Bordeaux Students Help Raise £6000 For Charity

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Twenty students from Bordeaux’s International Business School (INSEEC) took part in the annual Routes des Vins project in May. The students approach all the famous chateaux in the Bordeaux wine producing region around St Emillion for donations of wine. They then charter a sailing ship and follow the ancient wine route via La Rochelle and Lorient to Bristol. The wine is then auctioned for charity as part of an event organised by the Commanderie de Vins de Bordeaux in Clifton. This year it was decided that the English Channel was just too busy and dangerous for the students to attempt to cross it so they did the last leg in minibuses on the ferry from Caen. The auction raised over six and a half thousand pounds and the funds will be shared equally between the Vie de Rose children’s charity in Bordeaux and the Beira Fund’s work in our twin city in Mozambique. The students were able to enjoy a fish and chip supper near the bridge on the night of the auction and the previous day they were taken to visit a vineyard near Newent where they were informed Gloucestershire champagne wins more awards than the French version! Thanks to the Commanderie especially Charles, Steve and Aidan and to all the students including Kallista and their tutor Helene.

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Bordeaux Student Exchange Meets The Lord Mayor

With the Lord Mayor Apr 2017

The Bordeaux participants and their hosts met with the Lord Mayor (LM) in the Chapter House of the Cathedral on the 20th thanks to BBP volunteer Nell Dand who is also a guide at the Cathedral. The building was very quiet in the week following Easter. It all went splendidly as the LM, a former firefighter from Knowle West, got on well with the Bordeaux students. Dispensing with formalities, the LM chatted with the young people and then invited them over to see City Hall for a visit of the LM’s parlour and Council Chamber. The LM was delighted to see the Bordeaux student exchange continuing and wished it every success for the future. Certainly a day to remember for all the young participants and a big thank you to Nell and Vivien Brown as well as the LM and his staff.

Bristol Hosts National Conference On Twinning With Germany

Over 100 delegates from all over the UK and from counterpart cities in Germany packed into City Hall in Bristol to take part in the British German Association’s conference on twinning with Germany. Mayor Marvin Rees welcomed the delegates and spoke passionally about Bristol’s commitment to internationalism and in particular its links with Hannover. Mayor Herman from Hannover also spoke as part of a panel discussion on the evolving nature of twinning within the BREXIT context. Robert Nicholls chairman of the Hannover Bristol Gesellschaft also spoke and took part in workshops with other delegations. The Bristol Hannover committee was well represented and organised the event with the BGA, supported by Bristol City Council, Airbus, Boehringer-Ingelheim, the German Embassy in London and Burges-Salmon.

Second Talk in German Art Series

BHC member Colin Evans gave a second talk in his series on art in the early 20th century, this time concentrating on the infamous exhibition put on by Hitler on ‘Degenerate Art’ (Entartete Kunst) in Munich in 1937. Hitler had rounded up and confiscated much of the Expressionist art in Germany’s museums, considered by the Nazi party to be degenerate and likely to insult and corrupt society, and exhibited it as a warning. In fact a million people saw the exhibition in the first 6 weeks, and overall 2 million in the four months of the exhibition. This was art which was avant-garde, whereas the Great German Art Exhibition, held concurrently to show how art ‘should’ be, was described as mediocre and attracted only half the numbers of the Degenerart Art exhibition. This was again a fascinating talk, and we look forward to the next one which Colin is planning for our Autumn programme!

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The French Ambassador visits Bristol School of Painters series at Bristol Museum

The French Ambassador Madame Sylvie Bermann visited Bristol Museum to view not only the French and Chinese collections but also the Bristol School of Painters series which may be exhibited at the Bordeaux Fine Art Museum in 2018. Curators in both cities are working hard to see if this is possible.French Ambassador at Museum.jpg

Image: Laura Pye (Head of Museums), Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and Josette LeBrat (Hon French Consul for Bristol and Bath).

