Dear Stammtisch Friends,

Next Monday, 15 May 2017 the Language Cafe at the Tyneside Cinema will host a joint French and German event, following the film Frantz. The film will start at around 6.15pm and there will be a discussion in French or German after the film. There are usually three groups, arranged by language level, so that everyone from beginners to fluent speakers can participate.

Also the Martin Luther Church in Shieldfield, Newcastle invites you again to their annual German Grillfest on Saturday, 24 June 2017. The event will start in the afternoon at 4pm and finish around 7pm. There is an entrance donation of £1 per person (children under 10 are free) in aid of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund. To help the organisers plan ahead, please get tickets by either calling Oliver on07811 109 312, email him oliverheidrich@yahoo.com or simply turn up on the day.

If you’re still wondering what to do at the next bank holiday weekend, maybe the Northumberland Show at Bywell Hall near Stocksfield could just be up your street? On Monday, 29 May the finest livestock in the country is on show, there will be ‘bake off’ classes, Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, a tug of war and Britains Strong Man Challenge Qualifier.

No day goes by and there is another ‘Brexit’ story in the papers and, of course, EU nationals are currently living a little bit in limbo. The German Embassy recently released some FAQs regarding Brexit and the impact on German nationals after the referendum, which you may find informative.

Here is also the lastest DIHK Brexit newsletter, which collates information on the latest events and news on this topic.

Also if somebody has recently taken on British citizienship or applies for the permanent residence status and are happy to share this with others, please let me know. I would also be interested in hearing from people who are planning to return to the EU and the challenges that brings.

However, if you are just planning your holidays, one quick piece of advice! Have a quick at your European Health Card, to make sure it is still valid as they expire and you have to renew them. The process is very simple via the NHS website and you should receive your new card promptly.

Honeywell have also shared information about new roles that have opened recently, both here in the North East and in Scotland. They are careers, requiring German in both Customer Service Administration and Technical Support:

Customer Service Administrator
Customer Care Specialist
Technical Support Specialist

Like many of you, I pick up German books when in the country and I can highly recommend these three – coincidentally, they all had as a common theme leaving a home and settling in a new country:

In ‘33 Bogen und ein Teehaus‘, author Mehrnousch Zaeri-Esfahani describes the journey she made as a 10-year old, when her family fled Iran via Turkey before they arrived first in East and then West Germany.

Dörte Hansen’s first novel ‘Altes Land‘ is based a bit closer to home. It follows the lives of two women – one makes a life for herself in Northern Germany after fleeing East Prussia as a child at the end of the war; another ‘escapes’ her life in Hamburg with her young son.

Bella Italia‘ is the first novel for author Daniel Speck, who already has a successful career as a script writer. The book is all about family, Italy (Sicily, Milan, Naples), Munich, cars, fashion, ‘Gastarbeiter’ and takes you on a journey through time, starting in the mid 1950s to today.

If you have books you would like to recommend to our Stammtisch group, then please forward this to me and I’m happy to share.

All the very best on this sunny day!

Dear Stammtisch Friends

The fifth season has now come to an end and I assume you all enjoyed some ‘Krapfen’ or pancakes yesterday (fried, microwaved, or added to soup?).

So if you’re looking for some events in the next couple of weeks, here are some suggestions:

The last of the winter walks in Northumberland National Park will be this Sunday, 5th March between 10:30am and 3:30pm. This month’s 8 mile walk will focus on Tarsetdale and give you the chance to explore one of the lesser known areas of Northumberland National Park. This requires a reasonable level of fitness and starts in Greenhaugh just a few miles out from Bellingham. Click here to register.

InterNations Newcastle Group will then meet next week on Thursday, 9th March from 6pm in the Redhouse at Newcastle’s Quayside. To find out who’s going and register, simply go directly to the InterNations site.

