Past Events


Die Musik Eint Europa!

The members of Thames Philharmonic Choir & the Sinfonischer Chor receiving a rapturous ovation from a delighted audience after their performance in the Stefanskirche in Konstanz.

20th May 2023. International music lovers were spoilt for choice on Saturday 20th May when there were simultaneous performances by the European Youth Orchestra in Fontainebleau & by Thames Philharmonic Choir & the Sinfonischer Chor in Konstanz.

The choirs have been twinned for over 40 years, but, owing to the pandemic, this was the first joint performance for 7 years.  Sie waren alle überglücklich!

The conductors, Wolfgang Mettler & Harry Bradford are pictured on the left.

The concert was reported in the local press.

Before & after the joint concert, members of the Richmond choir had time to visit some of the beautiful sights of Konstanz before their departure. The time passed all too quickly. Bis zum nächsten Mal!

“So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu…”

Meanwhile 300 miles to the north east another international concert was taking place in Fontainebleau.

European Youth Orchestra

The young musicians rehearsing in the theatre prior to the anniversary performance.
The flags of the participating European nations adorned the Munipal Theatre.

20th May 2023   The talented musicians of the European Youth Orchestra wowed an international audience, which included the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Suzette Nicholson & many REA members,  in the Municipal Theatre in Fontainebleau with a concert performance to celebrate their tenth anniversary.

The orchestra performs throughout Europe & its members are drawn from the twinned European towns of Richmond, Fontainebleau, Konstanz, Alba Iulia (in Romania) & Lodi (in Italy). On this occasion Waldegrave School in Twickenham provided the young English musicians.

Charlotte O’Brien, the Head of Performing Arts & Music at Waldegrave School said, “The experience is one which the students will treasure for a lifetime.”

The musicians from Waldegrave School with their teacher, Charlotte O’Brien (3rd from left) and the Mayor of Richmond & her consort.

Thames Philharmonic Choir

The choir & orchestra, conducted by Harry Bradford, received a rapturous ovation.

25th March 2023. Thames Philharmonic Choir, which is twinned with the Sinfonischer Chor in Konstanz,  performed Bach’s Mass in B Minor to a packed auditorium in The Cadogan Hall in London.

L-R. Alan, Clare, Gisele & Hans-Joachim during the interval.

Hans-Joachim Knopf, from the Sinfonischer Chor, and his wife Gisele travelled especially from Konstanz for the performance. They were greeted by Alan Mockford & Clare Head, the chairman & vice chairman of REA. Alan had previously met Hans-Joachim in Konstanz earlier this year. REA committee members Carol Wain & Paul Douglas were also present.

Everyone was agreed that the level of performance was outstanding.

Relaxing with the choir members after the performance. Singers(L-R) Julie Kendrick, Sue Mason & Sandra Macniven (chairman) with the conductor, Harry Bradford, and Alan & Hans-Joachim.

Thames Philharmonic Choir will be performing with the Sinfonischer Chor in Konstanz in May.

Das Europakonzil

The youth delegates from France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany & Richmond in the historic Konzil in Konstanz.

8th March 2023. Fran Batt, of local environment charity Habitats & Heritage, & Cllr. Julia Neden-Watts met students from Teddington School, who attended an international twinned towns youth conference on the climate emergency in Konstanz last September.

Sadly the conference was not reported in the British press, but it was widely featured in the German media, including on the main news bulletin.

German TV News Report

The students were clearly enthused by their trip and their discussions with other young Europeans. Fran & Julia asked the students what hopes they had brought back with them in terms of local projects & what support they might need to bring them to reality.

Awareness was raised about the activities of the Youth Council & the funding which is available from Richmond Council through the Youth Council to support climate action by young people. The students were encouraged to come forward with suitable projects. A robust discussion followed which encompassed biodiversity and nature, the Ultra Low Emission Zone, behaviour change around climate action, energy efficiency & sustainability.

For further information about the Europakonzil please click on the following link:

Das Europakonzil 

Ho Narro! (Hello Fool!)

Martin Schröpel fought to defend the town hall, but was overwhelmed by the Narren (fools).
The procession stretched for over a mile.

15th February 2023.

Thousands of Konstanzerinnen und Konstanzer, including musicians from a dozen marching bands & the fabulous Fahnenschwinger, paraded through the historic narrow streets of Konstanz for the annual Butzenlauf as part of the annual Fasnacht festival.

REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was among the thronging crowd enjoying the spectacle.

On the following day the Narren (fools) of Konstanz stormed the town hall &, despite the best efforts of council officers like Martin Schröpel to defend it, they still managed to seize control of the council as they do every year. It’s only for a few days though.

In Britain it is even worse. A fool can become Prime Minister.

International School Exchanges

L-R. Der GSS Schulleiter, Herr Adam, Alan und English Lehrer, Herr Rieck.

The Geschwister Scholl Schule & Ellenrieder Gymnasium have annual school exchanges with Teddington School and Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools. During his recent stay in Konstanz the REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, took the opportunity to visit both schools to meet & converse with both staff (in German) and pupils (in English).

The Richmond pupils will be making the journey to Konstanz in the summer. What better way can there be to learn German than to spend a week in Konstanz with a German family? Es ist wichtig in die Sprache einzutauchen.

The REA chairman, centre, with English teachers from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium.

University Challenge

L-R. Werner, Melanie & Alan on the rooftop terrace of the university cafeteria, from where students can enjoy spectacular views of the Alps & Bodensee.

February 2023.  Prior to Brexit the University of Konstanz had been linked with St. Mary’s University in Strawberry Hill through the Erasmus programme. Students were free to study English in either country. The students in Konstanz are still free to study in any of the 30 countries which remain part of the scheme, but unfortunately British students may no longer participate.

During a visit to the University of Konstanz, REA chairman, Alan Mockford, explained to Melanie Hochstätter & Werner Palz of the international department that, despite the considerable damage this isolation is causing to British universities, there is unlikely to be a significant change in policy until there is a change of government.

The University of Konstanz overlooks the flower island of Mainau. (Photo taken from a Zeppelin).

Die Historische Reichenau

The causeway leading to the island with its separate cycle path & Alan’s borrowed bicycle.

February 2023. Konstanz & the surrounding region boasts an extensive network of safe cycle paths. It is the quickest & healthiest way to travel & it also helps to save the planet. During his recent stay REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, like most Konstanzerinnen und Konstanzer cycled everywhere.

On one fine day he cycled to the historic island of the Reichenau. After calling at the local tourist office, where he was kindly presented with a stunning poster of the island, he visited the 9th century church of St. Georg with its beautiful 10th century frescoes, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, who had lived not so very long beforehand.  It was like a journey back in time. These romanesque frescoes were painted a hundred years before the Norman conquest of England.

The breathtaking 1200 year old frescoes in St. Georg’s Church.

The Reichenau was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 AD.

Männerchor Konstanz

Tobias am Flügel im Bischofssaal.

February 2023.

Tobias Kamprad, a trainee teacher who spent five weeks with us in Richmond last year in order to improve his English, is also the conductor of a local male voice choir in Konstanz.

During his recent stay in Konstanz REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was invited to a couple of rehearsals in the beautiful Bischofssaal next to the Münster.

For more information about the Männerchor Konstanz & a short film of their performing please click on the following link.


On another day Tobias & Alan strolled along Seestraße &, en route, called in on the von Witzleben family, who were also in Richmond last year.

Here Tobias is pictured on the south side of the Rheinbrücke.

The 60th Anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.

REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, preparing for the conference.

26th January 2023.

A conference in Fontainebleau to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty was attended online by French speaking pupils from the Alexander von Humboldt Gymnasium, who were seated in the Ratssaal in the town hall in Konstanz.

Citizens of both towns are very proud that the partnership between Fontainebleau & Konstanz predates the Élysée Treaty by three years.

REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, who was in Konstanz at the time, was also invited to join the conference, which took place entirely in French.

Richmond became the third partner of this triangular relationship in 1983. The 65th anniversary of the initial pairing will be celebrated in Richmond in 2025.


Some of the pupils & their teachers in the Ratssaal.

Our Man in Tägerwilen

Hans-Martin with his commemorative mug & REA chairman, Alan Mockford, wearing his Konstanz tie..

January 2023.  Dr. Hans-Martin Riehle lives in Tägerwilen, which lies on the Swiss side of the border with Konstanz. He is German, but works in Switzerland. Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU it is part of Schengen & there is complete freedom of movement.

Hans-Martin’s son, Julius spent the summer of 2019 in Richmond in order to improve his English. During his time in England Julius worked as a volunteer in the Museum of Richmond. On his return to Germany he studied Law at the University of Konstanz & is now continuing his studies in Portugal – enjoying all the benefits of freedom of movement.

His father, Hans-Martin, is an enthusiast for our international partnership & represented REA at the recent Konzilspreis ceremony in Konstanz. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, called on the Riehle family during his recent trip to Konstanz &, after a delicious meal, showed them how to make English tea.

Zeppelin Museum

January 2023.

The world famous Zeppelin Museum  is housed in the former art deco railway station in Friedrichshafen, which can be reached by Katamaran from nearby Konstanz, where Count von Zeppelin once lived.

The giant airships Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin, which were constructed at Friedrichshafen,  were as large and luxurious as an ocean liner. Visitors to the museum can walk through a life size reconstruction of the observation lounge and cabins.

During his recent stay in Konstanz REA chairman, Alan Mockford, visited the museum with retired Konstanzer Feuermann, Peter Renker.

Alan relaxing in the observation lounge. The furniture is made of lightweight aluminium.

Willkommen im TC Konstanz

January 2023. St. Mary’s Tennis Club in Isleworth has been twinned with Konstanz Tennis Club for 9 years & members of each club are automatically members of the other.

REA chairman, Alan Mockford, who is a keen tennis player, was in Konstanz in January & February to improve his German, meet old friends, make new ones & to play tennis. Konstanz Tennis Club has 10 outdoor clay courts, which are closed in winter, and three indoor courts, which are artificial clay.

Here Alan is pictured in the Tennishalle with Frank & Renata Mack (who is the groundsperson) & club member Günter Keller (right).

Another Konstanz club member, Jürgen Kern, visited Richmond shortly before the pandemic to play tennis, sample the delights of Richmond & attend the Wimbledon Championship, which takes place close to Richmond.

He is pictured (right) in the Tennishalle after a recent lesson with Konstanz club trainer Davor Tomazic, who was coach to Goran Ivanisevic when he won the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship in 2001. Jürgen is hoping to emulate Goran’s triumph next year!

Link to Konstanz Tennis Club website

Link to St. Mary’s Tennis Club


Requiescat in Pace

31st December 2022. German born Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed away peacefully in Rome at the age of 95.

Twelve years ago, as Pope, Benedict had celebrated mass in the chapel at St. Mary’s University in Twickenham. He then held a school assembly for 3500 local children before addressing an interfaith forum in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of Strawberry Hill House. 

For further details about his visit please click on the following link:

Pope Benedict’s visit to St. Mary’s University.

Pope Benedict XVI speaking in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of Strawberry Hill House, St. Mary’s University in 2010.

Benedict had been the first pope in 600 years to resign. The last time this occurred was during the Council of Constance in 1415, which had been convened to end a schism in the Catholic church.

The council lasted from 1414 until 1418, during which time three competing popes agreed to stand down & a unifying pope, Martin V was elected.

The Konzil building (centre) stands next to the harbour. It was originally a warehouse.                   Photo: MTK/Dagmar Schwelle

The negotiations took place in the Konzil building, which still survives intact & remains in daily use. It was the venue for the recent Europakonzil on the climate emergency.

For further information about the Council of Constance please click on the following link:

Council of Constance

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Virginia Woolf & friend.                                                                  Photo. Seamus Joyce

Christmas 2022

The recently unveiled statue of a famous past resident of Richmond, the writer Virginia Woolf, which is located on Richmond riverside, attracted the attention of a passing Irish setter on a frosty winter’s day.

The composition of a seated figure bears some comparison  with that of the seated lady on the wall beside the beautiful  historic apartments in Seestraße in Konstanz, overlooking the Bodensee. Who this lady is we do not know.

The 2022 Annual Christmas Dinner

Former Chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, with current Chairman, Alan Mockford

Friday 9th December 2022.

Outside the temperature plummeted, but inside Stein’s restaurant in Kingston war es sehr gemütlich.

REA members enjoyed the convivial international company while partaking of a lavish three course meal, including Goulasch, Käsefondue, wild boar, duck, Apfelstrüdel & the odd glass of Glühwein.

Das ganze Zimmer im ersten Stock wurde für uns reserviert. Wir haben uns gut unterhalten und noch ein neues Mitglied willkommen geheißen.

Next year the annual Christmas dinner will be at a French restaurant.

“Wie Bitte?”

Présence sur le marché de Fontainebleau

3rd December 2022. The Mayor of Fontainebleau & members of ARCIF braved the cold weather to share information about Fontainebleau’s international partnerships with a stall at the market this weekend.

More Visitors from Konstanz

The family admired one the new information boards about our twin towns in Orleans House garden.

November 2022.

We were delighted to welcome Renate & Walter von Witzleben from Konstanz, who were in Richmond to visit their daughter Alexa. Alexa’s family is currently based in Richmond for work purposes. 

Our chairman, Alan Mockford, met the family at Orleans House & guided them on a riverside stroll to York House, via its beautiful garden.

Renata & Walter were surprised to discover that the Thames is still tidal in Richmond & that the riverside road is liable to flooding.

A photograph by the new fingerpost sign outside the town hall is, of course, a must for any of our visitors from Fontainebleau or Konstanz.

Then it was back to Orleans House cafe for a heiße Schokolade.

Renata & Walter have invited Alan to visit them in Konstanz in the new year.

The 45th Annual General Meeting

Vice Chairman, Clare Head, addressing the meeting while the chairman listens attentively.

15th November 2022. Our English patron, the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Julia Cambridge was the guest of honour at our 45th AGM, which took place in the beautiful salon of York House.

“Pray silence for the Mayor.”
L-R. Paul Douglas, the Mayor, Marina Tuffier & Alan Mockford

As part of the formal meeting, our chairman, Alan Mockford, recounted many of the highlights of the past year & then outlined some of our plans for 2023, including a giant public art work involving local art students & a trip to Farnborough Abbey.

After the formal business was over members socialised in the salubrious surroundings over Kaffee (oder Tee) und Kuchen. The delicious homemade cakes, baked by REA members, were “unwiderstehlich.”

A few of the homemade cakes on offer.

Paul Douglas in Fontainebleau (once again)

Paul with Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF.
Paul with Dordevic Tomislav.

October 2022. REA committee member, Paul Douglas, once again received tremendous hospitality in Fontainebleau, which he has come to regard as his second home.

During his prolonged stay he also visited the Real Tennis Court at the château de Fontainebleau, where Evelyne Wenzel introduced him to the secretary of the Cercle du Jeu de Paume, Dordevic Tomislav. The Cercle du Jeu de Paume de Fontainebleau is twinned with the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court.

Paul also met Katia Hosek who, along with Evelyne, visited us in Richmond this summer. Both Katia & Evelyne Wenzel are members of Art Fontainebleau, which is twinned with the Richmond Art Society, of which Paul is a member.

Paul is a true francophile & cannot wait for his next visit. Unfortunately because of Brexit, he can only spend a maximum of 90 days in any six months in the rest of Europe.

Paul with Katia in the gardens of the château.

Rejoin March

The marchers approaching Parliament.
Alan (left) & Gareth.

Saturday 22nd October 2022.

With the British government in turmoil & the country facing an economic crisis, over 50,000 British Europeans marched on the Houses of Parliament to demand that the United Kingdom applies to rejoin the EU now that the consequences of Brexit have become all too apparent.

Among the tens of thousands who thronged the streets of London were Gareth Roberts, the Leader of Richmond Council, and Alan Mockford, the Chairman of the Richmond in Europe Association.

Some of the marchers in Trafalgar Square en route to Westminster.

Die Verleihung des Konstanzer Konzilspreises 

Oberbürgermeister Uli Burchardt with prize winner Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.

