– Ghent –
Fri 30th – Sun 2nd July 2006
Booking, Programme, Hotel and Travel
As previously announced the 2006 annual conference will take place in
Ghent, Belgium, this year between 30th June and 2nd
July. It is being organized principally by our member Wim de Clercq,
together with his colleagues at the University of Ghent (Arjen Bosman
and Wouter Dhaeze), plus Xavier Deru and Steven Willis. Ghent is
renowned as one of Europe’s most charming historic cities and the
conference is housed in the very centre of the city in the 13th
Century ‘Het Pand’. The complex is a delightful former monastery
and now part of the University; it is a spacious building with 21st
century AV and conference facilities.
This is a stunning venue. The hotel accommodation lies just opposite
in the comfortable and good value Ibis Opera (Oper) Hotel. An evening
reception is planned and a Conference Dinner.
The Conference is suitably focused around themes and
latest research in Roman period pottery either side of the Channel.
There is an exciting programme of lectures. Themes include recent work
in Belgium and France, cross-Channel issues such as trade, the
military (including the Saxon Shore), comparative ‘Romanization’,
with a special theme of BBW. The conference, as usual for our annual
meetings, takes place over 3 days. Conference starts on the Friday (30th
June) after lunch, finishing at lunch-time on the Sunday. There will
be a trip on the Saturday afternoon to view museum collections of
Roman and other pottery.
It is anticipated that c. 50+ delegates will attend from
Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and Luxembourg, in addition
to the British contingent, so there will be opportunities to meet
international colleagues, to explore common and contrasting ground, as
well as the chance to view a variety of pottery types from the near
Continent traded and otherwise.
This year the arrangement will be that members/delegates
book their accommodation direct themselves with the Hotel where we are
staying. This is the Ibis Opera Ghent (details below). This has been
decided as the best option and the most convenient for those attending
the conference as you can book to your own requirements. The reception
staff (and one imagines most of the Hotel staff) are fluent English
speakers, as is widely the case in the Flemish region of Belgium. You
will find the arrangements for booking the hotel are straight
The programme is
organized around the themes outlined above. Confirmed speakers
include: Fiona Seeley (London), Malcolm Lyne (BBW, trade and supply)
Jane Timby (The Gallo-Belgic pottery project), Vivien Swan, Paul Booth
(Channel Tunnel Rail Link sites), Xavier Deru (Champagne Gallo-Belgic
wares and the British connection), Sonja Willems (north Gaulish
mortaria), Wouter Dhaeze (Boulogne), Marleen Martens (Roman pottery
from the ‘small town’ at Tienen, Belgium), Raph Clotuche (NE
France area excavations and pot), Frédéric Loridant (Roman pottery
in Nord-Pas-de-Calais), Wouter Dhaeze, Sofie Vanhoutte and Wim De
Clercq (the pottery from the Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ fort and
settlement at Oudenburg, near Ostend), Johan Deschieter (synthesis of
the pottery from the Roman town at Velzeke, Belgium), and Wim de
Clercq & Patrick Degryse (Waalre grey ware in Flanders).
There are one or two slots still left for papers so offers of papers
are still welcome, especially if these relate to Conference themes. If
you wish to propose a paper please contact Steven Willis in the first
HOW TO BOOK
Booking of Hotel
Accommodation has been arranged with the Ibis Opera Hotel Ghent at a
reduced rate (as we are an academic gathering and via connections with
the University of Ghent). The Ibis Opera lies in the centre of Ghent,
very close to the Conference centre.
Some 35 members have previously expressed an intention or interest in
attending the conference and somewhat more than this number of rooms
(some double) have been set aside by the Hotel on our behalf whilst
other rooms have been earmarked for continental delegates. Note that
these rooms have not been set aside for particular named people. For
this to happen you must now formally book. If you have not previously
expressed an interest in attending do not let this hinder you from now
attending and booking the Hotel. Rooms will be filled on a ‘first
come, first served’ basis as you book direct with the Hotel. The
Hotel has c. 134 rooms so hopefully if you book in reasonable time you
should have a room, although Ghent is a popular destination for
tourists and so the Hotel could get booked if one leaves it late.
There will, of course, be alternatives.
Our hotel is:
IBIS OPERA, IBIS GENT HOTELS, tel +32 9233 0000 fax
+32 9233 1000
The arrangement is that individuals either phone, email or
Fax the hotel to make their own arrangements. Simply
state that you wish to book accommodation for X number of nights and
state your specific needs. Mention the “SGRP 2006
Ghent Conference-Ibis-Opera” in arrangement with the
University of Ghent, when booking; this will ensure you get a
reserved room and a reduced fee. If faxing or phoning the staff
member dealing with conferences is Katrin so speak to her or mark Faxes
for her attention. If phoning this is best after 9.00am our time and
in the weekdays.
