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Hundreds visit Darlington to celebrate town twinning links
2:50pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
A YEAR of celebrations to mark 60 years of Darlington’s twinning links with Europe has seen more than 200 people from across the continent visit the town.
Darlington was twinned with the towns of Amiens, in France, and Mulheim am Ruhr, in Germany, in 1953.
Since then more than 50,000 people have made twinning visits, including hundreds of young people who have been given the chance to experience new languages and cultures.
The 60th anniversary celebrations have involved a number of sporting, trade and educational visits, while the main civic celebrations saw the mayors of the three towns come together at the Darlington Indoor Market 150th anniversary celebrations.
During the year Darlington has also forged links with eight ‘town cousins’ including Opole in Poland and Goerlitz and Dortmund, in Germany.
Tom Nutt, chairman of Darlington’s Town Twinning Association, said: “This has been a fantastic year for town twinning. It has gone beyond my wildest expectations and is set to end with a bang and a song in Darlington.
“We can pride ourselves here in Darlington on being one of the first ever towns in the country to take part in the scheme. Since it began, more than 50,000 visitors have visited the towns and those are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Many unofficial visits have taken place as people make lifelong friends through exchange visits.
“Every year town twinning helps to foster good relationships between Darlington and our twin towns. It is a brilliant way of sharing culture and language and of developing business links.”
The final celebrations for the anniversary year included a visit to Mulheim by 22 Darlington residents, who were promoting the town as a tourist destination and a base for trips to the wider North-East.
On October 21, family group Fellerband, also from Mulheim, will perform their folk/rock music at The Forum music centre on Monday, October 21, alongside Darlington vocalists Hayley McKay and Phil Crombie.
Tickets are £7 from Tom Nutt on 01325360953.
The final event planned is a performance by the Mulheim Charisma choir who will be at Central Hall, in the Dolphin Centre, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 and are available from Mr Nutt.
For more information on the 60th anniversary celebrations and Darlington’s other twin towns visit darlingtontowntwinning.co.uk
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