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A Taste of Switzerland in York

Last Friday evening a taste of the Alps came to Yorkshire when Switzerland Tourism and Inntravel joined forces in the De Grey Rooms in York to highlight 150 years of tourism to Switzerland. Guest speakers included Paul Smith archivist at Thomas Cook, Dr Susie Barton of De Montfort University and Heidi Reisz of Switzerland Tourism.

The evening revolved around the story of Miss Jemima Morrell of Selby who joined the famed excursionist Thomas Cook on what was his first conducted tour of Switzerland and so we were delighted that the guests of honour were Mr and Mrs John and Margaret Morrell and Mr and Mrs James Morrell. John is Jemima's great, great nephew and James is his son.

We hope those of you who attended enjoyed the evening – and apologies to those who were unfortunate not to get tickets. A big 'thank you' on behalf of Switzerland Tourism and Inntravel to all who came along, to our learned speakers and guests, and to everyone who helped make the evening such a success. Here are a few photographs from the event:


Guest of honour, Mr John Morrell, great great nephew of Jemima, with his wife, Mrs Margaret Morrell. Their son James and his wife were also present:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland
 
Our guests begin to arrive at the De Grey Rooms in York, a spectacular venue offered to us for the occasion by the York Conservation Trust, of which Mr Morrell is chairman:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland
 
A selection of fine Swiss wines are prepared to serve to everyone as they arrived:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland
 
Two lovely ladies treated everyone to nibbles of delicious Swiss Gruyere cheese:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

Heidi Reisz of Switzerland Tourism (centre) and Martina Fuhrer from Interlaken Tourismus on behalf of the Bernese Oberland Tourist Board (right), chat with one of the guests:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland
 
A full house listens intently as Inntravel's Simon Wrench introduces the guest speakers:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

Dr Susan Barton, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, School of Humanities, De Montfort University, is a leading expert of the origins of modern tourism to Switzerland:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

Tom Bray and Simone Kirkup of Inntravel were just two of several members of staff on hand to answer any questions about our self-guided walking holidays and journeys by rail to Switzerland:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the caterers were preparing platefuls of tasty nibbles to be served after the presentations. (They went down very well!):
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

The final talk was from Thomas Cook archivist Paul Smith who is an expert on the famous excursionist, and also custodian of Jemima Morrell's diary (which he brought with him):
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

The highlight of the evening (for me, at least) came when Mr Smith unveiled Miss Jemima's Journal and we were able to see her delicate hand-writing and wonderful illuminations:
 
Mr Smith discusses the diary with James and John Morrell (right), direct descendants of Jemima's brother, William Wilberforce Morrell, who accomapanied her on her trip to Switzerland in 1863:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

After the presentations, guests mingle with Inntravel staff and our friends from Switzerland, to talk about what a fabulous country Switzerland is to visit – and has been for over 150 years:
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland

Mr and Mrs Haines, the lucky winners of a holiday to Switzerland, courtesy of Switzerland Tourism, being presented with their prize by Heidi Reisz of Switzerland Tourism (left) and Simon Wrench of Inntravel (right):
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland
 
And finally... time to check out this fruity Swiss wine (well, it would be rude not to) before we start to clear up. Cheers everyone – hope you had an enjoyable evening!
Self-guided walking holidays in Switzerland


Comments
Andrea Montgomery
Looks like an excellent evening. I wonder what Miss Jemima would have thought if she knew so many people were gathered there to celebrate her diary? I wish I could time travel and ask her :)
17/06/2013 09:12:09

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