The cost is €69 (c. £48) a night, €79 (£55) with
breakfast. Members state the Ibis Hotel is good quality
accommodation at good value and that the breakfasts represent good
value too. You can book for the Thursday night if you wish, this being
a consideration since the Conference begins immediately after lunch on
A number of members have now booked their accommodation via these
various means and its easy. If you do not wish to give
your credit card number over email you can fax this to the hotel. Your
credit card information will only be used as a guarantee and booking
confirmation, the actual payment will be done at your arrival.
This price is entirely in line with what we have been expecting since
last summer – so that is re-assuring.
The Conference fee
will be £38 (or £18 if one opts out of the Conference
Dinner on Friday evening – this being the ‘Flemish Beer Meal’
As normally the Conference fee will cover such
aspects as the hire of facilities (rooms, AV equipment, portage),
tea/coffee, Saturday sandwich lunch, Saturday coach trip, museum entry
fees and the Friday evening conference meal: a ‘Flemish Beer Meal’
(the fee for the latter includes both drinks and food at c. £20).
Conference fees should be sent as a cheque made payable to ‘Study
Group for Roman Pottery’ and be posted to:
Louise Rayner, Hon. Treasurer, 121 Church Road, TEDDINGTON,
Middlesex, TW11 8QH.
Enquiries made in April on
costs of Eurostar fares from London Waterloo to Ghent produced the
There is a direct train from Waterloo to Brussels every 2 hours
(sometimes more frequently).
A fare from Waterloo to Ghent costs presently £29.50 each way –
travelling that is on Thursday 29th June and returning on
Monday. Non-flexible fares are cheapest.
A fare for a journey on Friday or Sunday may be more expensive. Hence
travel this way is no more expensive than travel to a conference in
Britain. Fares will be likely to increase as one gets nearer the date.
One can book via the Eurostar Website using a credit card.
The journey from Waterloo to Ghent (‘Gent Sint Pieters train station’)
may take 3 hrs and 30 minutes with a break of a half an hour to change
trains at Brussels Midi Station for Ghent, Sint Pieters Station. From
the station it is 0.9 of a mile to the hotel.
Enquiries made in April on
costs of return sailings from Dover to Calais produced the following
A P & O return leaving midday Thursday 29th June and
returning in the evening on Sunday 2nd July based on one
car and 2 people gave a quote of £70. Phone: 0870 520 2020
A Sea France return leaving midday Thursday 29th June and
returning in the evening on Sunday 2nd July based on one
car and 2 people gave a quote of £108. Phone: 0870 571 1711
These are ‘moment in time’ quotes and costs may go down, or more
likely up nearer to the time.
It is 98miles from the port of
Calais to Ghent, and takes about 1hr 40 minutes as the roads are very
easy, relatively clear and direct. The Ibis Hotel website has a map
showing its location in Ghent.
The Ibis Hotel has car parking and this costs 13 euros (£9) per day;
it may be that we can arrange some free car parking at the nearby
University car park.
Much of the city centre of Ghent is car free, though this should not
be an issue for those arriving in the city from the motorway as one
can drive direct to the hotel/university quarter. Note that Ghent is a
comparatively large centre so be prepared with regards to navigation.
BA flights from London
airports, quoted at £44 for one way, so £88 overall (including
taxes). Departing from Heathrow or Gatwick. Website is www.ba.com
Slightly cheaper flights seem to be provided by SN Brussels Airlines
at £85.30 (including taxes) from London Gatwick to Brussels but only
two flights came up for 30 June so there is a limitation. The flight
takes just over an hour. From Manchester this takes about 1 hour, 20
mins, and the cheapest cost, again seems to be from SN Brussels
Airlines, quoted at £86.00; found at www.expedia.co.uk
Most international flights go to
the Brussels National airport. You can catch a train
from Brussels National airport to Brussels Midi
railway station where you can catch a train to Gent-Sint-Pieters railway
station. The train journey from Brussels to Ghent takes about 35
minutes. However, a few flights do go into the Chareloi
airport which is south of Brussels. There is a coach service
from Chareloi to Brussels Midi Rail station which costs 10 Euros and
takes an hour. From there you can catch the train to Ghent
Car hire at the airport is an option.
Official website for Belgium Tourism in UK is
See you there!
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