Des news d’Alcester de la part de Jérémy Howell

NEWSLETTER August 2013

Ordre des Chevaliers Bretvins Confrerie d’Alcester. “Bois le Vin, sois bon comme lui.”

Salut Confreres

I am aware that it is sometime since you last had the benefit of a news letter. However that does not mean that nothing was happening. In fact quite the contrary. It has been a very busy year and you will have all been kept abreast of the events through individual notifications of them.

Four Chevaliers were intronised at the Chapter meeting in the Town Hall on the morning of Sunday 14th April : Steven Brown the Low Bailiff, the Rev. David Hall from Bidford, John Plaskett, and Peter Clayton. We welcome them to our Confrerie and look forward to getting to know them and their other halves at our future events.

This newsletter gives the 2013 story so far and contains the important dates for your calendars for the balance of this year and up to our 20th Anniversary programme and Chapter meeting on the weekend of 13th to 15th June 2014.

Please enter these dates in your diaries, kitchen calendars, smart phones or whatever other gadgetry you use to organise your lives.

Future Programme : October 2013 – June 2014

20th Anniversary of the Bailliage du Pays Galles 22nd September. Details of this event were sent to everyone on two occasions during the year. As a result a party of 9 Chevaliers and ladies from Alcester will be attending this very special Chapter .

Alcester Food Fair 19th October. The Chevaliers Bretvins together with our compatriots from the Commanderie du Taste Saumur and C.A.Rookes will be having a presence at the Alcester Food Fair. We will feature the wines of Nantes and Saumur. We hope to make a bit of a ‘splash’ and promote our liNKs with Vallet. Support from Chevaliers in robes will be welcome. John Freeland would welcome specific help on the day moving the wine around and setting up and putting away. To parody de Gaulle, John says ‘Chevaliers, Chevaliers aidez moi’. Do contact him to find out how you can help. More details later.

Court Leet Service and Parade 2.40 pm on Sunday 20th October. This very special event in the Alcester calendar has been moved back to take place shortly after the election of the new High Bailiff and Court Leet officers. Note that it is in the afternoon, and the service will be followed by the traditional hospitality in the Town Hall. The Bretvins in Alcester were established in a special protocol ceremony in the Alcester Town hall in 1994 at which the chief signaturies were, the late Lord Hertford, the then High Bailiff, and the Grand Maitre of the Order of Chevaliers Bretvins. Please will as many Chevaliers as can support new Bailiff and the event in their robes. Wives and partners will be welcome.

Bailliage de la Grande Bretagne in London on Thursday evening 14th November More details in due course. A small subsidy is shared by those attending in order to help with costs. Please let your Bailli know if you are interested in attending.

Alcester Confrerie Vendange Dinner 23rd November This very popular black tie event in the Town Hall is limited to 50 guests. More details will be available later, but meanwhile please register your interest with John Freeland.

Bouteille d’Or 15th December in Le Landreau This is one of the key events in the Bretvins Calendar. Moe details later, but if you think you would like to go, and perhaps be hosted in France please let your Bailli know.

Fete de St Vincent 25th and 26th January 2014 in St Sebastien sur Loire As above, and more details when they are available.

Alcester Bretvins AGM February 2014 Date to be fixed.

Alcester Chevaliers Bretvins Soiree des Dames February 2014 Date and details to be announced later.

Expo-Vall (the Wine Fair) in Vallet15th and 16th March 2014 Details later.

Alcester Confrerie 20th Anniversary Celebrations and Chapter 13th/14th/15th June 2014

This will be our Confrerie’s biggest event since the 10th Anniversary so please reserve the dates in your diaries. Arrangements are now well advanced and the programme will be centred on Stratford because of the availability of hotels and suitable venues. The provisional programme (for which the venues have already been reserved) are as follows :

• Friday 13th, dinner for long distance visitors and hosts at Hillers. • Saturday 14th, daytime stately home visit for long distance visitors. • Saturday 14th, evening dinner in The Garden Room at the Grosvenor Hotel Stratford with music and dancing. • Sunday 15th, Chapter day programme including heartstarter, parade from the Town Hall to the theatre and the river, Chapter ceremony, reception, and gala lunch all based on the Town Hall Stratford.

Full details of the programme will be published later and booking arrangements made clear as there will be limited, though substantial, accommodation in these venues.

Recent Events in 2013.

• Court Leet Sunday 20th January 2013. A number of Confreres turned out to support the High Bailiff, John Mills , at his Court Leet service and parade on 20th January. Unfortunately the parade was really a non event as the weather was so atrocious – probably the wettest Court Leet Sunday for decades. Nevertheless the service and the convivial hospitality afterwards in the Town Hall were as appropriate and enjoyable as ever. Thank you Mr Bailiff Mills.

