Photo Workshop : Gradignan : Tuesday 25th October

history-of-photography-antique-photographerAfter several months’ promotion as a potential event, and positive feedback, we are pleased to offer this means of improving your creative and technical skill in this fascinating, and rapidly changing field.

Hugh Dent is an experienced and enthusiastic photographer, who has offered to ‘show us the ropes ! Myriam has kindly offered her house (with tea and biscuits!) in Gradignan to host the workshop.

The detailed plan is currently being structured. Hugh’s introduction, ‘How to create great photos, composition, lighting, cameras and tools to help you, will form the major part of the morning session.

After lunch,- please bring a packed lunch ! We shall progress to hands on, organising, optimising and sharing your photos. Hence it would be most useful to bring your laptop PC or tablet, as well as camera with you. (Times, address and directions tba)


Space will be limited, hence if you would like to attend please book early direct with Hugh or online.

When using the online booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation


Christmas Party: Drama Group

The Play!

68c865b2b08881ef491fa1ac6d53ad51We are already planning the Christmas Party and Dinner for Friday, 2nd December 2016 and the Drama Group has been asked to create a play for our entertainment.

We need volunteers to complete the drama team this time … Not a lot will be expected of them except to take part on the night and to attend one or two rehearsals.

We are looking at doing a BBC funny adaptation of Snow White and the seven dwarfs!

Don’t feel that you need to be a dwarf to apply, anyone is welcome !


Please contact Catherine M or register your interest online.

When using the on-line registration form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the Catherine within 48 hours then your registration has not been recorded and we ask you to please contact Catherine direct for your confirmation.


Cinema Group – Thursday 17th March


On the third Thursday of each month we have an evening visit to the cinema to see a film in Version Original (English with French subtitles).

Afterwards we go to a bar and chat (sometimes about the film!).  The March evening cinema visit will be on Thursday 17th March.

Shortly before the 17th, those on the mailing list will be informed of the film title, which cinema and at what time.

If you have not already enrolled on the mailing list for the Cinema Group then please register your details and preferences on-line or contact Deirdre direct.

Cinema Locations
  • Utopia Cinema
    • 5, place Camille Julian, 33000 BORDEAUX
    • Please click here for a map
  • UGC Ciné Cité
    • 13-15 rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 BORDEAUX
    • Please click here for a map

Phone, Tablet & Computer Workshop: Biscarosse - Thursday, 4th February at 10:30


We are holding our first BBC technology workshop/discussion to help members get the best use from their computers, tablets and smartphones

  • The workshop will start at 10:30 with a break for lunch and will continue into the afternoon for as long as attendees request (within reason!)
  • Please bring your lunch
  • Attendees will be limited to 16 to enable the workshop to be enjoyable, fun and useful.

Please indicate on the online booking form the topics which interest you and also add any other topics which you need.

Much preparation work is needed. So, by the 22nd January, we will set a preliminary agenda based around the topics requested by those who enrolled by the 7th January. More details of the day as we move forward.

Below are some initial ideas but please indicate on the online booking form the topics which interest you the most.

Safe use of the Internet
  • How to get best use out of the new BBC website
  • Removing fears of shopping and/or banking on the Internet, what precautions to take
  • How to find things on the Internet
  • How to solve your technology problems using the Internet
  • Removing fears of shopping and/or banking on the Internet, what precautions to take
Smartphones and Tablets
  • Tips on using smartphones e.g understanding your settings, preventing unexpected charges.
  • Tips on using the Apple iPad
  • Should I upgrade to Windows 10?
  • If so, then how?
  • Understanding how your email works
  • Various options for email on computer, smartphone and tablet
  • Simple checks to see if an email is a threat to you or your computer
Files and Documents
  • How to manage your files
  • How to install a networked disk drive in your home for access at home and when travelling
Music, Photos and Television
  • How to receive UK TV (and many other channels) without a satellite dish
  • How to create photos albums and slideshows for display on your TV
  • How to impress your friends at the dinner table with music (iTunes, windows media player…)
  • How to make home movies and understand the different file formats
  • How to create a movie library and play from computer to TV
  • How to transfer your old VHS recordings (e.g of the family) to digital media to enjoy once again


Gary and Ian are pleased to answer any questions that you may have about the workshop. (Gary and Ian’s contact details are here)

But, PLEASE book via the online form so that we can note your preferences and ensure that you get the most from the day.

