We had a lovely presentation from, and conversation with, French National Sophie Michelana for our March meeting. Sophie told us about how she had always loved the English language and wanted to travel and as a result had lived in Canada for a year when she was eighteen. We then learnt about her career and how she found her way to Leeds where she lived and worked for many years for national charity, Locality, working with voluntary community groups around the area. We also learned about the factors which culminated in Sophie's decision to leave a post Brexit vote Britain before the deadline and return to her home in France.
Thank you so very much Sophie for this presentation which we all enjoyed to very much.
Wednesday 10th February, 2021
Une visite éclair dans la région de l'Himalaya
This month Marion Donaldson gave an interesting presentation of pictures with lots of information and stories about the Himalayas which she had gained during a short visit there in 2019. Although by local standards it was probably something of a luxurious trip, many elements of it definitely weren't for the faint hearted......
Very many thanks to Marion for this super presentation.
Wednesday 13th January, 2021
L'Inde - Réflexions sur un pays après 60 ans
For our first meeting of 2021, Circle member Norris Bonser gave a stimulating presentation about India, a country, continent even, which he has visited many many times during his working life and more recently as a tourist. We say fabulous pictures and Norris was able to explain very clearly some of the recent history of the country too.
Very very many thanks to Norris for this presentation.
Wednesday 9th December, 2020
Les fêtes et traditions hivernales en France et ailleurs
Pam's presentation for this meeting was a lovely way to divert us from pandemic news and make us all feel a little Christmassy. This was a most informative and well illustrated talk about some of the festive traditions in the UK, in Germany and of course in France. We saw videos and photos and listened to music. Very very many thanks to Pam for so expertly putting is presentation together.
Wednesday 11th November, 2020
Commercy et Ses Alentours - Une présentation personnelle.
Many thanks to Pauline Briollet who, direct from her home in France, gave us a lovely presentation about her home town and the surrounding countryside and cities. Pauline also had us practising some of the local patois and we learnt about the local customs, especially surrounding Saint Nicholas. The famous French 'madeleine' which so many of us have tasted at a hotel buffet breakfast when traveling in France, was invented in Commercy, and Pauline assures us that Madeleines from there are absolutely the very best.
Un grand merci à Pauline d'avoir pris le temps pour faire la présentation.
Wednesday 14th October, 2020
Vietnam - pays en train d'évoluer
Many thanks to Jane Evans who for our October meeting gave a presentation on Vietnam, a country she had visited just as the Coronavirus was starting to spread but before anyone understood how serious it would be and before any signs of lockdown in the UK. We saw some fabulous photographs and heard lots about the geography of the country, the history, the politics, the culture and the language. Of course there was the added interest of the historic French colonisation of Vietnam which is still evident in the country's architecture and language. Very very many thanks to Jane for this lovely presentation.
Wednesday 9th September 2020
Le Voyage des Vikings - John et Jill Coffey
John and Jill Coffey are really such devoted members of Huddersfield French Circle and we thank them once again for giving a presentation at one of our meetings. This time it was Norway and it was so interesting with lots of detail about Norwegian history and culture both past and present. Jill's enthusiasm for the country was plain to see and if we weren't already fans of this Scandinavian country before the presentation, we certainly were afterwards.
Very many thanks to both John and Jill.
Wednesday 12th August, 2020
Notre Vie en France - Lauren et Shonagh Wardell
How fortunate we were to have Lauren et Shonagh Wardell talk to us this month, via Zoom, about growing up in France.
It was so good to hear their personal experiences and perceptions on everything on the food to the sense of irony (or lack of) in France. It was a personal and really very interesting account. Many, many thanks to Shonagh and Lauren for taking the time to give us this presentation.
Wednesday 8th July, 2020
L'Ile Saint-Louise - Le Village au milieu de Paris
For our Zoom meeting this month, we watched a short film about the Ile Saint Louis in the middle of the Seine in Paris. It was a lovely film and whilst sometimes we couldn't catch all the French, the film reminded us just how beautiful many parts of France are. We heard about the village atmosphere in this island in the heart of Paris - and not unexpectedly about how property prices there have soared over the years. What a fabulous bolthole un petit appartement there would be!
There are lots of other lovely films about places in France on You Tube under the title 'Les Ailes et les Racines'.
Wednesday 10th June, 2020
La Roche Blanche - Un aperçu d'un petit village en France - par David Wardell
Very much different to anything the Circle had done previously, this month's meeting was held via Zoom. Twenty-six Circle members came together to get their own 'aperçu' of each other and then David gave a presentation on a village in the middle of France - Saint Paul La Roche. It was here that we learned that - La « Roche-Blanche », un monolithe minéral haut de 30 mètres, phénomène géologique unique au monde, n'est plus qu'un souvenir. Cette monographie propose une étude du contexte géologique, historique, culturel et touristique de ce petit coin de Périgord vert." (words from the internet - not David)
This was an interesting presentation on something completely different - we are so lucky with our speakers. Many thanks to David - who is talking to Mich Dearman in the picture below.
