Saturday, 21 August 2010


Zdena Biggsova and a group of 30
achers from the Kladno area have just completed a week long tour around Ireland and taken in a bit of England and Wales on the way.

Flying to Robin Hood airport ,Doncaster, the group travelled in 2 minibusses across the Penines to North Wales. Stopping at Conway they enjoyed fish and chips and a walk around the town walls before continuing into the Snowdonia national Park where they stayed at the Pen y Pas hostel . Early the next morning they headed off across Anglesey to take the Holyhead ferry to Dublin.

Staying at the An Oige hostel in Dublin near Parnell Square, they had a guided tour of the town centre and an evening at the Arlington bar on the banks of the Liffey where they were entertained by irish music and dancing.

After 2 nights in the Irish capital they travelled North to Belfast where they took on board quite a lot of rain thus thwarting their attempts to have an enjoyable walking tour of the Northern capital. They chose instead to travel by minibus across the 'peace line' (which divides the Protestant Shankill and the catholic Falls roads) in an attempt to understand the years of conflict,before moving on to the Antrim coast and the Giants Causeway then westwards to Derry and a night in Errigal, County Donegal.

A rainy night in Sligo at 'Yeats Village' included a visit to the poets grave, while the following day the group chose to climb Croagh Patrick the mountain which the Saint Patrick himself climbed up and without any shoes on. Some of the group managed it to the top.

After driving through the glens of Connemara the group spent a musical night in Galway city before travelling on eastwards through Athlone , across the Shannon and back to Dublin.

Early morning ferry to Holyhead and another stop in Conway for more fish and chips then an afternoon in Liverpool meant that by the time they reached the stately Ilam Hall in the Peak District it was pretty late and they had to leave at 5am anyhow. Which they did via the Robin Hood airport, South Yorks - as the outlaw himself probably would have done.

Thursday, 5 August 2010


Shropshire Youth Worker Jo Cox - who came with us on the very first Bridgwater-Czech twinning trip back in 1992, recently achieved Leonardo Funding from the European union to take a group of Shropshire youth workers from the V-Talent programme on a 2 week trip to Uherske Hradiste and Prague.

The 13 strong group linked up with the Akropolis Family Centre run by Dagmar Mega, in Bridgwaters twin town Uherske Hradiste where they spent a week working with children, studying music therapy, and on one occaision playing football against the factory team Altech, sponsored by co-founder of the Bridgwater-Czech link Antonin Machala. The Shropshire lads won the football 8-4 with a key goal being scored by guide and translator Cllr Smedley who takes all the credit.

After a week in UH the group went to Prague where they linked up with the Proxima project, involved in youth centre and street based work in the district of Modrany.

At the end of August, Dagmar Mega will be bringing a group of Family centre workers to Bridgwater where they will be meeting and working with the many various and similar centres in the district. This scheme is also funded by the Leonardo Project.