Calderdale greets twin-link visitors

Elland-Riorges Association at Halifax Town Hall and, below, Halifax Aachen Society at Halifax Town Hall

Elland-Riorges Association at Halifax Town Hall and, below, Halifax Aachen Society at Halifax Town Hall

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CALDERDALE hosted visitors from its twin towns of Riorges, France, and Aachen, Germany, and both parties attended civic receptions at Halifax Town Hall.

The Elland-Riorges Association welcomed 35 visitors and activities included a welcome lunch at Elland Golf Club, a day trip to Whitby, a barge trip between Mirfield and Brighouse, a race night at Elland WMC and a visit to North Yorkshire.

Halifax Aachen Society visiting Town Hall, Halifax

Halifax Aachen Society visiting Town Hall, Halifax

The visit culminated in a farewell dinner at Bradley Hall Golf Club, Holywell Green.

Association spokesman Les Piggin said it had been an excellent week.

“We didn’t travel great distances and kept within Yorkshire, which was a good idea,” he said.

The exchange visits – a party from Elland will travel to France next May – were successfully building friendships and cultural understanding, said Mr Piggin.

The Halifax-Aachen Society also had a full schedule for its 30 German visitors.

They visited the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds and also Whitby, including a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

A trip to Theakston’s Brewery, Masham, a walk around Hebden Bridge, tea at Harveys, Halifax, and a farewell dinner at The Works, Sowerby Bridge, were also enjoyed.

Society chairwoman Margaret Barnes said it had been a very enjoyable week.

“Everybody had a great time and made new friendships,” she said.

Exchanges with Aachen began in 1949 and it is the oldest twin link in Calderdale.

It was in the British Military Zone following the second world war and friendship links were formed as part of the re-building process.

Mrs Barnes said such links were needed today just as much as 60 years ago.

There will be a return visit from Halifax organised for next year.

Anyone interested in joining the twin link groups can obtain more information from the websites at www.ellandriorges.org.uk and www.halifaxaachensociety.co.uk