Julia to carry on twinning after 1,000 visits

A SURPRISE presentation has been given to a woman who has seen over 1,000 German exchange students pass through her door over a

A SURPRISE presentation has been given to a woman who has seen over 1,000 German exchange students pass through her door over a 30 year period.Julia Russell, of Trewartha Park, Weston, opened her front door to find representatives from the Hildesheim Twinning Association and the former town mayor armed with a plaque to present to her.Hildesheim youth exchange co-ordinator, Jupp Gierhardy, said: "We came over from Germany to 'name' the house Hildesheim Residence because Julia is one of the very active people that have supported the youth exchange and twinning from the start. "We found out that since about 1975 more than 1,000 people have stayed at her house."Children, students, parents, teachers and youth leaders have always liked staying with Julia and some return every year. "Some students that came to Weston first as a child now come back to visit with their own children." Julia said: "I was very surprised and delighted to receive the plaque which is now on the front of my house."As long as I am fit enough to do so I will continue with the exchange programme."I have been to Hildesheim many times and have always had a fantastic welcome. The last time I went I pointed out to the mayor that in Weston we have roads and a bridge named after their town, but they have nothing named after ours."The mayor has promised he will look into including Weston in future naming."The town twinning arrangements between Weston and Hildesheim were organised by the Weston Twinning Association in which the town mayor serves as an honorary chairman. For the past 30 years, the association has made arrangements for exchange visits and holds several fund-raising events throughout the year for this purpose. Youth twinning began in 1977 and the town twinning was agreed in 1983. * Pictured from left to right: Paula Howell, Julia Russell, Jupp Gierhardy, Reiner Kaste and Gotthard Schnaar.


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