Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Henley delegation on historic twin town visit

THE signing of a reciprocal twinning agreement and the unveiling of a memorial plaque for London 2012 will be the

THE signing of a reciprocal twinning agreement and the unveiling of a memorial plaque for London 2012 will be the highlights of a visit by a Henley civic delegation to Bled, Slovenia, this weekend, writes Robert Treharne Jones.

The occasion will also be marked by Henley crews competing in the Slovenian national rowing championships on Lake Bled, the venue for the 2011 world championships.

The party, led by Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, arrived for the historic event yesterday (Thursday)

The visit is the latest milestone in the development of the twinning relationship over the last two years. A Slovenian delegation, led by the Mayor of Bled, Janez Fajfar, visited Henley in April and were impressed by the beauty of the town and the river as well as the friendliness of everyone they met.

Councillor Gawrysiak said: “Bled is a beautiful place, with its lake, castle and the nearby national park and, having visited many times myself, I’m looking forward to renewing old friendships and meeting new people.”

Other members of the delegation, who are funding their own travel and accommodation to the Slovenian resort, include John Friend, president of Henley Rowing Club, and regular Bled visitors Steve Bennett, who has a holiday home nearby, and Jonathan Hobbs.

The official tour includes visits to the Bled Festival Hall, the school of management, the high school for tourism and gastronomy and the Church of St Martin as well as a local primary school.

The official signing of the twinning certificate between Bled and Henley was to take place today at Bled Castle.

The medieval castle is built high on a cliff overlooking Lake Bled and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Tomorrow’s star attraction is the rowing championships in which Leander Club captain Debbie Flood will take part in the women’s single sculls.

Shiplake’s Max Hearndon and Harry Vardigans, both members of the GB eight at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in July, will race the J18 pairs.

Henry Blois-Brooke and Seb Newman will compete in the J14 double sculls and Oli Potter, also from Shiplake, will race the J14 single sculls.

* A report and pictures of the Henley visit to Bled will be published in next week’s Henley Standard.

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