Wednesday 11th March, 2020
Quelle Belle Guerre
Circle Member Michel Dearman told the story of how his father was an engineer in the war and after the D-Day landings (Jour-J) spent time in Normandy where he met the woman he would go onto marry and whose son would be Mich. The complication to the story was that his father already had a family in England. Michel told of how the sister he had never known made contact with Mich and his mother when his father had died. It was a really touching story set against the backdrop of war and families whose lives were torn apart by such an awful event. Very many thanks Mich for putting the presentation together and for sharing your personal history with us.
Wednesday 12th February, 2020
Voyage en Iran
For our February meeting we had a joint presentation by Laurence Dickinson and Gillian Wilson who had spent two weeks travelling around Iran in 2019. We learned about the history of the county and many of the historical sites with learned explanations from Gillian who is an Archaeologist and then we had a personal perspective from Laurence. It was really interesting because so much of what we see on television is about massed rallies and government crack-downs or international condemnations whereas this showed us the real, everyday life there.
Very many thanks to Gillian and Laurence and to Jim Dickinson too who had been on the trip too and who did the technical stuff for the presentation.
Wednesday 8th January, 2020
Montréal - impressions d'une ville francophone
Many thanks to Circle member Mike Cordner for his presentation in January showing slides of his visit to Montréal. We were given some of the history of Montréal, interesting snippets of the cultural life there. We learned how there are underground public areas like shopping malls and train systems to enable people to get about easily during the winter months when there is lots of snow. We also saw pictures of some of the local food delicacies - not sure about my choice of word there.
Very many thanks to Mike. It was a great presentation.
Wednesday 11th December, 2019
Les Victimes sont Coupables
This mysterious title was actually part of a discussion about a film which Jeannette Short presented for us. A thought provoking film set in a Brittany where the most unlikely of candidats turned up to be the new Lighthouse Keeper. In the closed community of a Breton coastal village we could see the different reactions of all the local populace (including of course the nature of relationships) made for a really 'French' film.
Very many thanks to Jeannette for this.
Wednesday 13th November, 2019
Plages des Pyrénées Présent et Passé
I think I speak for everyone when I say that the content of this presentation was most unexpected!
After seeing photos of a range of beautiful beaches and marinas on the coast of South Western France, we then learnt about the largely hidden history of the area during the Spanish Civil War when there were so many refugees who fled Spain across the mountains of the Pyrenees to seek refuge in this particular corner of France.
We were all really interested in this really moving story and keen to find out more so later in the year we will all watch together a film based on this piece of history.
Very many thanks to Circle Member Christine Summers for this excellent presentation.
Wednesday, 11th October 2019
L'Ile de Madère - présentation par John et Jill Coffe
For our October meeting, John and Jill Coffey returned to talk to us about a holiday they had taken in Madeira. We saw lots of interesting photos - John looked a bit unsure of himself in the one where he was hurtling down the hillside in one of the Madeira Monte toboggan rides!
Many thanks as always to the Coffeys for taking the time out to prepare their presentations .
Wednesday, 11th September 2019
Les Mystères de l'Ile de Pâques
For our first presentation of the season, we were fortunate to have Jane Evans who gave a presentation about a visit she and her husband had made to Easter Island and specifically about the 'mysteries' of the island and the Moai carved stones which can be found all over the island. To quote Wikipedia: "Moai, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main Moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called "Ahu" around the island's perimeter.
The heights vary from 4-10 metres, and they were so heavy that it took over 100 people to drag a single Moai to the correct position. There are photos in the More section of the website.
Thank you so much Jane. This was a fascinating presentation.
Wednesday 21st August, 2019
Some twenty members of Huddersfield French Circle came together to enjoy an evening of French cheese and pâté and bread and wine. The conversation seemed to mostly be in English but often of things French.
The programme for the forthcoming year was presented by Christine Hughes - many thanks to Christine for organising this. It looks really interesting - and many members paid their new subscripion for the coming year.
It was great to get together with more opportunity to talk than at regular meeting evenings and a good time was had by all
Sunday 14th July, 2019
Thirty members and guests came together once again at Fixby Hall for a French themed lunch to join, in thinking at least, with people in France to celebrate France's National day of celebration.
There were no fireworks as would have been the case all over France,but we had a very nice meal and lots of conversation and then, superbly, to finish it all off, Circle Members Paddy and Pam gave us a superb rendition of four favourite French songs which Pam accompanied on the piano. Our many thanks to them!
Wednesday 1st May, 2019
Some twenty-two members of Huddersfield French Circle came together for a specially prepared French meal at Brooks Restaurant in Brighouse. Everyone had a lovely time and the meal was excellent. There was lots of conversation, although I think that most of it was in English.