Bernhard is also tempting you with with some Austrian cakes & coffee on Sunday, 12th March  from 2.30pm for another German Stammtisch in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester. Please RSVP him directly so he can make sure he’s got enough spaces as I think it’s always a very popular event. And Lanchester is also very nice for a little spring walk: servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Honeywell in Newcastle have also been in contact about vacancies for German speakers in both Newcastle and Motherwell. The customer services roles – such as a customer services administrator or a customer care specialist. Honeywell’s core businesses are Aerospace, Home and Building Technologies, Safety and Productivity Solutions, and Performance Materials and Technologies. If you would like to find out more about these opportunities at Honeywell, please contact Małgorzata Rdest directly by email and she will be able to provide you with a lot more information.

Another request has come in from Med con team GmbH, who provide global medical services and travel safety. They are a partner, for example, of TUI Cruises GmbH and AIDA Cruises and support passengers that have fallen ill.

If passengers need to leave at the Port of Tyne, they would like for German speakers to support them in such a case of need (for example with interpreting, organisation of a taxi or hotel, hospital visit etc). There is a day rate of around €80 (variable, dependent on intensity of the care) and on average requires around 1 1/2 hours per day. Med con team expect around 1 – 3 cases per year, but expect this to increase. If this is of interest to you, please contact Heike Dorn for further information.

Businesses in the North East are also asked to complete a short survey about EU support for business. This gives you also a chance to win a three course meal for FOUR at Finbarr’s, Durham with wine AND champagne.

Europe Direct North East England is undertaking this piece of work on behalf of the European Commission to share news about European Investment Bank funding initiatives for business. They will organise a half day seminar later in the year but a first step is to better understand knowledge of existing projects and programmes.

The prize will be awarded to the first name drawn on 17 March 2017. All respondents will be notified of the outcome by email and agree to Europe Direct forwarding further information about European Investment Bank funding opportunities. Recipients of news updates can unsubscribe from the mailing at any time.

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) has just published its latest newsletter re Brexit. Click here for a copy of the German language newsletter..

And on the issue of Brexit – you all are probably aware that Jo Chexal is the Honorary German Consul here in the North East & Cumbria and assists German nationals with a number of different tasks, such as passport renewals. Obviously it is always important, but even more today to check that your current passport is still valid, even if you’re not planning to travel in the near future. When renewing your passport, you also need a number of key documents, such as your birth certificates. You then should allow between 6 to 8 weeks to receive your new German passport.

If you are thinking of applying for UK residence/citizenship, the British authorities insist that your German passport is in your married name (if that is what you go by). If you haven’t changed it yet, you need to do a married name declaration (under German law, if you were married after 1986). The married name declaration and new passport together can take around 4 to 6 months.

And while you are checking your passport, you may also want to check your UK driving licence. If you have a photo UK licence, they expire after 10 years (again check that you have your correct name & address on it). If you are driving on your German driving licence, the German Consulate website provides more information about legal requirements here in the UK and what you need to do.

Enjoy this lovely spring day & I look forward to seeing you soon!

Kino Stammtisch

I would like to invite you to a Kino Stammtisch next Wednesday, 8 February at 5.40pm. The Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle will show the Oscar nominated German comedy ‘Tony Erdmann‘ as part of its Language Cafe season. You can buy tickets online or simply at the Tyneside Cinema on the day. After the film there will be a get-together with other native speakers to chat about the film with anybody who is interested. It would be great to see you there!

On Thursday, 9 February from 6pm, there will also be another InterNations evening here in Newcastle, this time in Bonbar near the Central Station.

Have a very good week & maybe see you soon!

Welcome to 2017

There is obviously a lot of uncertainty and speculation around Brexit at this moment in time. If Article 50 is triggered by the government and negotiations with the EU are concluded, only then will we know for certain, what changes there will be for UK/EU businesses, what it means for EU/UK residency and movement between countries.

In the absence of clarity, I thought I might from time to time share information from various sources that may be helpful or give some food for thought.

