A GERMAN delegation arrived in Kendal to re-affirm the friendship between their two towns.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Kendal with Rinteln, a town in the Lower Saxony region of Germany, and an official delegation, including the Mayor of Rinteln Andrea Lange arrived in Kendal on Friday as the town began the celebrations for the Torchlight Festival.

An official welcome was given to the 31 German visitors at Kendal Town Hall on Friday with a traditional afternoon tea, signing of the reaffirmation document, and addresses given by Mayor of Kendal Doug Rathbone and his German counterpart, the former gifting the latter with a piece of local stone engraved by Parkin and Jackson of Sandylands.

Chair of the Kendal-Rinteln Association Andy Blackman said he was delighted to see the partnership thriving after the challenges of Covid, and said the twinning has a bright future.

"It was an important weekend as we recognised what had gone on over the last 30 years, and to bring some energy back to the twinning dynamic - Covid did its best to knock it on its head, but the relationship between the two towns is too strong to allow the twinning to wither," he said.

READ MORE: 30th anniversary event to 'celebrate and revitalise' town's twinning

Following the official event on Friday, the Germans set up a stall in Kendal as part of the Torchlight festivities, and finished the day in typical Kendalian style, according to Andy.

"We finished off with a fish and chip supper and beers in Phil Walker's marquee at the New Union," he said.

"It was a great weekend and I know that the German party enjoyed it, and they're looking forward to looking after the Lakes Gospel Choir in October when they visit Rinteln.

"The twinning is very much alive and long may it continue. 

"We're inviting people to take up some seats on the choir's coach, and stay with a host family, which we will organise, from October 24 - 28, and all we ask is £200 for travel.

"We believe that's the best way of deepening the relationship between our two towns, because when your sharing your meals, and your life with people for a few days, - that's when friendships are made."

If you are interested in visiting Rinteln in October, contact Andy Blackman at andyblackman30@gmail.com.