2009 – 2019 : 10 years of Médoc Actif


10 years ago a small group of German, French, English and Dutch got together to found the “Médoc Actif” project. At that time, and it still remains true today, our aim was to encourage people – residents and tourists – to lead an active life in the Médoc by sharing their experiences, in whatever sphere, on our web site.

die Enthusiasten
2009 Founding members from left to right, and from back to front: Vanille Icart, Klaus Moeller-Herrmann, T Brookman, Anne-Marie Toré, Marie-France Pilger, Alain Tandille, Christian Büttner, Elke Schwichtenberg, Marie Moeller-Herrmann, Judi Humphrey

We received, and still receive, an enormous reaction. Since its inception, the site has registered around 2.5 million hits; the share of visitors with mobile phones having increased significantly these last few years, the number of new visitors has far exceeded that of the regulars who have been on the site for a long time. During these last 10 years the site has become known worldwide and, as a result, there has been an increase in requests for help, such as those from sons and daughters of former German prisoners of war in the Médoc who are looking for traces of their fathers. For some time we have also taken part in events, now organised together with us, by various organisations in the Médoc. Finally, as far as our own personal activities are concerned, we have posted more than 60 videos (representing more than 150,000 visits) on typical festivals, sporting and cultural activities in the Médoc. When I say ‘we’, it is above all Christian and Elke: Christian on the computer and Elke dealing with editing, translation and correction. The number of “enthusiasts” who support us in this task has increased considerably. We must thank them most warmly for their commitment. They have contributed to the perpetuation of this web project, without even the support of a structure of association, and to its good acceptance in the Médoc, especially due to the “Médoc Diary”, by means of which we offer organisations, communes and individuals the opportunity to promote their activities free of charge.

Journal des preopriétaires du Médoc, november/december 2011 read more (french)

The Médoc has hardly changed in 10 years. Certainly there is a new street here and a new house there; there are extensions and improvements in the tourist appeal and in the ferry service linking us to Royan, now with 2 spacious and comfortable boats. But the bypasses of Le Taillan and Lesparre have still not been built, the terminal at Le Verdon container port is still not operational, the Le Verdon-Bordeaux railway line has to be renovated as a matter of urgency, and from time to time the idea of building a bridge over the estuary resurfaces. Numerous organisations have ceased to exist, for example the “Connaissance du Médoc” to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for our settling down in the Médoc. Others have seen the light of day, such as Transmédocain Rock’n’Roll United Club, which has launched the “Petit Montmartre”. For us the new positives are: the project for a liquified gas terminal at Le Verdon is no longer being considered; a “Parc Naturel du Médoc” is in the process of being set up; and the dredging work off the coasts has been stopped for the time being. And of course the oysters have returned – we can but recommend them.

There is not much else to add to the activities listed in Médoc Actif - we have covered so many of them. New contributions are not as numerous as in previous years but certain contributions from as far back as 10 years ago have lost none of their relevance for an active life in the Médoc. We hope that this achievement will continue and that we will be able to celebrate our 10th anniversary in May within the framework of the 8th European picnic at Vertheuil on 12th May 2019.

Christian Büttner/Elke Schwichtenberg (Saint Vivien), translation : Margaret and Richard Beasley