Saturday 15th October 2022. The biennial Konzilspreis for European engagement was awarded to Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts of the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz by the Oberbürgermeister of Konstanz in a ceremony in the Festsaal of the Inselhotel before an invited audience. One of our German members, Dr. Hans-Martin Riehle, represented REA.

Dr.Rieuwerts had been selected for the award by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who unfortunately was unable to attend the ceremony in person because of all the turmoil in the UK. However she did address the ceremony online from Edinburgh.

Dr Rieuwerts was chosen for her work in promoting educational engagement between Scotland & the Rhineland Palatinate & in particular the securing of placements for German & Scottish trainee MFL teachers in each others countries, which has been made so difficult as a consequence of Brexit, but is therefore all the more important.

Scotland already has a “hub” in Berlin & Dr. Alexandra Stein, the Director of the Scottish Government in Germany gave a speech from the platform. 

L-R. Dr. Denis Alt, Minister for Science & Health, Rhineland-Pfalz, Dr. Alexandra Stein, Sigrid Rieuwerts, Uli Burchardt & Professor Hanns-Peter Knaebel, the chairman of Konstanzer Konzilsverein.

In addition to receiving a prize of €10,000 Dr. Rieuwerts was also presented with the Konstanzer Konzilpreis sash. The sash, which she retains for two years, was woven from five ribbons to symbolise European diversity.

The name of each laureate & his or her patron is embroidered on an individual ribbon so that over time the sash will become a testimony to European commitment.

For further details about the award please click on the following link:

Konstanzer Konzilspreis

To watch a recording of the whole ceremony, including the musical interludes, please click on the following link:

Recording of Ceremony

Please note that the address by the Director of the Scottish Government in Berlin, in German, begins after 46 minutes & 45 seconds.

Ms. Sturgeon’s address, in English,  begins after 51 minutes & 58 seconds.

Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools welcome students from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium in Konstanz

October 2022. Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools were pleased to welcome students from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium on their annual exchange.

REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, was invited to meet some of the boys at Hampton School. The girls, of course, visited Lady Eleanor Holles School. Most schools in Germany are for both boys & girls and there is no school uniform. Alan hopes to visit the Ellenrieder Gymnasium in the new year.

As well as sampling the delights of the borough the German students visited some of the famous sights of London such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Houses of Parliament & the Natural History Museum.

Pupils from Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools will be visiting Konstanz next summer.

Ellenrieder students in the Natural History Museum

Ein Kurzbesuch in Konstanz

Alan (right) with some members of the Ruder Verein Konstanz.

26th September – 4th October 2022. While our chairman, Alan Mockford, was in Konstanz for the Europakonzil he took the opportunity to call in at the Ruder Verein Konstanz, which has expressed interest in forming a partnership with a rowing club in Richmond.

Der RV Neptun lies on the north bank of the Rhine close to the old bridge.

He was also invited to tea by the parents of Alexa von Witzleben, who is currently living in Richmond with her family. A reception for the von Witzlebens had been held at St. Mary’s Tennis Club shortly before Alan’s departure. (Please see further below for pictures).

Alan with Renate von Witzleben on the balcony to her apartment.

Alan was struck by the impressive new murals in the main underpass in the town.

A couple of examples of the many new murals.

Alan climbed to the top of the Napoleonturm which overlooks Konstanz & the Reichenau from the Swiss side of the border.

The Reichenau from the Napoleonturm

He also marvelled at the Zeppelins which fly overhead in the summer. They were first built at nearby Friedrichshafen. You have to keep an eye out for them as they are silent.

A Zeppelin flying over Konstanz. October 2022.

Alan also visited the house of the world famous painter of the Weimar Republic, Otto Dix. Dix’s works, along with other “Entartete Kunst,” were banned by the Nazis.

Part of the “Metropolis” triptych by Otto Dix. The original can be seen in the Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart.

He also renewed acquaintance with the faithful hound Bello, who can be found in the courtyard of the town hall in Konstanz. The bronze is a copy of one in the garden of the Château de Fontainebleau & was presented to Konstanz by its French twin town to commemorate the reaffirmation of the twinning in 2010.

Finally Alan stopped for a well deserved ice cream at Konstanz Tennis Club, which has a long standing partnership with St. Mary’s Tennis Club. Both clubs have clay courts, although Konstanz also has indoor clay courts.

Alan on the verandah of Konstanz Tennis Club.



St.Mary’s Tennis Club.

The flag of Konstanz was flown to celebrate the occasion.
Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay.

Saturday 24th September 2022. About 30 members attended a reception at St. Mary’s Tennis Club, for the von Witzleben family from Konstanz.

St. Mary’s, which is twinned with Konstanz Tennis Club, is one of the few clubs in England with European red clay courts, which are used for most professional outdoor tournaments in the rest of Europe.

Kaffee und Kuchen

More energetic members played a few games of tennis while everyone enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee with several large slices of delicious homemade German cake.

REA member, Tom Wain, was one of those invited to try out the European clay courts.
Some of the attendees. Others could not be dragged away from the homemade cakes.

International Rowing Connections

8th September 2022. Simon Elsy from Twickenham Rowing Club was pleased to welcome Matthias & Monika Bohm from the Ruder Verein Konstanz, who were part of a group rowing down the Thames. The two rowing clubs are hoping to form a closer relationship in the future.

Three more visitors from Germany

Frau Kern in the foyer of the Old Town Hall in Richmond.

September 2022. Herr und Frau Sommer und Frau Kern were recently in Richmond for the Women’s European Football Championship.

During their stay they came across an impressive array of evidence of our partnership with Konstanz, including one of the 22 recently refurbished Town Twinning signs by Kew Bridge.

They were particular delighted to discover the Museum of Richmond, where they encountered the twinning display in the foyer & the staff were so welcoming & helpful. They were also attracted to the 2025 commemorative mugs, which can be purchased from the museum shop for only £5 each.

On their return to Konstanz they called in on Toni Langemann in the partnership office of the town hall & presented her with one of the mugs they had acquired. Toni showed them the display cabinet in Konstanz Town Hall which is dedicated to the partnership with Richmond. Toni then put Frau Kern in touch with REA & photographs were shared.

L-R. Frau Sommer, Toni Langemann (with their commemorative mugs) & Frau Kern

Frau Kern & the Sommers had been treading in illustrious footsteps. The Queen officially opened the Museum of Richmond in 1988 and the opening ceremony was captured on camera. David Attenborough can also be seen standing behind the Queen.

The Queen opening the museum. ©Museum of Richmond

Pour allez à Fontainebleau? Wie komme ich nach Konstanz?

L-R. David Vaughan, Carol Wain & Alan Mockford

4th August 2022.  REA members ran an information table by the new fingerpost sign outside the town hall in Twickenham. Many local residents & workers stopped by to find out about our beautiful European twin towns & the exciting opportunities which our partnerships offer.

Several shared with us their regret about our leaving the European Union & the personal problems they had experienced as a direct consequence.

Much interest was also expressed in the Rejoin March on Parliament on 10th September.

Auf Wiedersehen

L-R. The Mayor of Fontainebleau, Frédéric Valletoux, the President of ARCIF, Evelyne Wenzel & Claus-Dieter.

31st July 2022. After many years of service as head of the partnership department of Konstanz Council, Claus-Dieter Hirt moved on to new challenges.

He will continue to work with the council from time to time, training candidates for senior positions in the civil service, & remains President of the Deutsch-Französische Vereinigung.

Claus-Dieter is pictured here representing Konstanz at the 60th anniversary celebrations of ARCIF in Fontainebleau in May of this year.

England 2 Germany 1

31st July 2022. England beat Germany 2 -1 after extra time in the final of the European Championship at Wembley Stadium, (which is only 7 miles from Richmond.)

Germany 2 Austria 0

The German women’s team defeated Austria at the Brentford Community Stadium to reach the semi-finals of the European Championship.

The Brentford Community Stadium is the most technologically advanced stadium in the world & is only 300 metres from Richmond.

It is the home ground of Premier League team, Brentford.

International Friendship Renewed in Fontainebleau

Members of the three clubs in Fontainebleau

July 2022. A triangular golf tournament featuring members of the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club & the golf clubs of Fontainebleau & Konstanz, with which it is twinned, was held in Fontainebleau.

The hosts won the competition, but international friendship was the real winner. Next year the tournament will be held in Richmond when the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club will have home advantage.

Stuttgart 2   Brentford 1

Bryan Mbeumo scored for Brentford

Saturday 16th July 2022. Richmond’s local Premier League team, Brentford, lost 1-2 to Stuttgart in a pre-season friendly match in Friedrichshafen. Brentford led for much of the match, but lost to a last minute penalty. Typisch Deutsch und typisch Brentford!

For a full report please click on the following link:

Full Report

Das Sommerfest der Deutschen Schule London

9th July 2022.  Hundreds of people attended the annual Sommerfest at the German School in Ham in typical English summer weather & much interest was expressed in the borough’s partnerships with Konstanz & Fontainebleau.

A lot of information in German was distributed, several new members were recruited & many 2025 commemorative mugs were purchased.

REA members Alan Mockford, Ulrike Dunckley & Silke Müller sheltering from the sun.

Bienvenue à Richmond

Sunday 26th June 2022. The Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Julia Cambridge, REA committee members & local scout leaders were pleased to welcome Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF, & Katia Hosek from Art Fontainebleau to Richmond. Richmond scouts are hoping to link up with scout groups in Fontainebleau in the future.

L-R. David Vaughan, Phil Hunt, , Cllr. Penny Frost, Paul Douglas, Carol Wain, Mayor’s consort, Jonathan Cardy, The Mayor, Evelyne Wenzel, REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, REA Vice-Chairman, Clare Head & Katia Hosek.
Evelyne with the Mayor

The French visitors were in Teddington for the Richmond Art Society Summer Exhibition, which included works by artists from Fontainebleau. They were hosted by REA, Vice Chairman, Clare Head & Membership Secretary Carol Wain, during their stay.

The Mayor presented Evelyne with a book featuring oil paintings in local galleries & the REA Chairman presented Katia with a reaffirmation commemorative mug.

Katia with her commemorative mug & Richmond badge.

Both Evelyne & Katia were pleased to meet representatives of local clubs & associations which are seeking partners in Fontainebleau. A list of clubs & associations with active partnerships can be found on the “Current Partners” page above.

The 65th anniversary of the first twinning will take place in Richmond from 6th – 8th June 2025. Over 120 local clubs, societies & schools have registered to take part & over 500 guests from Fontainebleau & Konstanz are expected.

Vive la France. Vive le jumelage!

Vive la France!   L-R Evelyne Wenzel, the Mayor, REA committee member, Paul Douglas, & REA, Chairman, Alan Mockford

Richmond Art Society Summer Exhibition

L to R. REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, Paul Douglas of RAS, Evelyne Wenzel & Katia Hosek at the vernissage on 24th June.
Local artist & REA member Loraine Monk with the REA chairman.
Local artist & REA member Jan Lee Johnson with the REA chairman.

24th-26th June 2022. Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF, which is the equivalent of REA in Fontainebleau, and Katia Hosek of Art Fontainebleau were the guests of honour at the Richmond Art Society Summer Exhibition, which was held at the Landmark Arts Centre  in Teddington. The exhibition, which was very well attended by REA members, featured works by artists from both Richmond & Fontainebleau.

Evelyne was much in demand with members of local clubs & associations who are seeking partners in Fontainebleau.

Evelyne (left) with REA committee member, Marina Tuffier, (centre), & Sue Mason of Thames Philharmonic Choir.

On Saturday 25th June Evelyne & Katia were shown some of the delights of Twickenham Riverside by REA committee members, Alan Mockford & Paul Douglas.

The tour began at York House with the “must have” photo by the new fingerpost sign.

Then the group took a stroll around the beautiful, tranquil gardens of York House, pausing for more photographs on the picturesque bridge & adopting appropriate poses by the artistic Naked Ladies fountain. 

Twickenham riverside has so much to offer. No wonder that the surviving French aristocracy chose to live here after the revolution. After sampling the delights of York House, which had been the residence of the Comte de Paris, our French guests moved on to Orleans House gallery, which was once home to Louis Philippe, the last King of the French.

Katia & Evelyne in the Octagon Room.

In Orleans House garden Evelyne & Katia paused to look at one of the four service trees of Fontainebleau which have been planted in the borough

and to admire one of the three new information boards about our twin towns.

Then it was on to the magnificent palladian Marble Hill House, which has just been reopened after extensive refurbishment.

Evelyne & Katia’s first glimpse of Marble Hill House from the banks of the Thames.


The magnificent interior of the house.

As lovers of art, Evelyne & Katia also much appreciated their guided tour of Turner’s House in St. Margaret’s.

Paul Douglas with Katia & Evelyne outside the house of one of England’s finest painters.
Indianapolis Museum of Art

When he was not in Twickenham, Turner also spent some time in both Konstanz & Fontainebleau, where he completed some of his most famous works including “The Departure of Napoleon.” (Napoleon abdicated in 1814 at the château de Fontainebleau. He bade farewell to his troops from the magnificent staircase, but it was not the end. He returned the following year, only to be defeated at Waterloo).

It’s amazing how much there is to be seen on Twickenham riverside – York House, Orleans House, Marble Hill  House, Turner’s House are all within walking distance and Ham House & the pleasures of Richmond Hill & Park are only a minute’s ferry ride away on the other side of the Thames.

REA Annual Garden Party

11th June 2022. The annual garden party, hosted by Brenda Morris at her beautiful home in East Sheen, was blessed once again with lovely weather. About 40 members enjoyed the convivial multi-lingual company & gorgeous sunshine.

Our English patron, Cllr. Julia Cambridge, the Mayor of Richmond was guest of honour. Julia had already been a member of REA before she became Mayor so she was pleased to be able to attend. After saying a few words in support of our work, Julia was delighted to receive a 2025 Reaffirmation commemorative mug for use in the Mayor’s parlour when entertaining guests.

She is looking forward to meeting Madame Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF, who is coming to  Teddington in two weeks time for the Richmond Art Society Summer Exhibition in conjunction with Art Fontainebleau. 

A Fourth Service Tree of Fontainebleau Planted

Cllr. Suzette Nichloson with REA Chairman, Alan Mockford

28th May 2022. A service tree of Fontainebleau has been planted on Hampton Common beside one of the new town twinning signs, which had been unveiled by the then Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Suzette Nicholson in September 2021.

Suzette & Alan beside the new town twinning sign in Oak Avenue, Hampton.

There are now 22 of the town twinning signs & four service trees of Fontainebleau in the borough. The trees are native to the world famous Forêt de Fontainebleau. The other 3 trees can be found in the gardens of York House, Orleans House & outside East Sheen library.

Joyeux Anniversaire!

The Mayor of Fontainebleau, Frédéric Valletoux, left, presents the birthday cake to Evelyne Wenzel, President of ARCIF, with Claus-Dieter Hirt of Konstanz Council on the right.

7th-14th May 2022. Delegations from Richmond & Konstanz were welcomed to Fontainebleau to celebrate the 60th anniversary of ARCIF. (The equivalent of REA in Fontainebleau).

The week of celebrations included an art exhibition, a hike in the forest, a visit to the château, a concert, dance & dinner.

Traditional French Country dancing with the Bourrée du Coucou
Konstanzer Oberbürgermeister, Uli Burchardt, (left) with Frédéric Valletoux.

The Mayors of both Fontainebleau & Konstanz were present. Unfortunately the celebrations in France coincided with the local elections in Richmond & the Mayor of Richmond was unable to attend. However REA was represented by Paul Douglas & David Vaughan.


David Vaughan with Paul Douglas at the celebratory dinner.







One of the many highlights of the week of festivities was a concert by the l’orchestre philharmonique de Fontainebleau conducted by Fabrice Fortin.

Evelyne Wenzel introduced the concert

There was also a guided hike in the world famous forêt de Fontainebleau.

Paul Douglas & David Vaughan with members of ARCIF en route to the hike.

La Bourrée du Coucou demonstrated traditional French country dancing in the garden of la Maison des compagnons.

