Harpenden Common 2018

Forthcoming and Recent Events

We hold a number of social and fundraising events throughout the year. Following are entries of events - future and past.

Check your diary and join us, we look forward to seeing you!

Forthcoming Events

Recent Events

Friends Social Evening - 12th July 2022

Summer evening at the Odds! Summer evening at the Odds!

As for most of Europe, Harpenden has been experiencing unusually high daytime temperatures. But day turns to evening, the heat dies down, with perhaps a gentle breeze, then what could be better than a refreshing drink with friends in the garden of the Oddfellows Arms? And this was us on Tuesday evening 12th July, reviewing the excellent past weekend visit of Freunde von Harpenden and essentially chilling-out.
Two photographers Paul Gloess and Linda Fryd, ensured that no one was left out.

Town Twinning visit - 7th to 11th July 2022

After a two year wait our Friends from Alzey will visit us for a planned and well featured long July weekend. Please see the Visits page.

Joint Town Twinning at Harpenden Carnival - 18th June 2022

To promote town twinning in Harpenden, Friends of Alzey shared a booth with the Friends of Cosne at 55th Harpenden Summer Carnival on the Common.
It was a good summer event in spite of the wind and the rain! See the entry on our Facebook page.

Town Twinning celebration evening - 23rd April 2022

We were delighted to see many of you with your friends and neighbours at Park Hall last Saturday for our Twinning Celebration Evening. It was a very special occasion at which we were joined by the Town Mayor and some Friends of Cosne for a scrumptious buffet meal and presentations on Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire and Alzey.
Thanks to those who prepared the foods, the salads and desserts so expertly, donated prizes for the raffle, decorated the tables and the hall and assisted making this an enjoyable and memorable evening.
We were very pleased that some guests decided to join the Friends of Alzey following this evening’s success, and we warmly welcome them.

Annual General Meeting - 24th February 2022

The 2021/2022 AGM was held in the Function Room of the Plough & Harrow pub. It was the first face-to-face meeting of the year and very well attended. An excellent get-together with food, drinks and a lot of conversation. Back to business: Susan Vinther (Chair) presented her reflections on the year. Hayley Young (Vice Chair) presented the financials, deputising for Andy (Treasurer). Rosemary Ross (President) thanked the committee for their endeavours. Click here for a copy of Susan's annual report. Special thanks to Jo (Social Secretary) for organising the event.

Friends Social Evening - 11th January & 8th February 2022

Friends Social Evenings (in English), take place at 7.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month in the Oddfellows Arms. They are good relaxing evenings, pleasant conversations and a few surprises sometimes! Interested? Join us next month. Check the "News" section on the right or the latest Newsletter to verify the date.

Zoom meeting with Friends of Harpenden -
13th December 2021

We held a Zoom call / joint celebration with our Friends of Harpenden in Alzey on Monday 13th December. As we had done in December 2020 we celebrated in our own homes with Glühwein and Christmas cheer. There were about 12 sets of people on the call including 5 from Alzey. All went well. For those interested, Glühwein recipies still may be found here.

Annual Quiz Evening - 9th October 2021

Our Quiz Evening on Saturday 9th October at Park Hall, was a huge success. Question Master, Ginny St John Glew conducted the quiz presenting a wide range of interesting topics. Every quiz participant was a winner and many too who entered the raffle. Including a fish & chip supper, ticket prices were reduced to £10 per head to encourage members and friends. 45 attendees participated and we were still able to return a profit for the event. A fun time for everyone and vielen dank to all those involved with the event planning and organisation.

Friends Social Evenings - 14th Sept & 12th Oct

Pleasurable social evenings, this time inside the Oddfellows Arms. We look forward to the next social evening in November.

Friends Social Evening - 10th August

Evening at the Odds! We spent a pleasurable social evening in the garden of the Oddfellows Arms. After such a long interval it was just good to meet again and chat, put the world to rights and so on. Thanks to Paul for the picture. We look forward to the next social evening in September.

Sunday Walk - 11th July

We had a pleasant short Sunday morning walk into Rothamsted Park around to Hatching Green and then back to the town via West Common. It was well attended and we were delighted to meet a new member, Karine. Thanks to Jo for the picture.

