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Notice of Meetings 2016-2017

October 23 2016

Please note dates of Association meetings and activities planned for the coming months.   These will appear on the website as they are due under the menu item, 'Dates'.

Association meetings are held in The Municipal Buildings, West Bridge Street, Falkirk FK1 5RS


November 8     Talk - Kayleigh Boardman, A Veterinary Nurse in Africa.  7.00 pm Municipal Buildings, Falkirk

December         No meeting


January 10        Annual Dinner, Cladhan Hotel, Kemper Avenue, Falkirk (meet 7.00 pm for Dinner 7.30 pm)

February 14      Talk - Latest Developments, The Helix Project

March 14           Talk - Créteil, Falkirk District Twinning Association's French Partnership

April 11               Annual General Meeting, 7.00 Municipal Buildings, Falkirk

May 9                 Possible Canal Trip - to be confirmed pending numbers wishing to attend

The First Meeting Session 2016-2017

October 21 2016

Walter Simms (vice-Chair) welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the session, and extended a special welcome to Sylvia, who had heard about the Association at Hanne Stuckert’s Limes talk at Falkirk Library during Big Roman Week.  Anne Simms (Secretary) then reported on all the happenings over the summer, including the Airth Highland Games and Big Roman Week, and Christine Gannon reported on the very successful visit by the two German students on work experience in July.  The programme for this new session was discussed, and a suggestion that the last meeting of the session should be a canal trip met with universal approval.  There are two possibilities for a visit to the Odenwald in 2017, either Schottische Nacht in August or the Gross Umstadt Winzerfest in September, and members are encouraged to express a preference.  The meeting concluded with a fund-raising raffle and German style refreshments.

Hanne Stuckert's Visit

September 22 2016

As part of Big Roman Week in Falkirk, a festival co-ordinated by The Friends of Kinneil charity, Hanne Stuckert, M.A., Provincial Roman Archeologist and Education officer in Museum Schloss Fechenbach in Germany, was invited by Falkirk Council, to give a series of talks about the Romans in mainland Europe. Hanne, who was raised in the Odenwald, our twining partner area, is well known to many of our members who were privileged to visit Dieburg Museum on a twinning visit in 2015 when Hanne was the Guide and the acquaintances were further cemented when Hanne and many friends from the Odenwald attended the Association's 40th Anniversary celebrations in October.

During a hectic programme, Hanne participated in the Community Conference on The Antonine Wall, gave illustrated talks on 'The Limes, The Roman Frontier in Germany' at Bonnybridge Library and Falkirk Library. Hanne joined in the fun at The Family Event, Big Roman Day at Kinneil House and an Italian night at The Corbie Inn with some of The Friends of Kinneil .

Hanne visited the beautifully refurbished Hippodrome Cinema in Bo'ness to see, 'Roman Holiday' sampled some real Scottish hospitality when Odenwald Association members arranged to take her to see Blackness Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Culross and The Celts exhibition in Edinburgh. Members also had the opportunity to meet Hanne at a meal at The Cladhan Hotel, Falkirk. With a visit to Stirling Folk Club and viewing a French film at the Barony Theatre in Bo'ness, Hanne experienced a great cross section of entertainment and culture.

Hanne was overwhelmed by the hospitality and friendship shown to her by members who also arranged for her transport to and from the airport. Hanne's first contact with Falkirk was through the twinning link and this is the epitome of the essence of twinning. Links are developed through a shared interest and friendships flourish with the continuation and maintenance of these links. This way, the twinning is strengthened and grows.

If you are interested in being part of the twinning, you are welcome to attend a meeting of the Association to find out more. The first meeting of the session will be held on Tuesday 11 October, at 7.00 p.m. in The Municipal Buildings, West Bridge Street, Falkirk. FK1 5RS​

Big Roman Week 17-25 September 2016

August 28 2016

The Executive Committee is finalising the programme for the next session which starts on Tuesday, 11th October with our Open Evening.  One or two things are happening before that. 

Martina Emmerich is coming over for the Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival the weekend of 9th September.  She will be busy attending events at the festival but members who wish to meet with Martina have been asked to contact our Secretary Anne Simms.

