This exchange was started in 1982 with the first visit from TuRa Bergkamen. Once again 34 years later we are proud to be taking our Dewsbury Dolphins Swimming club to visit our friends in Germany.
The week starts on Saturday24th. At 04:30 from the bus park near Wickes, the coach is loaded with bags and children. Our driver for the first part is Howard. At 04:45 prompt of we go with 15 excited young people only two have made the trip before. Normally we expect after 15 minuets all to be sleeping but not this bunch. First stop at Jn. 27 on the M1 to load up 2 more of our girl swimmers. So now we go via M1 M18 A1 next stop will be Peterborough service station we then pick up our driver (Robert this will be the 10 trip with us to Germany). He will be with us for the week
Off we go via A1 M11 M25 to Dover the young people are still not sleeping, still the buzz from the back of the bus. We arrive at Dover for 11:00 am for the 12 noon ferry it is late we set sail at 12:30.

14:30 UK time but it is now 15:30 in Dunkirk so off we go the young people are still buzzing. All the times are now EU times. Arrival time at the pool in Germany (still with all the young people having a good time and not sleeping) is 22:45.

So the work starts with the visitors introduced to the host families. Then the guests are paired off and departed for home, refreshments and a good night's sleep we hope.
Sunday 25th.

This is used as a get to know your guests and host families. All visitors and host families organise a day out to other venues of interest. Sunday evening, a welcome disco held at Marina Rünthe with an evening buffet the food and drinks go down well with all Soft drinks for the younger people.

Monday 26th. 08:30 start.

We visit the RAG Mining Training centre this involved splitting into two parties a short video and refreshment then the tour. This involved the young people having to take part, recovering a an accident victim , driving a monorail train a hole drill machine and a coal face digger this kept them interested and awake. Now for the fun part a small buffet meal at the bowling and 2 games of bowls. Then back to the host family’s for 17:00.

Tuesday 27th. 08:15 start. Brillux paint web

To day we visit the Brillux Colour plant at Münster, first coffee, soft drinks and biscuits then the group photo print out enclosed. Again split into two groups for the tour of the plant sorry no photos allowed again questions were asked by the both young and old. Back to the coach and travel to the Baumberg Sandstone Museum again things for the young ones to do out side. Now back to the pool for the young ones for tea. The adults go to an evening meal at the "California am Jachthafen" an Italian restaurant on the river side at the Marina.

Wednesday 28th. 08:30 start. Industrial museum web.

To day we visit an Old steel works "Industrial Museum at Henrichshütte" in Hattingen. Again we find the younger people taking an interest and asking questions. The tour finished with a climb up a large furnace tower 25M in height, this involved climbing up the see through steps to the top. A lift for the old people well "Mel" anyway what a wonderful view from the top. Most of the plant is dismantled and was shipped out to China!

Barge Lift web

14:00. on the coach and off to see the old barge lift at Henrichenburg, we found the only German person with a Yorkshire sense of humour. This also involved the younger people having to do things two of them having to rein act what a 10 year old would have to do on his father’s barge (mop the deck). Back to the pool for the club competition oh how we would like to bring the cup back home but not this year.

Thursday 29th. 08:30 start. Fun Pool web

A Visit to AquaMagis Fun Pool at Plettenberg. Now this will be fun for the adult’s indoor pools a hot outdoor pool and lots of small pools, OH! And 7 Large water slides. It’s a shame the young ones will be bored out of their minds but never mind one day left. Back to our hosts for the night, the adults will be frog marched to a Kellar (beer) party with Mr Klaus Hoffman. Klaus has had a party in this Kellar from the first visit in 1983.

Friday 30th. 08:30 start.

Oh no not another boring day for the young ones Shopping in Dortmund. Must have been OK all back at the coach with no Euros left and large bags of goodies. Now for the party its Farewell disco at the night school TreffPunnkt with an Evening Buffet the end of a really great week with a great bunch of well behaved young people a credit to the parents and the club.

Saturday 31st. 06:30 start.

Early departure of guests, smiles, hugs and tears before the coach departed at 06:45. So the long trip home with all 17 young people still buzzing at the back of the coach. One pit stop on the way back in Belgium then back on the road. Only to be stopped 15 minuets later by a Belgium traffic vehicle check, Robert the good driver that he his had all is paper work up to date. So off again 35 minuets later to catch the ferry. Ferry time 14:00 again its late by 30 minuets we just loaded our coach on and the doors closed but still lots of space and vehicles on the dock. The captain had to move away as next ship ready to dock

It’s now 17:30 GMT back in the UK. On way home a 30 minuet pit stop at Newport Pagnell on the M1. This next part of the journey will be the end for Roberts. We have a short stop at Jn. 24 for the change of drivers for the last 100 miles back to Dewsbury with Howard tacking the wheel. So back north bound on the M1. Next stop jn.37 Barnsley to drop of the two girls then onward to Dewsbury. Back in Dewsbury at 22:45 all children handed back to family with bags and shopping that’s it for 2015….

Even now the children are still buzzing Joking and laughing it was good to see this it made the hard work worth it.

Once again the visit was thoroughly enjoyed by all - here's to the next time!

Mel Jackson. & Carol Jackson.

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