Wednesday 10th April, 2019
Paul Armitage - Pélerinage à Santiago de Compostela
Another really interesting evening. Paul spoke about and illustrated with photographs, his pilgrimage to the Shrine of Saint Jacques de Compostela. We saw photos of the mile upon mile of terrain Paul had covered, the different accommodation - sometimes very very rough and ready and cramped, we heard how this pilgrimage route came into existence and we saw some of the souvenirs Paul had brought back. It was really interested and told with amusing anecdotes of the trip. Many thanks, Paul.
Wednesday 13th March 2019
Martyn Cusworth - La Ligne Marmot
This was fascinating. Martyn has studied and is real enthusiast for anything connected with La Line Marmoz which was the first air postal link between South America and France back at the very beginning of the twentieth century. Martyn has an important collection of letters and postmarks and information concerning what went on to be the beginnings of Air France. Many thanks Martyn for sharing your passion with us.
Wednesday 13th February, 2019
Julio Nunez - La Colombie
Our speaker in February was Julio Nunez who, until his recent retirement, was a local consultant anaesthetist. Julio hails from Columbia and it was so interesting to get his personal insight into life there. None of us really seemed to know anything about his home country and we were especially interested to learn about the local foods and a particular 'national pastime' type game call 'Tejo'.
The image shows a very popular local food called Tamales
Thank you so much Julio for your presentation.
Wednesday 9th January 2019
Claire de Ramaix - La Philosophie Baha'i
This evening Belgian National, Claire de Ramaix, gave a personal and inspiring talk about the Baha'i faith and philosophy. There were only two or three people present who had heard about this before so it was something new and thought provoking for most of us. We learned about the origins of the faith, the numbers of followers and the numbers of followers who have been persecuted in Iran because of it. It is always especially good to have a presentation from a person whose mother tongue is French so we were particularly rewarded in that respect this evening. There were lots of questions for Claire and we are most grateful to her for putting this presentation together especially for us and for the personal experiences she shared with us. Thank you again Claire.
Wednesday 12th December, 2018
Jane Evans - Un voyage sur le Danube et Le Rhin
At our December meeting we were reminded of the blue skies of summer when Jane Evans showed numerous photos she and her husband had taken during a two week cruise along the Danube and the Rhine rivers. The trip had taken place during the Spring but they had been blessed with fine weather and the pictures were a delight.
Very many thanks to Jane for the trouble taken to assemble this presentation which we all enjoyed.
Wednesday 14th November, 2018
Jill Coffey - Un Séjour à Madrid
Thank you once again to John and Jill Coffey who, this time, talked about a visit they had made to Madrid with their son and with some Mexican friends. We learned about Spanish artists much of whose work is exhibited in Madrid, about the beautiful buildings there and about the beautiful food... Lovely!
Wednesday 10th October, 2018
Paul Simkins - La Pétanque
Paul Simkins, local pétanque enthusiast, gave a most interesting and informative talk about the game of pétanque, its origins, the current state of the game in France and the current state of the game in West Yorkshire! All interesting stuff with lots of local teams.
We hope to set up a match against other local French Circles.
Wednesday 12th September, 2018
Jeannette Short - Une Femme Comme les Autres, Une Vie Pas Comme les Autres
We listened in thrall to Jeanette Short when she gave us a presentation on the life of the French politician Simone Weil. We were horrified as we learned of her time at Auschwitz and were in wonder as we heard about how she combined her early years of being married and raising children with climbing the legal and then political ladders, and then in awe as we heard about Simone facing down the various challenges posed toher as a judge and then as a leading politician. It was all fascinating and as always we send our most sincere thanks to Jeannette for her preparation of this evening's talk.
Wednesday 8th August, 2018
So many thanks yet again to Annie Bacon who so kindly hosted our summer social evening. As always everyone had a wonderful time and Annie's hospitality was as excellent as it was generous.
Very many thanks to Annie for being such a generous member of the Circle
Sunday 15th July, 2018
Our annual lunch in line with festivities in France for their Fête Nationale took place at Fixby Hall where over 30 members enjoyed a lunch in the Dining Room. After lunch, we were entertained by Pam Sykes who sang some beautiful songs accompanying herself on the keyboard. We loved it all.
More pictures can be seen on the Gallery section of the website.
Wednesday 9th May, 2018
As always on the second Wednesday of May, we held our AGM. There was a good attendance, the committee was re-elected and annual reports were presented to those in attendance. Minutes have been circulated to Members.
Wednesday 2nd May, 2018
Twenty members of Huddersfield French Circle attended our Annual Dinner at Brooks Restaurant in Brighouse.
The food was excellent and such a good time was being had by all that we overlooked to take any photographs!
Very many thanks as always to Pat Rodgers, our Secretary, for organising the event.
