St Pol-sur-Ternoise and Warstein visitors welcomed by twin town Hebden Bridge
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
On the evening of the 27th August, 70 visitors from Hebden Bridge's twin towns of St Pol-sur-Ternoise (France) and Warstein (Germany) arrived to celebrate our many years of twinning together.
The occasion was also to mark the official renewal of the charters of twinning between Hebden Royd and the town councils of St Pol and of Warstein. The initial charter between Hebden Bridge and St Pol was officially signed on the 2nd June 1980 by Janet Speak and Lucien Pignion. That between Hebden Royd and Warstein was signed by David Parry and Manfred Gödde on the 1st November 1995.
The programme of events provided by the Hebden Royd Town Council and the Hebden Bridge Twinning Society (HBTS) began with a civic welcome by the town council at the Picture House on Friday morning and included speeches, presentations, short films - and ice creams!
A key moment was the official reaffirmation of Hebden Royd's charters with St Pol and Warstein, the former signed by Karl Boggis and Maurice Louf, and the latter by Karl Boggis and Heiner Maas.
Our visitors were especially impressed by James Wardley's short film "Loss is Eternal" about the moving WW1 sand sculpture created at the Hebden Royd Town Hall.
There followed a scenic tour of the moors and a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which everyone enjoyed immensely – especially the ceramic poppy "Wave" which was being created with poppies from the Tower of London installation in memory of the 1st world war.
In the evening, there was a social hosted by the HBTS at Mytholmroyd Community Centre, with music – and a tri-lingual quiz (for tri-partite teams of course!).
During the day on the Saturday hosts and guests spent time together, in walks over the moors and outings around Hebden Bridge.
The final formal event was a civic reception on the Saturday evening at the Town Hall. An accordion quartet provided musical entertainment while the Town Crier demonstrated his very particular skills. The mayors of Hebden Royd (Karl Boggis) and St Pol (Maurice Louf) plus Councillor Heiner Maas of Warstein gave speeches as did the presidents of the 3 twinning organisations (David Parry, Gérard Bocquillion and Birgit Wüllner).
Local artist Lisa Slater had created the wonderful "automata" presented to St Pol and Warstein after the speeches as official gifts from Hebden Royd.
On Sunday we waved good-by to our guests – sad to see them go – but looking forward to the HBTS visit to Warstein next May.
Photo in Germany's paper, Soester-Anzeiger