Suffolk plays host to European visitors

EVEN the weather had a Mediterranean feel as Suffolk hosted hundreds of visitors from all over Europe at the weekend.Aldeburgh and nearby villages were hosts to European visitors as part of the “European Cultural Village of the Year” (CVE) events.

EVEN the weather had a Mediterranean feel as Suffolk hosted hundreds of visitors from all over Europe at the weekend.

Aldeburgh and nearby villages were hosts to European visitors as part of the “European Cultural Village of the Year” (CVE) events.

The town on the Suffolk coast, famous all over the world for its music festival founded by composer Benjamin Britten and his friends, proved the ideal venue for such a prestigious occasion.

The CVE was established in 1996 and consists of a network of 12 small towns and villages from across Europe.


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On Saturday the focus of attention was the Snape Maltings Concert Hall where local people had the chance to enjoy a free programme of performing arts by the various delegations.

These included a concert from the 44-strong Trachtenkapelle Kirchhelm orchestra from Austria featuring many of the waltzes of Johann Strauss and other Austrian composers.

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Other highlights included Morris dancing, folk music, choirs, dance and living chessmen demonstrating with humour and flair the moves and strategy of chess.

Yesterday there was a special ceremony at the Moot Hall, Aldeburgh, attended by all the delegates who were welcomed by Mayor of Aldeburgh Felicity Bromage, Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer.

“Aldeburgh has been a member of the CVE network since 1999 and we have thoroughly enjoyed hosting the programme of events which brings members together to celebrate and share their communities' diverse characters and lifestyles,” said Maggy Wilson, chairman of the Aldeburgh Cultural Village of Europe 2003 organising committee.

More than 300 visitors from Europe were accommodated by local people and the visitors thoroughly enjoyed their stay.

“We have had the most wonderful time.

“Everyone has been so friendly and the weather has been perfect,” said a member of the Kirchheim orchestra from Austria.

The event was supported by the Arts Council England East, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk Development Agency, the Adnams Charity, the Scarfe Charitable Trust, Aldeburgh Productions and Thorpeness and Aldeburgh Hotels Ltd.

Organisers also praised the valuable assistance given by members of Aldeburgh Women's Institute and other local organisations.

It is hoped that the weekend's event will also provide a boost for the region's tourist industry as many visitors said they would be returning to the area.

The European small towns and villages that make up the network are:

Mellionnec, France; Porruak, Spain; Kirchheim, Austria; Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands; Pergine Valdarno, Italy; Tommerup, Denmark; Paxos, Greece; Kilingi Nomme, Estonia; Strobeck, Germany; Bystre, Czech Republic; Palkonya, Hungary; and Aldeburgh.

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david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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