The art exhibition lasted for a week & included works from artists in Konstanz, Lodi, Fontainebleau & Richmond.

The Richmond Art Society is staging its summer exhibition at the Landmark Centre in Teddington from 24th-26th June & this will include works by artists from Fontainebleau. Paul Douglas from the Richmond Art Society is looking forward to welcoming Evelyne Wenzel from Art Fontainebleau to Richmond.

Please see the Forthcoming Events page for further details.

Europe Day 9th May 2022

REA membership secretary, Carol Wain (right), celebrated Europe Day with her Lithuanian friend, Simona.

Meanwhile those remaining in Richmond chose to celebrate Europe Day on 9th May in their own way.

How did you celebrate Europe Day this year?

Willkommen in Richmond 

17th March 2022. Our patron, the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Geoff Acton invited Tobias Kamprad,  our latest young guest from Konstanz, to tea in York House. They were joined by REA Chairman, Alan Mockford & Cllr. Penny Frost, who is the councillor who liaises with REA about our European partnerships.

L-R. The Mayor, Cllr. Penny Frost, Tobias & Alan

The Mayor has a close connection with  Germany as he worked in Düsseldorf for British Leyland from 1982-84, but the conversation was mainly in English. Before tea in the Mayor’s Parlour, Tobias was taken on a guided tour of the magnificent town hall & its beautiful gardens before the obligatory photograph by the recently installed fingerpost sign.

L-R Tobias, the Mayor, Penny & Alan

Phemina Photo Exhibition in Fontainebleau

March 2022. ARCIF, our partner association in Fontainebleau, staged a women’s photography exhibition. Men were also allowed to contribute as long as the subject of their work was women. 

Madame Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF,  welcomed guests to the exhibition. Please click on the following link to see a short film of her introduction.

Evelyne Wenzel’s welcome

Included in the exhibition were the works of three Richmond members, Carol Wain, Jan Johnson & Paul Douglas.

Paul’s exhibits on the left & Jan’s on the right.
Carol’s exhibits.

Paul attended the exhibition in person and enjoyed wonderful hospitality.

He also took the opportunity, during his stay, to present commemorative reaffirmation mugs to the Mayor, Frédéric Valletoux, Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF & Marie Mangeot of the friends of the Château de Fontainebleau. (These can also be purchased for £5 from the Museum of Richmond).

Marie Mangeot, with her mug, plus Evelyne Wenzel


Council Leader’s Spring Reception

L-R. Tobias, Ulrike & Gareth in the Salon of York House.

15th March 2022. Council leader & REA member, Gareth Roberts, was pleased to meet Tobias Kamprad, a young visitor from Konstanz, at a reception in York House. Here they can be seen with Ulrike Dunckley, a member of the REA Konstanz sub-committee, who is hosting Tobias for some of his stay. 

Eine neue Interim-Schulleiterin der Deutschen Schule London

Alan with Claudia.

14th March 2022. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, met with Claudia Wolff-Lieser, the new interim headteacher of the German School in Ham to discuss ways in which we could work even more closely together to promote the teaching & learning of German in local schools. Many exciting possibilities were discussed.

Alan also presented Claudia with one of our commemorative reaffirmation mugs.

Tobias Kamprad, a trainee teacher from Konstanz, who is working at a school in Twickenham, had been invited to spend the day in the school to see how it operates. All subjects, apart from English, are taught in German. Tobias was amazed at how similar the school is to those in Germany & how different it is to English schools. It was like being back in Germany!

For further information about the German School please click on the following link:

Die Deutsche Schule London

23rd February 2022.   REA members & friends from France, Germany, Richmond & North America enjoyed an all-embracing online lecture by David King MA. David’s theme this time was the famous royal resident of Orleans House, Twickenham, the duc d’Aumale, who would be celebrating his 200th birthday this year. Henri d’Orléans, duc d’Aumale, was the fifth son of Louis Philippe, the last King of the French, who also lived in Twickenham, when times were rough in France, as did many French aristocrats. Twickenham became like a Versailles on Thames.

Henri inherited from his godfather, the Prince of Condé, an absolute fortune, including the Château at Chantilly, which he completely restored.

Le Château de Chantilly

Le duc d’Aumale supported many good causes during his time in Twickenham and he was invited to become the first president of Twickenham Rowing Club, which still bears his royal colours of blue & white to this day.

The guest of honour for the lecture was Marie Mangeot of the Friends of the Château of Fontainebleau, which boasts 1100 members. To find out more about the Friends please click on the following link:

Les Amis du Château de Fontainebleau

If you would like to see a recording of the lecture please click on the following link:

Duc d’Aumale lecture

Stuart (left) & Max on the Swiss border.


6th-8th February. One of our members, Stuart McRae, was in the vicinity of Konstanz for a business meeting & decided to make a brief visit.

Stuart was greeted by one of our local contacts in Konstanz, Max Heber, who used to work in the partnership department of Konstanz council.

Max guided Stuart on a short walking tour of the city centre, taking in the partnership sign on the Swiss border. Then they retired from the cold to Logan’s Irish pub.

It was Stuart’s first time in Konstanz &, despite the less than ideal weather, he was able to take some great photographs which you can see by clicking on the following link.

Photos of Konstanz

The Deputy German Ambassador Visits Richmond.

REA chairman, Alan Mockford, with the Deputy German Ambassador, Julia Gross in the magnificent Octagon Room of Orleans House.
“Wie komme ich nach Konstanz?”

2nd February 2022.  It was our great pleasure to welcome Julia Gross, the deputy German Ambassador, to Richmond. After lunch at the Petersham Hotel, where Julia was introduced to the first twinning baby, Davina Constance Marsh, REA chairman, Alan Mockford, accompanied Julia on a sightseeing stroll along the Thames to Twickenham, passing two of the new information boards about our twin European towns, the memorial to the Belgian Village on the Thames & Marble Hill House  before calling in at Orleans House Gallery.

There was just time to view Eel Pie Island, the memorial to Alexander Pope & the new fingerpost sign outside the civic centre before Julia was invited to tea in the Mayor’s Parlour in York House, where she was greeted by the Mayor, Cllr. Geoff Acton, Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Suzette Nicholson, & council leader, Gareth Roberts.

L-R. Alan Mockford, Gareth Roberts. Suzette Nicholson, Julia Gross & Geoff Acton in the Mayor’s Parlour..

Julia thought that York House was one of the finest town halls that she had ever seen. She was particularly struck by the gardens & open air theatre. 

Julia was pleased to accept our invitation to become an honorary member of the Richmond in Europe Association & was presented with lapel badges of Konstanz & Richmond plus a reaffirmation commemorative mug for use in the German Embassy. In return she presented REA with a mug depicting Berlin.

Julia agreed to come to Richmond again in the spring to visit a local school to promote the teaching & learning of German & to meet REA members. Before her departure there was, of course, the obligatory photograph by the fingerpost sign outside the town hall as the Council of Europe flag flew overhead.

REA & ARCIF members on a hike in the Fontainebleau Forest before the pandemic.

24th January 2022. The Richmond in Europe Association hosted an online conversation with Fontainebleau & Konstanz. Among the large number of participants were the Mayor of Richmond, councillor Geoff Acton, Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF (the equivalent of REA in Fontainebleau), Marie Mangeot of the friends of the château of Fontainebleau, and Claus-Dieter Hirt & Antonie Langemann from the partnership department of Konstanz Council.

Evelyne outlined the plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of ARCIF this spring, which included a hike in the world famous forest & a concert, & invited REA members to attend. Claus-Dieter & Antonie described what is planned for Konstanz & Alan Mockford, the chairman of REA, shared our plans. Potential partnerships between rowing clubs & orchestras in the twin towns were also discussed.


Bon Appétit

Friday 3rd December 2021. The REA Annual Christmas Dinner, held at the Belgian restaurant of Brouge in Fulwell, was a resounding success. Many members , including our English patron, the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Geoff Acton, enjoyed a delicious three course meal in convivial international company.

Vice-Chairman, Clare Head, who organised the event, is seated on the right.

Next year the theme of the meal will be German.

News from America

Phil, 2nd from left, with his fellow aspiring tennis professionals in Arkansas.

November 2021. Phil Exner, one of the members of Konstanz Tennis Club, which is twinned with St. Mary’s Tennis Club in Isleworth, has been awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of Arkansas. Phil, who first came to Richmond in 2013 when he was only 10, is hoping that the move will help him to achieve his dream of becoming a pro. We look forward to seeing him in England again soon – hopefully at Wimbledon!

Paul Douglas welcomed in Fontainebleau

Evelyne Wenzel with Paul

REA committee member Paul Douglas paid a visit to Fontainebleau to discuss forthcoming joint art exhibitions by the Richmond Art Society & Art Fontainebleau with Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF (the equivalent of REA in Fontainebleau).

Among the many places Paul was taken to during his brief stay was the beautiful historic nearby town of Moret-Loing-et Orvanne, which is well worth a visit next time you are in Fontainebleau.

Evelyne kindly presented Paul with some “Sucre d’Orge des Religieuses de Moret,” which is made from sugar & barley and has balm-like properties. It was originally produced in 1638 by Benedictine nuns and is still made to the original 17th century recipe with no added colours or flavourings.


Arts Richmond Itinerant Poetry Performance

REA member, Anne Warrington (wearing the red scarf), on Richmond Green.

20th November 2021. Members of Arts Richmond, including REA members Carol Wain & Anne Warrington, took to the streets of the borough to perform original poetry readings.

Locations included Richmond Green & Theatre, the Richmond war memorial & Heron Place. Carol read two poems from a book by her father Flight Lieutenant Dennis Hornsey, entitled “The Pilot Walked Home.”

Flight Lieutenant Hornsey (DFC), a bomber pilot, was shot down over Belgium in 1943, but saved all the crew from his burning aircraft. He managed to elude capture & returned safely to England.

The 44th Annual General Meeting

Tobias Kamprad

22nd November 2021. The 44th Annual General Meeting was held online because of the continuing pandemic. The guest of honour was our English patron, the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Geoff Acton. After the formal business had been concluded, members were joined by Evelyne Wenzel from Fontainebleau & Tobias Kamprad from Konstanz. Evelyne had only recently hosted REA committee member Paul Douglas in Fontainebleau while Tobias is looking forward to coming to Richmond in the new year in order to gain teaching experience in a local school & to perfect his English. The online meeting provided a great opportunity for him to meet other members.

Anglo-German Conference on Climate Change

18th November 2021. The British German Association & the Guildford Twinning Association hosted an international online conference of 11 English Towns & 6 of their German partners in order to discuss how we can work together to address climate change. REA was represented by Alan Mockford & Richard Jaggard from Richmond & Tobias Kamprad from Konstanz.

Konstanz has an extensive network of cycle paths which are completely separate from the roads. This enables even young children to cycle to school safely. The dismounted cyclists in the picture are unaware of the silent Zeppelin flying above them.

Florian Fletschinger of the international contacts department of Freiburg council spoke about Freiburg’s measures to become carbon neutral. The other German towns represented were Güglingen, Oldenburg, Rastatt & Bergisch-Gladbach. The German Embassy was represented by the deputy head of mission, Julia Gross, who spoke about the recent federal election in Germany & the current attempts to form a new coalition government.

Julia Gross, the deputy German ambassador.

Alan Mockford outlined details of the Europakonzil, a youth conference on climate protection, which is taking place in Konstanz in April 2022. (Details can be found by clicking on the following link).


REA member, Cllr. Julia Cambridge, outside East Sheen library admiring one of the recently planted service trees of Fontainebleau.

Richmond council had designated the first week in November as Climate Week, to co-incide with the COP conference in Glasgow. Among other things, four service trees of Fontainebleau have been planted in locations associated with our French twin town, thus drawing together the idea of twinning & climate change.

Everyone agreed that twinned towns would undoubtedly benefit from sharing good practice & this might best be facilitated by an exchange of council officers. However achieving this would be a challenge as, despite the obvious benefits, there is a great reluctance in England to participate in such exchanges, for fear of how they might be portrayed.

Pour aller à Fontainebleau? Wie komme ich nach Konstanz?

5th November 2021. In glorious autumn sunshine the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr. Geoff Acton, & council leader, Gareth Roberts, unveiled an attractive new fingerpost sign, pointing to our twin towns, which is situated between the civic centre & town hall in Twickenham.

St. Margaret’s Elastic Band, which is twinned with Union Musicale de Fontainebleau, entertained the crowd of about 100 local residents with a programme of French, German, American & English music before the Mayor & council leader unveiled the sign to the strains of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

The Mayor & Council Leader removing the flag of Konstanz, with which the sign had been draped.

To see a short film of the unveiling please click on the following link:

Film of unveiling

REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, with the Mayor & Council leader after the unveiling.

The fingerpost sign was commissioned by REA with the aid of a Civic Pride grant from Richmond Council. It will surely become the “must have” picture for future visitors from our twin towns.

After the unveiling ceremony was over the Mayor & Council Leader planted a service tree of Fontainebleau in the garden of York House to commemorate the occasion & to help to save the planet.

Three more service trees of Fontainebleau were planted in Orleans House Garden, on Hampton Common & outside East Sheen library. The trees are native to the world famous forêt de Fontainebleau.

It is hoped that the Fingerpost sign will remain a powerful symbol of Richmond’s cherished international partnerships for years to come.

L-R. Former REA Chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, Cllr. Julia Neden-Watts, M.P. for Twickenham, Munira Wilson, the Mayor, Cllr. Geoff Acton, REA Chairman, Alan Mockford & Council Leader, Gareth Roberts.

Mayor’s Civic Service

Vicki Sharp Photography

Sunday 3rd October 2021. The Mayor’s civic service was held at St. Mary’s Church , Twickenham.  The Mayor, councillor Geoff Acton, is one of our three patrons, along with the mayors of Fontainebleau & Konstanz. Geoff has been a member of REA for many years.

Vicki Sharp Photography

Young musicians from the Richmond Music Trust performed a fanfare at the beginning & end of the service. (The RMT forms part of the European Youth Orchestra along with young musicians from Fontainebleau, Konstanz & Lodi.)

Children from Archdeacon Cambridge’s School in Twickenham sang “Look at the world,” Alex Driver performed his own composition, “We’re still here” & Clarinda Chan sang Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum.”

Clarinda Chan                                                                                                                                       Vicki Sharp Photography
Professor Alexandre Antonelli           Vicki Sharp Photography

The theme of the service & mayoral term of office will be the climate emergency. Professor Alexandre Antonelli, the director of science at Kew Gardens, who comes from Brazil, spoke about the loss of the rain forest & extinction of species.

Kew Gardens has an long standing association with the garden island of Mainau in Lake Constance.

Richmond Council has designated the first week in November as “Climate week” to coincide with the COP 26 conference in Glasgow.

Following the service a reception was held in the garden of York House, in glorious Indian summer weather. (The German word for this type of weather is “Altweibersommer” which means “old wives’ summer.”)


50th Anniversary of the German School Celebrated.

The style of the seventies

21st September 2021. Die Deutsche Schule London celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The school was opened by the German ambassador & the British secretary of state for education, Margaret Thatcher on 20th September 1971. The following day 84 pupils began their first day at school. Today the school has over 800 pupils.

For the 50th anniversary celebration staff & pupils were encouraged to wear the distinctive seventies style of clothing for the day. (One day was quite enough!) 

For further details please click on the following link:

50th Anniversary

Host Families Wanted

L-R. Marina Tuffier, Brenda Morris, Alan Mockford, Susan Jones, Kate Carroll & Hugh Morrison

17th September 2021. REA committee members met Susan Jones & Kate Carroll from Linguastay, who are currently recruiting host families for visiting teenagers from France in the Richmond area. If you are interested in hosting 2-4 French teenagers, who would like to improve their English, for a few days next year please click on the following link:

Further Information

The Mayor & local MP, Sarah Olney, unveil a third information board about our twin towns in East Sheen

Friday 10th September 2021. Local MP & REA member, Sarah Olney, joined our patron, the Mayor of Richmond, cllr. Geoff Acton, to unveil another magnificent information board about Fontainebleau & Konstanz outside the East Sheen centre. Prior to the ceremony the board was draped with the flag of Konstanz.

