The Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Carol Wardle welcomed around 50 residents of Bielefeld, Germany to the magnificent Rochdale Town Hall this week.
Bielefeld is the longest-standing of the boroughs’ six twinning agreements, dating back more than 60 years to 1953, when many such agreements were signed across Europe following the conclusion of the Second World War.
Following an initial welcome and raising of the German flag, the visitors were taken on a guided tour of the Grade-I Listed hall. The group marvelled at the stories behind the stained glass windows, walked onto the balcony in the footsteps of international star Gracie Fields and learnt all the gory details of trials that took place in the former courtroom.
An afternoon tea of freshly-made sandwiches, cakes and scones prepared by the town hall bistro rounded off an enjoyable visit with the mayor.
Mayor Wardle, said: “It was a real honour to be able to host such wonderful guests from our twin town in Germany. I certainly learned a lot about their city and was especially intrigued by the ‘Bielefield Conspiracy’ which I had never heard of. I hope we can encourage businesses to make closer ties with their Bielefeld counterparts and schools and colleges to work to develop strong friendships and educational exchanges between the students which I feel would be in the common good.”
“Our visitors were amazed by the beauty of the town hall and really supportive of the work taking place to regenerate the borough. I was really pleased that they enjoyed their visit and hope to welcome them again soon.”
Bielefeld is a wonderful place to visit and to learn about the German culture. Sparrenburg Castle, constructed in the mid 13th Century, sits imposingly above the town and is a must for your visit. The city also runs one of Germany’s famous Christmas Markets, which this year runs from 24 November to 30 December. For more information, visit www.bielefeld.de/en.
Or for something closer to home, why not book onto one of our expertly guided tours of Rochdale Town Hall. Taking place on the last Friday of every month, you are sure to learn something about Rochdale that you didn’t know before. Visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/townhall to find out more.
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