The Grantham Twinning Association welcomed 28 guests from Sankt Augustin in Germany last week.
Each year, a group from the Sankt Augustin Twinning Association visits to strengthen the link between the two towns, which has been established for more than 35 years.
During the five-day trip, the guests are hosted by Grantham members of the association and taken to see some local features, as well as sights from further afield.
This year, the visitors enjoyed a trip to Hull, Norwich to see its cathedral and to Harlaxton Manor, where they were welcomed by principal Dr Gerald Seaman, who said: “It was a pleasure to have the twinning group at Harlaxton Manor. We very much enjoyed meeting them all and having them here.
“The commitment to international understanding, sharing perspectives and experiences, among the members of this group is truly admirable.”
The visit finished with the customary farewell party held at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, where the guests were entertained by classical guitarist Nigel Truman and singers Chad and Dennis George.
Mayor of Grantham, Coun Mike Cook, who is also the honorary president of the association, was guest of honour. He said: “I am only too happy to support societies that promote Grantham, and I think that the twinning association fits the bill admirably. They are a group of people who willingly give their time to not only maintain contact with Sankt Augustin, but also to act as hosts when our German friends visit. During my term as mayor, they can rely on me for my support.”
Chairman Barry Phillips has been part of the association for two years. He said: “It always makes you realise that any problems you are experiencing here are no different to the problems they are facing there. It doesn’t matter where you live. There is a real friendship and unique bond between the two communities and some of our members have been part of the association since it began 36 years ago.
“We have always received lots of support from many local organisations who are always more than willing to support and look after us. We are very much part of the heart and soul of the town.”
Despite Sankt Augustin having a dedicated officer to manage its twinning association and funds, Barry relies on a series of fund-raising events throughout the year to help cover the costs of the guest visits.
He added: “We hold an annual quiz once a year and a show at the Guildhall. This year’s show, ‘Rock into 2017,’ was sold out.
Members are now looking forward to their trip to Germany in September.
Barry added: “We are especially looking forward to the planned tour of the European Space Centre.”
If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Grantham Twinning Association, call Barry on 01476 574088.