Big Roman Week takes place 17th - 25th September all over the Falkirk area.  For anyone who does not know, this is a celebration of Falkirk’s Roman heritage which is organised by the Friends of Kinneil.  It started out in Bo’ness but has expanded to include other areas.  The programme of talks, walks, and other events can be viewed on their website :-

This year for the first time there will be a speaker coming over from the Odenwald to talk about the Limes, the Roman remains in that area.  This is Hanne Stuckert, who some of you will have met in Germany (Hanne was the Guide at our visit to Dieburg Museum) and also when she came over for our 40th Anniversary celebrations.  She will be giving three talks and attending other events as well. Friends of Kinneil are hoping that Odenwald Association members will be keen to come along to some of the free talks, and also meet up with Hanne for a meal or coffee. She will have some free time but we won’t know exactly how she will spend it until she arrives and we can discuss it.  Members who would like to take this opportunity to meet Hanne, perhaps at The Cladhan for a meal, have been asked to contact our Secretary.  At the moment, her schedule is looking something like this :-

Friday 16th - arrival at Edinburgh Airport - taken to the B and B in Bo'ness;  dinner at the Corbie Inn

Saturday 17th - free time but she may attend the events at Kinneil Estate 

Sunday 18th - conference at the Hippodrome/walk in the afternoon - evening could be spent at the Torphichen Inn or Sportsters Falkirk.

Monday 19th - talk at Bonnybridge Library - evening could be spent at Stirling Folk Club

Tuesday 20th - free time

Wednesday 21st - talk at Falkirk Library

Thursday 22nd - day free, evening at Italian dinner, Corbie Inn

Friday 23rd - morning free, return home in the afternoon

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Limes, and hopefully, we can also promote the Association at some of the events. Members may wish to support the programme and Hanne's presentations.  Full details of the programme will be made available when finalised.

23 July 2016 Odenwald Association Bottle Stall

July 24 2016

Saturday 23 July 2016, Odenwald Association members turned out to man the fund raising Bottle Stall at the 145th Airth Highland Games. Alongside the local pipe band, Highland Dancing competitions, children’s entertainment, craft stalls, foods,  refreshment tents, and the sights and sounds of the fair, the park was transformed in the magnificent setting between  the Ochil Hills and the River Forth.

Members lined up, proudly sporting Odenwald Association t-shirts, raring to go. If it came in a bottle, it was sure to be on this stall!  All of the bottles were donated and over £400 was raised for Association funds.   Thanks to everyone who worked on the stall and for all the donations.  Prizes big and small were received with a smile and for those who didn't win a bottle, there was the opportunity to 'have a dip in the sweetie poke' so everyone left happy.  Many thanks to Morrisons for their donation for our sweeties.
As in previous years, members helped out by manning the entrance gates to the Games. With over 2000 visitors it was a busy day!  With the rain holding off, everyone had a great time.  See photo of the line-up of members ready to sell tickets and find the first winners.

Thanks to Airth Highland Games Committee for their continuing support.

See website Gallery 2016 Airth Highland Games.
More Games photos will be added to give a flavour of the events.

Bottle Stall Airth Highland Games

July 15 2016

Following on previous years, The Odenwald Association will be holding a Bottle Stall at Airth Highland Games which will be held on Saturday, 23 July 2016 from 9.00-6.00 p.m. at North Green Park, The Wilderness, Airth.   Members will be manning the stall stocked with bottle prizes, from Shampoo to Champagne, soft drinks to hard liquor.  Something for everyone.   And if you don't win a prize, you can have a dip in the sweetie poke!  

Events start at 9.30 a.m. with the  British Open Professional Highland Dancing Championships.  Come and see the strong men, Tossing the Caber, or take part in the Tug o' War and find out who is able to lift and carry the famous 'Smiddy Stane'.  Enjoy the sights and sounds from the fun fair, the tempting smells of the various food stalls and with over 30 trade stalls as well, you're sure to have a great day out.  Perhaps you'll be carrying home a bottle or two from the Odenwald Association Bottle Stall!

If you are interested in learning more about our Association, just ask members at the stall or visit our website -

See also Airth Highland Games at-

Student Work Placements

July 12 2016

Two students Denise and Saskia, from Beruflicheschule in the Odenwald were collected from the airport by members of the Odenwald Association and settled into their accommodation ready for their 3 weeks' work experience placements at Municipal Buildings, the Kelpies and Falkirk Library.  Before starting work they were taken on a tour of the Trossachs by Christine and Joe. What a great start to their visit!