St. Margaret’s Elastic Band led by conductor Roger Perrin.

The flag of Fontainebleau was also prominently displayed as St. Margaret’s Elastic Band, which is twinned with Union Musicale de Fontainebleau, entertained a large crowd with a programme of English, French & German music before Sarah & Geoff unveiled the attractive information board to the strains of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

To see a short film of the unveiling please click on this link.

This information board is the third of its type to be unveiled in the borough.

The information boards were designed by REA treasurer, Hugh Morrison. The other two can be found in Orleans House Garden & the Riverside Terrace Garden in Richmond. After unveiling the board both Sarah & Geoff remained to chat with local residents.

The Mayor & Sarah Olney MP with REA chairman, Alan Mockford, after the unveiling.

REA members also engaged with a large number of interested spectators before, during & after the ceremony to explain about the opportunities which twinning affords. 

Sarah & Geoff later visited East Sheen library, which exhibited a display about our twin towns to coincide with the unveiling.

East Sheen library
Local councillor & REA member, Julia Cambridge, admiring the newly planted service tree of Fontainebleau.

A few weeks later, during the period of the COP conference in Glasgow, a service tree of Fontainebleau was planted beside the new information board. These trees originate from the world famous Forêt de Fontainebleau. Three more were also planted at the same time in the gardens of York House, Orleans House & on Hampton Common making a powerful statement that climate change is an issue which affects all countries & which can only be addressed by international co-operation.

It is hoped that both information boards & trees will enrich & inform the lives of local residents for decades to come.

22nd Town Twinning Sign Unveiled 

l-R. Deputy Mayor’s Consort, John Nicholson, Deputy Mayor, cllr. Suzette Nicholson, cllr. Avril Coelho & the Middlesex Yeomanry director of music, Mike Robinson
The deputy mayor & her consort before the unveiling.

Sunday 5th September 2021. The Deputy Mayor of Richmond, councillor Suzette Nicholson, & local councillor, Avril Coelho, unveiled another magnificent new town twinning sign which welcomes visitors to Richmond & highlights the borough’s international partnerships.

The weather was absolutely glorious as the Middlesex Yeomanry Concert Band entertained up to 100 REA members & local residents who picnicked in the park prior to the unveiling ceremony.

The programme of English, French & German music included  the Can-Can, songs from Cabaret & works by Vaughan-Williams & Beethoven.

REA members distributed information about our twin towns to picnickers, passers by & even passing motorists, who stopped to see what on earth was going on!

The Middlesex Yeomanry Concert Band.
L-R. REA Chairman, Alan Mockford, the Deputy Mayor, Suzette Nicholson, her consort, John Nicholson & local councillor & REA member, Avril Coelho.

Throughout the performance the huge new sign was draped with the flag of Konstanz.

At 4 p.m. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, introduced the deputy mayor, who addressed the assembled throng before unveiling the  impressive cast iron sign while the band played “Ode to Joy.”

In the autumn a service tree of Fontainebleau will be planted on the common by the sign. As the name suggests, these trees originate from the world famous forêt de Fontainebleau, with whom Richmond has been twinned since 1977.

It was a splendid occasion with lovely music & blessed by marvellous late English summer weather. Awareness of our twin towns in Hampton has certainly been raised significantly as a result of the ceremony & the new sign.

Es war ausgezeichnet!

Particular thanks are due to the Middlesex Yeomanry Concert Band  for their wonderful performance.

Their next two performances are on

Sunday 17th October at 3 p.m. in St. James’ Church, Hampton Hill  &

The Mayor’s Christmas Concert on Friday 17th December at 7.30 p.m. in York House, Twickenham.

For further information about the band please click on the following link:

Band Link.

During & after the unveiling the band played “Ode to joy.” A fitting end to the ceremony.

The First Town Twinning Baby reaches a National Final

Friday 3rd September 2021.  Miss Twickenham, Davina Constance Marsh, who is an REA member, was a finalist in the Miss British Isles modelling competition, which took  place at the Final Furlong Marquee at Chester Racecourse.

Davina is the daughter of REA members, James & Edwina Marsh, & was the first twinning baby. James comes from Richmond & Edwina from Konstanz. They first met and fell in love in Richmond 31 years ago during the reaffirmation celebrations in 1990. Edwina writes…

“The first time I set eyes on James he was wearing a blue blazer, tartan tie & slacks and holding an umbrella against the typical English summer weather outside the Richmond Gate Hotel. James had already been on several exchange visits to Konstanz with the Richmond & Twickenham fencing club and in June 1990 they were hosts to the Fechtclub Konstanz. I just came along as a guest with my parents’ twinning association, the Freunde für Richmond. My sister Ira was a member of the Fechtclub, so she already knew James, although I was working for a fashion house in Switzerland.

Edwina & James at their wedding on the garden island of Mainau

In February 1991 James proposed in the snow outside the opera house in Vienna and in the spring of 1992 we were married, first here in Richmond at the registry office in a civil ceremony, with the Richmond mayor & a Konstanz official in attendance. A week later the church wedding took place on the beautiful flower island of Mainau in the baroque chapel of Count Bernadotte’s palace.

After a three week honeymoon, staying at a coastal villa near Athens & touring the Greek islands, we settled down to our new life in Whitton & in 1999, Davina Constance Marsh, the first twinning baby, was born.”

The couple still live in Whitton & their daughter, Davina, is currently employed as a receptionist at one of the finest hotels in Richmond.

60th Anniversary Art Exhibition in Konstanz

Konstanz artist, Gabriele Chemnitz, the President of Arcif, Evelyne Wenzel, the Deputy Mayor of Fontainebleau, Judith Reynaud & Claus-Dieter Hirt from Konstanz council.

28th July- 13th August 2021.  Konstanz hosted an art exhibition in the Bürgersaal in Sankt-Stephansplatz to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the partnership with Fontainebleau. Works by Gabriele Chemnitz from Konstanz & Désirée de Montebello from Fontainebleau were displayed.

Evelyne Wenzel, the president of ARCIF & Judith Reynaud, the Deputy Mayor of Fontainebleau travelled to Germany for the celebration.

Judith Reynaud, Evelyne Wenzel & Uli Burchardt, the Oberbürgermeister, sign the golden book.  Foto: Karin Stei

A golden book commemorating the occasion was signed by Madame Reynaud, Madame Wenzel & the Oberbürgermeister of Konstanz, Herr Burchardt.

REA Annual Garden Party

Membership secretary, Carol Wain, with fellow francophile, Paul Douglas.

Saturday 31st July 2021. Following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, members were delighted to meet in person for their first formal gathering in 16 months at the annual garden party, which was hosted as always by Brenda Morris in her beautiful house in East Sheen.

The party provided a wonderful opportunity to meet old friends & to make new ones.

The deputy mayor of Richmond, councillor Suzette Nicholson, & her consort, John, were the guests of honour.

A sumptuous feast was enjoyed by guests as they conversed in French, German & English surrounded by the flags of our European partners & neighbours. 

After the meal new members introduced themselves and REA chairman, Alan Mockford, outlined some of the exciting events which are planned for the next few months. 

Then the deputy mayor expressed the full support of the council for its partnerships with Fontainebleau & Konstanz & said that she was very much looking forward to the reaffirmation of the twinning, which is scheduled to take place in Richmond in 2025.

An announcement of the precise date chosen is expected imminently.

Suzette also presented a small memento of Konstanz to Brenda, on behalf of REA, to thank her for hosting the event.

Brenda & Suzette

Brentford Promoted to the Premier League

29th May 2021. Richmond’s local football team, which is called “Brentford F.C.” was promoted to the Premier League for the first time in its history. Brentford beat Swansea City 2-0 in the play-off final at Wembley. For a full report on the match please click on the following link:


The Federal Republic of Germany thanks REA

The Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy, Julia Gross.

27th May 2021. The deputy German Ambassador, Julia Gross, thanked REA & other twinning associations, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, for all the work we are doing in promoting closer ties with our German partners.

At a conference, hosted by the British German Association & the Guildford Twinning Association, Julia said that our work had never been more important & that the German Embassy would do everything it could to support us wherever possible. Concern was particularly expressed about the disappearance of school exchanges as a result of British government legislation.

The conference was so successful that it is hoped to repeat it in the autumn with even more representatives from both the UK & Germany.

REA chairman, Alan Mockford, gave one of the presentations at the conference & seized the opportunity to invite Julia to Richmond later in the year. 

French Emigrés in Richmond after 1789

Madame de la Tour du Pin, one of the French emigrés.

14th May 2021. An international audience was treated to the 3rd in a series of online lectures on Richmond’s French connections by David King M.A. This one was entitled, “French Emigrés in Richmond after 1789.”

Judith Reynaud, the deputy mayor of Fontainebleau, responsible for culture & twinning, was the guest of honour for the evening.

David explained that so many emigrés came to Richmond because of its healthy location so close to London & because Kew Palace was the summer residence of King George III.

A recording of the lecture is available on the REA YouTube channel. The first two lectures in the series may also be accessed there.

REA YouTube channel.

Europe Day 2021

L-R. The Mayor, Clare Head, Bernd Steinlechner, Nicki Urquhart & Alan Mockford

9th May 2021. The mayor of Richmond, councillor Geoff Acton, officially unveiled one of the 7 new, cast iron town twinning signs in Mill Hill Road, Barnes to celebrate Europe Day, which marks this year the 71st anniversary of the Schuman declaration, which ended centuries of conflict in Europe & provided the foundation of what was to become the European Union.

This brings the total number of town twinning signs to 22. The mayor was joined for the ceremony, under Covid 19 restrictions, by REA chairman, Alan Mockford, former chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, vice chairman, Clare Head & Nicki Urquhart of the Barnes Community Association. Clare & Nicki are both also former mayors of Richmond.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony filled the air & interested passers-by were provided with information about the twinnings.

The other new signs have been installed in Queens Ride, Barnes, London Road, Twickenham, Rugby Road & Hounslow Road in Whitton, Oak Avenue & Lower Sunbury Road in Hampton.

Richmond has been twinned with Fontainebleau since 1977, Richmond Virginia since 1980 & Konstanz since 1983.

A new fingerpost sign, pointing to Richmond’s twin towns & indicating their respective distances, has been commissioned by REA & will be installed outside the civic centre later this year.

Naked Ladies Cascade Restored

26th April 2021. Richmond is fortunate to have one of the finest town halls & gardens in the country. Among its many treasures is the Naked Ladies Cascade which has just been restored to working order.

For further information about the statues & the York House Society please click on the following link.

York House Society

Die Nacht der Lebenden Bücher

Some of the 66 participants.

19th April 2021. Konstanz hosted an online discussion, in German, for young people on the theme of borders. There were 6 presentations followed by discussions in breakout rooms, which worked well as there were 66 participants. Live music was provided during the brief interludes and at the beginning of the event.

Eleri O’Connor represented Richmond. She spoke about the implications of Brexit for young people.

A True European

Prince Philip at Gordonstoun

9th April 2021.  Prince Philip of Greece died at  Windsor Castle at the age of 99.

Of English, Danish & German descent Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu in 1921. His family fled from Greece to Paris when he was a baby. Prince Philip subsequently was sent to the Schule Schloss Salem, which is near Konstanz in Germany. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 the Jewish head of the school, Kurt Hahn, fled to Scotland where he founded Gordonstoun School. Prince Philip followed him.

Philip subsequently joined the Royal Navy & served with distinction during the Second World War. In 1947, prior to his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, Philip adopted his maternal grandparents’ family name of Battenberg, which had been anglicised to Mountbatten & he became a British citizen. The King created his son-in-law Duke of Edinburgh.

Die Schule Schloss Salem enjoys a panoramic view of Konstanz & the alps.

2nd April 2021.  REA launched its own YouTube channel. The first films posted were the recent lectures by David King on Napoleon III & Louis Philippe I. More films of events and lectures have been posted subsequently.

To access the new channel please click on the following link.

REA YouTube Channel

Louis Philippe I

26th March 2021.   David King presented an on line lecture on Louis Philippe & his descendants to an international audience. Madame Evelyne Wenzel, the president of ARCIF, was the guest of honour.

Before he ascended the throne as the last King of the French in 1830, Louis lived in Orleans House in Twickenham from 1815-17. He later returned for a visit as King in 1844.

Louis Philippe with Prince Albert. Queen Victoria can be seen in the background.

A recording of the lecture is available on the REA YouTube channel. To view it please click on the following link:

REA YouTube channel

Konstanz Close, East Sheen

The gateway to Konstanz Close

March 2021. A new road in Richmond was named Konstanz Close in honour of our twin town. The properties in Konstanz Close are “eco-houses,” which have been especially designed to have the smallest possible carbon footprint. In Germany they are called “Passivhäuser.”

Given its ultra green credentials, “Konstanz” is a fitting choice of name. 

Germany Today

Julia Gross, the deputy German ambassador.

9th March 2021.  REA members were among 100 ardent teutophiles who attended a fascinating lecture on “Germany Today” by Julia Gross, the deputy German ambassador, hosted by the Guildford Twinning Association. (Guildford is twinned with Freiburg). The stimulating presentation was followed by a highly informative question & answer session which covered a wide range of subjects. In response to one question Julia said that the German government is particularly concerned about the decline in the number of pupils studying German in British schools & is doing all it can to promote the learning of German.

Ho Narro Dehom

February 2021. The traditional greeting in Konstanz during Fasnacht is “Ho Narro” (Hallo Fool), but this year it is “Ho Narro dehom” (Hallo Fool at Home).

Former REA chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, adores Fasnacht & has been a member of the Blätzlebuebezunft for 20 years, in recognition of which he has received this bronze award.

Das Schnetztor

The Zunft has 1500 members & has its headquarters in the atmospheric Schnetztor which has guarded the town for 700 years. The town council had proposed to demolish it when it became dilapidated, but the Blätzlebuebezunft offered to restore it at their own expense if they could use it, so it survives.

River Thames Frozen

Birds walking on the Thames at Teddington Lock

12th February 2021. It was so cold that the River Thames in Richmond froze near Teddington lock. This was the first time the river had frozen for 60 years.

Napoleon III

Napoleon III Emperor of the French

11th February 2021. REA members were treated to an online lecture on Napoleon III by David King MA., Officier de l’ordre des Arts & des Lettres et Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. This was followed by an interesting question & answer session.

If you missed the lecture you can see a recording by clicking on the following link.

Napoleon III lecture

Napoleon spent much of his childhood in Arenenberg on the shores of Lake Constance &, as Emperor of the French, he refurbished the splendid palace at Fontainebleau. He died in exile in England & members will be visiting his mausoleum in Farnborough later this year.

Napoleon’s villa at Arenenberg which overlooks the Reichenau & Konstanz.

58th Anniversary of the Élysée Treaty

Charles de Gaulle (right) & Konrad Adenauer signing the treaty in the Élysée Palace

22nd January 2021. The mayors of Fontainebleau & Konstanz exchanged online greetings on the 58th anniversary of the signing of the Élysée Treaty, which was a treaty of friendship & reconciliation between France & West Germany after a century of conflict. The treaty also called upon the two countries to pursue close co-operation with the USA & for Britain’s eventual admission to the Common Market. Britain subsequently joined what was to become the EU in 1973.

Please click on the following link to see the mayors’ messages.

The Mayors’ messages


Mieux connaître votre ville jumelle: Fontainebleau

Some of the many participants
Christian Lequesne

14th December 2020.     The first on-line international exchange between the residents of Richmond & Fontainebleau took place in the presence of the deputy mayors of the twin towns. The event was hosted by ARCIF in Fontainebleau, with Christian Lequesne, the bi-lingual vice-president of ARCIF, the equivalent of REA in Fontainebleau, chairing proceedings.

The Deputy Mayor of Richmond, Julia Cambridge.

After initial greetings from Evelyne Wenzel, the president of ARCIF, & Alan Mockford, the REA chairman, Judith Reynaud, the deputy mayor of Fontainebleau, & Julia Cambridge, the deputy mayor of Richmond welcomed everyone & reaffirmed the strong bonds between the twin towns.

