Twenty fifth anniversary twinning gathering in Llandrindod Wells

The twenty-fifth anniversary of twinning between Llandrindod Wells and Contrexéville, France has recently been celebrated at a gathering in the Welsh spa town. Twenty two guests from Contrexéville and eight from Bad Rappenau, Germany, two towns which share twinning agreements with Llandrindod Wells, have recently completed a three day stay in Mid Wales to celebrate this twenty-five year milestone. The groups were welcomed by Llandrindod’s Town Crier, Jan Swindale, at a reception in the Hotel Commodore and were accommodated in the homes of supporters of Llandrindod Twinning during their stay.

Llandrindod Wells’ Town Crier Jan Swindale welcoming visitors to the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of twinning between Llandrindod and Contrexeville

Llandrindod Twinning Association had organised a number of excursions for the guests on their visit to Wales. On the first day the visitors from Bad Rappenau enjoyed a day out visiting the award winning Judge’s Lodging Presteigne where they explored Victorian life above and below stairs. A particular delight was photographing each other in masks and costumes provided by this “hands on museum”. Following an enjoyable lunch outside in the sunshine the group explored Hergest Croft Gardens, Kington and were smitten by the azaleas and woodland plants.

On the following day the visitors from Contrexéville and Bad Rappenau were accompanied by some of their hosts for a sunny day out to Aberystwyth. After exploring the Elan Valley Visitor Centre the group moved on to Devil’s Bridge to board a steam train on the Vale of Rheidol Railway for the trip down to Aberystwyth. In Aberystwyth they enjoyed walks along the promenade and traditional fish and chips. On their return journey to Llandrindod the group stopped in Llanidloes to eat a delightful evening meal together at the Angel Inn.

The third day was spent exploring Brecon and taking a trip on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

The Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, Councillor Jon Williams and family and the Deputy Mayor Councillor Elaine Worgan with guests from Contrexéville (France) and Bad Rappenau (Germany) and their hosts from Llandrindod prior to the twenty-fifth anniversary dinner held at the Llandrindod Wells Golf Club

The main event of the visit was a Celebration Dinner at Llandrindod Wells Golf Club attended by the Mayor of Llandrindod Wells, Councillor Jon Williams and sixty guests and supporters from France, Wales and Germany. Rob Shelton, Chairman of Llandrindod Twinning Association, spoke about the close friendship and collaboration between the communities over the past twenty five years. He believed that twinning is important as it offers opportunities, particularly to our young people, to travel and widen understanding between the diverse communities and to accept and offer friendship in return. He presented British rose bushes to Babette Simonin, President of Contrexéville Twinning Association and Sibylle Hummel, President of Bad Rappenau Twinning Association to be planted in “Friendship Gardens” in both towns.

25th Anniversary Cake – Twinning between Llandrindod Wells and Contrexeville

In response Babette Simonin spoke about the numerous visits between the two communities over the past twenty five years – school groups, youth groups, bands, choirs, fishing clubs and many others. She looked forward to many more years of exchanges between the towns particularly young people and school groups.

Babette Simonin and Sibylle Hummel made presentations to Llandrindod Committee members and gave special thanks to the host families for their generous hospitality during the visit. Both felt the celebrations had been a great success.

Before their journey home the Mayor, Councillor Jon Williams, thanked the visiting groups for making the long journey to Wales and wished them a safe journey home. He made a special presentation of antique Contrexéville spa water bottles to the presidents of the three Twinning Associations. The bottles symbolised empty vessels that in the future can be filled with more friendship and collaboration between the twin towns. He looked forward to welcoming a group of scouts from Bad Rappenau who will be visiting Llandrindod in August and to many more cultural exchanges in the next twenty five years.