Zoom with Mayors of Alzey and Harpenden - 4th July

Screen shot of zoom call Our Town Mayor Councillor Paul Cousin, Bürgermeister Christoph Burkhard and many members of the Friends of Alzey and Friends of Harpenden met online recently to celebrate our ongoing friendship. The pandemic has made in-person visits impossible, but our determination to keep the friendship alive was the keynote of the Mayor’s speeches.
There was also a most entertaining contribution by Sylvia and Tom, who talked about their first visit to Alzey and how they are looking forward to hosting their friends Klaus and Hiltrud.
Cornelia was a superb translator, and the whole event was inspiring.
Susan ably chaired the meeting and made a presentation on behalf of the Friends of Alzey.
Following our successful call, Cllr. Paul Cousin wrote us a letter of thanks and re-iterated the importance of keeping our twin towns alive.

AGM - 24th April 2021

Owing to the pandemic our Annual General Meeting was moved from February to April. It took place as a Zoom call with some of our Friends in Alzey joining us.
Following our March social call, members submitted photographs and two collections were presented: one showing pictures of Harpenden and the surrounding areas with the changing seasons and one that is specifically Covid-19 related including tests and vaccinations.
The meeting was an upbeat and positive event, enjoyed by all. Click here to view the meeting minutes for 2020/21.

Festive Celebration Call 14th Dec 2020

A Glühwein Social Evening Zoom call took place in the comfort of our own homes! From the November newsletter we followed recipes for mulled white and red wine and imbibed as the call progressed. A cheerful prelude to Weihnachtszeit.

Online Quiz Evening - 24th October

Following a successful event in June, Andy Young compiled and hosted another Zoom Quiz evening on Saturday 24th October. The quiz was fun with a range of general and topical questions. Included too was an interesting round of identifying tourist detinations from visitors' negative reports! As before there was no emphasis on winning, it was all about enjoying time together. Thanks again Andy!

Joint Celebratory Event with our Friends in Alzey

On Sunday 5th July we toasted our friendship with Alzey. We hosted a Zoom call at the time when our celebration dinner would have taken place ending our German friends visit here. Our new Town Mayor, Cllr. Nicola Linacre and Bürgermeister Christoph Burkhard from Alzey took part in a short get together with friends from both Harpenden and from Alzey. Over 30 people attended the call. It featured messages from both town mayors, a song beautifully performed by Nina Vinther and a presentation celebrating past times and looking forward to the future.

Click here for a copy of the presentation slides.

27th June 2020 - Friends of Alzey Online Quiz

Another 'first' for Friends of Alzey: an online quiz conducted via Zoom on Saturday 27th June. This event lived up to the promise of a fun and social event. Questions of a general nature were set and the event hosted by Andy Young. Between 20 and 30 people atended, some in family groups and it was pitched very well for all participants. Particular thanks to Andy for his industry and we look forward to another such occasion.

Click here for a copy of the quiz slides.

Friends of Alzey Stammtisch Conference Calls

Screen shot of conference callAs of 2nd May we have now had two Virtual Stammtisch conference calls for Friends of Alzey members using the Zoom meeting facility. They were conducted in English for all members and both went particularly well. We had 16 participants in the first call and 24 in the second. In the second call we were joined by two friends who dialed-in from Germany. There will be meetings in the future and details will be provided via email.

2020 - Friends of Alzey Annual Dinner (Cancelled)

Owing to measures for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) taken by the Harpenden Town Council, Our annual dinner at Park Hall on Saturday 25th April 2020 has been cancelled. From the Town Council's website: "The Town Council has been closely following the development of the Coronavirus and considering what action it needs to take to mitigate any risks to its Employees, Councillors and members of the public."

2020 - Friends of Alzey Annual General Meeting

The AGM took place on Thursday 20th February at the Skew Bridge PH, Southdown Road. Many members attended. There was some reflection on 2019, a very successful year in many respects, and looking forward to this year's events. Business was conducted briskly and efficiently giving time and opportunity for a meal and conversation afterwards.

Click here for the Friends of Alzey Chair report for 2019.

Friends Social Evenings in 2019

Following the 2019 AGM we have held four informal Friends of Alzey social evenings at the Oddfellows Arms, Leyton Green. Members have enjoyed a drink and a chat (in English) often about relationships with our European friends but covering all topics. The next two evenings are scheduled for Tuesday 14th January and Tuesday 10th March 2020.

Quiz Night at Park Hall 19th October 2019

The annual Friends of Alzey quiz has built up a loyal and enthusiastic following over the years thanks to the expertly devised question rounds of quizmaster Ginny St John Glew, and the mid-evening break for our fish and chip supper. This year we had a record attendance of over 70 people and raised our biggest total ever towards the cost of entertaining our visitors from Alzey next July. A new feature was Ginny's question round on Deutschland, which boosted the score of many teams; however, only one team could state correctly the number of children fathered by J.S. Bach - 20!

