Town hoping to Polish up new link

FOR the Dutch, Britain's most easterly point was simply too boring.But further to the east, the Poles have got wind of the delights of Lowestoft and the surrounding Waveney district and are asking councillors if they could be twinned with the area.

FOR the Dutch, Britain's most easterly point was simply too boring.

But further to the east, the Poles have got wind of the delights of Lowestoft and the surrounding Waveney district and are asking councillors if they could be twinned with the area.

Officials from Bielsk Podlaski County, about 200km from Warsaw, have contacted Waveney District Council about the possibility of increased ties, starting with social, cultural and youth visits.

Made up of eight districts, the north-eastern corner of the country is known as the "Green Lungs of Poland".

In an e-mail to the council, officials were told why Bielsk Podlaski would be a good choice. "The countryside has not been ecologically devastated yet, and is an authentic tourist attraction with great recreational venues," it said.

Lowestoft is already twinned with the French town of Plaisir, while Beccles has a link with Petit Couronne and Halesworth has a tie-up with Bouchain and the German town of Eitorf.

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In 1996, Lowestoft civic leaders were dismayed when the Dutch town of Katwijk called time on a 34-year twinning link because they could not rustle enough interest in the place and dubbed it boring.

Terry Kelly, mayor of Lowestoft, said that decision did not prove to be a loss to the town in the long run.

"I went to Katwijk and we were all very well received, but it isn't wonderful to look at either. Katwijk itself was just a residential area as far as I could see with just a load of flats surrounded on one side by a coastal resort," he added.

Mr Kelly said he was in favour of fresh ties with other countries if it did not impose too heavily on the public purse.

"It's probably because they are coming into the EU. My feeling is it would be nice to have international relations, though I don't know what the civic costs are going to be," he added.

"If we could get family exchanges, that would be nice. It's a county, so maybe we could get some links with some of the other towns in the district."

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