Forres twin town delegation to be welcomed at Piping championships

THE HISTORY OF FORRES’ links with its twin town of Vienenburg is to be celebrated when a contingent from the German town visits the European Pipe Band Championships next month.

Around 45 people from Vienenburg have chosen to make their annual visit to tie in with Piping At Forres being held in Grant Park on June 24.

David MacFarquhar, chairman of the Forres-Vienenburg Twining Association, said he was delighted that the visit would coincide with Piping At Forres which has become Moray’s biggest one day event.

He said: “About 45 Germans will arrive in Forres in June in time for Piping At Forres. Twinning exchanges do not normally take place at the height of the summer but this one will and it is Piping At Forres that is the big attraction.

“Our visitors are familiar with pipe bands, after all, they have been here many times before and their bus is normally greeted by a piper, but this is different.

“When they heard that well over a hundred bands would be playing in Grant Park there was a rush to get a place on the trip. Most are coming by bus and will spend a week in the area – some, including a few dignitaries, will fly in for the event.”

Roland Wolf, the secretary of the Vienenburg Twinning Association said: “To hear more than one band playing together sounds difficult – but how can you organise a hundred pipe bands to play together? It sounds impossible or a miracle!”

The trip follows a visit last year which focussed on kick starting the school exchanges between Forres Academy and the Vicco von Bulow Oberschule in Vienenburg, a slightly smaller school. It also falls just a month before Forres Area Soccer 7s take 16 young players to Germany as a response to a similar exchange visit from the Germans in 2015.

Joanna Taylor, a director of Forres Events Limited, the company that organises Piping At Forres said she was delighted that the event is attracting the twinning visitors.

She said: “It is marvellous that our counterparts in Germany have decided to arrange their visit to tie in with Piping At Forres and in such large numbers too. We extend them a very warm welcome and wish them all the best and have no doubt they will have a fantastic day.”