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) now distributes a monthly newsletter re Brexit. If this is of interest to you, here’s a link to register for it. Ireland’s economy, for example, is heavily dependent on trading with the UK and the possible impact was investigated in a report by Dr. Voker Treier (DIHK), Dr. Brian Murphy (Dublin Institute of Technology) and Ralf Lissek. Click here for the publication.

If there are any areas of interest regarding Brexit, please let me know and I will keep my eye out for relevant information.

You may be aware that Germany has around 1,500 forest and nature kindergartens/ groups – the umbrella assocation is the Bundesverband der Natur- und Walkindergärten. Children and their ‘Erzieher’ spend all day outside, playing and exploring their environment – no matter what the weather is like. If you search on YouTube, you can find many examples of videos of such Kindergartens – here’s an introduction.

If you would like to follow in the little ones footsteps, why not explore Northumberland National Park? They are organising a guided Winter Walk in Coquetdale on Sunday, 5 February between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Click here to register.

Have you heard yet about ‘The National Gin Museum‘? Well, it’s a news story I came across on local tv earlier this week. The Managing Director of the Gin Company, that produces the very nice ‘Steampunk Gin’ here in Gateshead, would like to get funding to create exactly that here in the North East. You can either simply donate a sum or donate and get a reward – for example £50 will get you a bottle of gin, plus two entrance tickets. More information can be found on Crowdfunder.

If you now have a drink on your mind, you may want to meet up tomorrow, Thursday, 19 January with the InterNations Group in Newcastle. They meet for the first time in 2017 and the venue is Browns Bar in Grey Street, Newcastle, where you can mingle with people from over 26 countries from 6pm.

Enjoy the rest of this week & all the very best for 2017!


Belt Technologies designs and manufactures metal belting and conveyor systems for wide ranging applications in the automation, electronics, packaging, food processing, medical device, tobacco, and aerospace markets.

Based at the European Sales office in Washington, UK, the job holder would have an initial placement at the company’s head office in the USA (BTI) for product training (length of stay dependent on candidate) before returning to the UK to begin work as the Sales Engineer for the German- speaking markets.


1. Provide professional technical support for the German markets
Using existing knowledge and experience, gained from placement at BTI, provide customers and new contacts with professional , technical support about Steel belt applications . Liaise with BTI to obtain further input as and when needed to the benefit of the customer and help with developing applications.

2. Protecting and growing existing business
Liaise with existing customers and develop relationships with their R&D and purchasing functions. Explore in depth current sales with possible other growth opportunities in mind. Manage price and day to day delivery issues. This will be done in coordination with our Mrs Cartwright( also a native German speaker and customer services rep).

3. Research and acquire new business.
Use knowledge gained to seek out new business opportunities. Pro-actively contact new potential accounts and use leads provided from shows, media, website as well as ones gained from own research. Grow these new contacts into new, profitable accounts.

4. Arrange customer visits – ideally out on the road 1 week out of 4 weeks. The job holder will be following up leads from our website, marketing campaigns and exhibitions as well as service regular key accounts.

5. Manage and tailor the company’s current German media to suit marketing needs.
Follow –up all leads and research new forms of media which will best suit our product image in Germany.

6. Attend German shows as and where necessary. Research new shows. Visit new shows to evaluate with a view to future exhibiting. 2 German shows are planned in 2017.Interpack and Motek.

7. Maintain regular communication with the BTE team.
Develop good two -way communication with BTE team who will be your primary point of contact on a day –to-day basis whilst on visits. A good team fit will be needed so the ability to work within a team is key to the job holder’s success

The Employer reserves the right to assign other duties and other markets.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Engineering degree or several years’ experience in a similar role with technical product.
  • Fluent in German and English
  • Ability to spend several weeks based in USA at head office, at beginning of acceptance of position for training purposes.
  • Experience of sales / distribution of technical product.
  • IT literate- Word/Excel/CRM systems
  • Self –starter/Team player

Remuneration will be offered according to experience and qualifications .