We were delighted to welcome quizzers from the Friends of Cosne and wish them a successful wine-tasting evening next month. Thank you to all who came to the quiz for your support and particular thanks to committee members Hayley Young and Joanne Davies for their hard work in organising such a successful event. We look forward to seeing you again in 2020.

2019 - 40th Anniversary of the 'Friends of Alzey'

Having been founded in 1979 the 'Friends of Alzey' celebrated our 40th anniversary on Saturday 27th April 2019 in Park Hall. We held a special Tea Party in the afternoon in place of our Annual Dinner to mark this milestone in our history. Click here for the report commemorating the event and here for the photo album.

Written for the 30th anniversary, a short report about the history of the 'Friends of Alzey' from one of the founder members of the Friends is available to view. Click here for the Reminiscences on the Origins of the Friends of Alzey.

2019 - Friends of Alzey Annual General Meeting

Our AGM took place on February 21st at the Skew Bridge and was very well attended. The committee members and officers were re-elected and the Treasurer and Chair presented reports on last year's activities. After the business of the meeting an excellent meal was enjoyed together and those members who will travel to Alzey in September were able to share their anticipation of the wonderful weekend to be spent at the wine festival.

See links for the Friends of Alzey Chair report for 2018 and the photo page of new members enjoying the evening.

Fish & Chips Quiz Night: Saturday, 27th October 2018

"Well organised" and "great fun" : feedback from some of the fifty or so participants in our quiz night at Park Hall in October endorse the committee's verdict that the event was a once again a great success. The question rounds and 'marathon puzzle' were expertly put together by Ginny and her team, with the 'Which castle is shown in this photo?' round drawing the evening's most intense buzz of discussion (and stimulating some castle tourism to boot?). The fish and chip supper from Harpenden Fish & Chips was well received and allowed a welcome interlude for conversation with friends old and new. Thanks to the generosity of our members and their guests the evening raised a substantial sum towards the hosting of our Alzey visitors in 2020. Ginny's team and Park Hall have already been booked for October 19th 2019, see you there!

Visit to the Houses of Parliament with Bim Afolami MP

Friends of Alzey members were invited to join a tour organised by Bim Afolami MP on 18th October. The walking tour lasted a little over 2 hours. It was well organised and interesting, even for members who had visited Parliament before. Thanks were given for the invitation.

2018 Annual Dinner 17th March with guest speaker Bim Afolami MP

60 people braved falling snow to attend our Annual Dinner at Park Hall on Saturday March 17th. Good food and good company were enjoyed by our long-standing members, new members and their friends alike. This year we welcomed four A level students who study German at Sir John Lawes School and their teacher, Mrs Susanna Leaver. Their attendance was made possible by the generosity of last year's guest speaker, Mrs Anne von Fallois. Bim Afolami MP spoke after the dinner about the influence on him of German philosophy and politics. He was thanked in both German and English by the Head Boy and Deputy Head Boy, who earlier had had the opportunity to speak to and question Mr Afolami. Wine from the Alzey town winery was presented to our guest speaker as a mark of our thanks.

The committee all worked hard to make the evening such a success that the guests seemed reluctant to go home, chatting animatedly amongst themselves at the end of the proceedings. Thanks go also to Yvonne Bamford for her catering and to Steve Jones of Nang Noi Thai Restaurant in Vaughan Road, and to other friends of our organisation, who kindly donated a raffle prize.

Congratulations to the students of German : in the week after our Dinner they were declared winners of the Goethe Institut's debating competition. This is a wonderful achievement; their prize is a trip to Germany. We hope they enjoy their time over there and say hello to Alzey if they happen to pass through!

Publicity Event Harpenden, 2nd September 2017

On Saturday, 2nd September 2017 we held a publicity event in Harpenden's town centre to raise awareness for the town twinning activities.
The Friends of Alzey committee was present in full.

Anne von Fallois Talk - Saturday, 18th March 2017

On Saturday, 18th March 2017 we held our annual Social Evening which included a delicious three-course dinner with coffee. One of the highlights of the event was the guest speaker of the evening: Anne von Fallois, Former Director General for Domestic Affairs at the German Federal President's Office. She delivered a very interesting talk entitled 'A citizens' Europe: Fostering civil relations in challenging times.' A copy of the talk can be downloaded here: Anne von Fallois Talk, 18 March 2017