Hopefully it will not be too long before we are all able to meet up again. Our next scheduled event was the Summer Supper for Saturday 1 August which may still be possible although a decision will have to be made by early to mid July, so if "social distancing" is still in full force with households kept apart, prospects are not good. We could always move it to another date but no later than the end of September, in case a degree of normality has returned by then.

Best wishes.



APRIL 2020

We are saddened to announce that Eric Kelk, our Chairman for 14 years and Honorary President has passed away. He was a founding member of our friendship with Bamberg and contributed so much to it. This will be a particularly difficult time for his family and a card has been sent on behalf of members to his daughter.


MARCH 2020

Chairman's Report

Unfortunately as a result of the coronavirus crisis, we were unable to hold our AGM as planned on 20 March at St. Marks and the expectation is that it will be many months before we could consider scheduling this. Consequently I believe the best alternative is to take stock of the past year and update you on plans for the current year which will of course be impacted upon by what is happening globally.

2019/20 Events

These followed the usual format and were successful:

  • our Annual Dinner at Vesuvios on Sunday 28 April

  • a Stammtisch at the Maypole Farm Kempston on Sunday June 9 arranged by Cheryl

  • a Summer Supper in Pavenham on Saturday 13 July

  • a Stammtisch at the Anchor Goldington on Sunday 13 October

  • a talk by Robin Farman about the Hanseatic League at St Marks on Friday 1 November

  • St Nikolaus Abend at St Marks on Friday 6 December

  • a Stammtisch at the Pilgrim's Progress on Sunday 23 February

The highlight of the year was of course our visit to Bamberg in September when over 30 of us made the trip, with coach excursions to Kulmbach, Ansbach/Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and by train to Nuremberg. The Oberbürgermeister hosted a Welcome Reception at the Altes Rathaus and following a city walking tour, we enjoyed a meal at a the Löwenbräu Bierkeller courtesy of Bamberg Council. Finally our thanks go to Ursula, Ludwig and all the hosts for a wonderful Farewell Party in Guisfeld.

The Brexit impasse left us with no alernative other than to cancel our planned evening "The Importance of Twinning Post-Brexit" in April last year and we have decided to await future developments before considering the idea again, probably just as well considering what is happening now.

We had scheduled a programme of events for the forthcoming year including an Annual Dinner on Satuday 2 May, a Stammtisch on Sunday 14 June, a Summer Supper on Saturday 1 August, the visit from Bamberg Tuesday 8 September to Tuesday 15 September and St Nikolaus Abend on Friday 4 December. The first two are almost certainly not going ahead and thereafter we shall await developments. The May Bamberg Beerfest has not taken place these past two years and it is doubtful the Council will hold this again.

Our appreciation goes to Helen for taking over the running of our website and also preparing a Data Protection Privacy Statement which I would ask all of you to read there.

To ensure we can cover the ever increasing cost of welcoming our guests from Bamberg, we have increased our membership fee from £10 to £15 which is still very reasonable. We aim to keep the cost of our two fundraising events as low as possible to encourage attendance so please give these your support if you can. Our Treasurer Graham has produced the accounts to December 2019 and these are attached with his comments.

 I wish to extend my thanks to the committee Rosemary, Graham, Margarete, Murray, Iris, Mary and Robin for their support plus anyone else who helps with our events, including my other half Jo. Please remember that new blood is always welcome.

Sadly I have just heard from Rosemary that Bill died some two weeks ago from his longstanding health problems and all our thoughts will be with her as well as the family.

Finally I would as always welcome any suggestions for future events and venues for our Stammtisch which will be held around three times a year rather than just annually, once everything returns to normal as it eventually will. Meanwhile I wish that all of you keep well in these difficult times.


MARCH 2020

It will come as no surprise that we are postponing/cancelling our AGM for the time being. Usually we collect subscriptions for the year at the meeting and so we would be very grateful if you could make payment by Bank transfer of £15 per person please. Nat West Bank Bedford, Account name Bedford Bamberg Association, Sort Code 60 02 13, Account No: 51673878.

Alternatively please post a cheque payable to Bedford Bamberg Association to Graham Hayes, 67 Clover Drive, Rushden NN10 0UE.

It is likely that events we were planning such as an Annual Dinner on May 2nd, Stammtisch on June 14th will have to be re-organised. We may still be able to go ahead with the Summer Supper planned for August 1st.

