December 2012:  What a wonderful Christmas party we had last Thursday! Everyone there really enjoyed the Glühwein, the Stollen and the German Christmas songs.

In January, on 3rd Jan, we will have a quiz night. There will be questions in German and English, a good chance to get the brain back in gear after the holidays.  

I would also like to give an advance notice about our March meeting (7.3.) for which we will be having a fabulous evening of wine tasting. Our guide for this special event is James Gillespie who is an eminent wine judge and writer. His columns appear locallly in the Sentinel and in Staffordshire Life. He lectures and speaks about wine all over the UK. For the Anglo-German Club he will introduce and allow us to taste half a dozen wines from South Germany. The wines from Baden-Wurttemberg on which he will be concentrating are very different than wines from further North in the Mosel and Rheingau. We will start with a sparkler made by the same methods as Champagne, move through dry white wine, lovely fruity rosé, classy Baden Pinot Noir (every bit as good as Red Burgundy) and rich red wine from Wurttemberg's special grape Lemberger. He tells us that we will finish the evening with a chance to try the wonderful nectar that is Riesling Eiswein! Tickets for this unmissable event will go on sale during the February meeting and I will let you know the price as soon as the committee has decided.

April will see our first AGM about which I will send more information in due course.

I am looking forward to an exciting New Year and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

November 2012: Just a few announcements for you

  1. There will be a film on the Cannock Chase War Memorial and German POWs, who stayed in the UK, next Wednesday at 7pm on the One Show, BBC1. One of the researchers rang me asking for help and I was pleased to be able to put them in contact with three people from the area. So I thought you might be interested in watching the report.
  2. Next weekend, there will be a German delegation visiting Terry Bloor, priest-in-charge at St Mark’s in Basford, Basford Park Road, ST5 0PG. On his behalf, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to anyone wishing to take part in some of the services there, especially the Advent Service on Sat, 1stDec, at 7pm. This service will feature some German prayers and two German Advent songs. It will be followed by a bring & share supper. Do have a listen and a practise of the German songs here:                                                                          Oh komm, oh komm du Morgenstern:     Die Nacht ist vorgedrungen:
  3. Sunday 2nd Dec, the first of Advent, will see the 10am Communion Service at St Mark’s and a special Advent Service, the Service of Light, at 6pm at Lichfield Cathedral. It would be lovely to see some of you there.
  4. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough interest in a sit-down Christmas meal for our December meeting on 13th Dec at the Rugby Club. We now decided to offer some warm Glühwein, Stollen and Weihnachtsgebäck. To get into the Christmas spirit, we will sing along to some German Christmas songs. I will send you some links to those a bit later.


Thank you for your continued support and I’m looking forward to seeing you at some of the above occasions.


November 2012: I have just been informed by Jez that there is a match on Dec 6th so the December meeting has been changed to Thursday 13th.

Please make a note of this in your diary.

Sorry for the inconvenience and I hope you will still be able to come for a meal.


November 2012: We had an interesting meeting last Thursday with Clive Mosby reporting about the British-German Association’s workshop he attended in London. It sounded like a really fabulous networking opportunity. He has sent me a link about 10 reasons to learn German:


We also discussed what to do for our December meeting. Consensus of those present was, to have a Christmas sit-down meal on Dec. 6th similar to the one we had last year. I would appreciate it if you could indicate whether you would support a Christmas meal with a choice of goose and turkey for our next meeting as we would have to start planning details soon.


Yes, I would like to have a Christmas meal on Dec 6th ………………..


No, thank you. I’d prefer to meet for a chat and a drink …..…………



I would like to pass on details about a visit from Germany which Terry Bloor, Priest-in-charge of St Marks in Basford, has organised. I believe that the service on Saturday evening, 1st December, is of particular interest to us as it will be held in English and German and some of the Advent songs will be German, too. I have copied in his email, he sent me yesterday:


I have a list of 12 people who wish to stay fairly locally to St. Mark's during their time here. 


People are arriving on Thursday (afternoon), 29th November and are leaving again on Monday, 3rd December. This means that I will be hoping to find 12 bed-spaces for 4 nights. If anyone from the A-G Club would be willing to play host, that would be great. 


The programme is fairly thin and not in any way prescriptive.


