Britische KomponistInnen – unbeschreiblich weiblich!
Premiere for Friends of Britain who, in collaboration with the Lions Club Hamburg-Altona, organised a concert evening in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie on 5th November 2019: COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!
The purpose of the evening was, of course, not only to enjoy the music and to experience a cheerful and convivial British-German get-together – but, as with all the events we have organised so far, to place the emphasis on our commitment to charity.
The work of the international Brittle Bones Society (care4BrittleBones.org) was presented to the audience by its Chairperson Dagmar Mekking, who joined us from Amsterdam. Wendy Sprock (Chairperson of the Friends of Britain e.V.) and Stefanie Maria Niessen (President of the Lions Club Hamburg-Altona) welcomed several guests of honour: Clive Kennedy (Vice-President of the Anglo-German Club e.V.), Thomas Guse and his wife (Lions District Governor) as well as the composer Cecilia McDowall from London who introduced the audience to her very modern and fascinating compositions.
The Ensemble Tityre with its superb instrumentalists Bettina Pfeiffer (piano), Annette Hermeling (flute), Arne Grützmacher (oboe) enchanted its audience. Katja Geist provided valuable facts about the life of the female composers, who struggled to make themselves heard during their time. “Our own“ Stefanie Maria Niessen, to whom we are greatly indebted for her major role in the organisation of this successful evening, gave a guest performance with a soprano aria – also by Cecilia McDowall.
The results of the evening were also impressive: the proceeds of the concert amounted to around 5,800 euros for our chosen charity – an appeal also went out to the audience for further – direct – donations.
Artistes, guests and organisers rounded off the evening with an informal gathering in the “Störtebeker“ and in “Carls“.
Photos: FoB / Lions / Musikmomente / Kai Pawlowski
Victorian Christmas Market
Saturday, November 30th 2019
Sunday, December 1st 2019
12.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Every year on the first Advent weekend the Friends of Britain e.V. takes part in a Victorian Christmas Market in the Baseler Hof Sälen, originally initiated by the Honorary British Consulate in Hamburg together with the Hotel Baseler Hof and supported by several British clubs and associations and local businesses. The proceeds go to a selected charitable institution – this year to Familienhafen e.V. (https://www.familienhafen.de/).
Here one can enjoy the festive atmosphere of a Victorian Christmas. One can find a good selection of unique presents and fine gifts, as well as traditional British Christmas fare.
There are prizes to be won and a light entertainment programme, various seasonal refreshments etc. enhance the event.
Dear Friends of Friends of Britain!
“British Flair – with Country Fair“ (formerly “British Day“) took place for the 29th year in succession from 9th to 11th August 2019 in the grounds of the Hamburger Polo Club, beginning as during the past few years on Friday midday.
The CULT EVENT for the whole family and an absolute epitome of German-British friendship.
You can watch horses, polo and cricket games, Scottish Highland Games, English classic cars, British books, outdoor clothing and many other stands with typical specialities from the „Island“. True to our tradition you can try your hand at welly-throwing, let your children have their face painted, watch entertaining street theatre and enjoy many surprises and new features. Learn Scottish dancing or join a drumming workshop. Meet Paddington Bear on the polo field and taste some British and international delicacies in the gourmet and beverage tents. To the sound of Scottish bagpipe music and a typically English brass band, Guinness or a Pimm‘s No.1 will taste a lot more authentic than at home.
As usual the charity aspect of the event will be highlighted over the weekend – everywhere in the grounds and at the tombola tent we will be selling tombola tickets. There are lots of non-cash prizes as well as vouchers and theatre tickets to be won – the proceeds this year will be in aid of the “MUT Academy“, an organisation that supports young school leavers in the transition phase between school and training for a profession.