With best wishes to everyone,




Hello Members 

I send my best wishes for the forthcoming year.

Rosemary has written to you about the recent sad loss of our longstanding member Tony. Tony with his wife Evelyn were great supporters of the BBA over the years and he will be sadly missed.

We will begin our programme this year  with a Stammtisch from 5 pm  on Sunday 16th February at the Pilgrims Progress - simply turn up if you wish to attend and we will try to join some tables together. This will be followed by our AGM on Friday 13th March at St Marks from 7 pm when we will outline forthcoming events and give you an opportunity to have your say on future direction.

It is our turn to host the visitors from Bamberg and it seems probable that they will arrive on Tuesday 8th September and depart on Tuesday 15 September, although Ursula informs me that some are considering driving. So please keep these dates free if you are able to host or wish to take part in the events that we arrange. As previously mentioned, covering the cost of the visit is a challenge, in particular the Farewell Dinner. Consequently we propose to increase the annual membership fee from £10 to £15 to help towards this and will seek agreement at the AGM - this remains excellent value considering the low cost of our Summer Supper and St Nikolaus evenings.

Finally I would like to draw your attention to the Bedford Bamberg Assocation website, kindly kept up to date by Helen, and in particular our revised Data Protection Policy which shows that we take our responsibility here seriously. I would ask that you read this and then for the record confirm to Graham by email at  that you are happy with it. Furthermore, if you plan to take part in forthcoming visits, it could be helpful to provide next of kin contact details. This is not something that has caused a problem in the past, but it is always best to be ready in case.

Best wishes.



Hello everyone,

As you know, we are holding our St. Nikolaus evening on Friday December 6th, starting at 7pm in St. Mark’s Church Hall.  The charge will be just £12, which includes a welcome drink of Glühwein, a hot German-style supper, desserts, and other drinks.

We have invited the students from Bamberg to come along and we will be singing a selection of German & English carols with musical accompaniment.

In order for the Committee to cater in good time please let Margarete know by FRIDAY NOVEMBER 29th if you would like to come; 01234 764295 or email:

I look forward to seeing you soon,

Best wishes



September 2019

Over 30 members spent a wonderful week in Bamberg in early September 2019, most accommodated in the homes of local residents. Here is the group outside Bamberg's Old Town Hall where, in the Rococco Room, they were formally received by the Bamberg Oberbürgermeister, Herr Andreas Starke. In welcoming the group, he emphasised the value of town twinning in bringing communities together. The group enjoyed visits to Kulmbach, Ansbach, Rothenburg and Nuremberg during the week.


September 2019

Message from Rosemary

We would like to invite you to a Stammtisch evening on Sunday October 13th, from 5pm.  We are meeting at The Anchor in Goldington Road (a Hungry Horse pub).  No need to book in advance, please just join us.

On Friday November 1st Robin is giving a talk in the Wren Room at St. Mark’s, 7.30pm.  An interesting title – The Hanseatic League – a Forerunner of the EU? A charge of £5 will cover tea/coffee and cakes.

Our St. Nikolaus evening will be on Friday December 6th – more details to follow.

At our Committee Meeting it was agreed we need to consider raising more funds to provide for September 2020 and the visit to Bedford by people from Bamberg.  We propose increasing individual membership to £15 per annum. We would seek members’ approval at the AGM in Spring 2020.

I hope to see you soon,

Best wishes



July 2019

Message from Edward

Hello Everyone

I look forward to seeing you at the Summer Supper on Saturday 13th July if you are able to attend. While the cost is only £10, this is one of the events that enables us to raise funds so please do try to come if you are free. The drive can take several cars but once full, you can park outside the church across the road (facing down the hill). I will close the gates just after 5 pm. Let us hope for good weather.

For those joining the group visit to Bamberg in September, I will start to collect payment to cover the cost of the transfers and two trips including coach travel, tips, entrances and guided tours. I have calculated:

  • £60 for those going by car

  • £75 for those requiring a transfer one way only

  • £90 for those using both transfers.

You can give me a cheque at the Summer Supper (no cash please) or send a cheque to my home address. Cheques are payable to me and not the BBA as I will be buying the Euros online and paying all costs direct. They will not be presented until August. Alternatively you can pay my bank account by direct transfer under advice.

Please email if you have any queries.




