Visitors take a tour to see what we have to offer

Morpeth and Castricum-Heemskerk Lions Club members with wives and partners following the Clock Tower visit.
Morpeth and Castricum-Heemskerk Lions Club members with wives and partners following the Clock Tower visit.
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A good time was had by all when a party of six Lions and their wives from Holland visited their colleagues in Morpeth.

It started in what could have been a confusing form of hospitality when the Dutch visitors were served a very international menu of French croissants, Danish pastries, bacon butties and (probably) Brazilian coffee following their arrivals by air and ferry. This was kindly prepared by Contact volunteers in their coffee den.

These visits started eight years ago as a result of an email from Frank Andriessen of Castricum-Heemskerk Lions Club to Simon Pringle of Morpeth Lions. Both clubs are similar in size and benefit from their proximity to the ferry joining North Shields and Holland.

This year it had been arranged that the party would visit the Clock Tower and the Mayor’s Parlour. This was of great interest to them all and they had the opportunity to see The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service that had been awarded to Morpeth Lions Club since their previous visit.

As well as rediscovering Morpeth, the Dutch group split up and visited Morpeth shops, Barter Books in Alnwick, Newcastle Quayside and Tynemouth. This was quite an achievement in less than two days.

More relaxing moments were spent at the evening barbecue held at Lion David Chambers house and at Sunday lunch before the friends parted.

While one couple caught the ferry at North Shields and another a plane at Newcastle, the others had different plans.

Five hardy Dutch Lions are spending three days walking along Hadrian’s Wall, while the final couple are extending their break in north Northumberland. Hopefully the weather will be kind.

Morpeth Lions organiser David Livesey said to the visitors: “We very much appreciate the continuation of our friendship through these annual get-togethers.

“These are made so much easier for us because you speak such good English and put us to shame for not reciprocating. We greatly look forward to seeing you again in Holland next year.”