The County Durham Friendship Force are playing host to 13 members of the Kempsey New South Wales Australia Friendship Force for a week. The group arrived at Darlington Railway station from Edinburgh on Saturday having spent a week being hosted by 2 Friendship Forces in Germany and a few days sight-seeing in Edinburgh.
A welcome party was held on Saturday at the president Cynthia Scott’s home in School Aycliffe. The guests are hosted by members of the County Durham Friendship Force and encouraged to become part of the family. Sunday was a free day for hosts to show their guests around areas they thought might be of interest to them. Some visited the Angel of the North, others went to Beamish, the Locomotion railway museum, the Baltic Centre in Gateshead and the Sunday Market of Newcastle Quayside along with Historic Hartlepool.
Monday saw an interesting trip to the lake district, even the bus breaking down on leaving Windermere did not prevent the day from being a success. Tuesday was a day for Hosts to show off the delights of the Town Hall in Durham and a meeting with the Mayor and his bodyguards. A trip to the cathedral was a must along with a boat ride on the River. Wednesday was a trip up to the National Glass Museum taking in three extremely interesting demonstrations of the intricate art of glass making.
Thursday will see a must for Fish and Chips at Whitby and a chance to explore the area. The final full day will indeed be a full day, starting with a trip to Binchester to see the artefacts of the many digs in the area uncovering long gone history of the Romans living in the area. A visit to Raby and a tour of the castle will be next on the programme concluding with a farewell meal at The Hammer and Pincers at Preston le Skerne.
A fond farewell will be bid to their guests at Darlington Railway station at lunchtime on Saturday. County Durham Friendship Force are visiting New Zealand later in the year for 3 separate visits to both North and South Island. Next year a 2-week trip to Japan is on the horizon along with a visit from Japan.