Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Dear Stammtisch Friends

There are quite a few events happening, which you might fancy:

This Saturday, 22 September will see the launch of THE INNER EYE at the Side Gallery in Newcastle. This exhibition explores the narrative of documentary photography in the German Democratic Republic, featuring over 250 images by 13 of the key photographers.

On Sunday, 23 September there will be another ‘Kaffeeklatsch’ in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester. If you want to come along between 3 – 5pm, please let Bernhard know, just email him: servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Europe Direct North East England will host two more Brexit events here in the region:

Brexit, Business & Trade: Tuesday, 30 October from 08:30am – 10am in the Stadium of Light Sunderland – click here to register
Brexit & Higher Education: Thursday, 1 November from 6pm – 7:30pm in the Calman Centre, Durham University – click here to register

The German Embassy has also recently updated the FAQs for German Citizens in the UK. It may be worthwhile to check out this site from time to time if you want check what advice there is.

It appears that ‘The Oktoberfest‘ has become another successful German ‘export’:

The Broad Chare will go all Bavarian between 29th September to 6th Octoberclick here for further information. I have booked a table for the Stammtisch on the ‘Tag der Deutschen Einheit‘ – on Wednesday, 3 October 2018 for 7pm. If you would like to join us on the day, please email me as places are limited.

The Tyneside Bar Cafe is also celebrating with German beers & food from Friday, 12 October to Sunday, 14 Octoberclick here for further information

From 25 – 28 October, there will be another Oktoberfest in Times Square in Newcastle.

And if you have missed Comedian Henning Wehn’s ‘Get on with it’ show – he has added another date to his stay at the Whitley Bay Playhouse: 21 February 2019.

Enjoy the start of autumn!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

With the weather starting to feel a bit more like spring time, I thought I might just let you know about a couple of German-related events, which will happen here in the region.

On Saturday, 31 March 2018 there will be a Beer & Food Festival in the Buck Inn in Chop Gate, Teesside. You will be able to enjoy a BBQ, 10 German and English beers and plus live music and even an Oompah band. The Beer Festival will start at 2pm and last until 10pm.

In April, on Saturday the 21st, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle will host an event entitled: “Hope, Pork’s Glory and Decline – The Story of German immigration on Tyneside”. Historian Karl-Heinz Wuestner will take you back in time and tell the story of those immigrants from southern Germany. Northern Cultural Projects will also be in attendance, displaying information from their ‘Hunting the Hun‘ project.

And as we’re always on the look out for German food places, here’s another tip for you. But if you are regularly travelling to London, you may have already discovered the ‘German Gymnasium next to Kings Cross?

Brexit is still on many people’s mind and one EU citizen, Annette Dittert – decided to publish her thoughts: ‘London Calling – Als Deutsche auf der Brexit Insel

With regards to Brexit, you may also find the FAQ section on the German Embassy‘s website useful. The European Commission has also issued some more guidance for EU citizens on this website.

Businesses may also be interested in Brexit related events organised by:

The North of England Chamber of Commerce – Thursday, 29 March @ Crown Plaza
Institute of Directors – Thursday, 29 March – Webinar
Institute of Export – Post-Brexit Planning Workshops – various dates

I am also currently looking for an experienced ‘Synchrondolmetscher‘ English/German for a client in the North East. Please contact me directly.

On the education side, the German Embassy is inviting again nominations for the Annual German Teacher Award. If you know any outstanding teachers at a school here in the North East or somewhere within the UK, please click here for the nomination form. The deadline for submissions is 7 May 2018.

And I’ve just seen an article about a study, which highlighted Franconian city, which apparently beats San Francisco, Paris or Rome with regards to quality of life 🙂

I hope you enjoyed our update and I will soon let you know about our next Stammtisch.

Have a lovely weekend!

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RTR Handelsgesellschaft is an established supplier of steel tubes, pipes and associated pressure parts for the power generation industry. The company has had a base  in Gateshead for around 30 years and are currently looking for an experienced engineer/technical expert from the steel or energy sector to strengthen their team.

Responsibilities include preparation of tender documents and technical specifications, responding to customer sales enquiries, approving technical drawings and managing key supplier relationships. The companies clients are mainly UK based, with some overseas and suppliers in Europe. The head office of the company is in Ratingen, with other subsidiary offices in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Job Description – Mechanical/Quality Engineer

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We now have a date for our Christmas Stammtisch. On Monday, 12 December the Mansion House in Jesmond will host our traditional German Christmas Dinner from 7pm.

