Normandy 2016 Day 7- John Harder in the news

Day 07 – Thursday 2nd June

Chasing down John Harder (part 2)

After breakfast, we went back to the Mairie in Évron to see Livre d’Or & John Harder’s signature for ourselves – it was great being able to see a piece of “real history” that I had a direct connection to.

Then, as it was Market Day in Évron, we decided to have a wonder around. Whilst, in many ways, it was a very similar experience to a street market back in the UK, the fact that some stalls were selling live animals (chickens, etc) was a little more unusual!

So, then it was off to the Archives department in Laval as suggested by Élisabeth DUPLEIX, the Archivist at Évron to see if we could find any copies of any newspaper articles regarding John Harder’s return visit to France in 1972.

It was here that my French lessons back in the UK started to pay dividends as I began to be able to explain myself & what I was looking for in French!! The result of which was the bound edition for L’Ouest France – the main Regional newspaper for the area… and, following a page by page turning, two articles about John’s visit… one at the start & a second following the end of his visit! So, a brilliant success!

More standing Stones and another brewery!

So, it was then time to head northwards into Normandy ready for our overnight stay with Tony & Jill Stansfield… but of course, although it’s a straight road, that would be far too simple for us & we wound our way this way & that to visit another couple of sets of standing stones… though somewhat less impressive than those seen earlier this trip.

Then, as we went down a hill into the village of Lonlay-l’Abbaye, Glyn spotted a small sign to something called “Chateau de la Biere”…

We did think (briefly) about ignoring it, but then we knew that in doing so, readers of this (largely!) historically-based blog would be so disappointed with us, so we decided to follow the signs… all in the interest of research on your behalf, of course!

Just as we reached the point where we thought that we must have missed the turning, or that it was an old sign, we saw another, pointing up a side road; following this we came upon… well, a castle… a giant-sized kid’s play castle built from wood!

However, this was built to disguise some block-built buildings that not only held a shop selling beer, but, more importantly, a small brewery!!

A quick guided tour followed by a tasting session & the purchase of some bottles then saw us back on course to Tony & Jill’s where we had (as usual) a fantastic meal & company with a French couple that were staying there, too… another chance for me to use my recently acquired language skills… which became more fluent as Tony’s wine & Calvados flowed…

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