Huddersfield French Circle

Mercredi 12 septembre 2018
We listened in thrall to Jeanette Short when she gave us a presentation on the life of the French politicial Simone Weil. We were horrified as we learned of her time at Auschwitz and in wonder as we heard about how she combined her early years of being married and raising children with climbing the legal and then political ladder, and then in awe as we heard about Simone faced down the various challenges posed to her as a judge and then as a leading politician. It was all fascinating and as always we send our most sincere thanks to Jeannette for her preparation of this evening's talk

Mercredi 8 août 2018
So many thanks yet again to Annie Bacon who so kindly hosted our summer social evening.
As always everyone had a wonderful time and Annie's hospitality was as excellent as it was generous.
Very many thanks to Annie for being such a generous member of the Circle.

Dimanche 15 juillet 2018
Our annual lunch in line with festivities in France for their Fête Nationale took place at Fixby Hall where over 30 members enjoyed a lunch in the Dining Room. After lunch we were entertained by Pam Sykes who sang some beautiful songs accompanying herself on the keyboard. We loved it all.

Mercredi 9 mai 2018
As always on the second Wednesday of May, we held our AGM. There was a good attendance, the committee was re-elected and annual reports were presented to those in attendance. Minutes have been circulated to Members.

Mercredi 2 mai 2018
Twenty members of Huddersfield French Circle attended our Annual Dinner at Brooks Restaurant in Brighouse.
The food was excellent and a good time was had by all. Very many thanks as always to Pat Rodgers our secretary for organising the event.

Mercredi 18 avril 2018
Circle member Paddy Redhead kindly gave us a talk about a visit she had made with her husband to Saudi Arabia despite her protestations to him about terrorism and war torn areas. He had been there during the war and wanted to see what it looks like now. How different it was! Built on desert land, the buildings were magnificient and Paddy had seen and heard so many interesting things. Thank you for sharing this with us Paddy.

Mercredi 14 mars 2018

Former Circle Member and native French speaker Nicole Adams gave us a lovely talk about Bergera where her son has made his home. It was a delightful talk with interesteding little anecdotes and afterwards we were treated to traditional cake from the area which Nicole had made and brought along. Merci bien, Nicole.

Mercredi 14 février 2018
Chris Pateman gave us a most interesting presentation on a visit he and his wife Jennifer has made to the most western areas of China, in a talk entitled L'ancienne route du thé, du Laos à Tibet. Les photos étaient bien intéressantes et les histoires des voyages faits sans réservations nous ont intrigué. Aprés la présentation Jennifer nous a montré les divers objets quels avait remportés et plusieurs d'entre nous ont gouté les épices de la région...... Un grand merci à Chris et Jennifer pour le travail fait pour préparer cette séance et pour avoir partager leurs expériences avec nous.

Mercredi 10 janvier 2018
Jeanette Short gave a presentation on the François Mauriac story of Le Sagouin. It was all so enthralling and atmospheric and we listened attentively as we tried to work out what had caused the death of the young man at the centre of the story. Thank you so much to Jeannette for this presentation. We loved it.

Mercredi 13 décembre 2017
In a presentation entitled: 'Quatre Vieilles Villes Espagnoles', Hugh Quarterman gave us a lighthearted presentation on Ronda, Cordoba, Seville and Granada. Many thanks to Hugh for making yet another return visit.

Mercredi 8 novembre 2017
This month, Philip and Maureen Booth from Bradford Circle came to visit us and presented photos and information on New Zealand which they had visited shortly after the earthquake which devastated Christchurch in particular. In some cases they had both 'before' and 'after' pictures which made them all the more powerful. Many thanks to both Philip and Maureen.

Mercredi 11 octobre 2017
This month it was the turn of John and Jill Coffey who gave us a presentation of photos they had taken on a visit to Paris. Very many thanks to them both as always.

Mercredi 13 septembre 2017
What a special treat! Yannick Minvielle-Débat brought musician friends with her and gave a presentation on traditional music and dance in France. We were treated to some excellent live music and one or two members of the Circle joined in. Since this is Yannick's special passion, it was a superb presentation. Many thanks to her and her firends for travelling over from Skipton to do this for us.

Mercredi 9 août 2017
The date of our Soirée estivale when we met at the home of member Annie Bacon for a lovely social evening and we are most gratful to Annie for hosting this and for all the trouble she had taken. Annie even found a quiz and people worked in pairs on the answers. A good time was had by all and you can see photos by clicking here.

Dimanche 16 juillet 2017
We held our Annual lunch in honour of the French National Day, at Fixby Hall, where we had excellent weather for pre-lunch drinks on the terrace, private use of the Fixby Hall Dining Room, a superb French meal and 'after-lunch entertainment' in the form of some twentieth century French songs broadcast with words on You Tube. Anove all there was a superb convivial atmosphere, evidenced by the lovely photographs you can see by clicking here.