On Sunday, Walter and Anne  took the  two visiting German students  out  to St. Andrews  for the  day, making an unscheduled stop at  Falkland due  to a diversion.  Despite  the  intermittent  rain, we  had a  good time, looking at  some  of the  older parts  of the university, the  castle, the  abbey and the  harbour, and one of the  cafes  that  Wills  and Kate  used to frequent. We  finished up on the ‘Chariots  of Fire’ beach (the  rain was  pouring by this  time) paddling in the  sea and collecting shells.  

Reminder May Meeting of Association

April 25 2016

Tuesday 10 May will be our last meeting of this Session and we will be planning for Summer events and the programme for 2016-2017 session.

Upcoming events include the Falkirk Tryst Festival in May; supporting  the Airth Highland Games in July;  visit from members of Schottland Vereinigung and hopefully a visit by the Scottish group to the annual Winzerfest (a wine festival) in Gross-Umstadt in September.   Members who attended last year are keen to participate again.  Membership fees are now due and can be paid at the May session (£10 waged, £5 unwaged).   If you are interested in becoming a member or finding out more about the Odenwald Association, please come along to the meeting which is held in the Council Chambers, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk, at 7.00 p.m.   We would be delighted to welcome you!

AGM - Election of Office Bearers and Executive Committee

April 13 2016

At the AGM on Tuesday 12th April 2016 the undernoted were elected as office bearers.

Chair Andy Christie
Vice Chair Walter Simms
Treasurer Charlie Tibbles
Secretary Anne Simms

Executive Committee - Office Bearers and 
Joe Dettlaff; Gray Allan; Linda Kenna; Mark Allison; Emma Gillanders;  Kathryn Grainger.

Evening at West Brewery, Glasgow

March 10 2016

Food Brewery evening

As part of the programme for the year, the Meeting of 8 March was a social evening with a group of 9 members from the Odenwald Association visiting West Brewery in Glasgow to experience a German evening in Scotland!   The Brewery is housed in the iconic Templeton Building which was previously a world famous carpet factory.   The flamboyant design is said to have been based on the  Doge's Palace in Venice.

templeton millThe Brewery serves German cuisine alongside several beers brewed in the German tradition and made strictly following the German Purity Law.   Their WEST beers, from Hefeweizen, a wheat beer, to red and amber beers, provided the ideal accompaniment to a variety of dishes including, Jagerschnitzel, Spätzle and a variety of popular Wurst.   It was a most enjoyable night with the company declaring it was "Viel Spaß".

No meeting in Municipal Buildings 8 March

March 08 2016

Please remember that there will be no meeting of the Association in Municipal Buildings Falkirk 8th March as a social evening at the West Brewery in Glasgow has been arranged as part of the social programme.

Next meeting is the AGM 12 April, 2016 at 7.00 pm. Municipal Buildings, Falkirk.

Odenwald Children Learn about Scottish Culture

March 02 2016

While in the Odenwald as entertainers for the Burns Supper,  Falkirk music teachers Susanne Bell and Gareth Lloyd were invited to two schools as part of a music project to teach children through music and song a little about Scottish culture.  

With Susanne playing accordion and tin whistle and Gareth on guitar, almost 60 children learned songs in English with actions and dance and they particularly enjoyed a Gaelic song about the love of porridge! In return the Odenwald children performed a song about potatoes!  Everyone participating and watching had a great time.

The photo shows Susanne and Gareth at The Astrid  Lindgren School with school  pupils, staff,  parent representatives, Councillor Oliver Grobeis, School Education Department Head, SLV and Odenwald Association members and a dear friend of the Odenwald Association, Horst Schnur, Odenwald Foundation.

Bad König Then and Now

February 14 2016

Bad König is an attractive Spa town in the Odenwald, Falkirk’s twinning partner area in Hessen, Germany. Bad König has an active camera club and members have compiled a photographic record of the town, “Then and Now”.

A selection of photos is presently being exhibited at Bo’ness Library, together with a display about The Odenwald and The Odenwald Association. The display can be viewed during Library opening times till March, see location and opening times below. As a bonus, there is plenty of free car parking in Bo’ness!

Bo’ness Library, Scotland’s Close, Bo’ness, EH51 0AH
Monday 10-8; Tuesday 10-5; Wednesday 10-4; Thursday 10-8; Friday 10-5
Saturday 10-3.

This is an opportunity to find out more about our twinning partnership and the activities of the Odenwald Association.

