Village Turned Out For Denaby Visitors

September 1967

South Yorkshire Times, September 30, 1967

Village Turned Out For Denaby Visitors

Nothing was too much trouble for the people of Barfield, West Germany when they played host to a party from Tom Hill youth club, Benedict, recently. “The hospitality re-received was marvellous”, said area youth officer, Mr. Alan Henry, who accompanied the party.

Members of the party were billeted with families in the village who had taken their holidays to receive their guest but, added Mr. Henry “all the village was involved in receiving us rather than just individuals, and nothing was too much trouble for them”.

Also included in the party was Coun. Albert Mason, who represented the youth club management committee and Conisbrough Urban Council.

The party took with them a gold key, a replica of the one which opened Conisbrough council offices in 1961, which was presented to the Burgomeister of Barfield, which is a village of about 800 inhabitants.

The programme for the 11 day visit was arranged by Herr Willie Kirkhov, who was in charge of the Barfield party’s recent trip to Denaby.

The dinner party was given two receptions, one by Barfield Council and the others by the Chief Clerk of Alfeld district at Alfeld town hall.


In the trip of laughter and enjoyment a serious moment came when they visited the border between East and West Germany, confronted by East German soldiers with guns trained on them the party saw a picture of the grave of a 24-year-old man who had been shot down in 1963 while trying to escape across the border from East to West.

After a 6 mile walk through the forest from Grunenplan the party were met at their destination by the bus, only to find that one member of the party was missing – Coun. Mason. With much concern the way through the forest was retraced but there was no sign of coun. Mason. When they arrived back at Grunenplan he was found sitting on a bench in the centre of the village, reading a newspaper, completely unconcerned.

A visit to Hanover was also included in the schedule, where they saw the sports stadium seating for 70,000 and a smaller one seating about 7000 with swimming baths, tennis court, running tracks and a hotel. The stadium, which is in the centre of the town, was being prepared for the arrival of the group ready for training for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.


The men in the party had two football matches with a Barfield team, the Denaby side winning 5-4 and 6-3. Not to be outdone the girls also had a much with a team of girls from the village, and held them to a 1-1 draw.

“There are no such things as, youth clubs,” said Mr. Henry, “and the local restaurants and café are the meeting places for the young people, although each district has its resident new centre, where the young people can go for weekends, free of charge, and various discussions take place. In the villages the young people are involved in specialist activities such as the auxiliary Fire Brigade and the young farmers group. Sporting activities are, however, more organised since the weekends are turned over for the village sports. As parental permission has to be obtained for any youth activities the parents in the village and more involved in the youth activities.”

Coun. Mason had to return early to attend a conference at Scarborough, but something was seen of the working of the local council where only the head of each household is allowed to vote and council members are elected for four years.

Before they left they were presented with gifts from the villagers of Barfield including crested glasses for members of the party and a picture of the town hall, to hang a in the Tom Hill youth centre.

Another group from Tom Hill are to visit Barfield next year when a three day visit to Berlin will be paid for by Barfield Council and in 1969 another group from Barfield will be coming to Denaby.