IT was interesting to read of the recent contacts with Simbach am Inn and Brian Phillip’s memories (Twinning between Skipton and Simbach alive and well, Craven Herald online.

The first exchange visits took place between the Realschule Simbach and Aireville School, where Brian was a governor.

Bernard O'Neill was Skipton Mayor when the charter was signed in Skipton Town Hall. Brian was the first mayor to visit Simbach in 1983, when he signed the charter over there.

In those early days of town twinning Skipton Town Council played a leading role and Councillor Judith Hollings was chair of the committee responsible for overseeing twinning.

In 1986, Cllr John Spencer was the second Skipton Mayor to visit Simbach. Over the years several of the town mayors and councillors along with countless others have established good friendships with people in the Simbach area.

It is a great pity that the current council seem to have no regard for twinning. They failed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original charter signing and there is little evidence in the town of the links with either Simbach or the French twin, Erquinghem-Lys.

Both these towns display prominently their connection with Skipton as the sign outside the town hall of the latter shows.

Over the years Simbach and Skipton have exchanged gifts. Why are these not displayed prominently and proudly and why has the town council adopted such a cavalier attitude to such important cultural links that are of great benefit to the young people and international peace and friendship?

John Tomlinson

Former Skipton town councillor


In response, Louise Close, Chief Officer of Skipton Town Council said: “I would like to thank Mr Tomlinson for his comments and I will pass them on to the town council members.”