Scottish Railway Preservation Society

February 10 2016

Talk by Carl John, Scottish Railway Preservation Society and Management Development Board.  
Association meeting - Tuesday 9 February 2016 

Carl John, a working Councillor with West Lothian Council by day, revealed another side of his life which, from 1961 as a young ‘trainspotter taking numbers in a book”, he has matured into a fully-fledged geek or anorak (his words) regarding all things connected with stream trains.

Carl gave a brief background of railways from as early as 1919 from the unsuccessful attempts to nationalise the railways, to the modernisation plan of 1959 which came out of the controversial decisions of Dr. Beeching who, when the rest of the world was developing its railways, was responsible for getting rid of what was deemed to be non-profit making railways.

The Scottish Railway Preservation Society formed in 1961, got together in Edinburgh, leased the closed line of Murrayfield Station, started to receive donations acquiring stock from LNER, BR and some industrial railways. The National Coal Board also donated engines.  With the acquisition of more items a lease was obtained for the depot here in Falkirk and the Bo’ness site was identified (now the main site by the harbour).  It was in Bo’ness that a ‘loco shed’ was built with the help of the Young Offenders from HMYOI at Polmont.   Over time, the track was extended to the present 8kms to Birkhill and a collection of freight, steam and diesel engines restored to working order.

Apart from the conservation of the engines, carriages etc. many people are unaware of the 1600 or so artefacts which are housed in the Museum of Scottish Railways beside Bo’ness Station.   In a purpose built exhibition hall, display tracks show the variety of vehicles which carried essential goods from potatoes and fish to gunpowder and even an Army tank!   Thanks to a variety of sources of funding a further extension is open to the public showing wagons ranging from 1862-1963.  Included in the display is Scotland’s only Royal Saloon constructed in 1897 by the Great North of Scotland Railway and both Caledonian Railway coaches restored by the Scottish Region of British Railways in 1958.  The Society’s emblem, No 419 Caledonian was one of the first locomotives acquired by SRPS and its overhaul was completed in 2000. The Society then purchased ‘Maude’ in 1966 which is presently in the Museum at Bo’ness This is railway heaven!

Such is the prestige of the SRPS, that the National Railway Museum York and North York Moors Railway sometimes borrow rolling stock!

So, what happens to these restored nostalgic beauties?   Well, just consult the SRPS Railtours for a feast of travel in style.  Tours range from The Fife Circle which is steam-hauled by 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, or the breath-taking scenery of a trip from Forth William & Mallaig, to Plockton & Kyle of Lochalsh.  A popular run is the famous area of Grosmont (of Heartbeat country) & Whitby.   For Beatles fans, the Liverpool tour is a must!    Surely there is something for every taste here.

Highlights of the year are the Special Events which bring in hundreds of people, with most having a theme for children.  What child could resist the “Easter Egg Specials” a “Day Out With Thomas” or the Santa Specials?  

For the more mature train lover there is the special trip for “Father’s Day” the “Winter Diesel Gala”, a new and popular trip to experience “German Christmas markets in Lincoln” and the very popular, “Black Bun” special Trains.  A truly unique taste of Scotland!

With 350 volunteers, which might seem a lot, there is always more and more work to be done from restoration and conservation to running the trains, with guards, firemen and drivers to timetabling, running the souvenir shop and organising trips.   There is always room for more and the Society would welcome offers of help. 

Chair Andy Christie thanked Carl for a most informative and interesting talk which was delivered showing his enthusiasm and passion for the preservation of our Scottish steam heritage. 

  Much more can be found on the SRPS website:

February Meeting of Association

January 28 2016

Come and Get Your Very Own T-shirt - while they are available!

At the meeting of the Association on Tuesday 9th February, there will be the option to buy Odenwald Association T-shirts, created especially for the Association, these unique, ultra-stylish, must have buys, only cost £10 each.   Only sizes Large or Extra Large are left.   Make sure you come along to the meeting if you want to obtain one!

The meeting will be held as usual in the Municipal Buildings, Falkirk at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 9th February.   See Dates for Your Diary section of the website.

Season's Greetings

January 13 2016

Season's Greetings to our Sister Organisation, the Schottland Vereinigung and to all our friends in the Odenwald.  

Members of the Odenwald Association wish you all a happy, healthy 2016.   We look forward to renewing old friendships, strengthening existing bonds and developing new links in our twinning partnership.

"Lang may yer lum reek".       This is the traditional Scottish wish for the New Year  -that your chimney (lum) in a house traditionally fueled with coal, would never be without smoke (reek) and therefore wishing for prosperity for the house.