On Monday, Judy Evans (Williams of Audlem) asked me if we (ADAS) had any plans for a call-out before the weekend, as she was hosting two Dutch exchange students, and would we be able to find some work for them. Could we? I'll say. So, never ones to miss an opportunity to don a yellow jacket and set to with secateurs, we did a call-out on Thursday evening.
The two lads, Sjoerd and Jack, pitched in with gusto despite having white trainers on, and the job was messy and it was raining. All credit to them; we appreciated and enjoyed their help and presence. The areas of attention were St James' Church bed and the PH Annex beds -- both had a fair amount of dead plant material that didn't make it through the cold months, sadly.
This interesting back-story from Judy:
Sjoerd's grandparents (Jan & Creja Rutger) have been visiting Audlem since 1976 and have many friends here.
The Rutger connection with Audlem started in 1975 when the McKelvey family (who owned Williams of Audlem) were on a caravan holiday in Cornwall. Opposite their caravan was a tent with a young Dutch family -- Jan & Creja Rutger and their two small children, Janine and Toon. Having socialised with the Rutgers on several warm evenings (one of the hottest Summers on record), the Mckelvey family invited the Rutgers to call on them in Audlem the following year when they intended to visit Wales.
The following year the Rutgers duly turned up to spend one night with the McKelvey family at their shop. However, in a twist of fate that evening, their son fell ill, and Dr Thornton was called -- only to diagnose appendicitis! Their son, Toon, was admitted to Leighton Hospital, where he stayed for the next week as the rest of the Rutger family remained as guests of the McKelveys in Audlem. By the end of their stay, the family were firm friends, and the Rutgers were in love with the Audlem village and its people.
Thereafter, the Rutgers have made numerous social trips to the village over the decades, followed by their children (Toon & Janine) and now their grandchildren, including Sjoerd's present visit. And so the Anglo Audlem -- Netherland connection goes on!
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