Twinning association pays tribute to wonderful host

PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:38 07 February 2020

Julia Russell being presented with a plaque for playing host to the Hildesheim Twinning Association.

Julia Russell being presented with a plaque for playing host to the Hildesheim Twinning Association.

Archant

Friends of a Weston woman who played host to hundreds of German visitors say she will be remembered for her 'open heart and open door'.

Julia Russell, aged 87, was
an avid member of Hildesheim Twinning Association and was a host more than 2,500 people who visited the town from the German city.

A plaque was unveiled outside Julia's home in Trewartha Park, in 2007 after she welcomed the 1,000th German student through her door.

Jupp Gerhardy, who is in charge of the exchange programme in Hildesheim, has stayed at Julia's house on many occasions.

He met Julia in 1979 in Hidesheim and a year later he was welcomed at the Russell's house in Weston for the first time.

After his third year visiting, Julia's husband George gave Jupp a front door key, which he has been using for decades.

He said: "Julia was not only a host mother. To me, she somehow was a bit like a real mother."

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