The mayor of Harpenden, Cllr Fiona Gaskell, has visited one of Harpenden's twin towns in Germany.

Mayor Cllr Gaskell went to Alzey with the Friends of Alzey group for a trip marking the 60th anniversary of the town-twinning partnership,

Bürgermeister Steffen Jung, mayor of Alzey, welcomed the mayor of Harpenden with a series of events and visits.

The programme culminated in a farewell dinner at which the mayor of Harpenden proudly presented a framed painting - specially commissioned by local artist Peter Brown - to her Alzey counterpart. In turn, mayor Cllr Gaskell received an engraved plaque to be displayed in the council chamber at Harpenden Town Hall.

Herts Advertiser: The mayor of Harpenden received this plaque from her counterpart in Alzey.The mayor of Harpenden received this plaque from her counterpart in Alzey. (Image: Harpenden Town Council)

Alzey is a bustling and picturesque market town located 30km southwest of Mainz in the centre of Rheinhessen, a winemaking region.

The visit coincided with Alzey's annual Wine Festival, a locally important occasion which celebrates the town’s wine heritage.

Alzey has an elected Wine Queen - a significant, well-regarded role for the town as an ambassador for Alzey and the Rheinhessen region helping to promote local wine production and its history.

After the visit, mayor Cllr Gaskell said: “We are immensely proud to have maintained such a cordial and successful partnership with both Alzey and Cosne over the years, even in the face of recent challenges.


"Our relationship with these towns has forged long lasting friendships and has given everyone involved an opportunity to discover other cultures and create a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other’s way of life, as well as recognising our similarities.

"It was a great pleasure and privilege to be able to mark the 60-year anniversary of our twinning partnership with our friends in Alzey this year.”

The visit was one of a number of visits between the towns to have taken place over the past sixty years.

It is hoped that the town twinning relationships assists in developing a mutual understanding and appreciation of cultures, and appeals to people who would like to travel for new and meaningful experiences.

Many UK-German town twinning relationships were born from the movement for reconciliation following the Second World War, at a time when overseas travel was becoming more common.

Today, joining a Friends group allows members to connect with residents of the twin towns in a variety of ways, including both in-person and online.

Members can attend a variety of events and activities such as annual dinners, quizzes and conversation evenings.