25th Anniversary Celebrations.
Redcar and Cleveland Twinning Association recently entertained visitors from our twin town, Troisdorf in Germany, as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebrations.
The group arrived at the Redcar Heart on Tuesday 22nd September to a reception hosted by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. They were greeted by our Mayor, Councillor Brenda Forster, and members of the Twinning Association before going to settle in with their host families or at Saltburn House.
The following three days were very busy with visits to Preston Park Museum, Ampleforth Abbey, The Saxon Princess and Beauty and the Beach Exhibitions at Kirkleatham Hall Museum and Loftus. Evenings were busy too with a special anniversary dinner at the Redcar Heart on Wednesday evening and an anniversary concert at Guisborough Methodist Church with the Apollo Male Voice Choir.
At Preston Park Museum we discovered there were strong links with Germany as the Ropner family from Magdeburg, who were engaged in ship building and steel production, owned the house in Victorian times. We had a very warm welcome from the staff at the museum and a most interesting guided tour.
The visit to Ampleforth was also most enjoyable and included a tour of their orchards and cider mill, cider and apple product tasting and a talk about the history of the abbey. Apart from a brief shower, the weather was glorious and highlighted the beautiful countryside in the north of England on both the outward and return journeys.
Friday was a fascinating day looking at our history closer to home. It began with a visit to Kirkleatham Hall Museum and a guided tour of the Saxon Princess Exhibition. We then continued to Loftus where we had a most hospitable welcome at Loftus Town Hall from the Mayor, Mike Hodgson, and Father Adam Gaunt and were served a very convivial lunch by members of their council and volunteers. Dr Steve Sherlock then spoke with great enthusiasm about the discovery of the Saxon Princess and all the artefacts before later taking the party up to the site of the excavations at Street House on the north eastern outskirts of Loftus. There was also a visit to St Leonard’s Church in Loftus to hear a brief history of the parish.
Wednesday evening was a very special time where we all attended an anniversary dinner and entertainment hosted by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Mayor Brenda Forster welcomed everyone and spoke warmly of the friendship we have with the people from Troisdorf. The Mayor of Troisdorf, Herr Klaus-Werner Jablonski also spoke to thank everyone for organising the visit and to underline the importance of communication and understanding between the nations of the world, particularly given the many troubled areas in conflict at the present time. Gifts were exchanged to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the town twinning between Redcar and Cleveland and Troisdorf.
The entertainment for the evening was given by Normanby’s Top-line school choir, Marske Fishermen’s Choir and Abi Alton. Our German visitors were also presented with bottles of beer from the Redcar Brewery, based at The Cleveland in Coatham High Street.
A further evening of musical entertainment was provided by the Apollo Male Voice Choir at Guisborough Methodist Church on Friday evening, with guest soprano, Samantha Holden. The choir travelled to Troisdorf with the Twinning Association on our first group visit there in April 1991. To mark the 25th anniversary they presented a mixed programme of music from the shows, Welsh choir and classical pieces that everyone there enjoyed.
On Saturday morning all of our German visitors and members of the Twinning Association together with Mayor Brenda Forster gathered at Saltburn House for a full English breakfast and farewell to our guests. There was just time for a stroll along the prom and a ride on the cliff lift before bidding fond farewells to the Troisdorf visitors until next year.
If you have enjoyed hearing about this visit and think you would like to participate in future visits and events we are always looking for new members for Redcar and Cleveland Twinning Association. You don’t need to speak German although it can be useful. An interest in international links and friendship is more important. If you would like to find out more please email the secretary, Ruth Bryan at email@example.com or by telephoning 01642 485708. We also have a new web-site which gives more insight into the organisation www.redcarandclevelandtwinningassociation.org.uk