TUCKING IN: Members of Barnard Castle Rotary Club host their Dutch visitors
TUCKING IN: Members of Barnard Castle Rotary Club host their Dutch visitors

Barnard Castle Rotary Club

SINCE the early 1980s Barnard Castle Rotary has had a close relationship with Ambt Almelo Rotary, in the east of Holland, and every two years we meet up. This time it was the turn of the Dutch club to visit us.

Our Dutch friends should have been here in 2020, but Covid stopped that, so it is now six years since they last visited us. Seven Dutch Rotarians were hosted, and during two full days, Barney Rotarians took them for dinner at the Capri Italian restaurant in town, drove them up to visit High and Low Force waterfalls, exposed them to the wonderfully balmy weather at Cow Green reservoir (actually it was the usual weather, raining and blowing a gale); had a splendid buffet lunch at Bowlees Cafe, a short gap to tidy up, then all into a Maudes Bus down to dinner at Headlam Hall.

Dinner at Headlam Hall celebrated our club’s 83rd anniversary and this year we decided on informal dress and no speeches – “a stroke of genius” was one comment.

A splendid dinner was followed by our local rhythm and blues band The Corner Boys, who had everyone up and dancing. The Dutch certainly know how to enjoy themselves on the dance floor.

An envelope raffle raised £350 for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, plus a kind donation of 500 Euros from the Almelo Rotary, all of which is sent to Poland via a Polish Rotary club.

And then it was all over, and our Dutch friends departed for home, tired and happy. We look forward to seeing our lovely Dutch friends in the not-too-distant future.

David Yeadon