25 years of friendship with the Germans

A CHANCE meeting 25 years ago led to a lasting friendship between Abbey College in Ramsey and a German secondary school. In 1983 Hans Miko was a young teacher of English at the Konrad-von-Dürn Realschüle in Walldürn, Germany, when he decided to rent a

A CHANCE meeting 25 years ago led to a lasting friendship between Abbey College in Ramsey and a German secondary school.

In 1983 Hans Miko was a young teacher of English at the Konrad-von-Dürn Realschüle in Walldürn, Germany, when he decided to rent a house in Upwood for the summer.

The rented property was just across the road from Shaw's Stores, the village shop and post office, which Mr Miko visited each day. He mentioned in the shop that he was looking to arrange exchanges with an English school but was having problems as they were closed for the holidays.

Joyce Shaw, who ran the shop, to German teacher Gill Shelford's house in Upwood and the link between the schools in Ramsey and Walldürn began.


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This year marks 25 years of the link and the Germans thought it was so important that the town mayor and school principal joined the German youngsters on this year's trip.

The first exchange started with a small group of students from the then Ailwyn and Ramsey Abbey schools going to Germany.

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Mrs Shelford said: "We travelled by rail and ferry in those days. It was a long and tiring journey with a number of changes of train, taking us the whole day to reach our destination near Heidelberg."

Mr Miko, now deputy principal at the school, added: "Many lasting friendships have been forged between students and staff in both schools. We are very proud that we have been able to do this exchange for 25 years."

As part of the silver anniversary celebrations, the German pupils and their host families were presented with commemorative mugs by Abbey College's current German teacher, Jo Langworthy, at a special ceremony.

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