Hebden Bridge likes to be different so is part of a three way twinning ! It is connected with Warstein on Germany and St Pol sur Ternoise in France.
Hebden Royd Town Council arranges regular visits and exchange trips to both towns.
|Warstein is in the north of the Sauerland, a land of hills, lakes and forests, which gives way to the North German plain. The industrial area of the Ruhr is about an hour's drive away to the west. Stadt Warstein lies in the administrative area of Soest which is about half way between Dortmund and Kassel.|
Warstein itself lies in a valley and has a number of small villages in the hills and valleys around it, in this respect it is not dissimilar to Hebden Bridge. With about 30 000 inhabitants, it is, however, a larger town and, with over half its area wooded, forestry is important.
Also in the area are electrical, steel and plastics industries together with limestone quarries and perhaps the best known, the huge brewery where Warsteiner beer is made.
Due to its location, though, it is not only an industrial town, but also a popular holiday area offering, among other things, watersports, and walking with plenty of accommodation and camping available. There is a wildlife park and interesting caves with stalactites and nearby is the Moehnesee and the Moehne Dam.
There has been a connection between the schools of the two towns for some time but the link with Warstein became an official twinning in 1995, thus completing a three way link connecting St Pol, Warstein and Hebden Royd.
St Pol sur Ternoise, France
|St Pol is in northern France, in the rolling wooded countryside of Flanders. It is north of Amiens, between Montreuil and Arras and just over an hour from the channel ports of Calais and Boulogne. Sharing some similarities with Hebden Bridge, it too is the centre of a community of small villages and hamlets in the surrounding area.
Farming is the principal commercial activity in the region, although tourism also features so there are hotels and camp sites and, of course, restaurants.
The town has an historic past and whilst it was heavily bombed in 1944 (and subsequently rebuilt) there are still a few well preserved public buildings worth seeing. There are British cemeteries in St Pol and it is from here that the Unknown Soldier began the journey to his resting place in Westminster Abbey in 1919.
Activities such as cycling, mountain biking, archery, angling, and clay pigeon shooting are all available locally. There are places of interest in the area, there is a motor racing circuit and the coast is not far away. The battlefields of Azincourt (Agincourt), and, from the First World War, the Somme, are in easy reach. There are good train links to Paris from nearby Arras.
St Pol and Warstein became twin towns in 1965 and celebrated their 35th anniversary in the year 2000. The link with Hebden Bridge came later and the official charter was signed in St Pol in 1979 and in Hebden Bridge the following year.