Three decades of a twinning link between Lytham St Annes and Werne was celebrated in champion style.
A delegation of 36 from the German town joined in St Annes Carnival weekend and put the seal on a winning visit by watching their national team win the World Cup on TV in a St Annes hotel.
A key feature of the visit was a civic lunch at St Annes Old Links Golf Club at which a 30-year charter was signed by the Fylde mayor Kevin Eastham, St Annes town mayor Ed Nash, Werne burgermeister Lothar Christ and the chairmen of the respective twinning associations, Tony Ford and Gudrun Holtrup.
Gifts of works of art and other items were exchanged and Tony Ford said: “Twinning is changing, with young people having access to the world without ever leaving their computer screen. But I hope that we can look at harnessing technology of the present and the future to pursue some new ways, perhaps through video conferencing, of linking our towns to take us up to our 35th anniversary.
“We look forward to seeing everyone in 2019 for our 35-year celebration, but the people of Werne don’t have to wait five years – they are welcome to visit us at any time.”
Frau Holtrup expressed her delight that school exchanges between the two towns continue to prosper and could even be stepped up.
She said: “Only when we interest the next generation in friendship and exchange across the borders will twinning grow into the future.”
Guests at the civic lunch were greeted by the Lytham-based Guardian Concert Band playing ‘oompah’-style, while Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard made the introductions - and clearly impressed the German delegation.
“We would like to borrow him for some of our events,” smiled Werne burgermeister Lothar Christ as he thanked his local counterparts and members of the Lytham St Annes Twinning Association for their hospitality.
“It is a pleasure to be here and to be welcomed so warmly,” he said, while Couns Eastham and Nash both spoke of their pride that the twinning link had reached such a landmark date,