You can look forward to a Glühwein reception, Hühnerleberpastete mit Zwiebelmarmelade (chicken liver pate with onion marmalade), Champignon-cremesuppe mit Mandeln (mushroom crème soup with almonds), Gebratene Weihnachtsgans mit Apfelrotkraut, Badischen Klössen und Schwäbischen Spätzle (Christmas goose with apple red cabbage, potatoe dumplings and spaetzle) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (blackforest gauteau), Stollen und Pfeffernüssen (biscuits).

The cost per person is £20 and pre-payable to the Mansion House either by debit card or cheque. If you’re planning to join us, please let me know so we get an idea on numbers.

The German Christmas Basar will also again take place on 26 November from 11am to 2pm in St James United Reformed Church in Newcastle (close to City Baths). If you are looking to get involved with a stand or in any other way, please contact Michael Mehl directly, email: germanchurch@gmail.com.

All about Christmas in Germany – visit Discover Germany website for lots of information on the best places to go and information on traditions. And if you want to be spoilt after trailing along Christmas markets, why don’t you relax in one of Germany’s Best Wellness Hotels.

Export capability, engineering & technology and strong medium sized companies contribute to the success of the German economy. In a recent Handelsblatt article, various correspondents compared the German economy with the US, Britain and France to see what has been done differently – click here for their analysis. Guardian correspondent John Kampfner gave his opinion this week on the recent commons debate about Europe – click here to read his comment piece.

Both Germany and Britain have still many historic sites dating back to the Roman frontier days. Hadrian’s Wall Heritage is working with their colleagues from German Limes and if you want to find out more about their work, click here for their newsletter. If you’re interested in this topic, please drop me a line.

And a last piece of information: in the UK we eat frozen desserts like chocolate mousse, strawberry cheese cake and blackforest gateau from Coppenrath & Wiese, while the Germans are on Diet Chef from Scotland to loose weight. Any thoughts?

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Summer Holidays

In Bavaria, there is an exhibition about King Ludwig II from 14 May to 16 October 2011. It is the 125th anniversary of the mysterious death of the Bavarian King, who left behind the castles of Neuschwanstein, Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof. Related to the Austrian empress Elisabeth and a key supporter of Richard Wagner, the life and death of Ludwig II has been topic of various movies. Other Bavarian places to see are of course the capital Munich, Berchtesgaden, Starnberger 5-Seen Land, regional capital Nürnberg, world heritage site Bamberg or outdoor activities in Fränkische Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland).

This week, Tommy Jaud’s bestseller  Resturlaub saw its movie premier in Germany. A very funny novel about a man having his midlife crisis plays partly in Franconia and in Argentina. The trailer looks very silly (more a Hangover type of film) and won’t be an Oscar contender, but possibly quite entertaining.  Another bit of ‘easy reading’ would be Bavarian crime novels by Rita Falk. Winterkartoffelknödel was her first book and features an imaginary little village near Landshut. It also includes a glossary of Bavarian terms and some of her gran’s cooking recipes. Click here for a brief interview with the writer.

How real some of these stories described by Rita Falk are, just watch the news in Germany. Parts of Bavaria are currently on alert – no, not rioters – but because of an escaped cow. Yvonne has been on the run for the past two months and even Ernst, a bull brought in this week to provide a ‘honey trap’ has been unsuccessful. For a news video from Stern, click here.

Maybe while walking around Germany, you come across our fugitive cow and what else you can discover is described by Andreas Kieling who recorded his experience in ‘Ein deutscher Wandersommer’. And if you’re around Germany by bike, the ADFC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club), Germany’s Cycling Club, provides some suggestions of tours on the 150,000 km of cycling routes in Germany. Deutsche Bahn obviously offers holidays by train.

2011 is also the year of the car. 125 years ago Carl Benz invented the first automobile and Bosch, the company of the inventor of the spark plug – celebrates its 125th company anniversary. Information on events places about the car, can be found by clicking on Automobilsommer Baden-Württemberg, Mercedes-Benz Museum, Porsche Museum, Boxenstop Tübingen, BMW Welt and the VW Museum.

We are currently trying to organise our Stammtisch events list for the autumn/winter and have been in discussion about a book swap event, a travel event, a beer festival and a historical link event (possibly Limes/Hadrian’s Wall). If you have additional ideas or know of venues where they will be able to serve German food, please let me know.