Mercredi 10 mai 2017
This was our AGM and it was good to see it so well attended.
You can see a few pre-meeting photos by clicking here. Minutes of the meeting have been sent to members and a hard copy is usually available for reading at the back of our meeting room.

Mercredi 3 mai 2017
We had a lovely evening at La Cachette restaurant in Elland where we held our Dîner Annuel'. You can see some photos which give you an idea of the lovely evening by clicking here.

Mercredi 12 avril 2017
Ann Marshall, aided by John Coffey on technical matters very kindly came along to talk about the Canal du Midi. Fascinating stuff - a vanity project, par excellence but what a fantastic result and legacy for France and the French. It was most intersting and enlightening. Many thanks to Ann for her work on the presentation.

Mercredi 8 mars 2017
John and Jill Coffey so kindly came along once again to talk about Croatia, but this time it was Split. We say pictures of some lovely scenery, architecture and churches and heart allot about the culture and history. We also watched an extract of performance they had chanced upon at their hotel by a local singing star. All really good fun! Many thanks once again to John and to Jill.

Mercredi 8 fçvrier 2017
Gosh this evening's presentation was a real insight. Chris Pateman spoke about a holiday (!) he and his wife Jennifer had taking travelling (in Rough Guide style) through French speaking Gambia and Senegal. They had spent their time in the rural south of the country, where life is stil primitive by European standards. It was all really interesting and the photos were great. Very many thanks to Chris for taking the time to prepare this presentation for us.

Mercredi 11 janvier 2017
We had a lovely presentation this evening from Circle regular presenter Michael Brammah who made a welcome return and spoke about the purchase of his new holiday home in the South of France. We heard about the history of the house and why he has called it 'Les Mystères' and he told us lots o amusing tales about the neighbours. It is obvious that Michael and his wife have made every effort to mix with the village population there and to take a real part in the life and culture there. It looks fabulous.

Mercredi 8 décembre 2016
Hugh Quarterman gave us a lovely presentation of photographs he had taken on a visit to Sicily where he had toured around the South Eastern area of the island. He had been particularly taken with the gargoyles underneath so many of the balconies, the demonstrative and chatty nature of the people and the fabulous interiors of very many very modest churches. We also saw pictures of the area where the tv series 'Montalbano' is filmed and if this should return to our screens and you love Sicily, this is a series not to be missed. Very many thanks again to Hugh for this return visit.

Mercredi 9 novembre 2016
Philip and Maureen Booth from Bradford French Circle joined us to very kindly give us a presentation about a holiday they had taken in the Seychelles. We saw some holiday photos of glorious beaches but also learned lots about the economy and population there and also about the language. Very many thanks to Philip and Maureeen.

Mercredi 13 octobre 2016
Frenchman Christian Quilliot gave us a emonstration of his 'magicianship' with a display of tricks and mindreading. Very many thanks to Christian for this very pleasant evening.

Mercredi 14 septembre 2016
Our first meeting of the new season and we were given an introduction to the history of Vienna and a photographic tour around some of its buildings. Christine Hughes gave us a really interesting presentation at very short notice and very many thanks to Christine for this.

Mercredi 10 août 2016
We met in Holmbridge, where one of our members had generously offered her home for our August soirée. A French guest came along which gave the atmosphere a more Gallic flavour and certainly ensured that more French was spoken than would otherwise have been the case! We were treated to a table full of French cheeses and amuse-bouches and we are inebted to our hostell for such a delightful end ot the 2015-2016 season.

Dimanche 17 juillet 2016
Our annual Bastille Day celebration took the traditional form of a summer lunch this year, like last, at Fixby Hall. Twenty-six of us enjoyed a lovely three-course French lunch and the extra delight was the ending of the meal with a performance of French songs sung by Paddy Readhead which she accompanied herself on her guitar. It really was very special. Click here to see some photos of the occasion.

Juin 2016 - Visite Culturelle
There were two 'visites culturelles' during June. One was a visit to a concert, backed by film, of Jacques Brel songs at the Square Chapel in Halifax. It was a really good introduction to Brel music and poetry as well as giving a good understanding of the singer's life.
It was something of a 'tribute' act with a difference.

Also in June, some members attending the showing of a French film at Hepworth Village Hall.
The film was entitled 'Les Garçons et Guillaume à Table' and since it dealt with gender identity issues it risked being controversial. However, I understand that the film had its comic moments and dealt with its topic very tenderly. Most cleverly the same actor played both mother and son.

Mercredi 11 mai 2016 - Assemblée Annuelle
We were really delighted to see a very good attendance at this our one 'business' meeting of the year. Minutes from the 2015 meeting were approved, our President Moira Marshall read out her report on the year and this was followed by reports from the Secretary and the Treasure. After the customary 'vin et fromage' we discussed ideas for the programme for the forcoming year.
One point to note for next year, is that the minutes of this AGM are e-mailed to Circle Members who are requested please to retain the minutes to skim through again before next year's AGM so that they can be approved - or not as the case may be.. The current officers of the Circle agreed to stand again and were re-elected en bloc.

