VIDEO: Sign unveiling marks 20 year association with Kendal's twin town (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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VIDEO: Sign unveiling marks 20 year association with Kendal's twin town
TWO communities separated by more than 500 miles joined together for a ceremony to mark 20 years of friendship.
Residents of northern German town of Rinteln visited Kendal to help unveil a new fingerpost to celebrate two decades of twinning between the towns.
Detailing the distances from Kendal to Rinteln, Scafell Pike, Mount Everest and New York, the new landmark in Market Place was launched with a soundtrack provided by Das Blasorchester der Feuerwehr Rinteln, the concert band of Rinteln’s fire brigade.
Jorg Schrödër, Rinteln deputy head of administration, unveiled the fingerpost alongside Kendal mayor Coun John Wilshaw.
Mr Schrödër said: “People told me that the Lake District had terrible weather – I forgot to bring my sunglasses – it has been very sunny here. I come here not as an official but as a friend and I am thankful for the hospitality I have received.
“It is only 510 miles to Rinteln and I want to see everyone in Kendal heading in that direction to visit our town.”
Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron, said: “We are hugely proud of our relationship with Rinteln. We value the friendships we have, which are more than skin deep, and the welcome that Rinteln gives to visitors from Kendal who have been there over the past 20 years. The relationship will last a lot, lot longer in the future.”
The man who set the wheels of twinning in motion back in the early 1990s was also there to celebrate the anniversary. Mike Middleton, the former German-based British Army press officer, was asked by the then mayor of Rinteln to find a twin town.
He said: “I looked around but I heard that Kendal was also in the market and, despite the fact that Kendal had six towns who were applying to twin with it, they seemed to like the package.”
The plan was given the green light by the town council, with ex-mayors John Studholme and Dr Colin Reynolds heavily involved in sealing the deal.