York Rotary enjoys close relationships with other Rotarians across Europe, and beyond.
We arrange biennial visits to Europe, or host our European friends in York.
Fellowship Visit in York May 2023
Our next international fellowship weekend with our friends from Erlangen Rotary Club, Germany took place in York on
International Partner Clubs Visit of Erlangen to York May 18-21 2023
The York Club has been twinned with Erlangen since 1984 with meetings taking place in each of the countries in turn on a bi-annual basis, creating many long standing friendships. A party of 19 from Erlangen visited York
The weekend comprised two full days of visits and excellent fellowship
Here are recollections of the weekend.........
click photos to enlarge
Thursday May 18th
We welcomed to York a party of nineteen guests from Erlangen. The journeys from Erlangen to York were via a variety of different travel routes, including Wilfried and Connie who travelled in their historic Morgan, crossing on the overnight ferry to Hull.
After meeting at the Novotel we transported our guests to the Waterfront restaurant at Naburn Marina for the welcome dinner. The dinner was a very enjoyable occasion, we rekindled friendships and made new friendships during the evening. President Wolfgang and his party of four landed at Manchester airport at 5.20pm, they then cleared the airport, picked up a hire car and got to the waterfront restaurant by 8.15pm, that was a good effort and Wolfgang was very pleased to reach the destination. President Mary impressed with a welcome speech in German.
Friday May 27th
The day started with a walk from the Novotel to Clifford’s Tower for a tour of the tower. After reaching the tower and the climb of the steps we were welcomed by an English Heritage guide who conducted a detailed introduction to the tower in fluent German. We then explored the tower, though most of the time was spent at the top admiring the views set against a stormy looking sky. We took a group photograph for the weekend on the top of Clifford’s Tower. We were very impressed by the recent improvements to Clifford’s Tower.
From Clifford’s Tower we walked to the Mansion House for a guided tour. The tour covered all four floors of the Mansion House and even visited rooms that most of the locals had not even visited.
After visiting the Mansion House we enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Pitcher and Piano in a private room overlooking the river. After lunch some visitors from Erlangen went on a Minster tour with our private guide Steve Burton, some went on a city walking tour including the bar walls with Hazel Hart, the remaining visitors went shopping.
The day finished with the gala dinner at the Novotel attended by 65. The food was excellent. President Mary arranged for the evening to be KitKat themed, entirely appropriate to a chocolate manufacturing city. Mary then presented a bronze Yorkshire Rose to President Wolfgang.
In his response President Wolfgang brought greetings and presented Mary with a lovely photographic image of the Erlangen pennant board remembering our friendship of 40+ years.
Mary then followed by the most enjoyable duty that any president can undertake, that was the presentation of Paul Harris Fellowships to Nigel and Diana Nash. Nigel has had many years involvement with our international visits.
The evening closed by the York Rotary choir singing Scarborough Fair and Downtown. The performance was excellent, particularly as part of Downtown was sung in German. A recording of the choir singing Downtown is available from the adjacent link.
Saturday May 20th
We woke to excellent weather, a lovely sunny day with a blue cloudless sky which was a great start for our trip to Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Garden. Most of the party left the Novotel by minibus, others travelled by car, we all met at Fountains Abbey in time for the start of the tour. We had tours of the abbey with two knowledgeable National Trust guides, they were both excellent. Following the tour we all had about an hour to explore the magnificent water gardens.
From Fountains Abbey we travelled to the Water Rat restaurant in Ripon where we had an enjoyable Buffett lunch overlooking the river. Following lunch we spent a short period exploring Ripon cathedral and the town centre before returning to York.
After a short rest we set out for an informal evening at Brew York. As well as sampling a variety of beers and other drinks we enjoyed an Asian Fusion buffet. Socializing continued through the evening culminating in an international sing song. It was noticeable that whilst Mike Hay provided English song sheets our visitors from Erlangen all read the songs from their smart phones. The singing finished with Auld Lang Syne sung in both English and German.
Sunday May 2st
The visit concluded with a farewell breakfast at the Novotel where a small group of York members joined Erlangen members for breakfast followed by farewells and good wishes for onward travel. A number of the Erlangen members were following their time in York by visiting Liverpool, the Lake District, South Wales, Cornwall and other places in the UK.
Reflections of the weekend:
It was clear from all those participating, both from Erlangen and York that they had greatly enjoyed the weekend of fellowship. The York members were proud to share our city and Yorkshire with our visitors and the visitors were very appreciative of all that they saw.
Erlangen Rotary club have extended an invite to York Rotary to visit them in Erlangen in May 2025 and that is something that we all look forward to.