Barr is surrounded by the famous Alsace vineyards and is a short distance away the Rhine river to the east and the Vosges mountains to the west. The convention was held in an old aristocratic tanner’s country villa, now a hotel.
Barr was formerly the tannery centre in the Alsace region, with 5 tanneries. However, now the Tannerie Degermann, established in 1832, is the only tannery left. The VESLIC programme included a visit to the tannery, where the Degermann family continues to produce fine calf leathers. The tannery has maintained a passion and know-how for producing leather of the highest quality. They still use some of the traditions and tanning methods handed down from generation to generation since the sixteenth century.
The VESLIC president, Dr Alois Puentener, was happy to welcome special guest, Elton Hurlow, the IULTCS president and a past president of ALCA. In a short speech Elton Hurlow thanked the VESLIC members for their support of younger researchers with the new VESLIC Award which is presented at each of the main IULTCS congresses. He added that VESLIC also features in the USA, as ringing the large VESLIC cowbell starts the annual ALCA convention. Finally, he reminded all present of the important task to cultivate friendships and conventions like VESLIC provide the best opportunities.
On the return to Basel, a stop was made at the famous Koenigsbourg castle rebuilt by German emperor Wilhelm at the end of the 1800s. Finally, lunch was held in the historic town of Riquewihr with its fortified perimeter wall, its narrow cobbled streets and its superb half-timbered houses, which are some of the best examples of Alsatian architecture.