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"Dedicated to our friends in Gmünd and our societies"

Hot off the pen - the ink is still dripping!

Here is the very latest song from Richard Kitson.

As we begin to emerge from lockdown and this awful virus, we can look back over the months of isolation and the pressures that we have all experienced. For some, the time may also have been a test to the strength of our friendships and our societies,
but now we can begin to look forward to a time when we can all come together again, a ‘day we can gather without any fears, eat salty snacks and drink ice cold beers.’ “The day will come”

Big thanks to Richard for his fab song dedicated to all our friends in Gmünd and to both our societies.


"Twin towns on air"

Corona station delivers global reports on the pandemic situation - Gmunder Tagespost 14.6.2020

radio skadarGtagespost

Over the last few weeks the radio station "Radio Skadar" in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, has been broadcasting a special programme on the Corona virus. Every night from 7.30 CET the radio station offered musical items, a good atmosphere and contributions from various places, amongst them Schwäbisch Gmünd and its twin towns who contributed a higher than average number of items to the programme. People online around the world could find out authentic information about the situation in Italy, Hungary and England. In over 40 broadcasts, contributions from more than 100 people who had been invited to share their daily thoughts in the times of Corona as audio files were transmitted. Some made live contributions.

Broadcasts dealt with the daily news situation in the respective countries, others were inspired by music or literature.
Themes varied widely, from cooking and cleaning, fears and anxieties, conspiracy theories, violence at home, enforced idleness – some were funny, others serious. The thing all these people had in common was that they were self-isolating or under lockdown. The programme brought voices from Germany, France, Great Britain, Norway, USA, Brazil, South Korea, Iran, Georgia, Russia, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Ireland, China, Greece, UAE and the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Facilitated by Dragana Damjanovic-Schachner from Gmünd Twin Town Society, one of five contributors who prepared items for broadcast on a daily basis, Verein Städtepartnerschaft and representatives from the twin towns got a lot of attention.

Appeal in Gmünder Tagespost
It all started with an appeal in the Tagespost by the Gmünd Society, which resulted in almost daily broadcasts from Faenza and Székesfehérvár but mainly Barnsley. The Barnsley contributions were striking, especially concerning the tight restrictions people found themselves under and what staying at home meant for individuals. There was comment about online lessons for school, how to occupy children and how to learn dance online! A lot of information on the allowed daily outdoor exercise, such as how far and how long people were allowed to go for walks.
A most impressive report came from a nurse in Barnsley who spoke about her work on the front line. Contributions from Faenza concentrated on the situation of young people there and the schools and also reflected the long very gloomy time in the town, luckily it wasn’t hit too hard by the virus.

Report from Gmünd
A former Italian intern at the Gmünd Council and his friends talked about student life during the Corona lockdown but also about his time working in Gmünd. Székesfehérvár mainly reported on the measures the council was taking to combat the disease. Antibes and Bethlehem had been approached but did not take part.
Overall, friends in the twin towns of Gmünd contributed over a third of the broadcasts.

"The incomprehension of comprehension or better still English is Crazy !"

For those who want to understand English a little better, and here’s where we really appreciate how well our friends in Gmünd speak English, ………here are a few pointers to help you.

We in England take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

There is no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger, there’s no apple or pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are animal organs.

English is a crazy language isn’t it, but why is it so confusing? Try these for example…..

confusion sign 1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he could get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese?? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it, an odd or an end? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

.............….and we think learning a few words of German is difficult !

"Virtual spot to cheer!"

Just like our societies, Barnsley’s Frumptarn Guggen Band members cannot meet at the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions, but that has not stopped them “getting together” to provide their many fans around the world with a spot of cheer in these difficult times. We present the ‘Virtual Frumptarn Guggen Band’ for your enjoyment.

Together with the band, the officers send all best wishes and hope you are all well and stay safe, better days are ahead,
we are told, and we will meet again!

"Happy St. George's Day everyone"

st georges day

Like many early saints, the exact details of the life of St. George remain a mystery.
The most famous story is St. George and The Dragon which is said to originate from the 13th-century legend The Golden Legend where St. George rides into Silene (modern-day Libya) to free the city from a dragon who is eating humans. This story was later translated and published in England in the 15th century. The legend has been adapted countlessly over the years and is still enjoyed today, more than half a century on.
In the well-known version from Jacobus da Varagine's Legenda aurea (The Golden Legend, 1260s), the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place somewhere he called Silene, in Libya. Silene was plagued by a venom-spewing dragon dwelling in a nearby pond, poisoning the countryside. To prevent it from affecting the city itself, the people offered it two sheep daily, then a man and a sheep, and finally their children and youths, chosen by lottery. One time the lot fell on the king's daughter. The king offered all his gold and silver to have his daughter spared, the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

st george Saint George by chance arrived at the spot. The princess tried to send him away, but he vowed to remain. The dragon emerged from the pond while they were conversing. Saint George made the Sign of the Cross and charged on horseback, seriously wounding it with his lance. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle and he put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash.
The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the populace. Saint George offered to kill the dragon if they consented to become Christians and be baptised. Fifteen thousand men including the king of Silene converted to Christianity. George then killed the dragon, beheading it with his sword and the body was carted out of the city on four ox-carts. The king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George on the site where the dragon died and a spring flowed from its altar with water that cured all disease. Only the Latin version involves the saint striking the dragon with the spear, before killing it with the sword.
The Golden Legend narrative is the main source of the story of Saint George and the Dragon as received in Western Europe, and is therefore relevant for Saint George as patron saint of England. The princess remains unnamed in the Golden Legend version, and the name Sabra is supplied by Elizabethan era writer Richard Johnson in his Seven Champions of Christendom(1596). In the work, she is recast as a princess of Egypt. This work takes great liberties with the material and makes St. George marry Sabra and have English children, one of whom becomes Guy of Warwick. Well, there you are - all explained!
Happy St George’s Day everyone.