June 2019

Message from Rosemary

Hello everyone,

Our Summer Supper is fast approaching – Saturday July 13th, starting from 5pm at Edward & Jo’s house in Pavenham. There is good parking availability at the house but as always it would be good to car-share as much as possible.  The cost is just £10 as in previous years, which includes drinks and a tasty supper provided by the Committee.  It is ESSENTIAL that you let Margarete know please by Saturday July 6th if you are coming, to enable us to cater. ( 01234 764295.

Also Margarete and I are planning to visit the National Army Museum in Chelsea to see the ‘Goodbye Germany’ Exhibition examining the effects of more than 70 years of the British Army’s presence in Germany, which has now come to an end.  We will travel by train to London – do please contact me if you are interested in joining us on Saturday July 6th.

Best wishes



February 2019

Message from Edward

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 VesuviO 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. Please see menu.

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 at and pay me £5 per head, either by a direct remittance to my bank account (please contact me for details) or cash at the AGM. I will then pay any excess deposit onto VesuviO 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.



January 2019

Message from Edward Regarding Trip to Bamberg, September 2019

Hello Everyone

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and I wish you the best for 2019.

Further to my communication in November most of which is attached below in amended form as a reminder, I am grateful to those who have confirmed by email to booking flights. I have decided that it makes sense for everyone to make their own way to Gatwick by train or own transport. Jo and I will probably stay overnight at a Gatwick hotel to avoid any travel delays. Anyone is welcome to join us in doing this and I will hopefully find a reasonable price nearer the date.

As I am away some of the next 2 months for some Winter sun, I need to start arranging the visit at the Bamberg end with Ursula as it is often necessary to book coaches and tours well in advance, as well as to sort the transfer to and from Bamberg. Furthermore hosts have to be arranged. That is going to be difficult without some idea of final numbers.

Therefore I would ask all members yet to respond to advise if they intend joining the visit this year or wish to be excluded, or remain undecided for whatever reason. Those going apart from the new travellers, have you contacted your hosts to confirm that you can stay with them? That would be very helpful and avoid me having to chase you individually. We have enjoyed a wonderful time each year we have visited and this year should be no different. The costs are always kept to a reasonable level.

Finally Rosemary will shortly be sending out dates for BBA events this year and I look forward to seeing you at these. However please try to keep free the evening of Friday 5 April for our "The Importance of Twinning Post-Brexit" event as I am hoping for your support.

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.

November 2018

Message from Edward Regarding Trip to Bamberg, September 2019

I have been searching the flight options for next year. While Ryanair fly to Nuremberg which is an hour away from Bamberg, the flight times both ways are difficult involving an early morning departure going and very late arrival back at Stansted on the return.


So I have decided to fly from Gatwick to Munich with Easyjet as the cost currently is cheaper and more importantly the times are better, even if there are longer transfer times. Furthermore we have the option of travelling by train if we cannot get the numbers for a coach and indeed that may be preferable. So the details are:


Monday 2 Sept. Gatwick to Munich Flight U2 8983 13.25 - 16.20


Monday 9 Sept. Munich to Gatwick Flight U2 8984 16.50 - 17.50


I have booked the flights for Jo and I at a total cost of £158 which includes one hold case up to 23 kg so very reasonable. So if you are planning to fly, I would suggest you book promptly before the price goes up. Can you please then confirm to me and also advise how you would prefer to travel to Gatwick. Also can those going by car to Bamberg also let me know.


This should be a great week as I have the following trips in mind apart from what we do in Bamberg itself:

  • A visit to Ansbach with a guided tour, and late afternoon on to the picturesque and tourist hot-spot Rothenberg-ob-der-Tauber.

  • A visit to the "beer capital" of Bavaria, Kulmbach, returning through the beautiful Swiss Franconia.

  • A visit by train to Nuremberg, perhaps optional.

As you know, I will do my best to keep costs as low as possible.


Many of you will have hosts already arranged, but if not, we will do our best to do this for you on the basis that you will hopefully host them the following year. We have never failed to find hosts for anyone. If you wish to stay in a hotel, one of the hosts, Vanessa, is a manager in one in the centre so a stay there could be arranged. Please do not delay booking your flight as accommodation can be sorted out subsequently.


Please email me if you have any queries but I look forward to hearing from you asap. Hope to see you all at our St Nikolaus evening on Saturday 1 December.


Best wishes.



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 in Pavenham. 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 in 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.