Celebration of 40-year friendship between Skegness and Bad Gandersheim

Members of Twinning Associations from two countries with  Mayor of Skegness Mark Dannatt and Mayoress Louise Saxon (left), Mayor of Bad Gandersheim Franziska Schwarz, chairman of Skegness Twinning Association Brian Chapman, and chairman of Bad Gandersheim twinning Norbert Braun at the civic reception in Skegness.
Members of Twinning Associations from two countries with Mayor of Skegness Mark Dannatt and Mayoress Louise Saxon (left), Mayor of Bad Gandersheim Franziska Schwarz, chairman of Skegness Twinning Association Brian Chapman, and chairman of Bad Gandersheim twinning Norbert Braun at the civic reception in Skegness.

The 'B' word was not allowed when Skegness hosted visitors from its twin town in Germany to celebrate a close bond between the towns that has lasted 40 years.

The group from Bad Gandersheim arrived in the resort late on Thursday evening for a full schedule of events, organised by the Skegness Twinning Association over the Bank Holiday.

Visitors from Bad Gandersheim at the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft.

Visitors from Bad Gandersheim at the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft.

One of the highlights was the presentation of a framed picture of the 186 names of soldiers from the two towns who died in the First World War, which were featured in The Box - an arts project in a former telephone box by Skegness artist John Byford and put on display in Bad Gendersheim centre.

A moving ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of fighting took place in Bad Gandersheim in November last year, attended by former Skegness Mayor Coun Sid Dennis and the Mayor of Bad Gandersheim Franziska Schwarz.

To mark the occasion, Franziska Schwarz.was presented with the picture at a civic reception at the Town Hall on Friday, hosted by the chairman of the Skegness Twinning Association Brian Chapman.

Ingrid Lohmann, deputy chairman of Bad Gandersheim Twinning Association and chairwoman of the local council, said the presentation was made even more special as it was their 40th anniversary.

Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Dannatt presents the signed picture of names of soldiers from both towns who died  in the First World War to the Mayor of Bad Gandersheim,Franziska Schwarz

Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Dannatt presents the signed picture of names of soldiers from both towns who died in the First World War to the Mayor of Bad Gandersheim,Franziska Schwarz

"It has been fabulous that we were able to celebrate our anniversary exploring Skegness in such lovely weather, as it has often rained when we visited in the past," said Ingrid.

"We all encouraged our members not to talk about Brexit because whatever happens we do not want it to influence our friendship, which is so important to us."

John Byford said the framed picture of the names of the soldiers who died in the First World War will go on show in Bad Gandersheim Town Hall when he returns with the party on Wednesday.

"The handover with the names was a fitting tribute and a moving and wonderful part of the visit," he said. "I am looking forward to seeing it hanging in the Town Hall in Bad Gandersheim.

Visitors from Bad Gandersheim checking out the quality of German sausages - bratwurst - with former Mayor Brian OConnor

Visitors from Bad Gandersheim checking out the quality of German sausages - bratwurst - with former Mayor Brian OConnor

"The Box is now to have a European theme and become a book swap, featuring books that have been collected around Europe, including Britain. It will be painted in European colours and show that, whatever are people's views, our friendship will not be influenced."

During the trip, visitors stayed in the homes of Skegness Twinning Association members as well as the Crown Hotel. They toured attractions in Skegness, including Gibraltar Point Visitor Centre, visited Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary in Huttoft, sampled Farmer Brown's ice-cream, went shopping at Alford Craft Market and had a road trip to Norwich.

A gala dinner took place on Monday night and the group planned to visit Cambridge before returning to Bad Gandersheim on Wednesday.