If you are interested in this position, please send your application to recruitment@bte.co.uk.

Dear Stammtisch Friends!

I hope you are ready for the festive days and are enjoying quieter days at the end of 2016. There were a few messages that I thought I could still share, that may be of interest to you:

Following the tragic events in Berlin earlier this month, Newcastle City Council opened a book of condolence at the Customer Service Centre at the Civic Centre. This will be there until after Christmas.

2016 – 2017 is the 800th anniversary of the creation, by King John, of Newcastle’s Mayoralty, and of Newcastle’s Burgesses (Freemen). The city will continue to celebrate this with a number of events in 2017, including an exhibition in the City Library (until the end of January) and a major lecture and symposium on civic leadership at Northumbria University on 9 February. For more information on the anniversary and the events, click here.

We also have a request from Northumbria University for an Erasmus student work placement for a period of 4 months from early February 2017. Victoria, who is in the final lap of her applied Bachelor studies in Business Management with a major in Marketing from Belgium, is fluent in French and Dutch, but also has very good in English and some German skills. If you have an opportunity to offer Victoria work experience in a North East organisation between February and May next year, please get in touch with Richard Kotter (richard.kotter@northumbria.ac.uk), who will be able to provide you with more details.

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster,  are also advertising their new journalism traineeship for English and German native speakers. They are looking for young people from all over the world, who are interested in a comprehensive, exceptional quality journalism programme with an international broadcaster. Candidates should have journalism experience or be passionate about switching to journalism from technology/IT, economics or the sciences. We are looking for open-minded people full of creative ideas.

The DW editorial traineeship is paid, with a gross starting salary of approx. 1,600 Euros per month. As full-time employees, DW trainees are automatically eligible for German public health insurance. As trainees move to Germany from abroad, they are assisted at every step of the visa process.The traineeship can lead to employment in one of the DW departments in Bonn or Berlin. Click here for further information.

Living overseas often means that unfortuntately we lose some of our native language ability. Earlier this year, I learnt that the 2015 ‘Word of the Year’ in Oberfranken was ‘Wischkästla‘ (Smartphone), which I had never heard before. The 2016 winner was a bit more familar – ‘a weng weng‘ (ein ein bisschen wenig) and other popular words were apparently ‘Herrgottsmuggala‘ (Marienkäfer) and ‘etzatla‘ (jetzt). So if you would like to expand your Bavarian vocabulary, a good source is this article in the
Süddeutsche Zeitung.

But if you are new to the British Isles and are still trying to work out what the locals are saying to you – Babbel’s ‘School of British Accents’ may help – here you can follow, for example, a German’s progress of learning Geordie.

Back to the Stammtisch – in the new year, I would like to explore your interest in walks around our region. We are planning to do one along the coast (Whitley Bay/St Mary’s Island) and another one in Hexham/Corbridge. But if you would like to show us your favourite area of the North East, why not become our expert guide for the day?

Anyhow, this is it now from the Stammtisch for 2016!

Have a lovely Christmas break and ‘einen guten Rutsch’ into the New Year.

Dear Stammtisch Friends

With only a month to go, there are various Christmas related events going on in the region that you may be interested in. On Sunday, 27 November the Martin Luther Church in Shieldfield and St Dominica’s are holding a joint advent’s service, starting at 4pm. This will feature the service, advent carols followed by refreshments. The following Saturday, 3 December, the Martin Luther Church will also meet for its annual advents tea between 2pm and 4.30pm.

The day after, on Sunday, 4 December the next Stammtisch will take place in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester from 2.30pm onwards. Could you please let Bernhard know by 2 December, if you are coming so he can plan for the day. Please call 01207 520 056 or email servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Two weeks later, on Sunday, 18 December, the Kaffeehaus Amadeus offers again its Christmas Special ‘Deutsche Weihnacht‘. There are two time slots: the first from 11:30 – 13:30, the second from 15:00 – 17:00. Both sessions include the same: 2 hours of festive fun, good food (lunch buffet, cake buffet, Stollen, etc…), great coffee, German Wine, and, of course, entertainment with our wonderful Kaffeehaus Singers, “The Qunitessentials”. Tickets are £20 (includes all food, live music, filter coffee and tea). Speciality drinks, wine, etc. can be purchased at the counter.