Wednesday 18th April, 2018
Paddy Readhead - Vraiment, Je ne Voulais pas y aller
Circle member, Paddy Redhead, kindly gave us a talk about a visit she had made with her husband to Saudi Arabia despite her protestations to him about terrorism and war torn areas. He had been there during the war and wanted to see what the country looks like now. How different it was! Built on desert land, the buildings were magnificent and Paddy had seen and heard so many interesting things. Thank you for sharing this with us Paddy.
Wednesday 4th March, 2018
Nicole Adams - Le Bergerac
Former Circle Member and native French speaker, Nicole Adams, gave us a lovely talk about Bergerac where her son has made his home. It was a delightful talk with interesting little anecdotes and afterwards we were treated to traditional cake from the area which Nicole had made and brought along. Merci bien, Nicole.
Wednesday 14th February, 2018
Chris and Jennifer Pateman: L'Ancienne Route tu The du Laos A Tibet
Chris Pateman gave us a most interesting presentation on a visit he and his wife Jennifer had made to the most western areas of China in a talk entitled L'ancienne route du thé. The photos were really interesting and the stories about trips made without advance accommodation bookings intrigued us. After the presentation, Jennifer showed us some of the different object which she had brought back and sever of us tasted some of the spices of the area..... A big thank you to Chris and Jennifer for the work they had put in to preparing this presentation and for sharing their experiences with us.
Wednesday 10th January, 2018
Jeannette Short - Le Sagouin
Jeannette Short gave a presentation on the François Mauriac story of Le Sagouin. It was all so enthralling and atmospheric and we listened attentively as we tried to work out what had caused the death of the young man at the centre of the story. Thank you so much to Jeannette for this presentation. We loved it.
Wednesday 13th December, 2017
Hugh Quarterman - Quatre Vieilles Villes Espagnoles
Hugh Quarterman, as always, gave us an amusing and anecdotal tour of a trip he had taken to visit the Spanish towns of Ronda, Cordoba, Seville and Granada. Many thanks to Hugh for making yet another return visit.
Wednesday 8th November, 2017
Philip and Maureen Booth - La Nouvelle Zé
This month, Philip and Maureen Booth from Bradford Circle came to visit us and presented photos and information on New Zealand which they had visited shortly after the earthquake which devastated Christchurch in particular. In some cases they had both 'before' and 'after' pictures which made them all the more powerful. Many thanks to both Philip and Maureen.
Wednesday 11th October, 2017
Jill Coffey - Une Visite à Paris
This month it was the turn of John and Jill Coffey who gave us a presentation of photos they had taken on a visit to Paris. Very many thanks to them both as always.
Wednesday 13th September, 2017
Yannick Minvielle-Débat - La Musique Traditionelle en France
What a special treat! Yannick Minvielle-Débat brought musicial friends with her and gave a presentation on traditional music and dance in France. We were treated to some excellent live music and one or two members of the Circle joined in. Since this is Yannick's special passion, it was a superb presentation. Many thanks to her and her friends for travelling over from Skipton to do this for us.
Wednesday 9th August, 2017
August is the date of our Soirée Estivale when we met at the home of member Annie Bacon for a lovely social evening and we are most grateful to Annie for hosting this and for all the trouble she had taken. Annie even found a quiz and people worked in pairs on the answers. A good time was had by all.
Sunday 16th July, 2017
We held our Annual Lunch in honour of the French National Day, at Fixby Hall, where we had excellent weather for pre-lunch drinks on the terrace, private use of the Fixby Hall Dining Room, a super French meal and 'after-lunch entertainment' in the form of some twentieth century French songs broadcast with words on You Tube. Everyone joined in with the choruses.
Wednesday 10th May, 2017
This was our AGM and it was good to see it so well attended.
Minutes of the meeting have been sent to members and a hard copy is usually available for reading at the back of our meeting room
Wednesday 3rd May, 2017
Once again our annual dinner was held at La Cachette restaurant in Elland.
We had a lovely meal and all enjoyed socialising together with a mixture of both English and French conversation.
Wednesday 12th April, 2017
Ann Marshall - Le Canal du Midi
Ann Marshall, aided by John Coffey on technical matters, very kindly came along to talk about the Canal du Midi. Fascinating stuff - a vanity project par excellence but what a fantastic result and legacy for France and the French. It was most interesting and enlightening. Many thanks to Ann for her work on the presentation.
Wednesday 8th March, 2017
Jill et John Coffey - La Croatie
John and Jill Coffey so kindly came along once again to talk about Croatia, but this time their talk centred on Split. We saw pictures of some lovely scenery, architecture and churches and heard a lot about the culture and history. We also watched an extract of a performance they had chanced upon at their hotel by a local singing star. All really good fun! Many thanks once again to John and too Jill.
Wednesday 8th February, 2017
Christopher Pateman - Un Voyage à travers le Gambia et Sénégale.