Julia paid tribute to the sustained & lasting friendship between the twin towns. She said, “It’s more important than ever to keep these ties and perhaps to tighten them and further intertwine our close & eternal bond.”

For a full text of Julia’s welcome please click on the following link.

Julia’s welcome

Participants were then treated to a series of brief presentations in French & English by residents of both towns. These ranged from the world famous château & forest of Fontainebleau to the Anglican church which can also be found in Fontainebleau and a traditional French recipe for Christmas stars with cinnamon.

Alternate presentations from Richmond, again in French & English, included traditional English Christmas customs, pétanque in Richmond, (yes, it is played in Richmond),  & a request from a volleyball club in Richmond, which is seeking a partner in Fontainebleau.

Music was provided by St. Margaret’s Elastic Band. which is partnered with l’union musicale de Fontainebleau.

Please click on the following link to hear them play.


The event lasted just over two hours, but the time flew by &, all too soon, it was time to say adieu & to wish everyone “joyeux Noel.”

However the event was such a success that ARCIF is now planning to host a similar exchange with Konstanz in the new year.

Fabienne Goalen from Richmond, (right hand column, 2nd from top), inspired everyone with pictures of Richmond Volleyball’s previous visits to France.

“Wir werden immer Freunde, Partner und Verbündete sein.”

15th November 2020. Volkstrauertag. Prince Charles gave a speech in English & German in the Bundestag in Berlin to remember the victims of war & to celebrate 75 years of peace between Britain & Germany. He said, “Wir werden immer Freunde, Partner und Verbündete sein.”

Prince Charles’ speech.

Second New Town Twinning Information Board Unveiled

Council leader, Gareth Roberts & REA Vice-Chairman, Clare Head, unveil the information board.

1st October 2020. Richmond Council leader, Gareth Roberts, & REA vice-chairman, Clare Head unveiled the second of the fabulous, new information boards about our twin towns of Fontainebleau & Konstanz  in the garden of Orleans House to the accompaniment of Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

The weather once again was beautiful, but sadly, because of the coronavirus, the number of guests was limited to five plus the cameraman. To see the film please click on the following link.

Film of both unveilings

Speaking in French, Marina Tuffier hosted the event.

Marina Tuffier from the REA committee welcomed & introduced everyone in French. She explained that the duc d’Orleans lived at Orleans House from 1815-17. In 1830 he ascended the throne as Louis Philippe I, the last King of the French & in 1844 he revisited to the house with Queen Victoria & Prince Albert.

Louis Philippe I with Prince Albert in Orleans House garden in 1844. Queen Victoria can be seen in the background.

Gareth stressed the importance of Richmond’s bonds of friendship with our fellow European towns & praised the work of REA in strengthening these bonds. This was even more important, he said, at a time when others were trying to pull us apart. Afterwards Gareth congratulated the designer, Hugh Morrison, who is the REA treasurer.

Gareth with REA treasurer Hugh Morrison, who designed the information board.

Following the ceremony a service tree of Fontainebleau was planted nearby to commemorate the occasion. The tree is native to the forêt de Fontainebleau.

The service tree with visitors from Fontainebleau a year after it was planted. L-R. REA committee member, Paul Douglas, Katia Hosek & Evelyne Wenzel from Fontainebleau & REA Chairman, Alan Mockford.

First New Town Twinning Information Board Unveiled

L-R Cllr Penny Frost, REA secretary, Carol Wain, REA chairman, Alan Mockford, Ulrike Dunkley, the mayor, Geoff Acton & the designer, Hugh Morrison.

Thursday 10th September 2020. The mayor of Richmond, councillor Geoff Acton, unveiled the first of the magnificent, new Town Twinning Information Boards in the Terrace Gardens, Richmond Riverside. The boards were commissioned by REA, with the aid of a Civic Pride grant, to commemorate the reaffirmation of the partnerships with Fontainebleau & Konstanz, which had been due to take place in Richmond in June 2020, but which have had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

Geoff addressed a gathering of REA members, limited to 30 in number because of the coronavirus, in beautiful autumn sunshine. St. Margaret’s Elastic Band, which is partnered with Union Musicale de Fontainebleau, played appropriate French, German & English music.

St. Margaret’s Elastic Band. socially distanced.

The mayor, who is one of the three patrons of REA, along with the mayors of Fontainebleau & Konstanz, said that the council fully supports the strengthening of Richmond’s bonds with our  European partners & that this work is even more important in the light of Brexit.

The information board stands next to a commemorative tree which was planted by the three mayors in the Terrace Gardens in 1990.

Miss Twickenham

In August REA member, Davina Constance Marsh, as Miss Twickenham, reached the final of the Miss British Isles competition. Davina is the daughter of REA members, James & Edwina Marsh, & was the first twinning baby. James comes from Richmond & Edwina from Konstanz. They first met and fell in love in Richmond 30 years ago during the reaffirmation celebrations in 1990. Edwina writes…

“The first time I set eyes on James he was wearing a blue blazer, tartan tie & slacks and holding an umbrella against the typical English summer weather outside the Richmond Gate Hotel. James had already been on several exchange visits to Konstanz with the Richmond & Twickenham fencing club and in June 1990 they were hosts to the Fechtclub Konstanz. I just came along as a guest with my parents’ twinning association, the Freunde für Richmond. My sister Ira was a member of the Fechtclub, so she already knew James, although I was working for a fashion house in Switzerland.

In February 1991 James proposed in the snow outside the opera house in Vienna and in the spring of 1992 we were married, first here in Richmond at the registry office in a civil ceremony, with the Richmond mayor & a Konstanz official in attendance. A week later the church wedding took place on the beautiful flower island of Mainau in the baroque chapel of Count Bernadotte’s palace.

After a three week honeymoon, staying at a coastal villa near Athens & touring the Greek islands, we settled down to our new life in Whitton & in 1999, Davina Constance Marsh, the first twinning baby, was born.”

Eine neue Fähre für den Bodensee

26th June. The new ferry which will operate between Konstanz and Meersburg arrived in Konstanz for fitting out. With its Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines it will be one of the most environmentally friendly ferries in the world. At 80 metres in length it can transport up to 62 vehicles & 700 passengers on each crossing. If all goes to plan it will begin operation in early 2021.

The new ferry dwarfs one of the old ones.

Europe Day

Saturday 9th May 2020

REA member, Stuart McRae, wore his blue & yellow when going for his daily exercise in Twickenham
carol europe day
REA secretary, Carol Wain, celebrating in her front garden.

Despite their isolation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, REA members joined their fellow Europeans in celebrating Europe Day on 9th May.

Council of Europe flags were flown, “Ode to Joy” was played in back gardens & members wore their blue & yellow.

9th May 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. 

Robert Schuman

On 9th May 1950 the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, proposed the creation of a European Coal & Steel Community  in order to prevent another European war. Its founder members were France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg. Membership of this community gradually grew & it is now known as the European Union.

None of its members has been to war with another for 75 years & this peace is celebrated throughout Europe on 9th May each year.

For further information please click on the following links:

Schuman Declaration

Europe Day



VE Day 8th May

Frank-Walter Steinmeier

8th May. The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a very moving speech in Berlin to commemorate the end of the war in Europe. He said,

“8th May 1945 was indeed a day of liberation……. (However) 8th May was not the end of liberation. Preserving freedom & democracy is the never-ending task it has bequeathed us.”

For the full text of his speech please click on the following link.

Steinmeier VE Day Speech


Konstanz vor 75 Jahren
French troops entered the Markstätte at about 3 p.m. The Konzil can be seen in the background. Photo: Stadtarchiv Konstanz

26th April 2020.  The 75th anniversary of the occupation of Konstanz by French troops near the end of WW2. There had been a negotiated surrender & many locals cheered the troops as they entered the town distributing cigarettes, chocolates & confectionery. The war ended 2 weeks later on 8th May.

The rapport with the French grew & this led ultimately to the twinning of Konstanz with Fontainebleau in 1960.

For further details (in German) please click on the following link.

Konstanz vor 75 Jahren

Fasnacht 2020

Photo: Keith Harris

19th – 21st February 2020. Richmond Mayor, Nancy Baldwin, led a small delegation of REA members to the annual Fasnacht celebrations in Konstanz. Nancy is probably the first German speaking mayor of Richmond to visit our twin town.  She is pictured left with former REA chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, who regularly goes to Konstanz dressed as one of Richmond’s most famous residents.

After enjoying a hectic programme of activities Bernd was invited over the border to Switzerland for dinner with the Riehle family. There he was able to renew acquaintance with Julius Riehle, who spent last summer with us in Richmond.

New Patrons

Der Oberbürgermeister & REA chairman

February 2020.  Both the Mayor of Fontainebleau & the Oberbürgermeister of Konstanz agreed to become joint patrons of the Richmond in Europe Association. 

In his letter of acceptance Oberbürgermeister Uli Burchardt wrote that he was pleased to accept the position of patron as a visible sign of the bonds between the towns. His acceptance was confirmed in a brief ceremony in the town hall in Konstanz.

It is hoped that a similar ceremony can be arranged with the mayor of Fontainebleau in the near future.

The REA letterhead will now be amended to reflect the triple endorsement of the three mayors. Their support will also confirm the intention of all three towns to maintain & strengthen the ties between us.

French Connections with Constance

arenenberg HM
Schloss Arenenberg

Napoleon III, the last Emperor of the French, enjoyed many summers as man and boy at the family home of Schloss Arenenberg, which enjoys a beautiful location on the banks of Lake Constance overlooking the Reichenau.

Reichenau vom Napoleon Turm
The Reichenau from the Napoleonturm
Napoloeon Turm
The reconstructed Napoleonturm

As a teenager, the future Napoleon III commissioned the construction of a tower on the hill above the palace, which afforded panoramic views of Konstanz, der Bodensee, die Reichenau & the Swiss Alps. Unfortunately the tower eventually became dilapidated & it was demolished. 

In 2017 the tower was reconstructed in Wäldi. Local residents sponsored each of the 208 steps leading to the viewing platform which is 36.4 metres high. Entrance is free & you won’t see many people there as it’s a hidden treasure. It was recently recommended to REA members by one of  our local contacts. The panorama is truly spectacular.

Säntis vom Napoleon Turm
Säntis from the Napoleonturm in February 2020

As Emperor, Napoleon III lived in his palace at Fontainebleau, but, because of his childhood, he always spoke French with a slight German accent.

The Napoleonturm can be seen top right, far above the Konzil in Konstanz.

School Exchanges

Ellenrieder Gymnasium
The children of Ellenrieder Gymnasium are looking forward to coming to Richmond this summer

February 2020. During his recent visit to Konstanz, REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was invited by English teacher, Petra Matthisson, to participate in a lesson at the Ellenrieder Gymnasium. The children, who already speak English very well, will be coming to Richmond this summer for their annual exchange with Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools. They had prepared lots of interesting questions about England which Alan tried his best to answer. Better still they will find out for themselves in July.

Headteacher, Thomas Adam, (left) with Alan & Jürgen Streicher in the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule Hall.

The children of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule in Konstanz will also be coming to Richmond in July for their annual exchange with Teddington School. Alan was invited to the school by English teacher, Jürgen Streicher, & was also delighted to meet the headteacher, Thomas Adam.

February 2020. Alan also visited the Riehle family during his stay. Abiturient, Julius Riehe, from Konstanz spent the summer of 2019 working as a intern in the Museum of Richmond to improve his English. He also stayed with local families & got to know many REA members.

Die Familie Riehle
L-R  Julius, Hans-Martin, Friederike, Constanze & Ulrike Riehle

The family live in Tägerwilen, which lies just over the Swiss border, but as there is freedom of movement the Swiss & Germans are free to live, work, study or shop wherever they please.

Konstanz from Tagerwilen2
Konstanz as seen from Tägerwilen
Ulrike & Hans-Martin at Meersburg
Ulrike & Hans-Martin in Meersburg

Julius’ father, Hans-Martin, is a pathologist & his mother, Ulrike, is a Latin teacher. The Riehle family introduced Alan to many of the hidden treasures of Konstanz & the surrounding area, such as the Napoleon Turm, Arenenberg & the Schule Schloss Salem where Prince Philip studied from 1932-3.

Julius is currently studying Law at the University of Konstanz. His older sister Friederike is studying medicine. His younger sister, Constanze, plays the cello & will be coming to Richmond in March to perform with the Suso Gymnasium Orchestra. (For further details please see the Forthcoming Events page.)

University of Konstanz

Alan, Katharina & Tina
Alan, Katharina & Tina.

Alan also caught up with Katharina Land & Tina Merzan, two Erasmus students,  who studied English for a semester at St. Mary’s University in 2018-19. Tina is currently studying for her masters degree. Her aim is to become a teacher & work in Switzerland.

The students invited Alan to lunch in the University of Konstanz refectory, which enjoys possibly the best view of any university cafeteria in the world.

University Cafeteria
The University of Konstanz cafeteria overlooks Lake Constance & the garden island of Mainau.


Arbeitssitzung in Konstanz

Alan Arbeitssitzung
Alan addressing the meeting in the town hall.

21st January.   REA chairman, Alan, Mockford, was invited to a working meeting with local community groups in the town hall in Konstanz to discuss plans for the reaffirmation of the partnerships with Konstanz & Fontainebleau, which will be taking place in Richmond from 26th-28th June this year.  So far about 150 people from Konstanz have booked their passage & accommodation. These include councillors,  the Musikschule, two Fanfarenzuge, the Fahnenschwinger, the Pipes of Konstanz & the Feuerwehr.

Der Konstanzer Bürgerempfang 2020

Bürgerempfang 2020

The annual Bürgerempfang took place on 12th January. Oberbürgermeister, Uli Burchardt, outlined the measures Konstanz  council will be taking to address the climate emergency. (Der Klima-Notstand). Konstanz was the first council in Germany to declare a climate emergency. Richmond Council has followed suit. The theme for the reaffirmation of the partnership, which will take place in Richmond in 2020, will be “The Climate Emergency.”

REA Christmas Dinner 2019


6th December. The annual Christmas dinner alternates between French & German restaurants. This year members enjoyed traditional Bavarian hospitality & cuisine at Stein’s in Kingston.

steins 2019 3

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.


1st December. REA members were invited by Paul Douglas to a private viewing of the Richmond Art Society, which is twinned with Art Fontainebleau. Among the fabulous array of art was this stunning acrylic painting of the view of London from Richmond Park by Helen Duffy.

Richmond View of London“Autumn Glow” by Helen Duffy

Information Evening


Carol & SylviaREA secretary, Carol Wain, with new member Sylvia Smith.

19th November.  There was standing room only at a packed information evening about the 2020 reaffirmation, which was held in the Salon & Winter Garden of York House.

St. Mary Mag

Representatives of about 70 local clubs, churches, associations & schools, who had expressed interest in taking part in the celebrations, were welcomed by the deputy mayor, James Chard. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, introduced many of the representatives while outlining the draft plans. This was followed by an opportunity for networking.

If you would like your group to join in the fun please write to

For further information please click on the 2020 Reaffirmation link at the top of this page.

2019 AGM 

AGM three in 2019
Clare (left) with Alan & Carol Wain (secretary)

13th November. The Salon at York House was full for the annual general meeting. Chairman, Alan Mockford, highlighted some of the achievements of the past year & outlined the association’s plans for the future.  He welcomed Clare Head as the new vice chairman, & thanked members for all their support.

The formal business was followed by a wine & cheese buffet.

Loving Vincent


22nd October. After dining at Valentino’s Bellissimo in Twickenham a group of members thoroughly enjoyed a screening of “Loving Vincent,” at the Exchange, Twickenham.

People’s Vote March

19th October 2019


One million people joined REA members in a march on Parliament to demand a People’s Vote.

2020 Poster Competition Winners Honoured

Mayor's tea party 2
Winners Clara de Sancha & Selim Bener with the mayor, REA Chairman, Alan, Mockford & Council leader, Gareth Roberts.