Cinema Group Announcement


New Cinema Group

Commencing in January 2016, Deirdre is organising a monthly visit to the cinema to see a current film.  The selected film will usually be in VO (Version Originale has English dialogue with french subtitles).  We will go to an evening session to give the best flexibility for everyone, particularly those who are busy during the day.

The first cinema visit will be Thursday January 21st and thereafter on the third Thursday of each month.   If you are interested in joining in, please register your interest using the online form.

A week before the cinema visit, Deirdre will make contact with you to let you know what time, which film and which cinema we will be meeting at. After each film, if there is time and interest, we could go for a drink and discuss the film, chat etc.

Full details are here

Cinema Locations
  • Utopia Cinema
    • 5, place Camille Julian, 33000 BORDEAUX
    • Please click here for a map
  • UGC Ciné Cité
    • 13-15 rue Georges Bonnac, 33000 BORDEAUX
    • Please click here for a map

Our Cinema related blogs ….

……. are here

Drama Group Rehearsal: 28th September 2015 at 10:30 - Allo Allo, listen very carefully, I shall say 'zis only once!

Cathy Mason leads our drama group to create two shows: one which could be seen in December just after the Christmas dinner and the same one again in the summer 2016. 

alloalloWe are rehearsing something simple, a comedy which most of us will already know from the BBC TV sitcom  “ALLO ALLO”… “parodie” of the French Resistance during World War II. It is full of humour and funny accents which we already practice regularly in the association!
So, if you feel that you can contribute your talent as an actor or your knowledge as a producer or simply if you have a good sense of humour, come and join us.  Cathy’s contact details are in the Members Area here or please complete the form below:
Are you sitting comfortably? Then click the play button!


Guided Walk 'Parc de l’Ermitage' & 'Iris Parc': Lormont - Tuesday 22nd September at 11:00




Location and History

Lormont is a scenic suburb of Bordeaux on the right bank of the Garonne river. The name means Laurel Hill and comes from old days when this wood was sacred to the Gauls.

To-day Lormont is known for its attractive view of the Garonne and Bordeaux and it charming little old centre with the Church of St, Martin, founded 778 by Charlemagne, and Chateau de Lormont where Eleanor of Aquataine stayed and the Black Prince’s ill-fated son Richard II was born.

We set out under the aegis of our knowledgeable guide, Alain to visit the beautiful and hilly parks of Iris and Hermitage which include a lake (ex-quarry), 23 chateaux and the old town of Lormont, the name deriving from Laurel Hill.

Although we experienced rain and sun in equal parts during the day, Alain’s tour with historic information and stops at interesting points kept us enthusiastic. We saw the splendid Chateau les Iris, presently used by a local lycée for sports and cultural activities, as well as sweeping overviews of the Garonne and Bordeaux. We arrived in the old Lormont town centre in time to fall gratefully into the Restaurant de la Belle Rose on the riverbank for lunch. The railroad which arrived in the mid 1880’s still runs overhead and the Pont d’Aquitaine spans the river in close proximity.

After lunch we visited St. Martin’s Church with a local guide and translation by Alain. The church was founded in 778 by Charlemagne and had several renovations over the centuries, including one by Pey Berland. The church has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and the painting on the walls is exquisite.

Some of our party returned to the left bank by the river shuttle. A good time was had by all.

A big thank you is due to Alain for this fascinating and informative tour, and also to Bjarne Christiansen for arranging our excursion.