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Earlier this month we had a very interesting and enjoyable evening in Sunderland.

Our thanks go to Ralph for welcoming us at the Liebherr factory and Dermot for organising our Schnitzel and Weisswürste dinners.

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I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter break – and those of you who were in Germany probably had to ‘endure’ the tropical climate there. And if you feel you had too many chocolate Easter eggs and are looking to watch future sugar intake, you might like this article in Stern on ‘Süssmacher’. It shows just how much sugar is in various (sometimes unsuspecting) products.

With Easter, Royal Weddings and so on, we thought April is just too busy for a Stammtisch. But in less than two weeks’ time – on Tuesday, 10 May – we will meet again. Ralph Sälzer, the managing director of the Liebherr factory in Sunderland has invited us to a factory tour, which will start at 6pm. From 7pm onwards, we will then be in the Irish pub TJ Doyles just up the road for German food (eg Schnitzel and Potato Salad) and German/Austrian beers. Dermot, who runs the Irish pub/restaurant, lived in Austria for a while and will make sure we have authentic food & drink. Please let me know if you will join us – either for the factory tour/for food & drink/or both – so that we can cater for this accordingly and I will also send directions to those who will come along.

Liebherr is one of the largest German family owned companies and employs around 32,000 people worldwide. It is not the only family owned company (Familienunternehmen) here in the North East, there is also Aldi, Lidl, Heraeus, Makro (Metro Group), Freudenberg and, of course, across the UK well-known brands such as BMW, Porsche, Dr Oetker, Bosch, Otto (they own Freemans/Grattan here), Würth, Haniel, Merck etc. Of Germany’s 1,500 world leaders (ie they are the number 1,2 or 3 in their particular sector), 70% are family owned and 51% of the largest listed 250 companies in Germany are also under one family’s control.

Just like anywhere else, family-owned companies in Germany face numerous challenges and a key one is to find a suitable and willing successor. The Handelsblatt has established a portal for business owners who are looking to sell their company. To see what type of businesses are available, visit the website Deutsche Unternehmerbörse.

Japan has dominated the news in recent months following the earth quake and subsequent impact on its nuclear industry. On a happier note, this year Germany celebrates 150 years’ friendship with Japan. Back in 1861 Prussia and Japan signed its first friendship and trade treaty, the foundation for this relationship. If you want to find out more about the background, activities and events that are taking place in Germany and Japan, visit the website. And do you know which German city is called ‘Klein-Tokio am Rhein’? In this German city, over 7,000 Japanese have found a new home and around 450 Japanese companies established a base in the region. The city on the Rhein will also be a focus for the 150 Year Celebrations with a traditional Japan Week from 21 to 28 May.

The Tyneside Cinema currently shows a new film directed by Wim Wenders. Pina is a tribute to the choreographer Pina Bausch and was filmed in Wuppertal. Click here to get to the film’s website. In the trailer you can see a famous train (Schwebebahn) and it’s safety was demonstrated in a very unique way. Does anybody know how and what happened next???

I would like to wish you all a great time on Friday whatever you’re doing and look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Branding & Advertising

Why do companies choose foreign sounding names for their brands? Did you know that Berghaus is actually a North East brand? It was started in 1966 by climbers and moutaineers Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison of the LD Mountain Centre in Newcastle. Mountain centre became the German word ‘Berghaus’.

The founders of Jack Wolfskin, Germany’s leading outdoor brand, however used an English sounding name for their brand. According to the company, the founders came up with it during a camp fire in Canada – inspired by the howls of wolves and with a bit of Jack London’s ‘Call of the Wild’ spirit in mind.

VW, another German company had a YouTube hit worldwide with its new advertisement for its Passat, which was first shown during the Super Bowl. To date the VW clip alone has had more than 30 million views.

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With inflation increasing, it’s not just food, petrol and utility bills that are going up. Sky News had an article (click here to view) that questioned if this will now be the end of cheap clothes due to the rises in raw materials, wages and VAT.

With our growing export deficit and the government hoping that manufacturing and private sector development will provide more of the jobs of the future, we ask if this presents again opportunities for clothes made in the UK?

This Friday at 7.30pm, Channel 4 will feature a Manchester based family business, Cooper and Stollbrand which is the last remaining manufacturer of premium outerware in the UK.