16th October. Selim Bener & Clara de Sancha, the young winners of the competition to design the official poster for the 2020 reaffirmation, which is taking place in Richmond from 26th-28th June, were invited to tea at York House by the Mayor of Richmond, councillor Nancy Baldwin, who is also President of the Richmond in Europe Association. The leader of the council, Gareth Roberts, also dropped in to congratulate the winners.

The overall winning poster designed by Selim Bener

School Exchanges with Konstanz

LEH Oct 19 Petra, Matt, Bettina & Alan
Alan (right) with Petra Matthisson (left) & Bettina Ruff plus Matt Russell of Lady Eleanor Holles School.

October 2019. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was delighted to renew acquaintance with the teachers from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium during their school exchange with Lady Eleanor Holles & Hampton Schools.

ellenrieder at HCP edit
Ellenrieder Gymnasium pupils at Hampton Court Palace

Konstanzer Fahne Oct 2019The children & teachers from the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule were also in Richmond for their annual exchange with Teddington School.

Both these enormously successful exchanges have been taking place for over 30 years. What better way is there to learn another language than to spend time in the country of your chosen language? Children also experience another culture & make new friends.

We were delighted to welcome both the staff & children to Richmond and the flag of Konstanz was hung from the tower of St. Mary’s church in Twickenham  for the duration of their stay.

For a full report on the Ellenrieder Gymnasium visit please click on the following link.

Ellenrieder Gymnasium Bericht

European Parliament Visit

EU Group
REA members in the European Parliament in Brussels        9th October 2019

7th-11th October 2019.  23 REA members were invited by MEP Bill Newton-Dunn, who is also an REA member, to visit the European Parliament in Brussels.

EU REA delegates
REA members had privileged access to the building.

Thanks to Bill’s secretary, Beatrice, we were granted access to every part of the building, including the hemicycle & central lobby, where we mingled with those who are shaping the future of Europe.

Alan in EU
REA chairman, Alan Mockford in the President’s chair.

After a full tour of the buildings REA members had reserved seats in the visitors’ gallery for an update on Brexit from Jean-Claude Juncker & Michel Barnier.


On the days before & after the visit members took the opportunity to visit the famous sights of Brussels. These included le Grand Place & the Manneken Pis.

Manneken Pis
Nichola & Avril by the Manneken Pis.

Grand Place
Le Grand Place by night

On the evening before the tour of parliament Bill invited members to dinner in the traditional aux Armes de Bruxelles which is situated near le Grand Place, which was even more spectacular by night.

The European Parliament visit occupied the whole of 9th October as there was so much to see & do. At the end of the tour members were briefed by a top EU official on the current negotiations over Brexit. He also debunked many of the myths about the European Union. You can see his presentation slides by clicking on the following link.


Belgium has always been a European crossroads which is one reason Brussels was chosen as the centre of the European Union. However in the past this central location meant that the country was a constant battlefield. Several members stayed on an extra day to visit the site of the Battle of Waterloo, which is just south of Brussels.

Waterloo panorama
A scene from the magnificent Waterloo Panorama
Alan at Waterloo.jpg
The REA chairman was recruited into the Napoleonic infantry. Here he stands before the monument erected after the battle.

The brand new visitor centre includes a 4D cinema which gives you the feeling that you are in heart of the battle. Outside there are costumed interpreters recreating the lives of the Napoleonic soldiers, firing cannons & teaching visitors how to drill & fire a musket.

Members learned that Wellington & his officers spent the evening before the battle in 1815 at a ball held by the Duchess of Richmond in Brussels.

Members discovered that the vast majority of the British army, numbering 94,000 men, were German speaking. (The largest contingent coming from Hanover.) The British forces were supported by 123,000 Prussians under the command of Prince Blücher, (after whom a pub in Twickenham is named).

Thus the Battle of Waterloo was largely a fight between the French & the Germans with only 25,000 British troops involved.

Costumed interpreters firing the artillery.

The French & Germans fought each other again in 1870, 1914 & 1939. Thankfully today we are all friends & Belgium is at peace. A plaque in an exhibition in the European Parliament quotes Churchill’s famous words at the end of the second world war.


September 2019

2020 Poster Competition Winners Announced

The winning poster

selimThe result of the competition to design the poster to promote the reaffirmation of the twinning, which will be taking place in Richmond next year, was announced.

The winner is Selim Bener (aged 11), who attends Orleans Park School in Twickenham. Selim lives near Richmond Bridge, which provided the inspiration for his painting.

The standard of entries was extremely high. A winner was chosen in each age category & Selim’s design was selected as the overall winner.

Selim’s stunning poster will be displayed in the three towns, on the various websites & on social media.

Clara’s entry

Clara de Sancha’s poster was the winner in the 12-16 age group.

Posters hands
Sarah’s poster

Sarah Urbatschek was the winner in the 17-18 age group.

The winners will be invited to tea with the mayor at York House in October & all 3 posters will be exhibited in Orleans House Gallery next year 

For further information about the exciting events planned for next year please click on the “2020 Reaffirmation” link at the top of the page.


August 2019

Museum of Richmond
Julius with museum staff Vicky McGrath (left) & Esme Loukota

In August we were very pleased to welcome Julius Riehle from Konstanz, who spent the summer in Richmond working as a volunteer at the Museum of Richmond.

Garden Party

On his arrival he was greeted by several REA members at Brenda Morris’ house. 

Julius in civic centre
Julius in the foyer of Richmond civic centre.

During his stay Julius visited York House, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Brentford Football Club, Richmond Park & many other local attractions as well as making several trips to central London, which is only 15 minutes away.

julius on boat edit

He also went sailing on the Thames & steered a motor launch from Thames Ditton to Hampton.

Julius at St.Mary's - Version 2

Julius also played tennis at St. Mary’s Tennis Club, which is twinned with Konstanz Tennis Club.

On his return Julius will begin a law degree at the University of Konstanz.

The University of Konstanz enjoys an idyllic location overlooking Lake Constance & the Swiss Alps.

Therefore he took the opportunity, while here, to visit St. Mary’s University at Strawberry Hill, which is twinned with the University of Konstanz through the Erasmus programme.

Julius in the Waldegrave Drawing Room.
The Waldegrave Drawing Room at St. Mary’s University.

We look forward to renewing acquaintance with Julius & meeting the rest of his family when we go to Konstanz in the future.

Latest School Exchange with Konstanz

LEH in Konstanz 2019.png
The children & teachers were greeted by Claus-Dieter Hirt in the town hall.

July. Pupils from Lady Eleanor Holles & Hampton School have just returned from their annual exchange with the Ellenrieder-Gymnasium in Konstanz. This very successful exchange has been taking place for over 30 years.

Anyone for Tennis?

Ladies’ Champion Simona Halep


9th-15th July 2019. Jürgen Kern of Konstanz Tennis Club was invited to Richmond by REA chairman, Alan Mockford.  During his stay Jürgen went to Wimbledon where he saw both Serena Williams & Simona Halep play.

Jürgen Centre Court
Jürgen on Centre Court

Jürgen was also invited by REA member, James Marsh, to play on the grass courts at Whitton Park Tennis Club.

Whitton Park LTC

This was the first time that Jürgen had ever played on grass as there are so few grass courts in Germany. Being a natural serve & volleyer, Jürgen found that the grass suited his game.

Der Volleymeister

Konstanz Tennis Club has clay courts, of course. It is partnered with St. Mary’s Tennis Club in Isleworth, which is one the few clubs in England to also have clay.

St. Mary's Tennis Club

During Jürgen’s brief stay in Richmond there was also time to see some of the world famous sights.

Jürgen, Alan und Richmond Hill
The view from Richmond Hill
Beide Männer
Jürgen & REA chairman, Alan Mockford, at Hampton Court Palace
J¨rgen und Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill (St. Mary’s University)

Jürgen war überrascht, dass Richmond so viel anzubieten hat und er hat nur die Spitze des Eisbergs gesehen.

Jürgen, Alan und die Brücke.jpg
Richmond Bridge

4th-8th July. The Richmond Shakespeare Society Young Actors performed to critical acclaim in Malta. 

RSS YAC play The Box Masquerade, Malta_ July 2019 cropped
The young actors in Valetta

For further details please click on the following link:

MALTA for Rumour July 2019

Das Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache

Axel & Julia Donaldson
Axel & Julia signing copies of “The Gruffalo”

3rd July.  Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler were the keynote speakers at the annual German Teacher Awards, which were presented at the German Ambassador’s Residence in Belgravia.

REA President, Nancy Baldwin, & REA chairman, Alan Mockford, were among the invited guests. Julia, as the mouse, performed “The Gruffalo” in German with the help of Axel, as the owl, and other guests playing the part of the fox & the snake.

Finally Axel sketched the characters on a large flip chart.

Mayor’s Civic Service

Konstanz Flag over St. Mary's
The flag of Konstanz was hung from the church tower before & during the service.

30th June.  The formal civic service for the new mayor of Richmond (& REA President), Nancy Baldwin, took place at St. Mary’s Church, Twickenham. The flag of our twin town of Konstanz was flown before & during the service.

It is hoped that the borough will be festooned with the flags of all our twin towns for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the twinnings, which will take place in Richmond in June 2020. For further information please click on the 2020 Reaffirmation link at the top of this page.

Nancy & Ben
New Mayor, Nancy Baldwin, with outgoing Mayor, Ben Khosa.

REA Annual Garden Party 

Garden Party 2019

garden party 2019 carol
L-R. Ingrid, Penny & Helen.

29th June. The Gods smiled on the REA Annual Garden Party which was once again hosted by Brenda Morris in East Sheen in glorious Mediterannean weather. A cosmopolitan gathering of members enjoyed a sumptuous feast in a convivial setting.

REA member Bill Newton-Dunn, who was recently elected to the European Parliament, was the guest of honour. Between courses Bill updated everyone with the latest news from Brussels. He also invited REA members to a tour of the European Parliament on 9th October. 

If you are interested in accepting this invitation please write to

Richmond Art Society Summer Exhibition

Gary Jeffrey
Richmond Riverside          An oil painting by Gary Jeffrey

28th June.  The Richmond Art Society, which is twinned with Art Fontainebleau, staged its summer exhibition at the Landmark Arts Centre.

paul, Carol & alan
Artist Paul Douglas (left) with REA secretary, Carol Wain, & REA Chairman, Alan Mockford

Twilight of the Beggars

Twilight of the Beggars

12th & 13th June. The world premiere of “The Twilight of the Beggars” was performed at the Deutsche Schule London in Ham to critical acclaim.

For a full report please click on the following link:

Twilight of the Beggars Report

8th June

Abiturfeier der Deutschen Schule London

Die Verabschiedung der Abiturientinnen und der Abiturienten

and Ham Fair

stilts edit
One of the taller residents of Ham was interested in our links with Fontainebleau & Konstanz

Both simultaneous events were outstanding successes. Congratulations were extended by the REA chairman to the multi-lingual, talented & hard-working Abiturientinnen und Abiturienten der Deutschen Schule.

At the same time REA volunteers were able to engage with hundreds of local residents at the fair & many new members were recruited. Particular interest was expressed in our links with Konstanz by German speaking visitors to the fair, of which there were a multitude. Ham has a very large German community, partly because the German School is located here. Consequently there are also many German shops. German is the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the borough of Richmond. If you want to sample German food or practise your German there is no need to go to Germany, Austria or Switzerland – just go to Ham.

ham fair2 2019
Enquiries came thick & fast. Our eight volunteers had no time for a break.

1st June – European Youth Orchestra

Konstanz Konzert

The European Youth Orchestra, comprising musicians from Konstanz, Fontainebleau, Lodi & Richmond, performed in Konstanz. 

Das Konzert war ein voller Erfolg.

The orchestra will be performing in Richmond on 28th June 2020 as the climax to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the twinning of Fontainebleau, Konstanz & Richmond.

England beat Germany on Penalties

football konstanz
The teachers from Teddington School & the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule

May 2019.  Ten teachers from Teddington School competed against teachers from the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule, Konstanz in a 5 a side football tournament in Germany. Teddington has had an annual school exchange with the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule for 30 years.

Incredibly one of the English teams reached the final & won on penalties! It is hoped to invite the teachers from Konstanz, plus a team of teachers from Fontainebleau, to play in a tournament in Richmond during the weekend of the 60th anniversary celebrations in June 2020.

Anniversaire des 90 Ans de St. Aspais

Ninety crop

May 2019.  The children, in blue, & their teachers, in white, celebrated the 90th anniversary of the oldest school in Fontainebleau, Jeanne d’Arc Saint Aspais, in the grounds of the world famous château.

90 staircase
The children & their teachers fill the famous staircase of the château

Twickenham Green Fair 27th May 2019

nancy twickenham fair
REA secretary, Carol Wain, with Nancy & REA chairman, Alan Mockford

REA President & Richmond Mayor, Nancy Baldwin, dropped in at the REA stand at Twickenham Green Fair on bank holiday Monday. Despite the inclement weather there was a good turnout of local residents & a lot of interest was expressed in our links with both Fontainebleau & Konstanz. Children were shown how to play pétanque & several new members were recruited. 

bill newton-dunn

European Elections

26th May 2019. Two REA members, Bill Newton Dunn & Dinesh Dhamija, were elected as Members of the European Parliament. Bill subsequently invited REA members to visit the parliament in Brussels & a large number took up his kind offer.



Visitors from Fontainebleau

18th  May 2019. The REA committee invited two guests from Fontainebleau, Lorna & Alain Guerin, to tea at Clare Head’s house in Teddington.

Lorna may 19
Lorna, centre in the white top, with Alain behind her and slightly left

Lorna, an ARCIF committee member, was in Richmond with her husband, Alain, at the invitation of local pétanque players, who visited Fontainebleau last year. 

lorna petanque edit
Alain (left) playing pétanque at Palewell Common

The New President of the Richmond in Europe Association

Nancy & Ben
Nancy & Ben

The Mayor of Richmond is also the President of the Richmond in Europe Association. On 14th May Ben Khosa passed on his chain of office to the new mayor, Nancy Baldwin. As well as being a councillor, Nancy is also an actress & the first American mayor of a London borough. We thank Ben for all his support during the past year & look forward to working with Nancy in the future.

Richmond Fair 12th May 2019

Richmond Fair 2019
L-R Hugh, Marina, Helen, Gerald & Waltraud

The REA stand also generated a lot of interest at Richmond Fair. The weather was kind & our team of enthusiastic volunteers engaged with hundreds of local residents, explaining  about Fontainebleau & Konstanz &, in particular, the 60th anniversary of the first twinning, which will be taking place in Richmond next year.

petanque with Hugh
One young European learns how to play pétanque

The mini-pétanque provided an attraction for younger residents and..

roger crouch

members of many clubs and associations expressed interest in finding a French or German partner or in taking part in the celebrations next year. Many new members were also recruited.

If you would like your club or association to become involved please write to

REA Group Visits Fontainebleau

fontainebleau 2019
Carol, 2nd from right, with REA members plus their hosts from ARCIF.

6th -10th May 2019.  A group of REA members, led by secretary, Carol Wain, enjoyed warm French hospitality during a cultural trip to Fontainebleau.

The mayor, Frédéric Valletoux(left) with the sculptor, Michael Jastram, & Hélène Maggiori

Amongst a packed programme they were invited to the Place de la Républic for the unveiling of a new sculpture, named Europe & the Bull, which was created by German sculptor, Michael Jastram, to symbolise the peace of Europe.

A tour of the world famous château was a must. It’s more impressive than Versailles, but attracts fewer tourists.

chateau carol may 2019
Le château de Fontainebleau   May 2019

France also has elections to the European Parliament this month & a group of supporters for the renaissance of Europe was pleased to pose for a photo in the Place de la République.

en marche

After a trip to the artists’ village of Barbizon a farewell meal was enjoyed at BiBoViNo.

Au revoir et à la prochaine.

Fontainebleau meal may 2019
L-R. Stuart, Lorna, Evelyne, Gill, Carol, Alan, Jan & Marion.

To read a more detailed report please click on the following link.

REA Fontainebleau Tour _final-report_CW_May 2019

Konstanz Council Declares Climate Emergency



2nd May 2019.  Konstanz Council became the first council in Germany to declare a climate emergency. 

