Day 07 – Thursday 2nd June
Chasing down John Harder (part 2)
After breakfast, we went back to the Mairie in Évron to see the 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 wander around. In many ways, it was a very similar experience to a street market back in the UK. However 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 . Hoping to find copies of 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. 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. 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. So we wound our way this way & that to visit another couple of sets of standing stones. They turned out to be 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. However we knew that in doing so, readers of this (largely!) historically-based blog would be 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, It pointed 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.
There, as is usual, we enjoyed a fantastic meal in the company of a French couple that were also staying at the B & B. Another chance for me to use my recently acquired language skills… which became more fluent as Tony’s wine & Calvados flowed…