Decades of friendship

MORE than 60 people visited Felixstowe from its German twin towns to celebrate three decades of friendship.Families in the town played host, providing food and accommodation, to the visitors from Wesel – Felixstowe's twin for 30 years – and Salzwedel, its partner for ten years, as the resort marked the anniversaries.

MORE than 60 people visited Felixstowe from its German twin towns to celebrate three decades of friendship.

Families in the town played host, providing food and accommodation, to the visitors from Wesel - Felixstowe's twin for 30 years - and Salzwedel, its partner for ten years, as the resort marked the anniversaries.

The visitors enjoyed a packed weekend of events organised by the town council and the Felixstowe-Wesel Association.

As well as a civic party, the Germans included youth workers, firefighters, and members of the towns' rifle and badminton clubs.

The party were treated to a trip to the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket, and a dinner dance at the Brook Hotel in Felixstowe.

There was also a special service at Trinity Methodist Church to celebrate the 30th anniversary, followed by cake and coffee, and a civic reception and buffet supper at Brackenbury Sports Centre, hosted by mayor Doreen Savage with entertainment from the Deben Jazz Band.

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The visitors gave a financial gift towards youth work in Felixstowe.

Felixstowe-Wesel Association spokeswoman Mary Cotterell said it had been a wonderful weekend with friendship as the main theme.

"Many of the visitors had been before and so have firm friendships with local people and some were coming for the first time and enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing the area," she said.

"It was a really enjoyable weekend and to think the twinning with Wesel has now been going for 30 years is amazing."

The association was now looking forward to visiting Wesel in October for the second leg of the celebrations.

Felixstowe and Wesel, a medieval Hansa town but which was destroyed during Allied bombing raids in 1945, were officially twinned in 1974 after members of the town's fire service built up links with their opposite numbers in Wesel.

Over the years there have been annual visits by civic officials, sporting organisations and the carnival organisers, plus exchange visits with schools and clubs, and competitions between the rifle clubs and football teams.

Felixstowe established a special friendship link with Salzwedel in the old East Germany, a town also officially twinned with Wesel, in 1994.

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