Members of Kettering Twinning Association have visited Lahnstein in Germany to celebrate 60 years of contact between the two towns.
John Miller chairman of the association and 36 other members travelled to the Rhine valley to enjoy the hospitality of their German hosts.
The party were treated various activities including trips to museums, wine tasting at a vineyard, a special church service, outings to Cologne and Bonn and a special reception at the town hall hosted by the Burgermeister.
Mr Miller made a speech in German to the assembled crowd which came as a shock to the over 100 guests since he doesn’t normally speak the language.
He said: “I spoke in German for 10 minutes to all the members of the town’s twinning associations which went down very well with both the English and German speakers alike.
He added: “I think they were surprised because although I’m having German lessons I don’t normally speak many words in their tongue.
“I wrote down what I wanted to say and got it translated then I was coached by a friend who gave me tips on to say it correctly.”
Contact was first made with Lahnstein in 1955, when pupils and staff from the Kettering Grammar School took part in the first of several exchange visits with the Staatliches Gymnasium Oberlahnstein.
The Buccleuch Academy will be carrying on the tradition by hosting 23 students and 3 members of staff in September when they come to the town.
Modern language students from the academy visited the Staatliches Gymnasium Oberlahnstein in Spring of this year in the first part of the exchange.
Exchange visits historically helped deepen links between the two towns.
In 1959 a letter from the Burgermeister, was delivered to the Mayor of Kettering by the Grammar School Party on their return from Lahnstein which said: “In order to consolidate the present school partnership between Lahnstein and Kettering and to ensure a long continuance of the partnership between the towns of Kettering and Lahnstein.”
Plans are already being made for next visit to Kettering by the Lahnstein twinning committee members for July 2016.
Anyone interested in getting involved in Town Twinning can find further information on the Kettering Borough Council website.