GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Bonn/Region · How local people are reacting to the death of Queen Elizabeth, more chaos expected at NRW airports in the autumn holidays, monuments are open to the public throughout Germany today, and sustainability festival next Saturday on the Munsterplatz - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

 Gary Blackburn set all the Union Jack flags at his themed hotel "The Little Britain Inn" in Vettelschoß to half-mast on Thursday evening.

Gary Blackburn set all the Union Jack flags at his themed hotel "The Little Britain Inn" in Vettelschoß to half-mast on Thursday evening.

Foto: Frank Homann

Local reactions to Queen Elizabeth’s death

REGION. People in the region have been reacting to the death of the British monarch. Still in shock from the sudden news, Gary Blackburn set all the Union Jack flags at his themed hotel "The Little Britain Inn" in Vettelschoß to half-mast on Thursday evening. “I am very sad,” the British-born German national told the GA. “I didn't expect it to happen so quickly.”

Not long ago in June, Blackburn, head of the tree care company Baumdienst Siebengebirge and the brains behind the Vettelschoss hotel run by his family, had invited guests to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party with British specialties such as fish and chips, scones, pasties, Wimbledon strawberries with cream, British beers, whiskies and live music. “I've adored her since I was a child,” says Blackburn, explaining that he was ten years old when he first met her in person. “I was waiting for the Queen with my parents. She was meant to come past in a car. She did - and waved at us. That's when it happened for me.” His mother was even invited to dinner by Her Majesty once, he says.

Tony Child, son of a Scottish mother and born in Bramhall, England, runs the British café and bistro Cosy Corner in Königswinter with his daughter. “The whole family is sad,” he says. “We've lost someone that we've known for our whole lives.” There won't be a special tea for the Queen in the Cosy Corner however, as the café is currently closed for the holidays. But the daughter has hung a flag of mourning in the window.

In Siegburg's municipal library, there are also clear signs of reverence for the Queen: in reaction to the news from Britain, a shelf of literature about the Queen and the British monarchy was set up on Friday. “The collection will quickly disperse," predicts the town’s administration department, because the Queen was held in the highest esteem in Siegburg too. “In her own way, she clearly expressed her displeasure with Brexit. In her appearances at home and abroad, she stood for nobility, education and cosmopolitanism, while more and more narrow-minded populism has recently been spreading among her subjects,” Siegburg town council said.

Queen took the Niederdollendorf car ferry in 1992

It is not every day that around 500 people wait at the Niederdollendorf car ferry, even in the best of weather. But this was what happened on 20 October 1992. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip had spent the night in the German government’s guest house on the Petersberg and, as reported by the GA, were then driven to the ferry terminal in the early morning with a motorcade led by 15 police officers on motorcycles.

Peter Bläser, manager of the car ferry Bad Godesberg-Niederdollendorf, refrained from giving the Queen a bouquet of flowers or making an entry in the ferry’s guest book. He told the GA at the time that he wanted to keep the monarch away from “any circus” during the crossing.

(Original text: Lydia Schauff, Mario Quadt and Andrea Ziech)

Renewed threat of chaos at NRW airports in the autumn holidays

DÜSSELDORF. Following the chaos in the summer, Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn airports are facing their next test in three weeks' time, when the autumn holidays begin in Germany's most populous state. There are a number of players responsible for ensuring regular flight operations: the airports, security control, ground handling services, air traffic control and the airlines. The NRW state government expects everyone involved to be well prepared for the anticipated high numbers of passengers. "These players bear joint responsibility and must make their contribution to stable flight operations," says Transport Minister Oliver Krischer (Greens) on behalf of the state government.

The FDP accuses the state government of inaction; the CDU/Green coalition was apparently not affected by the images of long queues at airports during the summer. "The CDU and the Greens do not want to do anything to prevent renewed chaos at airport security in NRW during the autumn holidays. The Green calculation to discredit the unloved means of transport, the aeroplane, is apparently tacitly supported by the CDU out of coalition discipline," Christof Rasche, transport policy spokesman for the FDP state parliamentary group, told the GA. At the same time, NRW is also a shareholder of Cologne/Bonn Airport.

The FDP is calling on the state government and Transport Minister Krischer to lobby the federal government to ensure that the so-called Frankfurt model is also tested at North Rhine-Westphalian airports as soon as possible. "The airport operators can be given more responsibility for the control and organisation of security checks under the Frankfurt model, relieving the pressure on the federal police."

The main reason for the misery in the summer was a lack of personnel. And this has not yet been resolved, according to the trade union Verdi. "Passengers have had to suffer for months. I assume that during the autumn holidays we will experience a similar chaos to the summer," said union secretary Özay Tarim, who represents the interests of aviation security staff. He, too, accuses the state government of doing nothing about the plight.

(Original text: Christian Schwerdtfeger)

Monuments open to the public on Sunday

BONN. On the nationwide ‘Tag des offenen Denkmals’ over 6000 monuments can be visited throughout Germany, and around 50 of these are located in Bonn. “Open Monument Day on Sunday, 11 September is the biggest cultural event in Germany”, says the German Foundation for Monument Protection, who organises the annual event. Bonn has a lot to offer, with monuments dating from Roman times to the modern era when the city was Germany’s capital.

In addition to buildings that are always open to the public, there are some gems that are otherwise closed to visitors, such as the Villa Garrè at Adenauerallee 120-122. The villa belongs to entrepreneur Philipp Blömer, who renovated the old building and has rented it to an IT company. “Cooperation with the Lower Monument Authority has always been pleasant, so we said we'd be happy to participate,” he says. Visitors will be guided through interesting parts of the villa. “There's a room with a special ceiling painting, we'll show that of course, and also the new use of the basement. That's where the employees have their common rooms. In the past, that would have been the laundry room and the coal cellar,” Blömer explains.

In the Rhein-Sieg district, there are around 3,700 registered and protected monuments, making it the most concentrated district for monuments in North Rhine-Westphalia. Some of these will open their doors to visitors on Sunday too. The German Foundation for Monument Protection has chosen the motto “KulturSpur. Ein Fall für den Denkmalschutz” (Culture Trail. A case for monument protection). The open day is dedicated to the question of what knowledge can be gained by examining the original monument substance, explains the foundation. It is also about the traces that human activity has left behind over the centuries, and about deciding what conclusions should be drawn from this in relation to monument preservation. The Open Monument Day invites visitors to find out about the history and stories of the monuments. Sites open to visitors in the Rhine-Sieg district include the pump house in Broichpark and the water tank at Kuckstein in Alfter, the Old Church in Bornheim, the Upper Mill in Meckenheim and the Himmeroder Hof in Rheinbach.

(Original texts: Maike Velden / Nadine Quadt)

Sustainability Festival on Munsterplatz

BONN. Next Saturday, 17 September, the city is holding a festival on the Munsterplatz with the theme of sustainability. The event will be opened by mayor Katja Dörner and includes a programme on the stage. Special highlights will be a fair fashion show with Bonn labels and stores, an award ceremony for the winners of the Recycling Challenge, a cooking show, and musical contributions from the Kültürklüngel Orkestar and band Saragina. From 11 am to 5 pm, a variety of campaign groups, associations and companies will be providing information about their work, giving practical tips and inviting visitors to try out, discuss and participate in all things sustainable.

More information can be found (in German) at:

(Original text: buj)

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)

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