EuroClub Hampshire was born in 1994 and its aim is to bring together anyone who loves Europe’s rich cultural heritage. Its members are widely travelled, and have special interests in a range of cultural and other activities; so the Co-ordinating Committee works to develop a programme of annual events to appeal to all members. Our Annual General Meeting, held at the beginning of the year, serves as a springboard for suggestions and event co-ordinators are appointed to work things out. In this way, successful events become firm favourites and fixtures in each year’s calendar together with brand new ideas.
There is at least one organised outing each year. In recent years we have chartered a canal boat and enjoyed afternoon tea whilst floating down the Basingstoke canal and sampled a variety of gins at a distillery in Whitchurch. This year, 2019, we will be visiting a vineyard in Dorset.
Our themed Sunday afternoon National Cuisine events focusing on France, Italy, Spain and Germany proved so popular that we extended the idea to other European countries’ cuisines including Denmark, Britain, Burgundy, Portugual and France d’outre-mer. These lunches are hosted at members’ homes and visitors are invited to bring a dish from the national cuisine, plus a drink, to share. Other traditional favourites such as Pancake Day, Burns Night, Fete des Rois and Spargelzeit – the seasonal celebration of German Asparagus – also feature from time to time.
The biennial Skittles Night is popular. It is held in a traditional Hampshire pub with skittles alley.
From time to time we take the targets outside for a game of Boules, either as a special event or as a feature of our annual August barbecue. In the past, the barbecue has taken place in local country parks and sites in the New Forest. More recently, it has been held in a member’s garden. Facilities are more readily accessible and, if it rains we can take the party inside. Everyone brings their own food and drink. The club provides BBQ supplies (charcoal, etc.) Friends and family of members are welcome.
So how much do you know about Europe ? Find out at the Autumn Quiz Night. Teams of four compete over eight devious rounds of European facts, demonstrating their knowledge and the odd lucky guess. A half-time buffet of desserts and coffee gives the evening a relaxed, Italian feel. Friends and family are welcome.
Towards the end of the year EuroClub holds a Members’ Dinner with a guest speaker. Past speakers have covered a wide range of interesting topics. Recent subjects have included Southampton’s Italian legacy, cycling around France in the 1950s and the recollections of a Cold War negotiator. We have heard too from members, recalling events such as a railway journey from Budapest to Istanbul, and a tour of the Loire, its ‘treasures and pleasures’.