Romney Marsh looks set to take the lead in maintaining good relationships with our erstwhile compatriots in the European Union (EU). Despite the local vote from our area tending in favour of Brexit, intrepid members of the community ventured over to Würzburg, Germany, and there, at the village of Gadheim, in the geographical centre (Mittelpunkt) of the EU they raised the popular Romney Marsh Standard (article in German) on Tuesday 17 May 2022.
Welcomed by the Bürgermeister (Mayor), Jürgen Götz, and charming Cultural Officer, Karen Heußner, Briony Kapoor, Creative Director of the Romney Marsh-based arts charity, the IMOS Foundation, and Chris Hammond, Chair of the East Kent European Movement, took part in a modest ceremony to mark the occasion and their joint desire for continuing friendship amongst the varied peoples of Europe. Toasts of the famous Franconian wine, grown in the region, were drunk once the flag was aloft.
HM Queen Elizabeth II toasted in local wine
The fast-approaching Jubilee was not forgotten and Queen Elizabeth II was toasted too. The Bürgermeister was presented with a Union Jack for his office desk, and three or four books on various aspects of the Romney Marsh were gifted to him and to Frau Heussner for the local library. Reciprocal gifts included two bottles of delicious Mittelpunkt wine. It was a heartwarming occasion and promises have been made to repeat the meeting. Herr Götz hopes that the Mayor of New Romney and other members of the community will come to visit.
‘Christening’ the Visitors Book
We went to his fine office in Veitshöchheim where we were the first people from the United Kingdom to sign the special Visitors Book meant for guests to the Mittelpunkt. Sadly, it was pointed out that whenever that central point has moved in the past it was always because a new country joined the EU. The move from its last location to Gadheim was the first time that the geographical centre changed because of a loss.