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Porlock Twinning Association

Bertogne in Belgium

Early in the 1990's, when Porlock was sending aid to the Romanian village of Ursoaia, we found that Bertogne was helping a neighbouring village. As the Lambert brothers there ran a haulage business, they offered to join up to transport our supplies such as vegetable seeds, wellington boots, and winter coats. This went so well, that a twinning was suggested, and from this start many inter village friendships have arisen.

Belgium is popularly known as “boring”, how this came about is anyone’s guess, but it is far from the truth. Home of Breugel, Rubens, Van Dyck, Adolf Sax, and Herge (creator of Tintin) among others, Belgium has much of interest, including marvellous chocolate, and hundreds of different beers, some of an amusingly high alcoholic content.

Find on the map buttonBertogne is a village about the same size as Porlock, situated in the Ardenne area of the Province (County) of Belgian Luxembourg, a French speaking area, and only a few kilometres from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, where many of the locals work. It sits on a high plateau surrounded by agricultural land, forest, and wooded valleys.

Belgium has long been a place where other countries go to fight battles, and has been ruled by France, Germany, and probably several others. The last battles were at the end of WW2 when the nearby town of Bastogne was besieged by German forces in what is now known as the Battle of the Bulge. In view of the devastation caused at this time, it is surprising how many beautiful, ancient castles and villages such as Durbuy, and La Roche en Ardenne survive The Belgians are a very resilient, resourceful people, they have had to be. Their history has brought about a strong local community, many houses have been built or rebuilt by their owners with help from family and neighbours.

Over the years we have forged warm friendships with the Bertognards, and in our stays there, every two or three years, we have included visits to a Liege glassworks, a Slate mine (not for the faint-hearted or claustrophobic!) and to the nearby brewery of Achouffe, to name but a few. We always stay with local families, many of whom speak English to some degree, a few do not, but this does not seem to pose much of a barrier, and their hospitality is wonderful.

Contact the Association

We would welcome any new members who would like to join us on our future trips to Bertogne. The ability to speak French is an advantage, but by no means essential.

Anyone interested can contact:-

John Russell, Tel:(01643) 863291, or
Jamie Waters at The Shelduck. Tel: (01643) 862266