"Message from Dr. Lukas Amadeus Schachner"

exh page

Dear friends in Antibes, Barnsley, Bethlehem, Faenza and Székesfehérvár,
Over the last few weeks we saw the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. These times of global crisis are exceptional, and for this reason all of us feel a special connection to our fellow citizens. The news and pictures, especially from Italy, are particularly shocking. Germany and our Ostalb region are also in the process of reducing public life to an absolute minimum. For us as citizens and associations this means an almost complete standstill of social life. Two weeks ago we had our latest cinema evening with Made in Dagenham  but now Verein Städtepartnerschaft will put on no further events for the foreseeable future. Our trip to Antibes, due to take place after Easter, had to be postponed indefinitely. Therefore it is all the more important during this time to communicate by telephone and electronically, to be at each other's side visibly and audibly. This is also very much the message of this letter. On behalf of the whole committee I want to assure you of our absolute solidarity and sympathy in these difficult days.

At the same time I would like to inform you about the outcome of our annual general meeting on 4. March, where the officers for our association were newly elected.
Please find below the names of the committee members for 2020-2022 and their respective duties:

Chairperson                                                Lukas Amadeus Schachner
Vice Chair                                                  Robert Abzieher
Vice Chair                                                  Christoph Bertenrath

Secretary                                                    Clemens Weller
Treasurer                                                    Helmut Nägeli
Antibes                                                        Rebekka Fauth
Barnsley                                                      Christoph Bertenrath
Bethlehem                                                   Lukas Amadeus Schachner
Faenza                                                        Lukas Amadeus Schachner
Székesfehérvár                                           Uschi Stöhr
Committee Member                                    David Sopp

new committee

Our email addresses:

What is new is that in the future I will be primarily responsible for fostering and developing the relationship with Faenza while Christoph will look after Barnsley. However, our perception of our roles is such that we will support each other in all matters. We are a great team! This means that Robert's heart will continue to beat for Faenza and mine for Barnsley in particular, albeit from the second row. I would be very happy if we could intensify our contacts soon, especially since mutual support is important these days, and I hope we can all come together in 2021 to celebrate a very special anniversary year. And, of course, we want to do everything in our power to collectively rejuvenate and further develop our twinning associations.

Below sources of information on the respective local situation:
Schwäbisch Gmünd: gmuend/
Barnsley: newspaper-online
Bethlehem: Faenza:
Székesfehérvár: bzw. (English)

By the way: Our website is always up to date, despite Covid-19!

With many best regards on behalf of the Committee

Lukas Amadeus Schachner

"Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition now online"

The Mall Galleries, London have closed due to the current Covid19 outbreak. This means that the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition won’t go ahead as planned. However, they have just put the exhibition up to view online and it’s really wonderful. See Richard Kitson’s work featured along with the best!

exh page

Follow the link below,

then click on the tab as shown here to view - Richard’s painting is featured on these pages.

rspp page link

"BSGTTS members' Mayoral invitation"

Mayors parlour

BSGTTS members pose for a photograph after a relaxed discussion and enjoyable afternoon tea in the Mayor's parlour by special invitation from Barnsley Mayor Cllr. Pauline Markham and Consort.

"Kitson selected for Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition"

rsppe painting

Big Congratulations to Richard Kitson whose portrait painting 'Two young painters' has been selected for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The exhibition runs from the 7th-22nd May.

"37th International Guggen Music Festival - colourful and imaginative costumes and ‘mad music.’"

guggen rockersOn February 15th and 16th Schwäbisch Gmünd, like every year was overtaken by ‘mad music.’ 
20 Guggen bands consisting around 800 musicians arrive from Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany and descend on the oldest Staufer town, now also referred to as the “Mecca” of Guggen music.

The 37th International Guggen Music Festival, the festival of weird tones, starts on Saturday.
At 11am a parade starts with the fool's tree at Bockstorplatz. Two Guggen bands lead the Narrenbaum to the market square where the tree is set up by the masked group "Rudos" with the help of the Wetzgau fire department.
The weekend is also an opportunity to welcome back and hear Guggen groups that have not been guests in Schwäbisch Gmünd for a long time.

With the early arrival of many supporters, there are always very colourful and imaginative costumes worn by the supporters themselves to admire around the town centre bars on the Friday night.

You have to be very careful though, it can be somewhat scary ......... can anyone recognise what must definitely be
‘the oldest rocker in town’ spotted in Gmünd last Friday? Told you it was ‘mad.’

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