Mercredi Mercredi 4 mai 2016 - Dîner Annuel
What a fabulous evening we had!
About 20 of us assembled at the French restaurant La Cachette in Elland for oour annual dinner. The food was superb and we were very well looked after by the restaurant Manager Christophe Notebaert and his lovely wife Elspeth. Some of the conversation was in French and some in English as we had non-French speaking partners with us but a lovely meal was had by all and I am sure we shall be back there again next year if not before!

Mercredi 13 avril 2016- Une Visite en Belgique
From Belgian national, Claire de Ramaix, we were treated to an in depth introduction to the people and culture of Belgium. How interesting to hear so much more about this little known country - we tend to think just of chocolate, the EU headquarters and, more latterly, the bombing at Brussels airport - and yet here was a wonderful introduction to the Belgian people. The North is so different from the South, most people speak at least French or Dutch, English and German or all four languages, the rich live in the North and so on. All good stuff. Very many thanks to Claire for her entertaining and interesting talk, plus the added benefit of hearing French spoken by someone for whom this is their first language.

Mercredi 9 mars 2016 - André Chénier, son histoire.
Circle member Mary Green gave a presentation on the life of the French poet André Chénier. The talk was illustrated with photos of his friends, the places he visited and so on and Jeannette Short very kindly read extracts from two of Chénier's poems. These poems were so eloquent, especially the one written by Chénier during his last days at Saint-Lazare prison, before he was taken to the Comité du Salut Public for sentencing and on to his death at the guillotine.

Mercredi 10 février 2016 - Dubrovnik
Jill and John Coffey entertained members with a presentation about their travels in Croatia and specifically Dubrovnik. Illustrating their talk with a series of pictures, Mr and Mrs Coffey described the history of the region and also the art and architecture of Dubrovnik. Many thanks to John and Jill, who head up Calderdale French Circle, for making a most welcome return visit to Huddersfield French Circle.

Mercredi 13 janvier 2016 - La Sauvegarde du Patrimoine en Jourdanie
Michael Brammah gave a really interesting presentation on work in Jordan to prevent any further damage to its historic sites as well as to try to increase visitor numbers to four particular cities there. It was all something of a revelation to us all an
d we were all fascinated that such work should be going on in an area so riven with strife. Very many thanks to Michael for opening our eyes to some of the issues we had not considered but which remain part of an important agenda of bringing revenue to these areas.

Mercredi 9 décembre 2015 - Rénovation d'une maison édouardienne
We were most pleased to welcome Shelagh Mudd, a member of Halifax French Circle who gave a fascinating insight into the renovation of a house built around 1911. With the help of lots of 'before' and 'after' photos, we saw a miraculous transformation before our eyes. Shelagh had done lots of the work herself and the final result was testament to her efforts and enthusiasm. Shelagh's photos were accompanied by an amusing and insightful commentary. Many thanks to Shelagh for sharing with us the challenge she had undertaken and the journey she had been on.

Mercredi 11 novembre 2015 - Le Costume Traditionnel en France
What a delight! Yannick Minvielle-Debat gave a super presentation about traditional French costumes illustrated with lots of photographs, some samples and members of the audience modelling a particular Breton headress. We learned about the significance of different variations in the dress worn by both men and women and most of all were amazed that there could be somany different styles of dress around the different regions of France and even within Brittany. It is always special when we have a presentation from a native French speaker and this was no exception. Many many thanks to Yannick.

Mercredi 14 octobre 2015 - La Cappadoce et Antalya
Well this was no ordinary presentation of holiday photos! Circle member Mary O'Meara had been on a touring holiday of Cappadocia - IN THE SNOW! We saw some really interesting photos and learned about the various religions present in the area. Many thanks to Mary.

Mercredi 9 septembre 2015 - La Ronde des Métiers
What a lovely evening. Circle member and French national, Jeannette Short, treated us to an entertaining presentation of songs which feature different types of employment in the words. As with all French traditional songs, the words are absolutely the most important and they all tell a story. They were often sad and sometimes amusing. We listened to them with the words on the screen and even joined in with one or two.

Mercredi 12 août 2015 - Soirée Amicale
9 members of the Circle came together at the home of our President, Moira Marshall to hear details of our forthcoming programme of presentations which Christine Hughes had kindly put together. There was also lots of friendly conversation and review of the past year. Moira had put together some delicious food and everyone enjoyed some wine supplied from French Circle stocks. A really very very pleasant evening was had by all.

Dimanche 19 juillet 2015 - Déjeuner Annuel
35 members and guests from Huddersfield and Halifax French Circles met together for a lunch at Fixby Hall. Everyone enjoyed a meal with a very French flavour: Salade Niçoise, Boeuf Bourguignon or Confit de Canard or Pissaladiere, Brie de Meaux, Gateau St. Honoré. We also tried out some tongue twisters and enjoyed a quiz on French customs and traditions. At the close of the event, we even sang La Marseillaise. A good time was had by all.