Gosh this evening's presentation was a real insight. Chris Pateman spoke about a holiday (!) he and his wife Jennifer had taken travelling (in Rough Guide style) through French speaking Gambia and Senegal. They had spent their time in the rural south of the country where life is still primitive by European standards. It was all really interesting and the photos were great. Very many thanks to Chris for taking the time to prepare this presentation for us.
Wednesday 11th January, 2017
Michael Brammah - Les Mystères
We had a lovely presentation this evening from Circle regular presenter Michael Brammah who made a welcome return and spoke about the purchase of his new holiday home in the South of France. We heard about the history of the house and why he has called it 'Les Mystères' and he told us lots of amusing tales about the neighbours. It is obvious that Michael and his wife have made every effort to mix with the village population there and are taking a real part in the life and culture there. It looks fabulous.
Wednesday 8th December, 2016
Hugh Quarterman - La Sicile
Hugh Quarterman gave us a lovely presentation of photographs he had taken on a visit to Sicily where had had toured around the South Eastern area of the island. He had been particularly taken with the gargoyles underneath so many of the balconies, the demonstrative and chatty nature of the people and the fabulous interiors of very many very modest churches. We also saw pictures of the area where the tv series 'Montalbano' is filmed and if this should return to our screens and you love Sicily, this is a series not be missed. Very many thanks again to Hugh for this return visit.
Hugh is pictured here with Circle President, Moira Marshall.
Wednesday 9th November, 2016
Philip and Maureen Booth - Les Séchelles
Philip and Maureen Booth from Bradford French Circle joined us to very kindly give us a presentation about a holiday they had taken in the Seychelles. We saw some holiday photos of glorious beaches but also earned lots about the economy and population there and also about the language. Very many thanks to Philip and Maureen.
Wednesday 13th October, 2016
Christian Quilliot - La Magie de Christian
Frenchman Christian Quilliot gave us a demonstration of his 'magicianship
Wednesday 14th September, 2016
Christine Hughes - Une Visit à Vienne
Our first meeting of the new season and we were given an introduction to the history of Vienna and a photographic tour around some of its buildings. Christine Hughes gave us a really interesting presentation at very short notice and very many thanks to Christine for this.
Wednesday 10th August, 2016
This year for our Soirée Estivale, Circle member Annie generously offered her home for our August soicial evening. A French guest came along which gave the atmosphere a more Gallic flavour and certainly ensured that more French was spoken than would otherwise have been the case! We were treated to a table full of French cheeses and amus-bouches and we are indebted to our host for such a delightful end to the 2015-2016 season.
Sunday 17th July, 2016
Our annual Bastile Day celebration took the traditional form of a summer lunch this year, like last, at Fixby Hall. Twenty-six of us enjoyed a lovely three-course French lunch and the extra delight was the ending of the meal with a performance of French songs sung by Paddy Readhead with Paddy accompanying herself on the guitar. It really was very special.
There were two 'visites culturelles' during June. One was a visit to a concert, backed by film, of Jacques Brel songs at the Square Chapel in Halifax. It was a really good introuction to Brel music and poetry as well as giving a good understanding of the singer's life. All in all it was something of a 'tribute act' with a difference.
Wednesday 11th May, 2016
We were really delighted to see a very good attendance at this our one 'business' meeting of the year. Minutes from the 2015 meeting were approved, our President Moira Marshall read out her report on the year and this was followed by reports from the Secretary and the Treasurer. After the customary 'vin et fromage' we discussed ideas for the programme for the forthcoming year.
One point to note for next year is that the minutes of this AGM are e-mailed to Circle Members who are requested please to retain the minutes to skim through again before next year's AGM so that they can be approved - or not as the case may be.
The current officers of the Circle agreed to stand again and were re-elected en bloc.
Wednesday 4th May, 2016
Only a small number of people were able to attend the Annual Dinner this year which was once again held at Bradley's restaurant in Huddersfield. Those who were there though had a good time and were too busy chatting to remember to take a photo!
Wednesday 13th April, 2016
Claire de Ramaix - Une Visite en Belgique
From Belgian national, Claire de Ramaix, we were treated to an in-depth introduction to the people and culture of Belgium. How interesting to hear so much more about this little known country - we tend to think just of chocolate, the EU headquarters and, more latterly, the bombing at Brussels airport - and yet here was a wonderful introduction to the Belgian people. The North is so different from the South, most people speak at least French or Dutch, English and German or all four languages. The rich live int he North and so on. All good stuff. Very many thanks to Claire for her entertaining and interesting talk, plus the added benefit of hearing French spoken by someone for whom this is their first language.
Wednesday 9th March, 2016
Mary Green - André Chénier, Son Histoire
Circle Member, Mary Green, gave a presentation on the life of the French poet André Chénier. The talk was illustrated with photos of his friends, the places he visited and so on. Jeannette Short very kindly read extracts from two of Chénier's poems. These poems were so eloquent, especially the one written by Chénier during his last days at Saint-Lazare prison, before he was taken to the Comité du Salut Public for sentencing and onto his death at the guillotine.