Jens-Peter Drewes and a few would certainly be interested in visiting a church school on the Friday and maybe a local museum or something touristic (hard to find in Stoke!). I will work on this. There is an opportunity for people to visit Lichfield on the Saturday morning / afternoon to see the cathedral (tour - auf Deutsch - provided) and to mix over lunch. Saturday evening would see our service followed by a bring and share supper at St. Mark's (7.00pm).


Sunday will see folk for the normal 10.00am Sunday service in church and have lunch with hosts before going to Lichfield (again) for the special 'Service of Light' with Advent Carols.


I know that 8 landing as a group are hiring a couple of vehicles which will make transportation so much easier.


That's about all I know at present. If you could put out a few 'feelers' amongst the A-G Club members that might get the ball rolling. In the meantime. I will be working on a more comprehensive programme.


Please let me know if you would like to be involved in hosting, attending the service or just meeting up with the German visitors.


There has also been a suggestion by Gordon to visit one of the Christmas markets either in Manchester or Birmingham together. I will make some inquiries into that and let you know about different options.


Thank you for your continued support.



October 2012: What a fantastic night we had last night! It seems that ‘Schunkeln’ is firmly established in Stoke!

Thanks again to everyone who contributed!


I only wish I had had the time to talk to everyone. There were so many new faces. Unfortunately, the bag with all the tickets has ended up in the bin. I was looking forward to expanding my email list. So if you did bring friends along yesterday and they would like to come again, would you mind getting their email addresses or their phone numbers for me so that I can keep them informed about our events?


November will come around quickly now and I am hoping to see some of those new faces on Nov 1st.


And don’t forget to buy the Sentinel tomorrow as the event will be covered in the Monday edition.



Oktoberfest 2012
Please feel free to download the flyer for the Oktoberfest on Sat 13th Oct.
Microsoft Word Document [125.8 KB]

September 2012: Thanks to Christine Taylor for a very interesting talk on German traditions and festivals yesterday. It really showed how diverse the German speaking regions are. Our bring-and-share went well and I feel sorry for anyone who missed their chance of trying Anne’s homemade Rote Grütze. Thank you to everyone who brought food along.


We started selling tickets for the Oktoberfest yesterday. If you want to purchase any, I advise you not to leave it too late. You can either get in touch with Marj or alternatively buy them at the Rugby Club (01782 594016), as I have left a stack with them. This event is the biggest one we have organized so far and it is promising to get our name out.


I have also attached a poster, promoting the Oktoberfest. It would be great if you could print one off and take it to your local shop/doctors/coop, etc. where people might be interested.


As we cancelled our meeting at the beginning of October in favour of the Oktoberfest, I hope to see you all on Saturday, 13th October.

June 2012: We had a most interesting evening last Thursday. After a plentiful BBQ, Terry Bloor gave us a little speech (in German!) about the link which has been set up with the Lutheran diocese in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It was wonderful that he brought four German guests, Heike, Michael, Ulrich and Olaf, with him. There was a lot of information, books, pictures, maps, on Schwerin and the “Mehrgenerationenhaus”. Thank you very much to everyone involved with that.


Thank you to Marj for organising another raffle for us and to everyone who donated prizes. Gill kindly gave three boxes of home baked cupcakes. If you have a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates or something similar for us next time, that would be very much appreciated. The raffles are becoming very valuable for the Club. Thank you for supporting us in this way.


Later in the evening, we were pleased to welcome the mayor of Erlangen, Dr. Balleis, his wife and Peter Steger. Dr. Balleis gave a short speech about his visit to Stoke-on-Trent and later engaged in talking to members around the room. Peter Steger has been busy writing his report and it is available online in German on the Erlangen website: 


And it is with regret that I have to announce that Birgit and Sheena are no longer on the committee due to other commitments. Marj Vernon has kindly agreed to act as treasurer until the end of the financial year.


Our next meeting will be on Thursday July 5th. I would also like to give you an advance notice: There will be no meeting for August as too many people are away during that time.

For July, we thought it would be nice to have a games evening. So if you have some games, preferably German ones, which will help us speak German, please bring those.


All the best to you and I am looking forward to seeing you all in July.


May 2012: We had quite a good turn-out last week with numbers around thirty again. It was a very enjoyable evening. We looked at and discussed pictures of some of the sights of Berlin. Thanks to your generous donations, Marj did another raffle.