Vendredi 22 mai 2015 - Film - Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Our June meeting is usually a visit to a French themed event in the locality. This year, this actually took place in May since this excellent modern and thought provoking film was being shown at Hepworth Village Hall under the auspices of the Holmfirth Film Festival.

Mercredi 13 mai 2015 - Assembleé Annuelle
A good attendance of 14 at this year's AGM were able to hear the President's report on the year as well as the financial report of the year and various other matters of official business. As in previous years, after a short break for cheese and wine, there was a discussion of potential speakers for the 2015/2016 year. The minutes of the meeting will be mailed to Circle Members in due course.

Mercredi 6 mai 2015 - Dîner Annuel
A group of 20 people, a mixture of members and guests, enjoyed a very social evening at La Cachette in Elland where everyone enjoyed a meal with a French twist, lots of convivial conversation and also a quiz on French quizzes. Many thanks to Pat Rodgers who had organised the evening.

Mercredi 8 avril 2015 - Le Poitou
Dominique Rebout of the Modern Language School at Meltham gave a presentation on her native Poitou-Charentes. We learned some of the Poitou dialect and listened to a song from the area as wll as sampling some of the local liqueur. Very many thanks to Dominique.

Mercredi 11 mars 2015 - Jeu Concours
Unfortunately our planned speaker could not attend, so President Moira Marshall kindly put a quiz together. Much fun was had and everyone was horrified at how much they didn't know! Very many thanks to Moira for her hard work in putting this together. Maybe we will all do better another time...

Mercredi 11 février 2015 - Souvenirs d'une Arcéologue
Circle member Gillian Wilson gave a presentation of pictures of her time as a young archeologist in England, in France and in Peru. Of course none of us were familiar with anything to do with archaeology so we all found it absolutely fascinating. Very many thanks to Gillian for the presentation.

Mercredi 14 janvier 2015 - La Grande Thérèse et L'escroquerie du Coffre-fort Crawford.
A presentation of the story of Thérèse Humbert and her family and of how she conned lots of people, banks and even Presidents out of their money in Paris at the end of the 19th Century.

Mercredi 10 décembre 2014 - Témoignage d'un Poilu de la Grande Guerre
Laurence Dickinson gave an exceptional presentation showing photographs and letters which were a witness account by her grand-father of life on the front in World War 1. Where their homes were not far away, soldiers were able to return at weekends for meals and to have their washing done but they kept the reality of life 'at work' away from their families. It was a really interesting presentation and are so very appreciative to Laurence for sharing these personal stories with us.

Mercredi 12 novembre 2014 - Une Expérience Méxicaine
Jill Coffey from Halifax French Circle introduced us to the delights of Mexico, its culture (art, music), its historic sites and its people, in a presentation of many interesting pictures and artefacts from Jill's two visits to Mexico where her son has been living. It was a lovely talk and many thanks to Jill.

Mercredi 8 octobre 2014 - Languedoc-Roussillon
At a very well attended meeting, Christine Summers spoke about the southern French region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Illustrating her talk with a series of pictures, Chrstine described the historic cities of Montpellier and Perpignan, the ports and resorts of Sète, Collioure and La Grande Motte, with its futuristic architecture, and the famous fortified town of Carcassonne. The south wstern corner of the region is very proud of its Catalan identity and Christine, being a Rugby league enthusiast, took the opportunity to watch the Catalan Dragons play on home turf.

For some pictures of the evening, click here, here and here.

Mercredi 10 septembre 2014 - Villes Forteresses de l'Ombrie
Hugh Quarterman kindly gave a very interesting talk on the mediaeval village of Umbria. His talk was in his usual impeccable French and was made all the more interesting as it was supported by many superb images. There were over 20 people at the meeting and after the presentation membrs enjoyed some convivial conversation in French supported by un verre de vin.

Mercredi 13 aoùt 2014 - Soirée amicale chez un membre du Cercle
s in so many previous years, Valerie and Douglas Smithson were kind enough to invite members to their home. Members brought some snacks, the highlight of which were Stephen's brioches and everyone enjoyed a glass or two of wine. Special at this meeting, was the presentation by the President, Moira Marshall, of a gift and some flowers to Valerie in appreciation of her more than thirty years as Circle Secretary and Programme Secretary. Valerie has always carried out these rôles with enthusiasm and charm and the Circle will always be most grateful to her.