Wednesday 10th February, 2016
Jill Coffey - Dubrovnik
Jill and John Coffey entertained members with a presentation about their travels in Croatia and specifically Dubrovnik. Illustrating their talk with a series of pictures, Mr and Mrs Coffey described the history of the region and also the art and architecture of Dubrovnik.
Many thanks to John and Jill, who head up Calderdale French Circle, for making a most welcome return visit to Huddersfield French Circle.
Wednesday 13th January, 2016
Michael Brammah - La Sauvegarde du Patrimoine en Jordanie
Michael Brammah gave a really interesting presentation on work in Jordan to prevent any further damage to its historic sites as well as to try to increase visitor numbers to four particular cities there. It was all something of a revelation to us all and we were all fascinated that such work should be going on in an area so riven with strife. Very many thanks to Michael for opening our eyes to some of the issues we had not considered but which remain part of an important agenda of bring revenue to these areas.
Wednesday 9th December, 2015
Sheilagh Mudd - Restauration d'une Maison Edouardienne
We were most pleased to welcome Shelagh Mudd, a member of Halifax French Circle who gave a fascinating insight into the renovation of a house built around 1911. With the help of lots of 'before' and 'after' photos, we saw a miraculous transformation before our eyes. Shelagh had done lots of the work herself and the final result was testament to her efforts and enthusiasm. Shelagh's photos were accompanied by an amusing and insightful commentary. Many thanks to Shelagh for sharing with us the challenge she had undertaken and the journey she had been on.
Wednesday 11th November, 2015
Yannick Minvielle-Débat - Le Costume Traditionnel en
What a delight! Yannick Minvielle-Débat gave a super presentation about traditional costumes illustrated with lots of photographs, some samples and members of the audience modelling a particular head-dress. We learned about the significance of different variations in the dress worn by both men and women and most of all were amazed that there could be so many different styles of dress around the different regions of France and even with Brittany. It is always special when we have a presentation from a native French speaker and this was no exception. Many many thanks to Yannick.
Wednesday 14th October, 2015
Mary O'Meara - La Cappadoce et Antalya
Well this was no ordinary presentation of holiday photos! Circle member Mary O'Meara had been on a touring holiday of Cappadocia - IN THE SNOW! We saw some really interesting photos and learned about the various religions present in the area. Many thanks to Mary.
Wednesday 9th September, 2015
Jeannette Short - La Ronde des Métiers
What a lovely evening. Circle member and French national, Jeannette Short, treated us to an entertaining presentation of songs which feature different types of employment in the words. As with all French traditional songs, the words are absolutely the most important and they all tell a story. They were often sad and sometimes amusing. We listened to them with the words on the screen and even joined in with one or tow.
Wednesday 12th August, 2015
Nine members of the Circle came together at the home of our President, Moira Marshall, to hear details of our forthcoming programme of presentations which Christine Hughes had kindly put together. There was also lots of friendly conversation and a review of the past year. Moira had put together some delicious food and everyone enjoyed some wine supplied from French Circle stocks. A really very very pleasant evening was had by all.
Sunday 19th July, 2015
35 members and guests from Hudddersfield and Halifax French Circles met together for a lunch at Fixby Hall. Everyone enjoyed a meal with a very French flavour: Salade Niçoise, Boeuf Bourguignon or Confit de Canard or Passaladiere, Brie de Meaux and Gateau St. Honoré. At the close of the event, we even sang La Marseillaise. A good time was had by all.
Wednesday 22nd May, 2015
Visite Culturelle - Film, Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Our June meeting is usually a visit to a French themed evening the locality. This year, this actually took play in May since this excellent modern and thought provoking film was being shown at Hepworth Village Hall under the auspices of the Holmfirth Film Festival.
Wednesday 13th May, 2015
A good attendance of 14 at this year's AGM were able to hear the President's report on the year as well as the financial report of the year and various other matters of official business. As in previous years, after a short break for cheese and wine, there was a discussion of potential speakers for the 2015/2016 year.
Wednesday 6th May, 2015
A group of 20 people, a mixture of members and guests, enjoyed a very social evening at La Cachette in Elland where everyone enjoyed a meal with a French twist, lots of convivial conversation and also a quiz on French cheeses. Many thanks to Pat Rodgers who had organised the evening.
Wednesday 8th April, 2015
Dominique Rebout - Le Poitou
Dominique Rebout of the Modern Language School at Meltham gave a presentation on her native Poitou-Charentes. We learned some of the Poitou dialect and listened to a song from the area as well as sampling some of the local liqueur. Very many thanks to Dominique.
Wednesday 11th March, 2015
Unfortunately our planned speaker could not attend, so President Moira Marshall kindly put a quiz together. Much fun was had and everyone was horrified at how much they didn't know! Very many thanks to Moira for her hard work in putting this together. Maybe we will all do better another time.......