Report by Gail, Photos by Phil are here

River Cruise back to Bordeaux




First meeting of the Drama Group is confirmed for 1st September at 10:30



The first meeting of the Drama Group is confirmed for Tuesday, 1st September at Cathy’s house starting at 10:30.  Full details are here

Calling all fishermen – salty or fresh!

If anyone out there has been, or is interested in participating in any aspect of fishing, whether sea, coarse or fly fishing, author and English team fly veteran, Brian Furzer will advise with some tuition and equipment.

First, of course prior to announcing any date or venue, I would like to establish if there are members (or indeed soon to be members) who want to try. If so dust your rods off and drop me a line and/or call me – Brian M or contact me direct via the form below:

River Cruise and/or walk from Lamarque to Fort Médoc


Hugh, a BBC member, has invited us to enjoy a river cruise and picnic on the Garonne on Saturday 18th April together with members from the Photo Club de Creon.  The boat has been specially chartered for the trip and non-photographers are most welcome to come along and enjoy the cruise and ambiance.

The boat will sail from Bordeaux to Lamarque and then we walk to Fort Médoc for a ‘bring your own’ picnic lunch followed by a c40 minute walk back to the boat and then the return trip to central Bordeaux.


If the timing or departure point of the river cruise is not convenient then consider meeting our boat at Lamarque, arriving at 11:45, and then enjoy the walk in company to Fort Médoc followed by your picnic.


Departure is at 9:45 from the Ponton d’Honneur in central Bordeaux returning at 17.30

  • 9:45 – Board our boat ‘LA SARDANE’ at the Ponton d’Honneur next to the Pont Pierre
  • 11:45 – Arrive at Lamarque
  • c40 minutes walk to Fort Médoc
  • 12:30 – Arrive at Fort Médoc
  • Enjoy your ‘Bring your own picnic’
  • 13:30 – Tour of Fort Médoc
  • 15.00 – Start our walk back to Lamarque (c40 mins)
  • 15:45 – Passenger boarding at the port of Lamarque
  • 17:30 – Arrive back at Ponton d’Honneur  and disembark

The cost is 27€ (revised price) includind 3€ entrance to Fort Médoc  A deposit of 10,80€ is required.



The Ponton d’Honneur is:

Adjacent to the Pont de Pierre on the Bordeaux city side of the bridge

  • In front of the Maison écocitoyenne, Quai Richelieu, 33000 BordeauxTram stop Porte de Bourgogne (Lignes A and C) is directly opposite
  • The water bus, part of the integrated Bordeaux transport system will take you direct to the Ponton d’Honneur (ie ponton = pontoon)

Information on Lamarque is Here
Information on Fort Médoc is Here


An excerpt from the excellent Invisible Bordeaux blog  on the history of Fort Médoc follows:

 fort-medocThe Médoc village of Cussac-Fort-Médoc boasts one of the most grandiose sights in the area: the 17th-century Fort Médoc, one of three fortified structures that make up “le verrou de l’Estuaire” (the bolt of the Gironde estuary), dreamt up by the military architect and engineer Vauban .The story goes that in 1685, Sébastien Le Prestre, better-known as Marquis de Vauban, was surveying the Atlantic coast. Vauban had been appointed Marshal of France (the country’s highest military distinction) under Louis XIV and was on the lookout for any location that might undermine the Sun King’s authority. Assessing the citadel of Blaye, which had often proved vulnerable to British invaders, he established that it would have to be strengthened and that the Estuary as a whole needed to be “locked” in order to protect the city of Bordeaux, further upstream.

 Given the width of the Estuary (more than 3 kilometres at that point), simply reinforcing the citadel of Blaye would not suffice. Vauban therefore drew up more extensive plans to build a fort on an island mid-Estuary (this became Fort Pâté and Île Pâté) and to construct Fort Médoc on left-bank property to be acquired from private land-owners in Cussac. Louis XIV green-lighted the plans and the fortified structure sprang out of the Cussac ground between 1689 and 1690, although work wasn’t complete until 1721.