The flooding of the rivers in Germany has also affected our twinning town of Leichlingen.
Chair of the newly merged Henley Falaise Leichlingen Twinning Association said, “The news from Leichlingen is not good, but not as bad as other parts of the Rheinland, particularly Ahrweiler. One of our members has heard from a friend in Leichlingen that they are safe and their house, which is about a mile from the centre, is above the flood line. We are trying to find out more.”
Much more damage, however, occurred on the outskirts of the town in the Sinneswald, a sculpture park run by Wicze Brudes and Wolfgang Braun who live in a large old mill house in an idyllic wooded valley with (what was) a small river running through it and two ponds at either end.
For the last 25 years they have commissioned artists and sculptors to take part in themed events, often highly political. These works are dotted around the estate, both among the wooded hillside and by the two ponds. There is also a large performance room in the cellar where poetry readings, concerts and even weddings are held. The couple’s contribution to culture has been recognised by numerous awards.
Association Member, Trevor Howell who has been hosted by Wolfgang and Wicze for many years on the twinning exchanges and AFC Henley’s annual Easter tournament said, “It has been a real shock hearing the report of the damage to their property. Many artworks and the large pond at the bottom of the valley have been simply swept away and the performance cellar is a complete mess with a grand piano turned upside down and mud everywhere. Many of our twinning association’s members have visited the site over the years and will be upset to see such destruction. We are unable to contact them as all communications are down, although they did manage to email us to let us know what had happened. We would love to assist but are for obvious reasons not able to. All we can do is commiserate ̶ or send money. We have sent supportive emails and hope they get through.”