Wednesday 11th February, 201
Gillian Wilson - Souvenirs d'un Archéologue
Circle member Gillian Wilson gave a presentation of pictures of her time as a young archeologist in England, in France and in Peru. Of course none of us were familiar with anything to do with archaeology so we all found it absolutely fascinating. Very many thanks to Gillian for the presentation.
Wednesday 14th January, 2015
Mary Green - Thérèse Humbert et L'escroquerie du Coffre-fort Crawford
A presentation of the story of Thérèse Humbert and her family and of how she conned lots of people, banks and even French presidents out of their money in Paris at the end of the 19th century.
Wednesday 10th December, 2015
Laurence Dickinson - Témoignage d'un Poilu de la Grande Guerre
Laurence Dickinson gave an exceptional presentation showing photographs and letters which were a n eye witness account by her grand-father of life on the front in World War 1. Where their homes were not far away, soldiers were able to return home at weekends for meals and to have their washing done but they kept the realist of life 'at work' away from their families. It was a really interesting presentation and we are so very appreciative to Laurence for sharing these personal stories with us.
Wednesday 12th November, 2014
John et Jill Coffey - Une Expérience Mexicaine
Wednesday 17th October, 2014
Christine Summers - Languedoc-Roussillon
At a very well attended meeting, Christine Summers spoke about the southern French region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Illustrating her talk with a series of pictures, Christine described the historic cities of Montpellier and Perpignan, the ports and resorts of Sète, Collioure and La Grande Motte with its futuristic architecture, and the famous fortified town of Carcassonne. The south western corner of the region is very proud of its Catalan identity and Christine, being a Rugby league enthusiast, took the opportunity whilst there to watch the Catalan Dragons play on home turf.
Wednesday 10th September, 2014
Hugh Quarterman: Villes Forteresses de l'Ombre
Hugh Quarterman kindly gave a very interesting talk on the mediaeval village of Umbria. His talk was in his usual impeccable French and was made all the more interesting as it was supported by many superb images. There were over 20 people at the meeting and after the presentation members enjoyed some convivial conversation in French supported by un verre de vin.
Wednesday 13th August, 2014
As in so many previous years, Valerie and Douglas Smithson were kind enough to invite members to their home. Members brought some snacks, the highlight of which were Stephen's brioches and everyone enjoyed a glass or two of wine. Special at this meeting was the presentation by the President, Moira Marshall, of a gift and some flowers to Valerie in appreciation of her more than thirty years as Circle Secretary and Programme Secretary. Valerie has always carried out these roles with enthusiasm and charm and the Circle will always be most grateful to her.
Sunday 13th July, 2014
Déjeuner Annuel en Souvenir de la Fête Nationale en France
Members from Huddersfield Circle were joined by some new members at the Cedar Court Hotel for a lunch to celebrate la Fête National in France. A good time was had by all with lots of friendly banter and conversation.
Tuesday 24th June, 2014
Some members attended the live screening of the opera 'Manon Lescaut' at the Odeon cinema. This opera by Puccini is based on the story of Manon Lescaut and the Chevalier Des Grieud written by Abbé Prévost.
Thursday 27th May, 2014
Some members attended a French film screening in Holmfirth as part of the Holmfirth Film Festival
Wednesday 14th May 2014
Members came together at the Town Hall for the AGM of the Circle. Circle officers and committee members were elected and reports on the past year were read out. After a break for cheese and wine, ideas were put together for the programme for the coming year.
Wednesday 7th May, 2014
A group of members met at Bradley's restaurant in Huddersfield for the Annual Dinner. The food, wine, company and conversation were all excellent.
Wednesday 9th April, 2014
Le Mot le Plus Long
Members came together to exercise their brains with a game of Le Mot le Plus Long, a sort of Countdown. There were three teams and members had to find the longest word with a selection of letters pulled out at random from a bag of consonants and a bag of vowels. Good words were 'Déjeunat' and 'Eloignez'. Jeannette Short stepped in to be in Dictionary Corner and also amused us with anecdotes in between each word making session. It was a very pleasant evening.
Wednesday 12th March, 2014
Mary Green: Saint-Lazare, Prison - 'Le Pourrissoir'
Mary Green gave a presentation on Saint-Lazare as a prison after the French Revolution and until it was closed in 1932. Her talk was illustrated with artist drawings and photos of inside the prison and described life in the prison for both the prisoners 'judged' and committed to prison for their sentence and also for the 'administrative' prisoners, especially prostitutes rounded up from the streets of Paris. What is left of the buildings is currently to be transformed into a mediatheque for the multi-national population of the 10th arrondissement in Paris.
Wednesday 12th February, 2014
Michel Dearman: Quelle Belle Guerre!