We also had some guests from Germany, Hans and Inge, Terry and Lynn’s friends from Plauen in Sachsen.

Next month there will be more guests from Schwerin. Terry Bloor will give us a presentation on the link with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. I am looking forward to that.

This will be during the jubilee bank holiday week. If the weather is nice (hope springs eternal), we might be able to have a BBQ. For our guests it would be nice if many of you could support the June meeting.

Best wishes for a warmer weekend.


April 2012: Welcome to all new members and thanks to everyone who shared the meal with us last week.

Special thanks to Marj for organizing the raffle for us. This is a fun way of raising money for the Club. Nearly all the donated prizes are gone now. So we would really appreciate it if you would bring some more items along next time.

After the Schnitzel, we watched a German short film. The picture was ok but the sound was a bit quiet again, so I thought I’ll send you the link with this email.

This is the full German version (about 12 minutes):

And this is the shorter version with English subtitles which I showed last Thursday:

Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did last week.

Some people raised the idea that we should start a bit later, as people work and may struggle to make the meal for 7pm. Please let me know what you think and send me your suggestions.

Our next meeting will be back on the first Thursday of the month which is 3rd May.


March 2012: Thank you so much to Lesley for providing a fabulous quiz for us last Thursday. It was really good fun and according to the survey, all of those taking part would like to repeat this activity. It was also the first time we had a raffle. Thank you to everyone who took part and to those providing raffle prizes for us. You keep this Club going.


For those who couldn’t be there, here is the programme Peter Steger has suggested for the Bergkirchweih in May:

Sa., 26. May – arrival / guided tour of Erlangen

Su., 27. May – 11am presentation of the stein for the people of Stoke-on-Trent by the mayor Siegfried Balleis / tour around the Bergkirchweih

Mo., 28. May – daytrip through Franconia and Bamberg

Tue., 29. May – daytrip to Nuremberg visiting the Memorium (jury court of the Nuremberg Trial)

Wed., 30. May – daytrip to Rothenburg o.d.T.

Th., 31. May – departure

Evenings could be spent on the Bergkirchweih. He would also change the programme according to personal preferences (i.e. economic, culture, sport, education, etc.). He has ‘blocked’ rooms for 10 people at the Hotel Rangau: Therefore, if you are interested in going, you would have to decide by Wednesday at the latest. Costs would include travelling, accommodation and food. All tours and trips will be paid for by the city of Erlangen. Peter will accompany the group. As you know, I am in contact with our Council about this trip and they have now offered one lump sum of £200 for the group, regardless of how many people travel. Again, you would need to decide quickly now, whether you want to take part in this.

Here is a short film about Erlangen:

And here is a picture of the stein they made for one of their other twin towns: 


For our next meeting, we thought it might be a good idea to have another sit-down meal together. About a year ago we had schnitzel with sautéed potatoes which was hugely popular. Could you let me know whether you would like to support this before I make enquiries at the Rugby Club?  


Looking forward to hearing from you soon.


February 2012: Thank you to everyone who came to our February meeting last week. Despite the cold miserable weather and quite a number of people who weren’t feeling well, we had great fun singing German songs and we also had a very productive evening. Those who were present, really made an effort at brainstorming some ideas for our speaker slot. There were some really good suggestions which should allow us to organize most of the meetings this year. If you couldn’t join us and would still like to contribute, please feel free to note down your ideas into the form below and send the email back to me.  

Some of you have already donated raffle prizes for our next meeting. Thank you again. If you feel you could bring some more along in March then please do. All donations will be gratefully received.  

For March we have scheduled a quiz which should be good fun. I have also received an email of John Holmes, accepting my invitation to visit us in March and tell us more about the Bergkirchweih in Erlangen. I am sure he can answer your questions better than I can and that maybe more people will be interested in attending as a result.

As we are switching the membership from the individual time of joining to annual membership in line with the tax year,  Sheena will calculate the outstanding months for everyone’s 2012/13 payment.  We would appreciate if you could bring a cheque book/cash for the next meeting in order to renew your membership.   

We have also decided last week that we should try and move the April meeting which falls on Maundy Thursday to March 29th, i.e. one week prior. I will let you know as soon as I have managed to secure that date for us with the Rugby Club.

Thanking you all for your continued support