Mülheim Christmas Market

Wednesday 28th Nov 2012

On 28th November Nigel Davison, my wife Gill and I flew via Leeds Bradford/Düsseldorf to Mülheim for the Altstadt Xmas market where we were to have a stall for 3 days with our partners from their TTA. Nigel works for S W Durham Training Ltd and they have a long standing Leonardo Mobility partnership with Siemens Professional Education and Berufskolleg Stadtmitte Mülheim.  We had already sent most of the goods ahead with Manfed Krister who was in Darlington a few weeks earlier, but carried with us mince pies and Famous Grouse chocolate to add to the 120 jars of Mrs Darlington's jam and chutney, xmas cakes and puddings, xmas cards, Yorkshire tea and shortbread biscuits. Our partners were to provide mulled wine, cheese and biscuits with port, bird feeders and various seasonal ornaments for the stall.

On 29th we set up the stall in the afternoon with lighting, decorations etc. and also had a meeting with Mülheim TTA members about 60th anniversay celebrations next year. Unfortunately all town centre hotels are fully booked for our citizens visit in September due to a large Congress in Essen, so we visited Hotel Kaempgen Hof on the outskirts of the town which appears suitable for us in the circumstances.

On Friday morning Nigel and I visited the Berufskolleg, Lehnerstrasse where we were given breakfast duiring which we discussed the programme for next year's work experience in Darlington. We met the students who will be coming, as well as last year's students who gave a presentation of their placements and experiences in our town. The market opened at 4pm on Friday 30th, the weather was fine but very cold, and we did much better than last year having sold 65 jars of jam/chutney and  a good deal of other items by close at 8pm.  We then went to Biohof Felchner at the invitation of Fellerband, the musicians who played at our Forum recently. It was a great evening of food, drink, music and videos of their English tour to Halifax, Liverpool, Bolton, Chester and of course Darlington and I think many links were established for the future for events in both towns.

Saturday 1st December was another very cold day but mainly. The market opened at 1200 and by 1800 nearly all of our goods were gone. we continued to sell mulled wine, port, cheese and biscuits until closing at  2000 and going to the tennis club for Jaegerschnitzel and a well earned drink.

On Sunday 2nd December we thought it would be difficult to make sales due to lack of products, however it turned out to be a most productive day as we had many customers buying mulled wine, port cheese and biscuits, and takings were on a par with the other days. Before finishing we had to put up signs, AUSGEKAUFT = SOLD OUT, which was a great indication of the success of the venture. We then all had a great evening in Restaurant Maria Italia and I think everyone agreed that a repeat next year was a definite!

We returned home Monday 3rd December.

During our time at the market we were visited by many people including,

Axel Benzinger and his son Joern who are co-ordinating visit of All Stars football visit in May. Thomas and Berit Bestert and Robert and Beate Kaiser- Husemann of Charisma Choir who will sing in Darlington in October, and Gijs Burger and others from Petrikirche Choir who will visit St Cuthbert's in October. President of Müheim Schloss Broich Rotary Club, Raymond Metz, and Rotarians Dirk Neumann and Frank Steinfort. Constantin Koerner who spent 2 months on work experience in our Town Hall. Members of Sturmvoegel Cycling Club who helped us on a previous ride from Darlington to Mülheim. Teachers and pupils from Twin schools.  Holger Kuik, Joe Richter, Siemens Professional Education. Sabine Buttner-Kaminski, Berufskolleg Stadtmitte, Willi Hortsmannshof, formerly of that college, and his wife Margot.  If you have not been mentioned, or I could not remember your name, please let me know and i can amend the list.

Finally thanks to our Mülheim friends who were with us on the stall and gave us such a good time;

Ingeborg and Karl Rudiger Schaefer, Ingrid Zimmermann, Ursula Ritter Thomas, Beate and Herman Kamleiter, Manfred Krister, Alfred Braemart, Dieter Steinberg, Andreas Horn.

Report by Tom Nutt.


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