Michel Dearman gave a really interesting and personal presentation describing the meeting of his mother and father after D-Day (Jour-J) in World War II. The presentation gave us a real insight into life in Northern France towards the end of the war and how life turned out for his parents. Our very many thanks to Michel for his talk especially since it was an exceptionally stormy night and everyone who turned out deserved their own medal! It was also a very personal story.
Wednesday 8th January, 2014
Jeannette Short: Grincheurs-Grincheuses
Jeannette Short led us in an musing litany of moans and groans about the world to-day. Everyone was able to practise their French as they shared their pet frustrations with the world and we heard one member read a letter he is sending to Monsieur Hollande to complain about the difficulty of say numbers like 95 in French. (I rather think Président Hollande may have other more pressing and/or personal matters on his mind....) Thank you so much to Jeannette for organising this evening.
Wednesday 11th December, 2013
Lawrence Kneen avec son Accordéon
Lawrence Kneen, a local accordion player, came along and played a variety of French songs to which members sang the words. It was a lovely way to spend our last meeting of 2013 and we are very grateful indeed to Lawrence for his super music.
Wednesday 10th November, 2013
Anne Marshall - L'Islande
Anne Marshall from Halifax French Circle gave a most interesting talk on Iceland supported by slides she had taken on a trip there. Many thanks to Anne
Wednesday 9th October, 2013
Kevin Matthews - Les Artisans de la France et Ailleurs
Kevin Matthews, an ex-teacher and artisan clogmaker presented a dvd he had made following his sabbatical year travelling around Europe to meet with, see and film various artisans at work in their studios and workshops. It was a really interesting evening as we learned more abut various crafts, considered the future prospects for young artisans and so on. A lovely evening and very many thanks to Kevin.
Wednesday 11th September, 2013
Christian Quilliot - La Magie de Christian
Christian Quilliot, a member of Bradford Magic Circle and of the French Magic Circle, entertained members with a series of magic tricks which had us completely confounded. His entertaining conversation and jokes held our attention too and we had a splendid evening. Our many thanks to Christian.
Wednesday 14th August, 2013
Members met at the home of Secretary, Valerie Smithson, for general conversation and new copies of the programme for the coming year. Our very many thanks to Valerie for organising this.
Sunday 14th July, 2013
Déjeuner Annuel en souvenir du 14 juillet 1789
Fourteen members of Huddersfield Circle were joined by four members of Halifax Circle for lunch at the Cedar Court hotel on Sunday 14th July for our annual celebration of National Day in France.
A very pleasant time was had by all.
Thursday 13th June, 2013
Soirée Culturelle - Film 'Les Misérables'
Seven members came together to see the film of Les Mis at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Everyone enjoyed the film, some for the second time of viewing.
Wednesday 8th May, 2013
The Committee was elected for the coming year. The President gave her report on the past year, there was the Treasurer's report, the Secretary' report and then cheese and wine before a meeting to discuss the programme for the coming year.
Wednesday 1st May 2013
Dîner Annual at Bradley's restaurant
Fifteen members joined together for a lovely meal at Bradley's, some French conversation and fu. Oh and a quiz with general knowledge questions on France.
Wednesday 10th April, 2013
L'Université du Troisième Age à Huddersfield
Moira Marshall and Mary Green, two Circle members, spoke about their experiences of teaching French under the umbrella of the Huddersfield and Districk U3A and five members of Mary's class performed a short amusing play they had learned in class.
Wednesday 13th March, 2013
Pierre Tanguy - Ma Vie en Angleterre
Pierre Tanguy spoke of his move from Brittany to Norther England originally to learn English, but then where he met his wife and settled. He told us about his experiences as a chef in England now his life as Chef/Manager at Polyanna's Bistro in Barnsley. It was fun to hear his tales from the kitchen and also to understand more about the differences between being a chef in England and in France. Very many thanks to Monsieur Tanguy for giving up his time to come along and talk to us.
Wednesday 13th February, 2013 -
Eric Pratt - La Résistance Française
Eric Pratt, a member of our own Circle and also of Halifax Circle, kindly spoke to us about the French Resistance during the Second World War. He described the extraordinarily dangerous conditions under which the Resistance operated, the difficult precautions which they had to take and he mentioned specifically Jean Moulin and other noteworthy members of the Resistance movement, including several Britons, most of whom did not survive.
Wednesday 9th January, 2013
Hugh Quarterman - Quinze Jours en Ethiopie
For our first meeting of 2013, members really enjoyed the presentation by Hugh Quarterman about a trip he had made to Ethopia, primarily for birdwatching. Mr. Quarterman's excellen photos showed - in addition to some highly unusual and colour birds - many aspects of the country, with its several languages, and sharp contrasts between the modern bustle of Addis Ababa and the rural peasant life which has appartently not changed for centuries.
Mr Quarterman taught French at Greenhead College for many years and now teaches Italian. We are most grateful to him for his time and for the excellent presentation.