Tonight, the ‘Christkind‘ opens the famous Christmas market in my home town of Nuremberg. According to the Telegraph, it’s one of Germany’s Top 10 Christmas Markets. But if you’d like to stay on the British isles, here’s the Telegraph’s list of its Top 10 British Christmas markets.

At our recent walk in Tynemouth, one of our Stammtisch members – Karl Wilson – mentioned a multi-lingual library in Eldon Gardens. The Kittiwake Trust’s library opened in August 2015 and currently has around 7000 books in 68 languages, including German and Geordie. Membership costs £5 per year and the loan period is one month. They also operate a ‘pay it forward’ system where people can pay in advance for those unable to afford the fee, which allows the library to offer free memberships to people belonging to local refugee support groups.

Karl and his wife also run VJW Jewellery in the Grainger Market. Incidentally, the Grainger Market hosts its own Christmas Night Market next Thursday, 1 December from 5.30pm until 9pm. You can browse the illuminated isles of this busy market place, with stall holders offering samples, tasters & special festive promotions and discounts of up to 20%. There will also be entertainment, such as jewellery classes,live music from the likes of the Bamboo shoots, Salida ,Ragtime rewind, Lindy Jazz teaching us the Lindy Hop,Bay Ukes & more, a yuletide bar serving festive drinks including mulled wine and hot chocolate, street food, a shop launch & art. This free evening will also mark the launch of The Great Grainger Market Online Advent Calendar, featuring Craig Wilde & offering you the chance to win the Christmas hamper of your dreams.

Advents calendars are popular gifts at this time, but if you are not persuaded by a chocolate filled one, you may enjoy this selection of literary advent calendars put together by the German Spotlight Verlag. It contains bi-lingual advent calendars, some with traditional Christmas stories, or recipes and even a ??? detective story for each day leading up to Christmas.

Anyway, I hope you will soon be able to relax soon at the end of this very interesting and turbulent year and enjoy time with your family and friends.

See you soon & very warm regards


Summer Events

Dear Stammtisch Friends!

We have two dates for German themed events for you before the summer holidays start.

Bernhard in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus would like to invite you again for a Stammtisch in Lanchester on Sunday, 28 June. This Kaffee & Kuchen event will start at 3pm until 5pm. Unfortunately I will be away, therefore please book directly with the Kaffeehaus Amadeus by calling 01207 520 056 or emailing servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Oliver Heidrich is also organising a German Grillfest on Saturday, 11 July in the Martin Luther Church in Newcastle. The event in Copland Terrace, Shieldfield will start at 3pm and last until 7pm. There is an entry donation of £1, but children under 10 will be free. The event is in aid of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Martin Luther Church. To get tickets, either call Oliver on 07811 109 312, send an email to Christa clemmetsen@lineone.net or simply turn up on the day.

I hope you enjoy these two get-togethers.

Summer greetings

Dear Stammtisch Friends

The Tyneside Cinema has now released the show times for the German film Phoenix, which starts this Friday. Maybe you would like to join our Stammtisch next week Thursday, 14th May to watch it together (8.15pm film start). If you could let me know that you’d like to go, then we can all meet maybe a little bit earlier in the cafe.

Sylwia made me aware of a new free Language Cafe in Newcastle: Tomorrow, Thursday, 7th the first free Language Cafe will be held at the Fluid Bar in Gallowgate for people who would like to practice their German, French or Spanish. There will be tables with the relevant flags and you can join each group between 7pm and 9pm.

