Delegates from the Bridgend Town Twinning Association recently travelled to their twin town of Langenau in Germany. This was their fourth visit of the year, having attended the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations at Villenave d’Ornon in France in March, as well as an International Music Festival with Cor Tabernacl in June. A visit was also made to Hektel-Eksel in Belgium as part of their Open Monument weekend, when their town remembers their liberation by the Welsh Guards (in September 1944) from occupying forces.

The delegates joined Cor Bro Ogwr in the visit to Langenau where the choir sang in the 500th Anniversary Service of the Reformation at Martinskirche in the town. A beautiful service in a wonderful setting, the choir performed well conducted by Rosie Howarth, their soloist was Erin Alexander, and accompanied by Glenn Crooks.

During the week everyone enjoyed visits to Ulm, where the choir sang in the Minster and where a few brave souls managed to climb to the top of the highest Cathedral Tower in Europe. In Stuttgart, we were stunned by the huge Ludwigsburg palace and the modern Mercedes-Benz museum where the display of vehicles through the years was incredible. The Steiff museum at Geingen took us back to our childhood and most of us had to purchase a momento of this visit and there was certainly a vast variety of our stuffed furry friends to choose from.

An evening reception was held for the delegates and choir by the Bugermeister Mr Daniel Salemi, who welcomed the visitors and hoped that new projects between the towns would develop in the coming years. He was very interested in visiting Bridgend and South Wales personally.

The choir also sang in Leonardskirche in Langenau where they joined two local choirs to entertain the town. A packed church saw the choir and their soloist Erin receive a standing ovation. Many of the townspeople were keen to renew memories of happy times spent in Bridgend many years ago. It is hard to believe that this twinning arrangement with Langenau is almost 50 years old and still looking forward to new exchanges.

The week ended with a journey south to the Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Although the weather wasn’t kind to us, we were all amazed at the views from the castle and really knew we’d climbed many, many steps by the end of the day.

As we returned home to Bridgend everyone was delighted that the visit had been successful and enjoyable. A big thanks to Mrs Lyn James for organising such a varied and interesting programme for the week and Bridgend Town Twinning Association can be assured that our links with Langenau are as strong as ever with plans for future exchanges already being discussed.