Bell Foundry and Copper Workshop, Villedieu les Poeles

Villedieu les Poeles – 27th October 2011

A select group of us gathered outside the impressive iron gates of the bell foundry in Villedieu les Poeles.  Our English speaking guide was a charming and informative young man who managed to make the tour both interesting and humourous.  The level of skill and craftsmanship involved in the art of creating a bell is truly impressive.  The foundry is one of only 2 in France, and had only just recently shipped a bell weighing an immense 2.6 tonnes to Beirut cathedral.  Most of their work involves bells of somewhat lesser dimensions though!  It certainly is well worth a visit for those of you who have not yet been.

We then meandered through one of the lovely, picturesque back streets of the town and up to the Copper Workshop (Atelier du Cuivre), one of the oldest workshops in Villedieu still in existence.  We were met by our guide, Sarah (one of the proprietors) who guided us through the various stages of making a pan, showing us the traditional methods and the more modern techniques used side by side, from the formation of the basic shape of the pan, lining the inside, adding the handle, through to the final finishing and polishing

As well as creating pots and pans, they will make any sculpture requested in copper, or pewter and they also restore and repair old copper pots and pans – no matter what their condition!

Sarah was very enthusiastic about her subject and convinced us all of  the virtues of copper and as we left, I think we were all considering saving up to buy a set of copper pots and pans!

All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon.

Summer Walks

The weather has not been kind to us (to say the least!) this summer, and after weeks of rain and a dismal start to the day I cancelled the walk in Marigny in July. Nevertheless five hardy people met as arranged and, in emerging sunshine, had a pleasant, if rather muddy, walk around the countryside. Continue reading “Summer Walks”

Annual Hog Roast July 2011

The day of the Hog Roast dawned .. Rather cloudily …

Undaunted, our intrepid volunteers arrived bright and early to complete the arrangements for the day and everything was in place by the time the professionals arrived with the VIP (Very Important Pig) and the accompaniments.

At 12 o’clock the guests started to assemble. We numbered over 60 and everyone was able to catch up with old friends and make some new ones as well, whilst building an appetite over an aperitif (or two!).

The hog roast cooks did us proud. We started with freshly made onion bajiis which went down really well! This was followed by mountains of roast pork with roast potatoes and excellent crackling, and a variety of tasyt salads supplied by the committee members and their partners – more than enough for everyone you would think!

However, everyone still managed to leave a little bit of room for the delicious desserts, which were well received by all.


Guests were well protected under their gazebos and the few rain showers which fell briefly were unable to dampen the conversation and laughter.


As usual we held a raffle to raise money for our chosen charities for this year – CSF Basse Normandie and Handi’Chien.

Thanks to the generosity of our members and their guests, the raffle raised over 170 Euros.



Over all, I think we can say it was an event to savour!


Walk at Hauteville-sur-Mer

Hauteville sur Mer La Plage Manche Normandy

Twelve of us, including some new faces (and three dogs) met for our first walk of the season in June.

Luckily it was a warm day, with just a few light drops of rain in the air, and we enjoyed a healthy, refreshing walk by the sea. We started off along the Annoville dunes towards Lingreville (the dogs happily chasing about) and returned along the beach.

Nine of us then went on for lunch at Chez Maryvonne, where the food was delicious and excellent value at 9 Euros for 3 courses including wine and cider.

We hope to see you for our next walk at Marigny on 22 July (see “Events” section).