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THIRTY visitors from Solihull’s twinned town, Main-Taunus-Kreis, have paid their bi-annual trip to the borough.

A welcoming party was held in the stunning garden of association member Val Bodenham, who lives in Whitefields Road, last Friday for members of the delegation from Germany.

A welcoming party was held in the stunning garden of association member Val Bodenham, who lives in Whitefields Road, last Friday for members of the delegation from Germany.

Current Solihull chair Katherine Ayto said: “It gives you a better understanding of different cultures at a very personal level.

“On our visits we have been taken to some wonderful places to see a genuine piece of German life that you would never get to see as a tourist.

“We also try to show them as much as we can of Solihull and England.

“It’s a fantastic way to get to know people.”

The group paid a visit to Oxford last Saturday, listened to some local jazz on Sunday and toured Jaguar Land Rover’s Lode Lane Plant on Monday before returning home.

While Beryl Ward, the group’s oldest member, remembered the Association when it was first founded in 1978.

“It was set up by Councillor (Edward) Barlow, the mayor of Solihull at the time, and Malcolm Harbour MEP, who were interested in founding a twinning group close to the Frankfurt area.

“With Birmingham being twinned with Frankfurt, both second cities, Main-Taunus-Kreis and Solihull are very similar.

“We’re all great friends, we often stay with each other in between visits.”

Klaus Kircher, chair of Main-Taunus-Kreis Twinning Association, said: “We feel that there is a very strong connection with Solihull.

“I’d recommend the association as a way to meet people from foreign countries and learn about their different lives.

“Sharing language is another profit.

“We’re hoping more young people will join to keep the twinning association going as when people get older they won’t be able to travel any longer.

“The second part of our business is to involve schools.”

Mayor of Solihull, Coun Ken Hawkins, who was invited to meet the visiting group added: “It’s wonderful. It’s something I feel we should promote.

“The benefits are tremendous – educational, business and cultural but also, just as importantly friendships.”

The group are now looking for new members of all ages, including families, to join.

For more information, call Katherine on 01564 898 625.

 

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