2023 is the first full year we’ve planned since Covid was well and truly finished. The year started with a group of Italians from our twin town Priverno staying for two weeks at Model Farm and the students doing work experience shortly followed by a group of Slovenians from Radovljica coming over and staying at Minehead YHA.The rest of the year features 2 Czech, 2 American, and 2 more Slovenian groups touring the British isles while a couple of Somerset choirs head off to Italy and Slovenia. We’re on the road again!
March 14 – 25 Italian students in Bridgwater
Italian students from our twin town Priverno stayed at Model Farm, Bridgwater for 2 weeks and during this time did work experience in various local businesses. We took them to Cornwall for a couple of nights and to London.
March 31- April 3 Planning visit to Prague
I hadn’t been to Prague since autumn 2019 and the Covid hit. So I needed to make a planning visit to see if everything was still there. Liz came with me and it was her first time. We met all our great mates who help us so much on the trips we organise. Katka, Martin, Jan & Vera, Tanweer.
April 20 – 25 Slovenian students in Somerset
Slovenian students from the EGGS High school came over to stay in Bridgwater. Well, in fact Minehead YHA, but they linked up with Bridgwater College, toured the South West (and London) , had a cream tea with the Mayor of Bridgwater and had a barbecue in Taunton thanks to our mate Martin Peters.
June 5-15 Americans Tour England
Don & Colleen had toured Ireland with us a few years back. Now they wanted England. So we had a tour from Cornwall to Oxford to York to the Lake District and back down to London.
June 21- 30 Slovenian Choir Tours Scotland
Tanja Jamnik from Kranj in Slovenia brought her choir over to us and we took them up to Scotland. They had a great time and did a couple of big gigs thanks to our contacts on the ground. In Clackmannan they had a ceilidh with the locals and up in Tain and Dornie our friends Marilyn & Ian Wallace arranged some big concerts for them. After this we had a drive over to Oban, the isle of Mull and Iona then down to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
BRIDGWATER TWINNING FESTIVAL 30 June – 1 July
Every year we celebrate our twinnings by holding a major Petanque tournament in Victoria Park Bridgwater. This year the French team won. Then we have a major performance event at the Art Centre. This time round we had the italian ‘tarantella’ expert ‘La Tarantella’.
July 6-15 Czechs Tour Ireland
Our Czech friends Jana & Tonda Hubena brought a group of their friends from our Czech twin town Uherske Hradiste with them and we took them around ireland. It went Dublin>Glendalough>Cashel>Killarney >Lisdoonvarna>Galway>Bush Mills > Belfast>Drogheda and back to Dublin.
15 July the EAST TIMOR Ambassador visits Bridgwater
It may be a surprise to learn that one of the largest migrant groups in Bridgwater are from East Timor. In an effort to encourage integration and appreciation of their culture we invited the Ambassador down for the day. He brought lots of coffee.
July 25-30 US band GANGSTAGRASS tour UK
Brilliant American rap-bluegrass crossover band Gangstgrass came over once more. This time we took them to the Cambridge Folk festival and Womad plus a visit to the mechanics institute up in the Penines somewhere and also a visit to Worcester. Oh yes, and a gig in Hackney.
July 30- August 6 Czechs tour Somerset, Devon & Cornwall
Our Prague friends Jan and Vera gathered a group of Czechs with them and we took them to Bridgwater for a few days and then down to Cornwall staying at Treyarnon Bay
August 9-13 Northern Ireland
This one was a holiday….meeting family
September 2 – 9 Claire Anstee’s Choir trip to Italy (Sorrento & Sabaudia)
Somerset choir singers led by Claire Anstee approached us to organise a residential in Italy where they could sing to their hearts content in beautiful locations. We chose Corrento and then the Oasi di Kufra in Sabaudia near our twin town of Priverno
October 1-9 Americans tour Portugal
October 12- 17 Slovenians tour Somerset
October 30- November 3 Yvette Staelens Choir tour Slovenia