Our traditional cultural evening – the British Flair Open Air Proms Concert 2019
Look forward to the evening of 10th August 2019 when the highlight of the weekend, the “Open Air Proms Concert“ will be taking place, featuring the popular and amusing conductor Russell Harris, the “Hamburg Festival Orchestra“ with its musicians and their leader Ian Mardon. Bring along a picnic and listen to popular classical compositions by Gioachino Rossini, Georges Bizet, Carl Maria von Weber, Gaetano Donizetti, Franz Lehár und Richard Rodgers, under a moonlit, star-studded sky on the green lawns of the Hamburger Polo Club. The concert always closes with the British Proms sing-along evergreens traditionally associated with the Royal Albert Hall, such as “Rule Britannia“, “Jerusalem“ and “Pomp & Circumstance No.1 “ as well as the two national anthems and “Auld Lang Syne“, which are much easier to sing after a glass of a good wine (or even champagne!).
Be swept along by the wonderful voices of Randall Bills (tenor) and Richard Morrison (baritone), all guaranteed to make your spine tingle!
Stefanie M. Nießen
Here you can book your tickets!
British Flair, Hamburger Polo Club e.V. Jenischstraße 26, 22609 Hamburg
Nearest station: S Bahn Klein–Flottbek, S 1 and S 11
Friday 11.00 to 18.00h
Saturday 10.00 to 18.00h
Sunday 10.00 to 18.00h
Admission to the Daytime Event:
Adults (from 16 years)
Friday € 5,00
Saturday & Sunday € 10,00
All days Children & Kilts € 2,00
(children from 5 up to 15 years in adult’s company)
2 adults and up to 2 children
Only Saturday & Sunday € 22,00
“A visible sign of enduring friendship”
Friends of Britain e.v. (“FoB”) invited the British community and friends to view the exhibition “Celelebrating 180 years of the English Church on Zeughausmarkt: 1838 – 2018”
The Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket encouraged us to plan an event in the Church so that the special exhibition could be presented to a wider section of the British /German society in Hamburg. The exhibition in the church presented a history of the church building and the community that founded it 180 years ago.
On 10th January, following their AGM, Friends of Britain e.V. invited members and friends to a New Year’s Reception in the Church building. Over 40 attended, representing many of the British/German clubs and societies in Hamburg, e.g. The British Club Hamburg, the Hamburg Players, BCCG, the Anglican Church, The Anglo-German Lodge, the Anglo German Club, the Lions Club Altona and, of course, Friends of Britain e.V.. After FoB had served a welcome drink, Rev. Leslie Nathaniel welcomed the guests, especially those who had not been in the building before. Monica Schofield then gave a vivacious account of the historical events leading up to the building of the present Church 180 years ago. She then led the visitors around the exhibition that consists of 8 attractive banners suspended from the gallery. A word of praise for the excellent design of the banners goes to Heiner Schäfer. Much work had gone into the production of the banners, their texts and the accompanying booklets with detailed explanations of each banner and the over 400 years-old history of the British community in Hamburg. Thanks to Monica for her fascinating talk and also to Birgit Kiupel who showed her comic strip film about Henry Canning who was responsible for the present building.
Wendy Sprock also presented the booklet “Great Britain and Ireland in Hamburg” which includes a write-up on FoB and was able to sell a number of copies.
A light buffet reception prepared by the catering wizards on our committee was served and we were pleased that there was lively discourse among the various groups represented (mutual events within the British Community is one of the main aims laid down by the FoB statutes).
The following email was received from Monica Schofield the next day:
Dear Wendy, Dear FOB Team
Thank you for organising last night’s reception and for capturing a diverse and interesting group of people to visit the exhibition. It was extremely motivating to have such positive feedback from people who were there, many who were present in the church for the first time. It is remarkable just how many people said they had lived in Hamburg for years but never been inside! It was one of the objectives of the exhibition to reach out to such people so thank you for helping with this.
You are all masters of spontaneous organisation. It all worked out, so an excellent evening was enjoyed by all. I hope you were satisfied too.
With very best wishes and thanks
Tales and Tunes – „A Journey through the 20th Century in Music and Poetry“, a concert evening on 2.11.2018 in aid of K.i.s.E. e.V.