Dimanche 13 juillet 2014 - Dîner en souvenir du 14 juillet 1789
Members from Huddersfield Circle were joined by some new members at the Cedar Court Hotel for a lunch to celebrate la Fête Nationale in France. A good time was had by all with lots of friendly banter and conversation

Mardi 24 juin 2014 - Visite culturelle
Some members attended the live screening of the opera 'Manon Lescaut' at the Odeon cinema

Mardi 27 mai 2014 - Visite culturelle au lieu d'une réunion en juin
Some members attended a French film screening in Holmfirth as part of the Holmfirth Film Festival

Mercredi 14 mai 2014 - Assemblée Annuelle
Members came together at the Town Hall for the AGM of the Circle. Circle officers and committee members were elected and reports on the past year were read out. After a break for cheese and wine, ideas were put together for the programme for the coming year.

Mercredi 7 mai 2014 - Dîner Annuel
A group of members met at Bradley's restaurant in Huddersfield for the Annual Dinner. The food, wine, company and conversation was all excellent.

Mercredi 9 avril 2014 - Le Mot le Plus Long
Members came together to exercise their brains with a game of Le Mot le Plus Long, a sort of Countdown. There were three teams and members had to find the longest word with a selection of letters pulled out at random from a bag of consonants and a bag of vowels. Good words were: 'Dejeunat' and 'Eloignez'. Jeannette Short stepped in to be in Dictionary Corner and also amused us with anecdotes in between each word making session. It was a very pleasant evening.

Mercredi 12 mars 2014 - Saint-Lazare: Prison, Le Pourrissoir
Mary Green gave a presentation on Saint-Lazare as a prison after the French Revolution and until it was closed in 1932. Her talk was illustrated with artist drawings and photos of inside the prison and described life in the prison for both the prisoners 'judged' and committed to prison for their sentence and also for the 'administrative' prisoners, especially prostitutes rounded up from the streets of Paris. What is left of the buildings is currently be transformed into a médiathèque for the multi-national population of the 10th Arrondissement in Paris.

Mercredi 12 février 2014 - Quelle Belle Guerre.
Michel Dearman gave a really interesting and personal presentation describing the meeting of his mother and father after D-Day (Jour -J) in World War II. The presentation gave us a real insight into life in Northern France towards the end of the war and and how life turned out for his parents. Our very many thanks to Michel for his talk especially since it was an exceptionally stormy night and everyone who turned out deserved their own medal!

Mercredi 8 janvier 2014 - Grincheurs/Grincheuses
Jeannette Short led us in an amusing litany of moans and groans about the world to-day. Everyone was able to practise their French as they shared their pet frustrations with the world and we heard one member read a letter he is sending to Monsieur Hollande to complain about the difficulty of say numbers like 95 in French. (I rather thing Président Hollande may have other more pressing and/or personal matters on his mind........) Thank you so much to Jeannette for organising this evening.

Mercredi 11 décembre 2013 - Soirée de musique traditionnelle jouée par Lawrence Kneen
Lawrence Kneen a local accordion player came along and played a variety of French songs to which members sang the words. It was a lovely way to spend our last meeting of 2013 and we are very grateful indeed to Lawrence for his super music.

Mercredi 10 november 2013 - L'Islande
Anne Marshall from Halifax French Circle gave a most interesting talk on Iceland supported by slides she had taken on a trip there. Many thanks to Anne.

Mercredi 9 octobre 2013 - Les Artisans de la France et Ailleurs
Kevin Matthews, an ex-teacher and artisan clogmaker presented a dvd he had made following his sabbatical year travelling around Europe to meet with, see and film various artisans at work in their studios and workshops. It was a really interesting evening as we learned more about various crafts, considered the future prospects for young artisans and so on. A lovely evening and very many thanks to Kevin.

Mercredi 11 septembre 2013 - La Magie de Christian
Christian Quilliot, member of Bradford Magic Circle and of the French Magic Circle entertained members with a series of magic tricks which had us completely confounded. His entertaining conversation and jokes held our attention too and we had a splended evening. Our many thanks to him.

Mercredi 14 août 2013 - Soirée Amicale chez un Membre du Cercle
Members met at the home of secretary, Valerie Smithson, for general conversation and new copies of the programme for the coming year were circulated. Our very many thanks to Valerie for organising this.

Dimanche 14 juillet 2013 - Déjeuner Annuel
Fourteen members of Huddersfield Circle were joined by four members of Halifax Circle for lunch at the Cedar Court hotel on Sunday 14th July for our annual celebration of National Day in France. A very pleasant time was had by all.

Jeudi 13 juin 2013 - Les Misérables
Seven members came together to see the film of Les Mis at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Everyone enjoyed the film, some for the second time of viewing.

Mercredi 8 mai 2013 - Assemblée Annuelle
The Committee was elected for the coming year, the President gave her report on the past year, there was the treasurer's report, the secretary's report and then cheese and wine before a meeting to discuss the programme for the coming year.

Mercredi 1 mai 2013 - Dîner Annuel at Bradley's restaurant
15 members joined together for a lovely meal at Bradley's, some French conversation and fun, oh and a quiz with general knowledge questions on France.