Comedian Henning Wehn had an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 recently entitled ‘This is me totally sausage‘ about the subtleties of the English language. If you want to see Henning live, tickets are now on sale for his show in the Whitley Bay Playhouse on Thursday, 8 October. We could organise this as a Stammtisch event, however, everybody would have to get their own tickets. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put everybody in touch who fancies going. Again we can either meet up before or after the event.

We have been contacted by a few other companies with information on their products and services that may be of interest to you:

Our Stammtisch member Heidi Ranson is a designer of original lighting and artwork. She currently has an art sale at her Corbridge studio, which will be running until Saturday 16th May.

German Grocery supplies typical German food and drink and delivers here to the UK.

International House in Newcastle are also looking for local businesses that are willing to accept a voluntary international internship student. The placements are usually for a period between 4 to 20 weeks to enable the student to learn as much as possible about the British working environment in their specialist field. Prior to the placement, the student studies Business English at International House. If you have such an opportunity in your organisation, please contact IH directly – Jennifer on 0191 232 9551 or jennifer@ihnewcastle.com.

And if you’re travelling in Asia Pacific and fancy some German food & beer, we just got a tip from Marcus Lux. Brotzeit is a new chain of restaurants that you will find in China, Singapore, Hongkong, Australia etc.

See you soon!

Dear Stammtisch Friends

We have another diary date for you for our next Stammtisch just after the Easter weekend on Sunday, 12 April. The Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester offered again to be our host for Kaffee & Kuchen between 3pm and 5pm. Could you please let me know if you’re coming by latest 9 April? Thanks!

I am currently searching for other venues in the North East where we could get German food – any recommendations that you may have would be much appreciated.

If you just fancy a drink and a bit of networking with people from all over the world, simply join the InterNations crowd on Wednesday, 25 March in the DatbAr in Newcastle from 6pm.

The travel and tourism world met earlier this month in Berlin. Over 10,000 exhibitors from 186 countries attracted 175,000 visitors to the ITB Berlin. So if you’re looking for holiday inspiration, next year’s event takes place between 9 and 13 March 2016.

Should your travels in 2015 take you to Germany, the German National Tourist Board compiled a list of the top 100 attractions voted for in 2014 and are now looking for your vote for 2015 – click here to particpate.

If you want to combine languages and holidays, why not explore the country while joining one of the many language schools. The University in Jena recently sent us information on their Summer School. If you’re not sure, which school – try the Langwhich website that gives you information on providers across the country.

And if you are already fluent and you’re looking for a career move, the website ‘Treffpunkt Fremdsprachen’ may also give you some ideas of jobs in Germany and abroad.

Nigel Wright Recruitment are currently working with a successful North East Manufacturing business to recruit a German speaking Export Sales Manager.  This is a newly created role within the business and creates an excellent opportunity for an experienced sales or key account manager to join a growing business.

The role will be focused on developing sales within Europe, mainly through Agents or the companies own sales offices.  The export sales manager will support agents in customer visits, train them on products and feed key market intelligence back into the UK based manufacturing site.

It is essential that candidates are:

  • Fluent in German and English.
    • Able to develop excellent relationships, both with agents and end customers.
    • Experienced in key account management.
    • Experienced in working within a manufacturing / industrial business.
    • Flexible in terms of regular European travel.

If you are interested in discussing this opportunity in further detail, please contact Elaine Tulip-Johnson on DL 0191 2690713 or at Elaine.tulip-johnson@nigelwright.com

A German company that has done extremely well exporting in many countries is Thomas Sabo. Established in 1984 in Lauf near Nuremberg, the jewellers now has 247 shops and 2,600 jewellery and retail partners worldwide. You may also be interested in a smaller German jewellery designer I recently came across in Saunders & Pughe in Corbridge. ManuSchmuck was founded by Hameln based Ilse & Horst Eber over 25 years ago and design sophisticated, modern silver and gold jewellery.

I look forward to seeing you again soon and until then enjoy the first spring days & the forthcoming Easter weekend.