NATIONAL flags were flying high as Buntingford officially twinned with the Spanish town of Olvega at the weekend. Twenty-three delegates from Buntingford arrived in the market town on Thursday for the second and final signing ceremony. Those involved incl
NATIONAL flags were flying high as Buntingford officially twinned with the Spanish town of Olvega at the weekend.
Twenty-three delegates from Buntingford arrived in the market town on Thursday for the second and final signing ceremony.
Those involved included Cllr Jon Ling, chairman of the Olvega committee, the Mayor of Buntingford, Cllr John Noades, Cllr Jean Cook, deputy town mayor, and town clerk Jill Jones, the mayor of Olvega, Gerardo Martinez and Maryvonne Renversade, the deputy mayor of the French twin-town Luynes.
The ceremony in the main square coincided with fiesta celebrations and was followed by a parade through the streets.
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In a speech to the people of Olvega, Cllr Cook said: "I hope the seeds of friendship sown in Buntingford in June and here in Olvega today will grow and spread in the years to come and I hope our towns will enjoy many cultural, sporting and fun exchanges."
Cllr Cook also presented Olvega with a gift - a special front page edition of The Crow, which chronicled the first signing ceremony on Buntingford carnival day in June.
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At the ceremony, Mr Martinez said: "Today is a special day in which we are going to seal the long-awaited and esteemed twinning with the English town of Buntingford.
"The twinning is going to give us the possibility of linguistic exchanges.
"We're all aware of the importance of knowing and practising English and Spanish, the most spoken languages in the world.
"In addition, there are possibilities of cultural exchanges in order to get to know Buntingford, its customs, traditions, and way of life."
Commenting on the five-day trip, David Austin, a member of the Olvega committee, said one of the main highlights was when they visited the locals homes via their Penas (garages).
"It was an opportunity to learn about their interests," he said.
"They were welcoming and we would love to bring some of the social aspects of Olvega to Buntingford."
Cllr Cook added: "We had a wonderful time. Being part of the twinning association is all about learning about different cultures. Since I joined I have made so many new friends and we hope many more people will get involved."
In future the association hopes youngsters, too, will get involved with the association and take part in Spanish lessons.
They also want to promote the Cougars football club in Buntingford and bring the Spanish, French, and English football teams together.
The new agreement means Buntingford now twins with two European towns - Olvega, and Luynes in France which it has liaised with for the past 28 years.
- To find out about the Buntingford Twinning Associations call Sarah Lever on 01763 288393, or attend a Spanish evening, which is being held by the association at Benson Hall on September 30.
Tickets are £25 each for a four-course meal and wine.
- For a ticket call David Austin on 01763 272066.