Twinning visit seals partnership

A souvenir photograph against the backdrop of Dunnottar Castle
A souvenir photograph against the backdrop of Dunnottar Castle

A visit to Stonehaven by a delegation from its twin town in France has been hailed a “massive success”.

The group from the Paris suburb of Acheres spent the weekend as guests of the local community.

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And the co-ordinator of the visit said it had confirmed his belief in the concept and initiative.

Phil Mills-Bishop, who spearheads the Stonehaven and District Twinning Group, added that they would now be stepping up efforts to establish links with other towns and regions in Germany and Portugal, and further afield to China and Japan.

The Acheres representatives, including Mayor Marc Honore, arrived late on Friday and a busy programme of activities was organised for their three-day stay.

More than 60 guests attended a “Welcome Gathering” at Dunnottar Castle on Saturday morning.

They included French consul general in Scotland Emmanuel Cocher, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon and Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson.

Representatives from local business, sporting clubs, pupils from Dunnottar Primary School, their teachers and parents were also present.

During the weekend, the visitors were shown around the town and surrounding area, stopping off at various shops and businesses.

One shop owner said she was proud that the Mayor had called in and thought the twinning a “wonderful idea and opportunity”, not just for her business but for the whole town.

The visit took place against the backdrop of Stonehaven’s annual folk festival and the French guests soaked up the atmosphere throughout the weekend.

The twinning group will shortly launch its own Facebook page and look at its structure, producing a Twinning Calendar/Passport of annual events and activities.