Every two years the Concorde factory in Aschbach, between Wurtzburg and Nuremberg , organises a beanfeast/get-together for Concorde owners and on Wednesday we drove further east to their factory at Aschbach, near the small town of Schlüsselfeld. With over 400 vehicles expected we had to arrive first at a large service area nearby and then drive in, in batches, so as not to gridlock the small village by the factory.
We parked up with the other 10 or so British ex-pats. There was a preponderance of German Concordes but also many other nationalities; we were parked near some Norwegians, Belgians and French.
After a welcome by the managing director on the first evening we went back to the parking platz for a few drinks and met the other Brits. What a lovely bunch! Joy and Alan from Norfolk produced an accordion and a violin and entertained us until it got too dark to read the music. The music was brilliant…enchanting and atmospheric.
On the first day we toured the factory and Patrick, the quality control manager, explained the process of turning a chassis into a fully formed motorhome, step by step. Patrick is, as his name suggests, Irish, and gave a fascinating exposition in a German/Irish brogue, sprinkled with a few ‘Excuse my French, but…….’. The delivery was priceless, pure stand-up, and alone well worth driving a few hundred miles to listen to.
On the second day Patrick took a group of us on a 16 mile tour of the area, mainly cycle tracks but through a couple of villages and with a refuelling stop in a beer garden.
I got ahead for once.
We weren’t the only cyclists to bring their dogs along.
Nia chatting to Patrick after the ride. We must wear our lycra next time.
On the third day we took a trip to Sclüsselfeld. This is the Key House, or early péage, where the gate keeper extracted a toll from all visitors. Apparently he was locked in for a week at a time and we are guessing this was to stop him nicking out at night and spending the toll money on beer and ice cream.
The schlüssel in Schlüsselfeld means key.
We walked up in to the gate tower and looked out of the top windows where a friendly stork was kindly posing for us.
We walked down the main street to the ice-cream parlour, only a hundred yards or so from the key house, and sat down for a serious scoffing session, with Eric and Dee.
The tour finished in the local park where we were treated to pretzels, german sausage and Schnapps.
On the final evening there was entertainment from a good band and a dance troupe in the main hall, and we feasted on a barbecue cooked up by the motor-homes.
Ben is the chief salesman at Southdowns’ motorhomes in Portsmouth, who had invited us along. He worked hard together, with Russell, one of Southdowns’ directors, to make sure everything went well.
After saying our Goodbyes we left the next morning earlyish, heading back to the Rhine.