Mercredi 10 avril 2013 - Moira Marshall and Mary Green, two Circle members spoke about their experiences of teaching French under the umbrella of the Huddersfield and District U3A and 5 members of Mary's class performed a short amusing play they had learned in class. To see some pictures taken on the night, click here and here and here

Mercredi 13 mars 2013 - Pierre Tanguy spoke his move from Brittany to Northern England originally to learn English, but then where he met his wife and settled. He told us about his experiences as a chef in England and now his life as Chef/Manager at Polyanna's Bistro in Barnsley. It was fun to hear his tales from the kitchen and also to understand more about the differences between being a chef in England and in France. Very many thanks to Monsieur Tanguy for giving up his time to come along and talk to us. To see his picture, click here

Mercredi 13 février 2013 - Eric Pratt - La Résistance Française
Eric Pratt, a member of our own Circle and also of Halifax Circle, kindly spoke to us about the French Resistance during the Second World War. He described the extraordinarily dangerous conditions under which the Resistance operated, the difficult precautions which they had to take and mentioned specifically Jean Moulin and other noteworthy members of the Resistance movement, including several Britons, most of whom did not survive. To see a picture of Mr. Pratt click photo

Mercredi 9 janvier 2013 - Qinze jours en Ethiopie avec Hugh Quarterman
For our first meeting of 2013 members really enjoyed the presentation by Hugh Quarterman about a trip he had made to Ethopia, primarily for birdwatching. Mr. Quarterman's excellent photos showed - in addition to some highly unusual and colourful birds - many aspects of the country, with its several languages and sharp contrasts between the modern bustle of Addis Ababa and the rural peasant life which has apparently not changed for centuries.
Mr. Quarterman taught French at Greenhead College for many years and now teaches Italian. We are most grateful to him for his time and for the excellent presentation.
To see a picture of Mr. Quarterman at the presentation click photo

Mercredi 12 décembre 2012 - Soirée Musicale et Fète de Noel
Members brought along Cds of their favourite music, mostly French, and played the music after first introducing it and explaining why it was so important to them. A Christmas supper was enjoyed by everyone accompanied by some very nice French wine.

Mercredi 11 novembre 2012 - Présentation Musicale - Les instruments Anciens
Members had a wonderful evening Margaret Seed, who is an accomplished musician who talked about her collection of reproduction mediaeval musical instruments. Not only did Margaret talk about these 15 instruments but, accompanied by a friend on percussion, she played them all too.

We were fascinated by the varied sounds the different shaped instruments made and interested to hear some of the history behind them. We were very well entertained and our many thanks go to Margaret for giving of her time and talent. Just transporting the instruments must have been a feat in itself, not to mention the playing of them. Event: for our September 12th meeting we shall now enjoy 'Une Promenade Poétique' very ised to return Mercredi 10 octobre, 2012 - A Visit to Tonga with Michael Brammah
Many thanks indeed to Michael Brammah who kindly gave of his time again to talk to us about the time he spent in Tonga where he was working in his role as an International Urban Planning Consultant. As well as some beautiful scenery we were able to learn from Michael's presentation and from is photos about the life of the people of Tonga. The talk was entertaining as well as informative and we are most grateful to Mr. Brammah.

Mercredi 12 septembre, 2012 - Une Promenade Poétique
Very many thanks to Jeanette Short, ably assisted by her husband Bob Short and grand-daughter Anouchka Harris, for the wonderful reading of a selection of French poetry through the years with additional information about the authors and the poems themselves. We also enjoyed listening to musical renditions of some of the poetry from artists like Juliette Greco. If you wish to re-read any of the poems you can do so by clicking the following link to a word document showing all the poems.

Mercredi, 8 août, 2012 - Soirée Amicale chez un Membre du Cercle
On Wednesday 8th August we spent a lovely evening at the home of Valerie and Douglas Smithson.We enjoyed some social conversation in French, joined in as Mr. Smithson played a few French songs on the piano and savoured Stephen's fruit loaf laced with Armagnac as well as Valerie's home baking too. Of course French wine was the beverage of choice. It was a lovely evening and many many thanks to Valerie and Douglas for their hospitality.

Dimanche, 15 juillet, 2012 - Déjeuner en souvenir du 14 juillet 1789
Members of Huddersfield French Circle met with members from Halifax French Circle for a very pleasant lunch at the Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top. The conversation was a mixture of French and English but was made all the more pleasant by two visitors from France. A pleasant time was had by all. (Click on the highlighted words for pictures)

Mercredi, 20 juin, 2012 - Summer Cultural Outing.
Members attending the screening by Dominique Rebout of the Modern Language School of the very successful 2011 French film 'Les Intouchables'. Telling the true story of how the life of a fully disabled man injured in a parascending accident was transformed when he employed a previously unemployed petty crook as his carer. We watched how both men learned so much from each other and the disabled man's mental well-being was reinvigorated. In real life, the disabled man said that 'sans lui j'aurai été mort de décomposition'. A truly excellent film and with the pre-viewing activities organised by Dominique we were able to understand some of the slang used in the film which we might not have otherwise known.

