Burnley put out the flags, literally, on Saturday as Burnley Twinning Association, in conjunction with Burnley Central Library, welcomed local residents and representatives from their twinned town Vitry-sue-Seine to a very special ceremony.
Burnley has been awarded the prestigious European Diploma by the Council of Europe for its work in developing good relations between the people of Burnley and the citizens of Vitry-sur-Seine.
Only 12 towns across the 47 member states in the Council of Europe received the award this year and Burnley was the only one in the United Kingdom.
The bid for the award was made by the Burnley Twinning Association together with Burnley Town Council and included details of the work of the Council in sharing its expertise with its twin town near Paris, Vitry-sur-Seine including fact-finding visit. The work of local primary schools in teaching children about the different cultural traditions and languages of other European countries.
Sajjad was delighted to be asked to formally present the award to the Mayor of Burnley, Elizabeth Monk.
The event was attended by over 100 residents together with French guests, politicians, children, parents, and people walking in off the street because they heard a Fench accordion playing enjoyed an entente cordiale!
The entertainments included: Children from St. John's Primary in Padiham singing French songs, Children from Whiittlefield Primary School welcoming guests to a 'salon de thé. A Council of Europe exhibition brought over from Strasbourg especially for the event together with a stand from the UK office of the European Parliament and an exhibition of French books donated by our friends in Vitry.
The Library staff entered fully into the spirit of the event, dressing both themselves and the Library to reflect the success of the twinning with Vitry-sur-Seine.
Commenting on the event Sajjad said:
" I was really honoured to be asked by the Burnley Twinning Association to attend the celebrations and present the award to the Mayor. This award is very well deserved and its was wonderful to see so many local people, together with our visitors from France, join together in celebration of our special friendship."