AGM BELGIUM 2022 – Itinerary & Booking Form

Hampshire Down Sheep Breeders’ Association Annual General Meeting

 Friday 4th to Sunday 6th November 2022

 Ypres – BELGIUM

The Belgian Club, celebrating its 25th   26th   27th anniversary, is delighted to invite you all to join them for the HDSBA AGM weekend.  We look forward to welcoming you in the city of Ypres for an interesting and enjoyable weekend, topped with sheep, chocolate and beer…

Booking Form HERE

Ieper – Ypres, a city with a long and rich history

Though the Dutch name Ieper is the official one, the city’s French name Ypres is most commonly used in English.

Ypres became a major cloth-weaving city in the Middle Ages. Easy access to the coast meant that the people of the city established links with the wool trade in England. Together with Bruges and Ghent it virtually controlled Flanders in the 13th century. An unsuccessful but devastating siege of the city by the English in 1383 during the Hundred Years’ War  helped cause Ypres’ decline.

During the First World War, Ypres was largely reduced to rubble, as the intense fighting formed a curve around the city. Ypres was the principal town within an important salient in the British lines on the Western Front. The Ypres salient was the site of three major battles – First Ypres (October-November 1914), Second Ypres (April-May 1915, marked by the Germans first use of poison gas as a weapon), and Third Ypres (also called Passchendaele; July-November 1917) – with total Allied and German casualties exceeding 850,000.

Ypres was completely destroyed during the fighting, and was subsequently rebuilt in its original style. Its notable structures include the magnificent Cloth Hall (originally from 1214);

The Cathedral of St. Martin (13th century); the medieval ramparts (rebuilt by Vauban in the 17th century); the Menin Gate (a memorial to the British soldiers who died in WW I). In and around Ypres there are 140 cemeteries, mostly containing war graves.                                       

Travel info

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)


The most convenient and quickest option to cross the Channel is Eurotunnel; even with the new security arrangements which can make the check in process a little longer, the Eurotunnel crossing time is just over half an hour and of course you drive straight off once you reach the terminal in Calais to get on with your journey.

By ferry you can cross from Dover to Calais or Dunkerque (France):

  • to Calais: DFDS and P&O – crossing time 1½ hours
  • to Dunkerque: DFDS – crossing time 2 hours

Direct Ferries offer prices for both ferry companies as well as Eurotunnel.

Calais and Dunkerque (France) are within a 1 ½ hour drive from Ypres


Flights to Brussels or Charleroi from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester and Dublin.

Connection to Ypres by train (2 ½ hours from Brussels), shuttle bus (can be arranged on demand) or car (130 km, 1 ½ hour drive)


It’s also possible to reach Ypres by rail from the UK via Eurostar. You can go through Lille (France) rather than Brussels. It takes about 95 minutes by train from Lille to Ypres.


Our hotel for the weekend is the Albion hotel, Sint Jacobsstraat 28, 8900 Ieper, with 29 double and 3 single rooms, located in the heart of the city.

Weekend Itinerary

Friday 4th November 

15.00  Check in available at the hotel

16.30  Welcome reception in the hotel meeting room

17.00  AGM

20.00  Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate

The Last Post, traditionally the last salute to those who fell, is played every evening at 8 p.m. under the Menin Gate by the clarion players of the Last Post Association. This clarion call has been played since 1928 in honour of the memory of the British and Allied soldiers who fell in the Ypres Salient during WW I.

It is the intention of the Last post Association to maintain this daily act of homage in perpetuity.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

20.30 Evening at the “Yperley” (informal seating)

Yperley is a former Belgian National Bank building, within 5 minutes walk from the hotel. You will find yourself in one of the most unique buildings in Ypres.


 “Fresh salad with homemade shrimp croquette”

“Stew and fries”

“Ice cream with fruit”

All beverages included

Saturday 5th November

Breakfast served in the hotel from 07.00

10.00  Depart by coach for a visit to the Hampshire Down Limetree Flock in Aartrijke

Klaus and Filomeen Soenen – Haerynck and all participating Belgian members are welcoming you on the Limetree Flock located near Bruges.

The Limetree flock was established in 2009. Over the years we have tried to breed quality sheep for pedigree use. This has been rewarded by our breeding being introduced to a number of flocks throughout Belgium, France and the Czech Republic.

All Belgian member flocks are invited to bring their sheep and show them together. A full list of participants will be published later.

Walking tour along the participating member flocks.

12.00  Lunch at Limetree

“French” fries … a Belgian tradition …

Beer tasting by Foxtown Beer Crew. Meet the foxes … Sharing the passion of 4 friends. What started as a hobby became their professional dream come true.


14.30  Depart to Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passendale (Passchendaele) – Guided tour

Tyne Cot Cemetery is an impressive yet understated haven of tranquility that extends through the former battle landscape. It is a silent witness to the bloody Battle of Passchendaele. During this British offensive of 1917, almost 600.000 victims fell in 100 days, and this for a territorial gain of only 8 kilometers.

Originally, it was a German defensive position on the first line in Flanders. In October 1917, the Australian troops established an aid station there that soon grew into a small cemetery with 340 graves for the soldiers who had succumbed to their injuries on the spot. After the war – between 1919 and 1921 – the British ‘Exhumation Companies’ collected 12,000 dead from the surrounding battlefields. Of these, only 3,800 bodies could be identified. The wall behind the cemetery contains the names of 35,000 soldiers with no known grave. They include British, Irish and New Zealanders who perished in the region after 16 August 1917.

Passchendaele – Tyne Cot Cemetery

17.00  Return to the hotel

Enjoy downtown Ypres

19.30  Gala Dinner in the “Yperley”

Drinks reception


Cod fillet with celery root purée

T-Bone steak “Choron”

Crumble of speculoos and merengue

All beverages included

Guest speaker is Simon Louagie, manager at Talbot House – Poperinge. During the Great War, Poperinge was part of unoccupied Belgium. Away from the turmoil of battle in the Ypres Salient, the town became the nerve centre of the British sector. In the heart of this bustling town, the Army chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip “Tubby” Clayton opened a club. From December 1915 onwards, and for more than three years, the House provided rest and recreation to all soldiers coming in, regardless of their rank.

This will be followed by the Flock Competition 2022 Awards Ceremony, with Judge Jim Fletcher.

The evening will end with an auction. The proceeds go to BubbleID, an organization at Ghent University Children’s Hospital, supporting patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases.

Filomeen will give a short introduction.

                Ypres – St Martin Cathedral

Sunday 6st November 

Breakfast served in the hotel from 07.00

Check out from the hotel

10.00  Depart by coach for a visit to the Werbrouck Flock in Hooglede.

The award winning Werbrouck family are renowned Beltex and Blue Texel Sheep breeders for three generations now.

Willy and Rosa started their flock in the early Seventies, besides an arable farm, with buying a good muscled Texel sheep. They took her to a show, and became instantly champion. The beginning of a passion with one goal: breeding a functional sheep with good development and muscle. Their son Geert joined them to the shows, and showed his fathers’ favorites with pride!

In the early Ninetees many rams were sold to the UK.

Geert travelled through Belgium and the Netherlands, looking for more bigger and longer sheep. Many years of improvement brought the flock to its current level.

In 2010, Geerts’ son, Flor, started breeding Blue Texel sheep.

The flock runs about 70 Beltex and 70 Blue Texel Sheep, apart from some Badger faced Texel sheep.


13.00 Heading back to Ypres

Hope to see you all in Ypres soon!!!

 For those who want to extent their stay in Belgium, more information  can be found on:













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