Samedi 16 juin, 2012 - Summer Cultural Outing
Members of the circle attended a concert at Huddersfield Town Hall where they were transported by the music of Berlioz, Saint-Saens, Bernstein and Vaughan Williams at a concert by the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of their professional conductor Benjamin Ellin and with the outstanding piano virtuosity of Russian pianist Veronika Ilinskaya. The concert had a very French theme and members enjoyed meeting together at the concert where seats had been obtained all together.

Mercredi 9 mai, 2012 - Assemblée Annuelle
At the AGM the officers reported on a successful year, with a variety of interesting speakers. At several meetings there had been a good number of visitors, some of whom returned at later meetings and a few joined the circle as members. After the AGM business, members adjourned for refreshments before reconvening to discuss the programme for 2012-13.

Officers were elected as follows:
President - Christine Hughes
Vice-President and Press Secretary - Moira Marshall
Secretary - Valerie Smithson
Treasurer - Stephen Brint
Assistant Secretary/Treasurer - Pat Rodgers
Website Manager - Mary Green
Committee members - Doreen Priestley, David Rodgers, Bob Short, Jeannette Short, Douglas Smithson

Mercredi 2 mai, 2012 - Dîner Annuel
A group of members from the Circle gathered together at Bradley's restaurant in Huddersfield for the Dîner Annuel. This is a chance for members to socialise together for rather longer than is possible at the normal meetings. As circle member Stephen put it: "Je trouvais la soirée au restaurant très agréeable et la cuisine était excellente ". A good time was had by all. Our grateful thanks as always go to our secretary Valerie Smithson for organising the event. (Click here for photo)

Mercredi 11 avril, 2012 - Mayotte - Ile Française?
Mrs. Laurence Dickinson gave a most interesting talk about a French Département d'Outre mer which many of us had trouble place but which is in the Indian Ocean and is the envy of many of the neighbouring islands because of the benefits it gains as a French département. Although poor in relative terms it is richer than the neighbouring islands which are not French. Of course this means that immigration is a real problem and affects the economic stability of the island. Mrs. Dickinson is French herself and with a relative on the island was able to convey her real understanding of the situation there. It was a most interesting and well presented talk and we are most grateful to her.
(Click here for photo)

Mercredi 14 mars, 2012 - Derrière (le nom de) la Gare Saint-Lazare
Circle member Mary Green told everyone about the existence in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, near the Gare de l'est, of the 19th century buildings which had formerly been part of the Saint-Lazare women's prison. We learned about events at Saint-Lazare on 13th July 1789, the night before the storming of the Bastille and during La Terreur. Many who would laer meet their fate at the scaffold were imprisoned ther including the celebrated poet André Chénier. Circle member Mrs. Jeanette Short read a very moving extract from one of Chenier's poems. Mary was also helped by Moira Marshall who read an extract from the book Manon Lescaut where Mary had first read about Saint-Lazare and by David Robinson who read the harrowing prescriptions set upon anyone found to be suffering from leprosy in the Middle Ages.
(Click here for photo)

Mercredi 8 février, 2012 - La Route de la Soie
Mrs. Gillian Wilson gave a very interesting talk and display of photos of the very ancient sites she had seen when following 'La Route de la Soie' y inclus une visite à Samarkand et des villes très peu fréquentées par les touristes de l'ouest.
(Click here for photo)

Mercredi 11 janvier, 2012 - Mrs. Pam Sykes gave an interesting and enlightening talk entitled "Tahiti et ses îles d'outre mer et l'éclipse solaire - juillet 2010"
Mrs. Sykes had followed a dream to see a solar eclipse and that dream had led her to a tiny island off Tahiti, staying with a local family and soaking up the local culture. The photos were beautiful and we were also given a brief introduction into the Polynesian language - although it is unlikely that the locals of Tahiti would have recognised it as such as we tried to repeat it! Thank you again to Mrs. Sykes for this most interesting evening.

Mercredi 14 décembre, 2011 - The circle's December meeting had a Christmas party flavour.
Five members performed a brief version of Cinderella in French, and this was followed by a game of "Call my Bluff" (also in French). The winner, with 10 correct words out of 12 was Pat Rodgers. The evening ended with French wine and a supper provided by circle members.

Mercredi 9 novembre, 2011- Ma Vie Idéale sur le Bateau 'Gadabout'".

Mrs.Sandra Parnell, retired teacher, told members about the many months she and her husband had spent travelling on their narrowboat on the canals of Belgium and France including their stay in Paris. Her tales of the dangers they had faced when on waterways really only used by large freight boats were made entertaining but we were in no doubt of their bravery. By contrast we were all most envious to learn of their travels on the canals of France and of their stay on the Canal St. Martin in Paris although it did look a little cold to see the boat covered in snow in the winter. This was another excellent talk accompanied by photographs and our many thanks go to Mrs. Parnell.
(Click here for photo)

Mercredi 12 octobre, 2011 - L'angleterre - L'Ile aux Trésors.