Sparkling wine and typical British snacks, such as Cheddar cheese, sausage rolls, sandwiches were served to welcome the approx. 140 guests – Bagpipers in kilts led the guests into the auditorium. Wendy Sprock, Chairperson of Friends of Britain e.V., greeted the guests of honour and accompanied throughout the evening. The President of the Lions Club Hamburg-Klövensteen, Klaus-Konrad Meyer also said a few words, following which everyone was immersed in the British Isles.
Scotland – began of course with bagpipe music (Lydia Struck and Jörg Gerhard). At the same time slides appeared on the backdrop and optically transported the audience into the Scottish Highlands. Poems, chosen with great dedication, and recited by native speakers, with short musical interludes, professionally presented by Oliver Heinze on the guitar, on the piano by Jon Mortimer and on the violin by Ian Mardon – who, in the Irish section, demonstrated his virtuosity with his typical “fiddle music”, followed by overwhelming applause. Pictures of Ireland‘s green countryside were replaced by coastal scenes of Wales, traditional Welsh poetry and their national anthem “Land of my Fathers”.
In the interval Chicken Curry and Veggie Curry were served – both delicious. The British dessert Sherry Trifle gained many new enthusiasts. The meal was accompanied by wine, Guinness and of course Scottish Whisky.
The society “Children with difficult nutritional disorders”, to whom the evening was dedicated, introduced themselves briefly. Their team included a girl sufferer who has to be fed artificially for 12 hours a day and therefore carries her infusion bag around with her in a small rucksack.
England was the central theme of the 2nd part of the programme: photos of London and the Royal Family, poems with very British humour and various kinds of music popular during that century were performed, from John Lennon to Elton John and Freddy Mercury. Stefanie Nießen sang, partly as a soloist, partly as a duet together with baritone Thorsten Schuck. There were songs to join in and the programme ended with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s duet “All I ask of you”. The organisers distributed small tokens of appreciation to all the participants on the stage. The evening was rounded off with tea and shortbread in the foyer and there was plenty of opportunity for lively conversation and interesting networking.
The Vice-President of the Anglo-German Club, Clive Kennedy was so impressed with the lovely evening that he donated an extra EUR 1,000 in aid of K.i.s.E. e.V. Thanks also go to the members of K.i.s.E. and the British Club Hamburg, who, together with Stefanie’s family, looked after the buffet service and finally the clearing up. Thanks go to Gabriele Keidel from DESY, who enabled the use of the location and who took care of the logistic organisation behind the event.
A particularly memorable evening which was successful in every respect – a short journey and a great homage by the British people to their countries – be it from an optical/culinary/poetic/musical aspect.
Subsequently a proud sum of EUR 3.000.—was presented to K.i.s.E. e.V. plus EUR 1000 from the Lions Club, a great reward for all the effort.
Extracted from a report by Suzanne Maßberg, Club Secretary of the Lions Club Hamburg-Altona, who we would like to thank for her contribution.
Film Night at St. Thomas Becket
On Friday, 29th of September Friends of Britain hosted a Charity Event at St Thomas Becket (the English Church). The German documentary film “Englands heimliche Hymne – Land of Hope and Glory” by Axel Fuhrmann & Axel Brüggemann was presented to an interested audience. It profiles the life and work of Sir Edward Elgar, both private and public, as well as his music and how his home area still celebrates his memory while the whole nation view “Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 / Land of Hope and Glory” as part of its cultural heritage. After the presentation and enthusiastic applause, the author, Axel Brüggemann, talked about the making-of the film and was happy to answer questions, posed by the audience.
During snacks and drinks, prepared by members of FOB, everyone had the chance to chat with Axel Brüggemann and each other, as well as inform themselves of the main Charity donation beneficiary, Paulinchen e.V., which supports families within which a child has burn injuries. Co-operating with the specialized hospitals and fire departments is part of their work as well as offering direct help and creating awareness about prevention of accidents leading to such injuries domestically.