Christian Heppner’s account of his time volunteering and researching at Bristol Archives

hristian Heppner, Stadtarchiv Hannover writes:

Since 6 March, I have been researching and volunteering at Bristol Archives. My aim was to prepare an exhibition on 70 years of the Bristol-Hannover twin city partnership, which will open on 3 November at Hannover Town Hall.

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Image:  Stadtarchiv Hannover – the site of Hannover City Archive since 1993

But being an archivist and historian from Hannover City Archives, I’m also very much interested in learning about how work is done in a modern British public record office.

 We have the same professional challenges, but may have found different solutions.

 Therefore, Stadtarchiv Hannover and Bristol Archives organised a staff exchange: after my visit, a colleague from Bristol Archives will visit the Stadtarchiv Hannover for some weeks in November.

 We’ve had the idea of an exchange for some time, but it became much more concrete after the British EU referendum – it seems very important to us now to keep on learning from each other and to stay in contact.

 Our archive in Hannover is a little bit smaller than the one in Bristol, due to the division of work and responsibility between us and the city’s historic museum: we keep texts, they keep photos and other more “visual” types of historic sources. But besides this, I can see a lot of similarities between Bristol Archives and the Stadtarchiv Hannover.

 We both moved in 1992/93 from our town halls into bigger buildings, because of a permanently rising need for storage room (although B Bond Warehouse, built 1908, is much older than the Stadtarchiv Hannover, built 1963)

  • We both kept our documents safe in a mine (or a tunnel, in Bristol) during the disastrous times of World War 2
  • We are both dealing with challenges like archiving modern born-digital records, although the city administrations of Hannover and Bristol already have been using IT for (at least) four decades
  • In order to give better service to our customers, we both are highly interested in improve online access to our records by offering digital versions of these documents – a challenge, when IT facilities and data storing space are always short.

Altes Rathaus 

Image: “Altes Rathaus”, the Old City Hall in pre-war times: the original location of Hannover Archives (source: Hannover Historisches Museum)

Due to a slightly better financial situation, the Stadtarchiv Hannover might be better off in some aspects: we are able to invest more in proper packaging to protect our records from damage.

 Also, we fortunately have a conservation lab to deal with damage from the past, especially with mould fungus caused by the floods of the Leine river in Hannover in 1947 – we still have 100 meters of contaminated records from that situation in our basement.

 On the other hand, I can see some very good and impressive results at Bristol Archives, which may, ironically, also be caused by the more restrictive financial situation of this city.

 For example, the online access to historical maps, facts, photos and stories via Know Your Place is amazing, especially the cooperation with communities, neighbourhood committees and special interest groups, like LGBT.

 It offers many opportunities for making ‘secret’ histories visible to a widespread public. Bristol Archives are also working very successfully on this project with volunteers, who have contributed historic information and upload photographs.

 And, last but not least, it seems very helpful that Bristol City Council runs a Modern Records Unit, which keeps in close contact with the archives. This makes the transfer of records to the archives much easier – important in order to provide future generations with good historic sources on today’s life and work.

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 Image: Bond Warehouse, the home of Bristol Archives

Concerning 70 years of Bristol-Hannover city twinning: there are some documents in Bristol Archives, which should definitely be presented at our exhibition. These especially include records which can inform our visitors about the motivations that drove Bristolians to get in personal contact with the former ‘enemy’ two years after the end of war.

 I am impressed how strong the Blitz experience in both cities still is and this should especially remind us of the importance of cross-nation relationships, too. I’ve found so much interesting material whilst here in Bristol thanks to many talks with Bristol Archives colleagues and members of Bristol Hannover Council.

Hannover Win Twinning Pub Quiz

The Bristol Guangzhou team organised a challenging and fun twinning pub quiz this year for more than twenty five participants – teams representing Bordeaux, Hannover,  Oporto and Beira took part. The six rounds of questions covered topics as varied as Europe and Chickens. Early leaders Beira began to fade after half time when they realised they might have to organise next year’s event. Hannover’s consistency and all round general knowledge made them deserved winners. Congratulations to the Bristol Hannover team. Ann Kennard received the trophy on behalf of the team from quizmaster Eric Dolling.

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