Monsieur Jean-Pierre Courouble presented some of the 'trésors' of his home town of Lille and then of the 'trésors' he had found when he married an Englishwoman and settled in Yorkshire. Monsieur Courouble kept us excellently entertained and we were reminded of many of the things we have to be proud of in the UK and which we often forget. The talk really was the 'salade composée' we had been promised. (Click here for photo)

Mercredi 14 septembre, 2011 - Jeannette Short a posé la question: "Vous croyez parler français?"
For this first meeting of the 2011/12 season the speaker was one of our French members, Jeannette Short, whose talk was entitled Vous croyez parler francais? (You think you can speak French?) With help from her husband, Bob, Mrs. Short gave a most entertaining presentation of French colloquial and idiomatic expressions, explaining not just their meanings but how they had come into existence.

10th July, 2011 - Déjeuner en Souvenir du 14 juillet 1789 avec d'autres Cercles Français
For the July meeting members of both Huddersfield and Halifax French Circles remembered the French Revolution and establishment of the République Française with a Sunday lunch at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield.

26th May, 2011 - 'April in Paris' by John Godber
The June meeting is usually a visit to a play or film in French or English, or weather permitting a game of Boules for example.

This year's 'June' meeting was brought forward to 26th May so that members could attend the Lawrence Batley theatre to see the John Godber play 'April in Paris' about a couple who unexpectedly win a holiday in Paris. In the play Paris works its romantic magic on the couple and for the French circle members attending, the play rekindled their love of Paris and all things French.

11th May, 2011 - Assemblée Annuelle, Vin et Fromage
At the Annual General Meeting of the Huddersfield French Circle, officers reported on a successful year, not just financially but also in respect of attendance and quality of events.

Officers for 2011-2012 were elected as follows:
President: Christine Hughes
Vice-President: Moira Marshall
Hon. Secretary: Valerie Smithson
Treasurer: Stephen Brint
Assistant Secretary/Assistant Treasure: Pat Rodgers
Press Secretary: Moira Marshall

Additional members were also elected to the Committee and there was a discussion of the programme for 2011-2012

4th May, 2011 - Dîner Annuel
Members of Huddersfield French Circle held their annual dinner at Bradley's Restaurant in Huddersfield.

This was an opportunity for members to get together in a social setting and enjoy each other's company at the same time as enjoying an excellent meal. The conversation was a mixture of English and French with lots of discussion about lovely holidays spent in France and the differences between the English and French cultures.

13th April, 2011 - Causerie Illustrée de Michael Brammah
" La Sauvegarde de la Ville la Plus Ancienne du Monde'
Michael Brammah is an international town planning consultant. His topic was the conservation of the city of Ebril in Iraq, which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

Illustrating his talk with a series of images, Mr. Brammah described how, under his guidance, a team of young architects and archaelogists from the Middle East are in the process of restoring the citadel with a view to applying for UNESCO World Heritage status.

9th March, 2011 - Variations sur le Thème de 'Manon Lescaut'
A presentation was given by Mary Green on the variety of musical works which had been based on the theme of 'L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut'.
This novel by the 18th century French author Abbé Prévost has been made into an opera and a ballet by several composers.

Mary showed DVD excerpts from the opera 'Manon' by the French composer Jules Massenet and also explained the story and showed photos of the places which appear in the story.

Wednesday 9th February, 2011 - Une Vente aux Enchères et la Dégustation de Crêpes
An auction was held which raised £50 for Huddersfield French Circle funds.

Members brought items to be auctioned and auctioneer, Circle member Jeannette Short, conducted the sale in French.

The evening ended with a supper of crêpes and wine provided by members.

Wednesday 12th January, 2011 - Présentation d'un film

Wednesday 8th December, 2010 - "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme"
Morceaux Choisis de cette pièce de théâtre, suivis par le souper

Wednesday 10th November, 2010 - Causerie Illustrée de Gillian Wilson - "Shangai"
Gillian Wilson gave an illustrated talk about her visit to Shanghai with her son. Gillian who had been born in Shanghai had returned there particularly to visit the English and French enclaves which had previously existed there.

Wednesday 13th October, 2010 - Causerie de Jeannette Short
"Ces Sacrés Français et Leur Cinéma"
Classic films were in the spotlight when Jeanette Short spoke about the history of French cinema. This included the early work of the Lumière Frères, the advent of talking films, through to the early sixties and present day.

Wednesday 8th September, 2010 - Juliette Massin et Ses Pensées
Juliette Massin, a Frenchwoman and Postgraduate Student at Huddersfield University, spoke about the latest developments in French society. These included the current controversy over proposals to raise the retirement age, and attempts to introduce new words in the language to stem the flow of English words