For further details please click on the following link.

Climate Emergency

Nous parlons français

toute la classe (edited)
The children of year 5 learning about our twin town of Fontainebleau

The children of St. James’ School, Twickenham are a rare exception in this country. They can speak French!

REA members Sophia Siddiqui & Alan Mockford were recently privileged to observe Madame Dion-Jones’ inspirational lesson with year 5 children. French is embedded in the life & ethos of the school from the start and by the time children move on to secondary school they are confident in speaking & understanding the language.  This hour long lesson was conducted almost entirely in French.

REA is seeking to promote & share the outstanding practice at St. James with other schools & we hope that our many French speaking members may be able further to assist with the teaching & learning of French.

For further information about the teaching of French at St. James School please contact Madame Dion-Jones on 0208 898 4670 or click on the following link.

A Model of Good Practice

Mayor’s Sky Dive for Charity

The magnificent 8

24th March.     REA President & Mayor of Richmond, Ben Khosa, joined Cllr. Avril Coelho, Cllr. Andrée Frieze, Shimon Morad, Catherine Hogarth, Michelle Beaumont, Don Rainbow & Peter Sass in a sky dive from 12,000 feet for his chosen charity of Refuge.

Boarding with some trepidation

The magnificent 8 boarded the plane with some trepidation. Then it was time to JUMP! 

ben's sky dive
Ben with his instructor

Fortunately all landed safely. There was no need for any by-elections & £5,000 was raised for charity.  

Relieved to be back on terra firma.

The Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court Palace

Royal Tennis
L-R Thierry Bernard-Tambour, Michael Day, Tom Dutheil, Nick Wood & Alan Mockford

24th March.  Thierry Bernard-Tambour, the President of the Jeu de Paume Club in Fontainebleau, & Tom Dutheil, the Vice-President, visited Hampton Court to meet Michael Day, the chairman of the Royal Tennis Court & REA chairman, Alan Mockford, to discuss the twinning of the two real tennis clubs. Discussions also focussed on the year 2020, which marks the 30th anniversary of the reopening of the real tennis court in the Château de Fontainebleau, the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold & the 60th anniversary of the twinning between Fontainebleau, Konstanz & Richmond, which will be commemorated in Richmond.

For further details about the Royal Tennis Court please go their website

The Royal Tennis Court website

or write to

Thierry Hampton Court March 2019
Thierry also found time to see the palace.

For further details about the Jeu de Paume Club in Fontainebleau please go to their website

Jeu de Paume Club Website

or write to

People’s Vote March


23rd March. Over one million people joined REA members on the People’s Vote March on Parliament.

PV March 2019
REA members (L-R) Gareth Roberts, Penny Frost, Alan Mockford & Paul Douglas

For further information & a film of the more than one million marchers please click on the following link:

Film of March

downing street
A million people passed Downing Street

There is also a petition to revoke Article 50 which has been signed by almost 6 million UK voters.

Petition Link

Fontainebleau Mayor in London

londres 2019
Frédéric Valletoux (3rd from left)

March 2019. Frédéric Valletoux was in London for the first summit of Franco-British mayors. He was accompanied by France’s Europe Minister, Nathalie Loiseau. Frédéric was invited as delegate President of the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities & Regions. The summit gave him the opportunity to highlight the 40 year partnership between Fontainebleau & Richmond.

For further information please click on the following link


The President of ARCIF in Richmond

Fontainebleau flag
L-R Helen Baker, Cllr. Penny Frost, Gareth Roberts, Evelyne Wenzel, Alan Mockford & partnership manager, Carol Clapperton.

From 25th February – 1st March 2019 Madame Evelyne Wenzel, the President of ARCIF, was in Richmond to meet the leader of the council, Gareth Roberts, the REA committee & community groups to discuss preparations for the 60th anniversary of the partnerships with Fontainebleau & Konstanz, which will take place in Richmond on 27th/28th June 2020.

Fontainebleau flagEvelyne presented Gareth with a Fontainebleau flag, which now adorns the foyer to York House. She then visited the civic centre to admire the large REA poster which greets you as you enter the building.

Evelyne with poster in civc centre

Among the community group leaders she met was Aileen Douthwaite of Richmond Music Trust. Young musicians from Fontainebleau, Konstanz, Lodi & Richmond perform regularly together as a European Youth Orchestra. Their next performance is in Konstanz in May.

Aileen & Evelyne
Evelyne with Aileen Douthwaite

The incredible summer weather enabled the reception with the REA committee to be held in the garden of Brenda Morris’ house.

Evelyne at Brenda's
A garden party in February. Who would believe it possible?

garden party paul

Hampton Court

Warder David HCP

In a packed programme Evelyne was given a private tour of Hampton Court Palace by the State Apartment Warder team leader, David Packer. The Palace enjoys strong connections with the Château de Fontainebleau which go back many centuries.

2020 marks not only the 60th anniversary of the twinning, but the 500th anniversary of the Field of Cloth of Gold, when Henry VIII met François I to celebrate the friendship between the two renaissance princes. François lived at the Château de Fontainebleau.  The famous painting of this stupendous festival can be seen at the Hampton Court.

Field of Cloth of Gold
Evelyne was able to view the famous painting.

We hope to work closely with Hampton Court Palace in commemorating both events.

Real Tennis
The Real Tennis Court at Hampton Court

Real tennis/jeu de paume is played at both Hampton Court & the Château de Fontainebleau & there are regular matches between the two clubs. Evelyne was able to meet Nick Wood, the real tennis head professional, during her visit to the palace.

Nick Wood, Evelyne & Alan
Nick Wood with Evelyne & REA chairman, Alan Mockford.

After Hampton Court Evelyne went on to Ham, where she met Howard Davis, the chairman of Ham Polo Club, which has close links with the Polo Club de Fontainebleau. It is hoped that both real tennis & polo will be part of the festivities in 2020.

Howard Davis & Evelyne
Howard Davis with Evelyne & Lucy Dowie, who runs the junior polo academy.

Finally Evelyne was a guest of honour at an operatic charity dinner at Valentino’s Bellissimo in Twickenham, hosted by the Mayor, Ben Khosa, to raise money for Refuge.

Ben & Evelyne
Ben with Evelyne

Clarinda Chan sang beautifully

Opera singer

A large number of REA members were amongst the 80 guests, which included the mayors of Kingston & Bromley as well as Richmond.

Italian dinner

Fasnacht in Konstanz 2019


The weather was beautiful for this year’s carnival in Konstanz. This was one of many pictures sent to our former chairman, Bernd Steinlechner, who, sadly, was unable to attend this year.


Christmas in New Zealand


Dietlind & Mike
Club captain, Dietlind Wagner, with her partner Mike Malone

This winter REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was in New Zealand, which is full of Germans, especially at this time of year.  Many come from the Konstanz area. Some spend just our winter/their summer on the other side of the world & are known as “swallows.” Others have made their lives there, such as Dietlind Wagner, the captain of Kerikeri Tennis Club.

Christmas Dinner 2018

chez lindsay

The REA annual Christmas Dinner was held at Chez Lindsay on 7th December. Over 30 members enjoyed the delicious French cuisine and delightful multi-cultural & multi-lingual company.

Erasmus Students

world wide fair19th November 2018. Katharina Land, an Erasmus student from the University of Konstanz, joined fellow Erasmus students at St. Mary’s University in promoting the benefits of the Erasmus scheme to British students. Katherina remarked that studying abroad is very common in Germany, but does not appear to be so popular in England. This is something REA is seeking to address as Erasmus offers students such a wonderful opportunity to study in another European country.

For further information about how to study abroad please click on the following link.

Study Abroad Information

Alternatively please write to   in England

or Melanie Hochstätter in Germany

Melanie & Iris
Melanie Hochstätter (right) with colleague Iris Bräuning.

To see a film about Konstanz please click on the following link.

Film about Konstanz

The University of Konstanz enjoys an idyllic location on the shores of Lake Constance.

REA AGM 14th November 2018

Deputy Mayor of Richmond, Mona Adams, presents REA chairman, Alan Mockford, with the £500 prize.

The Winter Garden at York House was packed on 14th November 2018 for the annual general meeting of the Richmond in Europe Association. 

The guest of honour was the deputy mayor of Richmond, councillor Mona Adams, who presented REA chairman, Alan Mockford with a certificate & prize of £500 awarded by the Skipton Building Society for the work the association does in promoting the benefits of linguistic & cultural diversity.

743 organisations applied for the prize & the Richmond in Europe Association was selected as one of the winners after a public vote.

After the formal business of the evening members enjoyed a delicious wine, cheese & cold meat buffet.

Armistice Day 2018

Richmond War Memorial 11.11.2018

Former chairman, Rodney Mantle, represented REA at the Armistice Day ceremony at the Richmond war memorial, laying a wreath on behalf of the association. The ceremony followed a parade from Old Deer Park led by REA President & Richmond Mayor, Ben Khosa.

The parade, led my the mayor, arriving at the war memorial
armistice in fontainebleau crop
Councillor Penny Frost with Konstanz Bürgermeister, Dr. Andreas Osner,  followed by Frédéric Valletoux after the laying of the wreaths

Meanwhile in France, REA vice chair, Helen Baker, & councillor Penny Frost represented REA & the borough of Richmond at the Armistice Day commemorations in Fontainebleau. On 9th they joined Frédéric Valletoux, the mayor of Fontainebleau and Uli Berhardt, the Oberbürgermeister of Konstanz, at a concert for peace & reconciliation. Penny gave a speech in French, which was very well received. Prior to the concert they visited a First World War exhibition which will also be seen by a thousand schoolchildren this week.

On 10th November there was an open air concert followed by a candlelit procession to the war memorial, which was illuminated for the occasion.

The candlelit war memorial in Fontainebleau

The Act of Remembrance took place on the morning of 11th when there was a joint laying of wreaths by the Konstanz, Fontainebleau & Richmond representatives to affirm the peace & friendship which now exist between us.

Quatre Dames
L-R ARCIF President, Evelyne Wenzel, Deputy Mayor, Odile Jacquin, Helen Baker & Penny Frost.

Back in Richmond on the afternoon of 11th, Orleans House Gallery was packed for an Arts Richmond poetry & music commemoration. Local poets, including REA members Carol Wain & Anne Warrington, read their own works. Other readings were from the famous works of the war poets.

Tricia Sheed (left) with, (to her right), local poets Carol Wain, Bob Sheed, Greg Freeman & Kevin Taggerty



On 10th November 2018 President Macron & Chancellor Merkel met at Compiègne for a very moving ceremony of peace, reconciliation & friendship to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

Film of the ceremony

REA Awarded a Prize

Chris Cull
The European Youth Orchestra, comprising musicians from Fontainebleau, Konstanz, Lodi & Richmond, performing at Twickenham Rugby ground in October 2017.

grassroots giving certOn 5th November it was announced that the Richmond in Europe Association has been awarded a prize of £500 by the Skipton Building Society for its work in promoting the benefits of linguistic & cultural diversity.

 743 organisations applied for the prize & the Richmond in Europe Association was selected as one of the winners after a public vote.





Civic Centre promotes Richmond’s partnership with Fontainebleau & Konstanz

civic centre
REA chairman, Alan Mockford, admiring the new display in the foyer to the civic centre.

1st November 2018.  When you enter Richmond civic centre the first sight which now greets you, after passing the European Union flag, is posters & leaflets promoting the town’s European partners of Fontainebleau & Konstanz. You can also obtain the new REA business cards, featuring a recent picture of the Château de Fontainebleau, at the main reception. Visitors cannot fail to appreciate that Richmond values its European connections.

First World War Centenary Poetry Walk

centenary walk
Poetry reading beside the Belgian refugee memorial in East Twickenham.

A well attended WWI poetry walk, organised by Arts Richmond in association with REA, was held on Sunday 21st October. For a full report please click on the following link.:

Walk Review by Poppy Rose Jarvis

European Union Flag Hoisted by Richmond Council


The European Union flag was hoisted in front of Richmond Civic Centre by council leader, Gareth Roberts, and fellow councillors to co-incide with the the People’s Vote march on 20th October.

eu flag gareth
Richmond council leader, Gareth Roberts, prepares to hoist the flag.


The flag will continue to be flown while Britain remains a member of the EU.

People’s Vote March

people's vote 2018


20th October 2018    700,000 people joined REA members in a march for a People’s Vote on Brexit once the facts are known.

Even more people have signed a petition calling for a people’s vote. If you would like to sign the petition please click on the following link:

People’s Vote Petition

Fontainebleau Hike October 2018


Deep in the forest

REA members were invited to a fascinating 8 kilometre hike in the world famous Forêt de Fontainebleau led by local guide Monsieur Polton.

ARCIF President, Evelyne Wenzel, pauses for a picture.

The mayor of Fontainebleau, Frédéric Valletoux, welcomed the delegation from Richmond.

Mayor & Merry go Round
The mayor  & Evelyne Wenzel with REA members, Paul Douglas, Clare Head, Eva Griffin & Alan Mockford in la Place Napoléon Bonaparte

Tanguy de WilliencourtOne of the many highlights of the visit was a fabulous recital of pieces by Beethoven, Franck, Couperin, Ravel & Wagner by the brilliant pianist, Tanguy de Williencourt in the town’s magnificent theatre.

REA members were invited to a reception by the Comité de Jumelage prior to the performance. It was an opportunity to meet up with old friends & to make new ones. Discussions also took place about the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the twinning which takes place in Richmond in 2020.

Comité de Jumelage
Le Comité de Jumelage & REA members prior to the performance.

On the following day REA members visited the world famous Château de Fontainebleau. The weather was glorious & the palace looked stunning.

L'etang aux carpes2
The Château viewed from l’etang aux carpes

On the next day a new partnership was initiated with Fontainebleau Tennis Club

Alain, Evelyne & Alan
Fontainebleau Club President, Alain Martin, with ARCIF President, Evelyne Wenzel, & REA chairman Alan Mockford

and discussions took place with the headteacher & staff at the Lycée International François I. It is hoped this will lead to links with Richmond at primary, secondary & undergraduate level.

Francois I
François I headteacher, Patrick Berthelot, with Evelyne & Alan

Richmond Honours Konstanz

York House flag
L-R REA chairman, Alan Mockford, Bettina Ruff, Rodney Mantle, Ben Khosa, Stefan Lohner, Petra Matthisson & Gareth Roberts prepare to raise the flag outside York House.
Konstanzer Fahne2
L-R. Alan, Bettina Ruff, Stefan Lohner, Ben Khosa, Gareth Roberts, Rodney Mantle & Petra Matthisson.

9th October 2018    The flag of Konstanz was hoisted in front of the civic centre in Twickenham in honour of the children & teachers of the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule and das Ellenrieder Gymnasium in Konstanz, who visited Richmond this autumn for their annual exchanges with Teddington, Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles schools.  

Three teachers from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium were invited by the mayor, Ben Khosa, to York House where they were also greeted by the leader of the council, Gareth Roberts, REA chairman, Alan Mockford & former REA chairman, Rodney Mantle. After the hoisting of the striking Konstanz flag our guests enjoyed a guided tour of York House & its beautiful gardens which border the Thames. Richmond children will be visiting Konstanz next summer. 

Many more schools in Konstanz are seeking exchanges with schools in Richmond. If you know of a school which would like an exchange with Konstanz please write to 

China Great & Small

6th October     35 REA members & guests, including three from contrasting parts of China, attended a fascinating illustrated presentation by former REA chairman, Rodney Mantle, who worked for almost ten years in China, teaching English as a foreign language & for academic purposes. Rodney was able to travel widely in China & reached places far off the usual tourist routes. Thus he was able to share his experiences of the not so well known parts of China.

The presentation was followed by a delicious Chinese banquet provided by “The Lucky Garden” Chinese takeaway of St. Margarets  (0208 892 7363) 


Rodney made reference to our twin town of Konstanz which is also twinned with the beautiful  town of Suzhou, which is the Chinese equivalent of Venice. A delegation from Konstanz is visiting Suzhou this month.