• Fete de St Vincent 27th January Your Bailli together with our Senechal Paul Frizzelle and his wife Rosie attended the event in Vertou. There were very few representatives from other Baillages. Four Chevaliers who had passed on to the Celestial Vineyard during the past year were remembered in the St Vincent service : our own much missed Ivan Laughlin, a founding member of our Confrerie, David Bryant from Wales , Jacques Mainguard from Guernsey, and Joseph le Straat from Nantes.

• The Annual General Meeting 8.00pm on Monday 11th February in the back room of the Holly Bush. The AGM was supported by 18 Chevaliers at which the Bailli reported on another active year. Amongst the notable events were the commemoration of the 35th Anniversary of the Twinning between Alcester and Vallet at the Expo-Vall in March and the intronisation of Trevor Wraight the AVTA chairman for Alcester as a Chevalier, and that of Beatrice Gaborit, President of the Twinning Committee in Vallet as a Dame du Duchesse Anne.

• ’Soiree des Dames’ 7.30 for 8.00pm on 20th February at Essence in Stratford. This traditional event was renamed as the promoter Echanson Chevalier Freeland felt it should have a more ‘sexy’ appellation. Nearly 50 Chevaliers and ladies enjoyed a hearty meal at Essence in Stratford.

• The 65th Vallet Wine Fair – ‘Expo-Vall’- 16th and 17th March. Your Bailli, Paul and Rosie Frizzelle together with Chancelier Bob Laidler and his wife Pat attended the wine fair and enjoyed the teaditional hospitality of our hosts and the our Twin Town of Vallet. This year’s theme was ‘Pays Basque en Muscadet’ and the Friday evening banquet in the Champilambart was exceptional based upon a Basque menue.

• Welsh Annual Chapter at Fonmon Castle on 24th March. Your Bailli, Echanson Freeland and Maitre des Ceremonies Leek and his wife Janet represented Alcester at his very agreeable event.

• Annual Chapter Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2013. The Annual Chapter week-end was very well supported this year by 9 visitors from Vallet including Thierry Lechat who brought with him his Expo Vall prize winning Pipette d’Or Muscadet. This wine was provided to us by the French for our post ceremony reception and very much appreciated. The other members of the French delegation were Alain and Ann-Marie Genestal, Claude and Elisabeth Fleurance, Jean- Marie Girard and Nicole, and Beatrice and Paul Gaborit. Dame du Duchesse Anne Beatrice Gaborit is the president of the Vallet Alcester Twinning Committee in Vallet, She is the first Dame du Duchesse Anne to attend one of our Chapters.

The Bailli of Grande Bretagne John Cunynghame and Marjita, and the Bailli of Wales Anthony Pugh together with Mario Greening gave us their long standing and much appreciated support. The weekend programme included a visit to Avoncroft, dinner at Hillers and 60 guests sat down to lunch at Salford Hall following our Chapter meeting.

A short silence was observed in memory of Chevaliers Ivan Laughlin and Richard Griffiths.

• Shakespeare Birthday Parade and Runaway Birthday Lunch 20th April. The Chevaliers Bretvins and the Commanderie du Taste Saumur took part in the traditional Birthday parade and went on to enjoy a buffet lunch across the river at the Sports Club.

• Flowering of the Vine at the Alcester Wine Press on the 2nd June. This years celebration was held at the wine press outside Globe House. Your Bailli gave the Blessing of the vine as follows :

God bless this vine, it needs your care, If this year it will ripe grapes bear. The spring was cold, the pruning late, That work was done well past its date.

But with your help there’s just a chance, This vine will flourish as in France. For vineyards in Vallet we pray. A bounteous year for Muscadet.

The afternoon concluded with a Muscadet Buffet at Berryfield. Coronation Chicken was served in commemoration of that special 2nd June 60 years ago.

• Boules and Brochettes at Wooton Park 14th July This years very well attended Boules competition was held on Bastille Day, in the very pleasant grounds of Wooton Park. The Cunynghame cup was won by Paul and Bala Jaspal from the Saumarai ! The food and hospitality at Wooton Park was much appreciated, and we hope that we can hold our event there again. (Clearly a superb venue for weddings and conferences).

Conseil Members
– Bailli : Jeremy Howell 01789 763849
– Chancelier : Bob Laidler 01789 762304
– Maitre de Cérémonies : Ron Leek 01789 762574
– Senechal : Paul Frizzelle 01527 542314
– Argentier : John Maries 01527 852596
– Echanson : John Freeland 01789 267463
– Echanson : John Ford 01789 488328
– Halleberdier : Norman Winnett 01926 842576
– Halleberdier : Roger Jackson 01789 762540
– Halleberdier : John Philps 01789 290525
– High Bailiff of Alcester : John Mills 01789 762016

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