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BBAA - Celle/Fassberg visit 2011.


Day One, Wednesday 24th August  - A small group of five people, consisting of BBAA members and friends made a visit to Fassberg to attend the annual Airlift ceremony on the 27th August.

The group which was Geoff Smith, Joyce Rahim,Eric Chambers, Colin and Josie Cottle. travelled

 to Hanover Airport with the German Wings Airline on Wednesday the 24th August, arriving at Langenhagen Airport, Hanover at 10.20am

After picking up our five-seat car at the airport we travelled the short distance to Celle where we encountered our first problem, “Road Works”.

Sat-Nav’s do not solve this problem, so it was a little tour of the Celle environs until we got to the road leading from Hanover into Celle. As we had done this route several times on previous visits we were now able to find our way to the Cellerhof .

We had a meeting arranged with our German friends, Karl & Rosemarie Rosenkranz and Klaus Peters arranged for 15.00 at the Waldafé near Muden so we had little time to unpack.

Arriving at the Waldcafé just a few minutes late we had coffee and cakes before setting off for nearby Hermannsberg to visit a Tablecloth’s & Cards shop.

As is usual with BBAA visits this is where you have to be prepared for the unexpected.

It was suggested that we could now have a short trip to visit Bispingen to see the new “UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE” and also the “SNOW-DOME”.

The short trip turned out to be more than an hour away, but the house which was open to visitors was an unusual experience.

The Snow-Dome with its busy ski slope and chair-lift was a winter scene & temperature in August. Now, it was time to return to Celle, find a place to eat and then, sleep time back at the  Cellehof.l

The first day had been a long, but most enjoyable day.


Day Two – Thursday 25th August: The morning was a visit to the British Army Hohne Barracks at Bergen where we were met by Val Rosse, the Secretary to Col Hugh Pearson, the Barracks Liaison officer.

After lunch in the Barracks Restaurant, where Hugh Pearson was able to join us we were accompanied by Val Rosse and Colin Albert who is the Curator for the history of Bergen Barracks on a tour of the enormous former Bakery unit and also the unloading ramp area of the former 1939 – 1945 Belsen Concentration camp

In the late afternoon we had to be in Muden for the open-air concert by the Berlin Gatow Luftwaffe band followed by an evening meal at the nearby Heidesee restaurant.


Day Three – Friday 26th August: This was a visit to Hamburg by the 11.22 train from Unterlűss railway station. We had to change trains at Uelzen and then took the train the Hamburg where we had lunch  in the new Harbour City area. After lunch we walked to the Miniature Wonderland exhibition.

This was a huge exhibition area on several levels with models of Alpine & City scenes complete with working models of well known road, rail and air layouts. Very, very busy, but well worth a visit.

Following the Miniature Wonderland exhibition we then went for coffee & cake by the Alster Lakes and then back to the railway station for our return train. It was now time for our train, which did not arrive.

Thanks to our German friends with us we found that our train had been affected by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm.

After waiting and wondering what to do we decided to try to return by a different route which meant three changes, eventually arriving back at the station in Unterlűss where we had left our car and returned to Celle.

Day Four – Saturday 27th August: The day of the ceremony at Fassberg was very wet.

We began with a reception in the Town Hall, courtesy of the Mayor Herr Werner Schlitte, ably assisted by his wife Marina.

An excellent painting by Mrs Gala von Reichenfels of an RAF Dakoka in flight, entitled “Luftrűcke Royal Air Force” was presented to the Mayor by the Artist.

Also attending was Mr Joachim Kiau from the Berlin Chapter Airlift Association.

The wreath laying ceremony was carried out at the memorial stone in Luftbrűcke Platz with the BBAA wreath provided as usual by the local flower shop adjacent to the Town Hall.

Following the wreath laying a visit was made to the Luftbrűcke Museum adjacent to the Fassberg Airbase.

We then made a visit to the home of Paul and Dagmar Hicks. Paul, the Chairman of the Fassberg Airlift Museum was recovering from a recent operation on his leg, but was making a good recovery.

Then we made our way to the Herrenbrűcke Hotel in Fassberg, where we were joined at the evening meal by Manfred & Gerda Sturzenbecher, Mercedes Weitz and her husband Peter, Karl & Rosemarie Rosenkranz, Claus & Karin Peters.

Day Five – Sunday 28th August: This was a visit to Hannover, again by train from Unterlűss station. (My first visit back to Hanover Railway Station since arriving there by military train in 1948 from the Hook of Holland - GS)

We went by tramcar to the Herrenhausen Gardens, spending a very pleasant couple of hours walking around. Then it was back by the tramcar to Hanover Railway Station.

We had refreshments in a marquee just outside the station and were unexpectedly entertained for an hour by a 12 piece dance orchestra playing music of the 40’s & 50’s.

Then it was back to Unterlűss Station and then to Celle for our evening meal.

Day Six – Monday 29th August: We were given an organised tour of the famous Stud in Celle (Landestűt Celle). Seeing how the horses were selected, trained and stabled. Following the visit to the Stud we had a guided tour of the historic centre of Celle, travelling in a horse drawn carriage.

Day Seven – Tuesday 30th August: We spent the morning at leisure in Celle, walking around the shops, visiting the C&A store (sadly no longer possible in the UK) Then we travelled up to Műden village to the home of Claus & Karin Peters and in the afternoon Karin gave us a most interesting tour of the village.

We then finished off the day with an excellent evening meal at the home of Karl & Rosemarie Rosenkranz.

Day Eight: Wednesday 31st August: This was the day of our return to the UK. The morning was spent in Celle, then we commenced our return to Hanover Airport, calling enroute to visit a local private airfield at Arloh that I had previously visited 12 years ago with John Collier, Peter Izard and my late wife Doreen.

We were made very welcome by a walking group who appeared to be the local German U3A. We were able to have coffee in the clubroom.

Having plenty of time we made our way cross-country, finally arriving at the airport to return the hire car.

Unfortunately, again we had a long wait for the flight back to Stansted, due to our aircraft being delayed for 90 minutes in Italy, before flying to Hanover.


So, ended a most enjoyable visit to Germany once again and our thanks go to all those who helped to make it a success.


Geoff Smith.