Can you shed more light on Ribe?

PUBLISHED: 13:36 04 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:27 04 May 2010

THANKS to readers of the Ely Standard, more information has been unearthed about the early activities of the twinning arrangement with Ribe in Denmark, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in September of this year. Following an appeal in these pages in

THANKS to readers of the Ely Standard, more information has been unearthed about the early activities of the twinning arrangement with Ribe in Denmark, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in September of this year.

Following an appeal in these pages in March, a number of people have come forward with reminiscences, photographs and newspaper cuttings, which are helping the association's members to piece together the story.

In particular, the Ely Standard was instrumental in organising a visit for 50 people to Denmark in November 1975, the highlight of which was the planting of an oak sapling in a Ribe garden by the then mayor of Ely, Cllr Sidney Theobald. The newspaper report of the visit quotes the mayor as saying in his speech "As this oak tree grows, so I hope will the friendship between our two cities increase."

Thirty years later, the mayor would be proud to see that his wish had indeed come true.

Another unusual story from the same trip concerns Ely schoolgirl Belinda Lane, who had thrown a bottle into the sea at Felixstowe containing a message from pupils at St Mary's School. It had finally been washed ashore on a beach close to Esbjerg, not 20 miles away from Ribe and had been rescued by 13-year-old Torben Schlander, who was there to meet the party when the ship docked at Esbjerg.

In the mean time, the present day association continues to plan for the anniversary celebrations and the unveiling of its major tapestry project in the Maltings.

In recent weeks, fund-raising events have included a very successful auction, organised by the Ely Hereward Rotary, which raised £650, and a coffee morning organised by a number of association members in the Cathedral Centre, which raised more than £300.

The response to our fund-raising activities has been phenomenal, thanks to the sterling efforts of both Rotary and our members. The money raised will ensure that this lasting tribute to 50 years of twinning will be properly presented for all to see at The Maltings.

The association would still like to hear from anyone who has a story to tell and maybe some photographs or films of early contacts with Ribe. Maybe Belinda Lane is still in Ely and can tell us her story!

INFO: If you have anything to offer, please contact the secretary of the Ely-Ribe Association, Win Hughes, on Ely 610890, or by e-mail at elyribe.association@ntlworld.com

JOHN ISON

Deputy Mayor (Ely)

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