A Truly historic 70th anniversary visit by our Hannoverian friends!

18 of our friends from the Hannover-Bristol Association visited Bristol as part of our regular citizens’ exchanges, but this time it was a very special occasion: central to this visit was the great Zoo party to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the twinning, alongside the same anniversary of the link with Bordeaux – and both groups were accompanied by their respective Mayors Schostok and Juppé with their entourages.

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Oberbürgermeister Schostok speaks at the Zoo, Mayors Rees and Juppé accompany.

The Hannoverians had a full programme around the event, starting with a reception when the Lord Mayor, Cllr Lesley Alexander welcomed the visitors to the Mansion House.

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The day after the zoo party members of Bristol’s and Hannover’s associations were treated to a very unusual art exhibition at the home of the Bristol Savages, the Wigwam, namely 8 of the paintings of Donald Hughes, one of the famous five men who went over to Hannover in 1947 on a goodwill mission, to extend the hand of friendship to the people of Hannover in their time of need.  We were also treated to a wonderful recital by renowned classical pianist Alan Schiller and baritone Jeremy Watkins.

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Self-portrait of Donald Hughes

In the afternoon we climbed the Wills Tower, and had a fantastic view across Bristol.  On Sunday we visited Gloucester and marvelled at the Cathedral; on Monday we visited the Bristol Archives, and also enjoyed the historical photographic exhibition of the twinning from 1947-2017 in the café of the CREATE Centre.  After a ferry-ride into the city centre, the group was delighted to see the paintings of Hannoverians King George II and his Queen Caroline in the beautiful Lantern Room in the Old Council House (now the Registry Office) on Corn Street.

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Oil painting of Hannoverian King George II in the Lantern Room

A convivial farewell meal at Watershed Media Centre brought us back up to today, and rounded off what was one of our most successful visits!  We look forward to going to Hannover in August!

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