Christine und Angela Oktoberfest 2018
REA members Christine Vranze & Angela Richter


Also on 6th October an Oktoberfest took  place at the Deutsche Schule London. Despite the dreadful weather over a thousand people, many of whom were dressed in traditional Bavarian costume, crammed into the school buildings where they were able to sample German food & beer while listening to the music or chatting with friends.

It was remarkable to hear children switching between English and German with impressive fluency & perfect pronunciation. The best time to learn a foreign language is when you are young, but it’s never too late to learn. (If you would like to learn or improve your French or German please go to our “Current Partnerships” page.)

Seven Erasmus students from the University of Konstanz, Japan & America, who are currently studying at St. Mary’s University, joined the party & met some of the staff from the German school.

It is hoped that undergraduates from Konstanz will visit the school to share their experience of the Erasmus programme with those currently applying for university places. 

Willkommen in Richmond

lady eleanor holles
The mayor, Ben Khosa, greets the children & their teachers from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium  at the Lady Eleanor Holles School. 4th October 2018

In October 44 students & their teachers from the Ellenrieder Gymnasium came to Richmond for their annual exchange with Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles schools. REA chairman, Alan Mockford, & the mayor of Richmond, Ben Khosa, greeted the children & their teachers before they set off to see the museums of Kensington.

Mayor und Lehrer des Ellenrider Gymnasiums
L-R LEH teachers, Natasha Murray & Mark Tompsett, with Ellenrieder staff, Stefan Lohner, Petra Matthisson & Bettina Ruff plus Ben & Alan

The Hampton & LEH students will be visiting Konstanz next summer. 

The children from the Geschwister Scholl Schule, their teachers, the mayor & REA chairman, Alan Mockford, unveil the flag of Konstanz at Teddington School.

In September 2018. Richmond Mayor & REA President, Ben Khosa, welcomed 42 students & their teachers from the Geschwister-Scholl-Schule in Konstanz. The pupils are in Richmond for their annual exchange with Teddington School. Children from Teddington were in Konstanz in July. 

GSS at Hampton Court
Die Geschwister Scholl Schüler besuchten Hampton Court Palace.

tom petanque18th September. The second free “Introduction to Pétanque” session for REA members was held on the Palewell Common Terrain in East Sheen. Despite the unfavourable weather there was a good turnout & soon everyone was playing. Anyone of any age or ability can play. If you would like a free lesson please contact Len Griffiths on 0208 878 6865 

Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme

mayor chile
Colonel Christian Bolivar Romero with Richmond Mayor, Ben Khosa             Photo: Helen Baker
Welsh guardsman
Photo: Rodney Mantle

21st August 2018.  The liberator of Chile from Spanish colonial rule, Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme, lived in Richmond from 1795-98; there is a statue to him in O’Higgins Square, by Richmond Bridge. Every year a ceremony is held by the statue on O’Higgins’ birthday. This year, for the first time, REA was represented by vice-chair, Helen Baker & former chairman, Rodney Mantle. Representatives were invited from the Chilean Embassy, with a speech by the military attaché, Colonel Christian Bolivar Romero, who with the ambassador, H.E. Mr. David Gallagher, laid a wreath. Other wreaths were laid by the mayor of Richmond, Ben Khosa, and various Chilean organisations, including Casa Chilena. The deputy-mayor of Richmond, Mona Adams, was also present. The ceremony ended with the playing of “The Last Post” by a member of the Welsh Guards.

A Taste of France

Petanque group
Some of the adult players

Boules Badge17 adults and children attended the first REA “Introduction to Pétanque” session on the special terrain on Palewell Common on 13th August. Palewell Common is twinned with Le Club de Boules de Fontainebleau-Avon.

Deputy Mayor, Mona Adams, welcomed the players before instruction began. The game is very easy to learn & soon everyone was playing.

Cropped petanque
Which boule is nearer?

If you missed this session & would would like to attend the next one please contact Len Griffiths on 0208 878 6865 or 07904 119521

You can also join others to play, free of charge, every Sunday & Friday at 2 p.m. Please contact  John Hockley on 07817 088974 if you would like a game.

Students from Hampton & Lady Eleanor Holles Schools in Konstanz July 2018

Bild - Gastschüler der Lady Eleanor Holles und Hampton School
Students & their teachers with Claus-Dieter Hirt in the courtyard of the historic town hall.

Fontainebleau Celebrates the French World Cup Triumph

15th July 2018

world cup
Fontainebleau on 15th July.  Allez les Bleus.

REA members attend Belgian Cenotaph Parade. 

belgian cenotaph
The Richmond group on their way to London

king-queen-aMembers of the Richmond in Europe Association & East Twickenham Centennial Group were invited to attend the Belgian Cenotaph parade in London on Saturday 14th July. Belgium is the only foreign country whose forces are allowed to march past the Cenotaph in appreciation of the part Belgium played in the Great War.

This year however, because of security concerns, the march took place in Horse Guards Parade. The occasion was graced by their Majesties, the King & Queen of the Belgians.

Mayor’s Civic Service

8th July 2018

Richmond Mayor, Ben Khosa, with REA chairman, Alan Mockford in York House following the mayor’s civic service.                                                          Photo by

One of the first acts of REA President & new Mayor of Richmond, Ben Khosa, was to hang the magnificent engraving of Fontainebleau, which was presented to REA by Evelyne Wenzel of ARCIF, outside the mayor’s parlour in York House. Ben was delighted to show the engraving to guests after his civic service in St. Mary’s Church on 8th July.

Guests begin to gather on the terrace of York House after the service.       Photo by Rodney Mantle

St. Margarets Fair

mayor & moormead fair2
The mayor, Ben Khosa, & his wife with REA committee members, Alan Mockford, Marina Tuffier & Carol Wain

The REA stand attracted much attention at St. Margarets Fair on 7th July. Amongst many interested visitors were our president, Ben Khosa, and his wife.

vince at fair
L-R Committee members, Carol Wain, Helen Baker & Len Griffiths with Vince & Rachel Cable

Later in the afternoon another of our members, Sir Vince Cable, with suitable protection from the sun, lent his support.

Len Griffiths taught children how to play pétanque while their parents discussed the opportunities which twinning affords. Much interest was generated and several new members were recruited.


REA Annual Garden Party 2018

garden party

Over 30 members attended the annual garden party in East Sheen on 30th June. 

Sarah Olney
REA treasurer Marina Tuffier & sons with REA member Sarah Olney

The weather was glorious and members enjoyed a delicious main course buffet followed by strawberries, blackberries & cream. 

paul douglas, carol & alan
Paul Douglas, Carol Wain & Alan Mockford

Brenda Morris’ house provided a wonderful setting for members to get to know one another.

helen & anna
REA vice-chair, Helen Baker, in conversation with Anna Newton-Dunn

Das Sommerfest der Deutschen Sprache


Award winners with the novelist Ian McEwan & Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen, the Chargé d’Affaires

REA chairman, Alan Mockford, was invited to the annual German teacher awards at the German Ambassador’s residence on 29th June 2018. Novelist & screenwriter Ian McEwan gave the keynote speech, partly in English & partly in German. For a full report please click on the following link.

15th German Teacher Award

Afterwards a very important guest dropped in to add her congratulations. 


(Please look carefully at the photo)

People’s Vote March

People's vote

23rd June 2018.   100,000 people joined REA members on a march on Parliament to demand a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal.

Parliament square2
Parliament Square was packed to capacity

Speakers included local M.P. Sir Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas, David Lammy, Anna Soubry & Tony Robinson who were united in their wish to give the British people the final say on their future once the outcome of the negotiations is known. If you would like to sign the petition please click on the following link:  

People’s Vote Petition

People's vote crowd
The enormous crowd stretched down Whitehall.

A Visitor from Konstanz

Michael und der Fluss
Michael admiring the view from Richmond hill with REA chairman, Alan Mockford

The president of Konstanz Tennis Club, Michael Jack, paid a flying visit to Richmond on 18th-19th June. Konstanz tennis club is twinned with St. Mary’s Tennis club. After a brief tour of the town Michael cycled back to Konstanz via London, Newhaven, Dieppe & Paris.

German School Graduation


graduation2The mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Ben Khosa, & REA vice-chair, Helen Baker, attended the annual graduation at the German school in Petersham on 11th June 2018. After opening words from the Principal, Christian Nitschke, the graduating students were presented with their certificates & special prizes were awarded to outstanding students in a range of subjects. In return the students presented bouquets to their two principal teachers. The event ended in a moving contemporary recital by gifted student musicians, followed by a lively reception with smoked salmon & sausage nibbles & chocolate strawberries to die for.


Twickenham Green Fair 2018

The new REA gazebo was the centre of attraction at the Twickenham Green fair on 28th May. 

Photo: Rodney Mantle

Blessed with fine weather we were able to raise awareness of the boundless opportunities which twinning affords & many new members were recruited.

Twickenham Fair 2018

Fresh from his triumph in Fontainebleau REA committee member, Len Griffiths, instructed young passers-by in the intricacies of pétanque, using a mini-terrain.


If you would like a free private lesson on a full size terrain please click on the following invitation.

An invitation from REA to play pétanque

Richmond’s New Mayor

Ben Khosa
Ben Khosa with REA chairman, Alan Mockford

REA were invited to the mayor making ceremony at York House on the evening of 22nd May. The new mayor, Ben Khosa, automatically becomes president of REA. Ben is looking forward very much to working with our French & German friends.

Richmond Green Fair 2018

gazebo & anastasia
Vice-chair, Helen Baker, with REA Konstanz delegate Anastasia Usacheva

12th May 2018. The new REA gazebo was unveiled at the Richmond Green Fair. Enjoying a prime site it helped a small army of REA volunteers, led by Helen Baker, to raise significantly the profile of the twin towns. Despite the inclement weather, much interest was stimulated & several new members were recruited.

Fontainebleau Reunion

Fbleau (11)REAgift
Evelyne Wenzel & Rodney Mantle                                                  Photo by Len Griffiths.

Gare de Fontainebleau Avon
Rodney at Fontainebleau Avon station.

6th May 2018     Former chairman, Rodney Mantle, & REA committee member, Len Griffiths, met ARCIF President, Evelyne Wenzel, in Fontainebleau. Evelyne was presented with a picture of Hampton Court Palace on behalf of REA to mark the occasion. Among the topics they discussed was the establishment of links between primary schools in Richmond & Fontainebleau. If you know of a primary school in Richmond which teaches French (or German) please could you put them in touch with REA. Fontainebleau has no railway station of its own. One has to alight in the neighbouring town of Avon. However in recognition of its illustrious neighbour the station is named Fontainebleau Avon.

The Richmond Art Society Spring Exhibition

peter snow
RAS Chairman, Peter Swann, Carol Wain & Helen Baker

Friday 4th May 2018. REA vice chairman, Helen Baker & secretary, Carol Wain, were invited to a private preview of the Richmond Art Society spring exhibition at the Landmark Arts Centre. The theme was “Going to Waste” or “Recycling.” The exhibition ran from 5th -7th May. The Richmond Art Society is twinned with Art Fontainebleau.

One of the exhibits “Fashion Horse”


Pétanque group

1st May  A team from Richmond was invited to an international Pétanque tournament in Fontainebleau. 



The competition was tough & the terrain was unfamiliar.

Petanque 4

However the Richmond players acquitted themselves very well.

len's trophy edited
The Richmond captain, Len Griffiths, won a magnificent trophy.

The winning triple included Nick Eriksen from Richmond (pictured right)


Over 100 people participated & many new friendships were made. 

Evelyne & Len
ARCIF President, Evelyne Wenzel, with Len Griffiths from REA & the Friends of Palewell Common

REA members are invited to learn to play pétanque or French boules in Richmond for free. For further details please click on the following link.

An invitation from REA to play pétanque

odile & Len
Odile Jacquin From Fontainebleau council  with Len Griffiths


An Evening with Judith Kerr & Axel Scheffler at die Deutsche Schule London

SpreckelsenKerrScheffler (3)
L-R Tilman Spreckelsen, Judith Kerr & Axel Scheffler

1st May 2018. Famous children’s author Judith Kerr & illustrator Axel Scheffler were interviewed, in German , by Tilman Spreckelsen, the literary correspondent of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung before a packed audience at the German school in Petersham. For Rodney Mantle’s report of the evening please click on the following link.

An Evening with Judith Kerr Report

An Evening with Sir Vince Cable at die Deutsche Schule London


About 20 REA members were amongst a packed audience of about 400 people at the German School in Petersham on 23rd April 2018.

Photo courtesy of Rodney Mantle

Sir Vince answered questions for two hours on the implications of Brexit for British & non-British EU citizens. He said that there is still hope that Brexit will not happen. There is growing cross-party support within the Houses of Parliament for a referendum once the outcome of the negotiations is known. 

DSL Cable2018.04.23 (9)
One of the DSL plus team posing his question to Sir Vince

What is German About German Music?


Professor Eric Levi of Royal Holloway College gave an interesting lecture to the Guildford-Freiburg Twinning Association on Monday 16th April to which REA members were invited. We are grateful to Rodney Mantle for the above photo & report below.

German Music Report

Memorial Service for Portuguese Soldiers in WW1

St. James’ Church, Twickenham

“Thank you” in Portuguese
The restored stained glass

Not a seat was free in St. James’ Church at lunchtime on Monday 9th April 2018 for a Requiem Mass & the dedication of stained glass windows in honour of the over 100,000 Portuguese soldiers who fought & nearly 12,000 who died during the First World War. 

The Guard of Honour was provided by members of the armed forces. The service was held partly in English, partly in Portuguese & partly in Latin. The role of Dom Manuel II, the by then exiled King of Portugal, who lived in Fulwell, was also remembered. He donned a British uniform & served as a red cross volunteer. The most moving moment was the playing of the Last Post by a teenage trumpeter.portugal

The windows were dedicated & the associated plaque unveiled by the Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, a former Chief of the Defence Staff and the Portuguese Ambassador, whose grandfather had been one of those soldiers.

After the service everyone moved to the parish hall, where delicious Portuguese snacks & good company did much to compensate for the grey weather.

The Richmond in Europe Association was represented by former chairman, Rodney Mantle, & David Ferguson. Rodney wrote this report & took the photographs.

For further information about the links between Twickenham & Portugal please contact Clare Head or Anthony Bailey.


Europakonzil Triumph

The victorious Konstanzer Europakonzil team receive their cheque.

Felicity Challinor, one of the REA delegates.

REA sent 18 young delegates to the Konstanzer Europakonzil in November 2017. They joined 80 young delegates from France, the Czech Republic, Italy & Germany to discuss the role of town twinning in the future of Europe.

The project was one of a hundred entries in a competition for youth initiatives throughout the whole of Baden-Württemberg. The final was held in Stuttgart in March 2018 & the Konstanzer Europakonzil won 2nd prize. 

Anja Deschler

Apart from the honour & prestige, the team was awarded a prize of €1250. Team leader, Anja Deschler said, “We are naturally delighted. The Europakonzil has already won the prize for the best twinning project awarded by the Institute for European Partnerships & International Co-Operation. This second award confirms that the Europakonzil has chosen the right path.”

The aim of the project was to show young people that they can actively fashion the future of Europe.

Well done to all the delegates who took part & who contributed to this success.

The award made the headlines in the German media. 

German press report

Kensal Green Cemetery

kensal green
Some REA members by the grave of William Makepeace Thackeray
Isambard Kingdom Brunel

David Ferguson led a tour of Kensal Green Cemetery on 25th March. Members discovered many fascinating graves and memorials including those of William Makepeace Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, George Cruickshank, (who illustrated Dickens’ works), the tight-rope walker , Blondin, British world chess champion Howard Staunton, after whom the most popular style of chess pieces is named, & Isambard Kingdom Brunel & his father Sir Marc. Sir Marc, a refugee from France, was a brilliant civil engineer. His son, Isambard, became one of the greatest of all Britons. 


REA vice-chairman, Helen Baker, was particularly interested in the graves of First World War Belgian soldiers who had died of their wounds in England after being evacuated from the trenches.

Belgian Grave

Die Deutsche Schule London