In Germany, another family firm Trigema is well-known for exclusively producing t-shirts, tennis and other clothing in its home market. It provides employment for around 1,200 staff and the company is proud that it has not had any redundancies or shorter working weeks since 1969. The company website features a short corporate film (click Kino) and the Handelsblatt also carried a feature about the man in charge, Wolfgang Grupp, who it named Germany’s most famous medium sized entrepreneur – click here for the article.



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Dear Stammtisch Friends

I hope you all had a great start to the snow free New Year and are enjoying the slightly warmer temperatures. We have now got another date for the Stammtisch at the Mansion House, which will be held on Monday, 21 March, starting at 6.30pm. Gunther will prepare a warming Linseneintopf mit Bockwurst (lentil stew) at a cost of £7.95 per person and the leader of Newcastle City Council, David Faulkner will also join us for a talk about the Ruhr Capital of Culture (Gelsenkirchen, Newcastle’s twin city in Germany was part of the celebrations last year). As usual, just let me know if you’re coming and payment will be again at the door.

We are also currently planning a German wine tasting evening later in the year, but more as soon as we’ve got this organised. If you have suggestions for future events/themes, please let me know – it would be great to get your ideas!

The Stammtisch also received an invitation from Newcastle City Council to the Holocaust Memorial Commemorative Event “Untold Stories”, which takes place on Sunday, 30 January from 3pm at the Journal Tyne Theatre at Westgate Road. There will be a commemorative performance, including keynote speeches from; Youk Chang, Professor Roberta Greene and Peter Kurer and a celebration of ‘The Galloping Stone’ an anthology of writing by clients, staff and volunteers from the Medical Foundation for the Care of the Victims of Torture, by Gillian Allnut and others from New Writing North. The programme will also feature classical and contemporary musical performances from Katie Doherty as well as a solo performance from Bradley Creswick leader of the Northern Sinfonia and a performance by Hotspur Children’s Choir. For further information about the event and to order your ticket – please visit: http://www.hmd.org.uk/events/find/north-east/11733newcastle-holocaust-memorial-commemorative-event-untold-stories.

The Lit & Phil also holds some events to commemorate the Holocaust and if you don’t know this landmark building next to the Central Station, go and check it out. It’s open to non-members and you will be impressed by this little oasis in bustling Newcastle. The Literary & Philosophical Society dates back to 1793 and some of the North East’s leading thinkers, inventors and business people have been amongst its members. The current building was opened in 1825 and today houses over 150,000 books and an extensive music library. To find out more about the society, the library and forthcoming events, visit www.litandphil.org.uk.

That a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, we all know. But last year the shelters were full of unwanted four-legged companions and many unfortunately had to be put down. If one of your new year resolutions is to keep fit, why not check out some of the local animal shelters (such as Brysons – www.brysons.org.uk) to get a suitable partner. And if you’re worried if you can take your dog to a pub for a well-deserved pint, there’s a great website that tells you where you both can go to – www.doggiepubs.org.uk.

And if you’re New Year resolution is to learn a new language – another Stammtisch member sent me this link to this free award-winning online language learning community: http://www.busuu.com/. If anybody has been on it and has some feedback, please post this here on our blog.

And if you’re a fluent German speaker, you might even want to head over there – apparently the German economy is doing rather well – with a 2010 growth of 3.6%. And the Handelsblatt recently reported that there are even 40,000 open ‘Hilfsarbeiter’ (un-/lower skilled labour) positions, which is surprising as we still have almost 3 million people unemployed. If you want to know what are Germany’s top 10 most sought after positions – Stern carried Adecco’s Stellenindex 2010. Click here for further details.

And if you want to know what Germans find entertaining – then just get ‘Hummeldumm’ – this is the title of one of Germany’s top selling books in 2010. I picked it up while on holiday last year and had a few giggles If anybody wants to borrow it, let me know. The author Tommy Jaud (a fellow Franconian) had already previous bestsellers with Vollidiot, Resturlaub and Millionaer. My personal favourite Resturlaub is currently being made into a movie – as I’ve just seen on Tommy Jaud’s homepage – http://www.tommyjaud.de/tommyjaud/home. Maybe when it’s out, we can persuade the Tyneside Cinema to do a special viewing for us.

Anyway, that’s it from me for today – if you can’t wait till 21 March for our next Stammtisch – let me know and I’ll ask the pub over the road here in Tynemouth if they’ll do us a very nice Schnitzel with Pommes.
Have a very enjoyable and successful 2011!

Warm regards


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