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Here you can read about the background to the WGC and what we have achieved to date.

How it all began...

Our club was founded in 1988 and was originally called Ilkley Anglo-German Friendship Society (IAGFS). In 1998, our 10th anniversary year, we changed our name to Wharfedale German Circle (WGC), which better reflected our membership area and was a bit shorter!

In 1988 the society was formed after attempts to find a German twin-town for Ilkley foundered. Instead we decided to found a club to forge friendship links throughout German-speaking countries and not just one town in particular.

From our initial links with towns like Detmold and Nordhausen, through firm friendships with Dortmund families and the Anglo-German club in Minden, to our continued contact with young people throughout Germany, we have been very successful in maintaining our original aim.

Special thanks to our founding Chairman, Mike Jones. We are very sad to report that Mike Jones passed away on December 27th 2015.

Tenth Anniversary cake

Tenth Anniversary cake. Click to enlarge.

Mike Jones


Success stories....

Our most recent big success has been a research project into Otley's "Teutonic Links", in particular the prisoner-of-war camp that was there.

Thanks to the efforts of members Ian Andrew and Shirley Wise, who interviewed former internees and their families, a large archive of information, artefacts, photographs and paintings has been presented to the Second World War Experience Centre in Horsforth and to Otley Museum.

Other successes include:

  • Contributing to the Dresden Trust and keeping ourselves informed about the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche, finally visiting it in 2004.
  • Providing a constant focus for enthusiasts of German and German-speaking countries, though informative and entertaining meetings.
  • Enhancing the club's activities by including events for students who spend time in Yorkshire, thereby extending the age-range and nationality participants.
  • Keeping up our friendship links with Germany though families in Dortmund, the Anglo-German Society in Minden and former Assistant Teachers / students.
  • Regular fund-raising through our Gluehwein and Stollen stall at Otley's pre-Christmas Victorian Fayre.

Click here to see
an article on the
Teutonic Links research.

Teutonic Links Exhibition

Teutonic Links exhibition, Otley museum. Click to enlarge.

Otley Victorian Fayre

Otley Victorian Fayre. Click to enlarge.


Been there, done that...

Here are just a couple of things we did in the past that were successful for a while but gave way to new ideas and events:

  • Held large-scale, fund-raising, social events such as a Beer Festival, a Viennese Cafe evening and a Tyrolean Folk evening.
  • Funded several Travel Awards to allow local school students to travel to Germany in their summer holidays for a specific project of their choice.

Folk dance

Folk dance. Click to enlarge.

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