In addition to the entrance fee, a small but high-quality tombola was organised and thus, at the end of the evening, donations were made of € 1,500 to Paulinchen e.V. and € 500 to St. Thomas Becket. The symbolic cheques were handed to the representatives by our Patron and British Honorary Consul in Hamburg, Nicholas Teller, while Mrs. Linda Teller kindly drew the winning tombola tickets.
It was a very pleasant evening, both educational and entertaining, and another wonderful opportunity to enjoy a great activity and good company in the English Church. (Katja Clajus)
“Long Night of the Consulates – Lange Nacht der Konsulate”
As a highlight of European Week, on 16 May 2017 30 consulates and 4 cultural institutes opened their doors from 6 to 10 p.m. to interested members of the public.
The Honorary Consulate of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Hamburg was participating for the very first time.
Various British or anglophile societies in our city presented an insight into their activities, including The Hamburg Players, The British Club Hamburg, The Anglican Church, Anglo German Club, First Hanseatic Toastmasters, The Arts Society of Hamburg, Country Travel, the English Tea Club and, of course, ourselves – Friends of Britain e.V. Two ladies from our team even appeared in Regency or Victorian costume.
Paddington Bear was spotted incognito. A visual attraction was provided by the members of the Heligoland Pilgrim Cricket Club, not only with their striped blazers: two men and a lady demonstrated their skills outside the Consulate, e.g. how to bowl and bat. Another great feature was Dennis Cole of the “St. Pauli Pipes & Drums“, who played the bagpipes both in the reception area and also outside. This drew in many passers-by – applause, photos, conversations – their interest in the British host country was quickly aroused. Besides information about culture, sport, the country and its people, around 250 visitors enjoyed original British sandwiches and colonial samosas, and also sampled a typical long drink, Pimm’s N°1.
The British Honorary Consul, Mr. Nicholas R. Teller, who is also Patron of Friends of Britain e.V., was extremely satisfied with this successful premiere – and we can look forward to participating again next time next year.
Tales and Tunes 2016
On 22nd January 2016, thanks to an invitation, we had the great pleasure of being able to take part in the “Tales and Tunes” evening in the Anglo-German Lodge. And what an inspiring, entertaining event „for a (truly) cold winter`s eve“! There was fascinating company, interesting conversations between and during the four courses of a creative menu and, in particular, artistic performances. The recitations of English poetry and ballads by Martin Hague, Norbert Schoen, Heiko Vogt and Linda Struck were most impressive, especially the endearing texts by John Holway. The superb musical interludes by Ian Mardon, Jon Mortimer and of course Stefanie Niessen provided a worthy framework. There was even an opportunity of singing some well-known songs together – And all this for a good cause, then without doubt the focal point and the actual purpose of the evening was: to support the Stiftung Mittagskinder. What a deserving organisation!
A guided tour of the Lodge premises including a short introduction to the background of the Lodges concluded the unforgettable evening, and suddenly the clock reminded us that it was already just before midnight.
Thank-you and looking forward to the next event of this kind!
Barbara and Hajo Patschkowski
We are grateful for the financial support given by Ter Hell.
Hamburg premiere of the film “The Queen’s Garden”
Upon the initiative of Honorary Life Member Clive Kennedy, Friends of Britain e.V. invited guests to the Hamburg premiere of the documentary film “The Queen’s Garden” about the trees, plants and wildlife in Buckingham Palace gardens. The event took place in the newly refurbished rooms of the Anglo-German Club Hamburg.
60 people, including our new Honorary Consul Nicholas Teller and his wife Linda, took part and enjoyed the film as well as a cold buffet and drinks during the interval. We were able to send a donation of EUR 2.000 to the “Runder Tisch Blankenese”, a forum that has been actively supporting refugees in the west of Hamburg for the past 25 years.
Many thanks to Clive Kennedy for his initiative and for his kind donation of the refreshments for the evening. Our thanks also go to Harriet Wege of the Anglo-German Club for her assistance in organising the evening.