TARTAN and bagpipe music ensured a Scottish atmosphere in Germany when the Friends of Schweinfurt Twinning Association promoted North Lanarkshire at the biennial Ufra event in the twin town.
The Twinning Association was responsible for the North Lanarkshire stand at Ufra 2012 consumer exhibition which attracted more than 170,000 visitors over nine days, a record attendance for the event.
Wishaw councillor Nicky Shevlin represented North Lanarkshire Council at the event, and the association’s delegation consisted of chairman Alex Craig, accompanied by his wife Isabelle, vice-chairman Jimmy Martin, secretary Helen Russell and piper Graham McKay who is a member of Shotts and Dykehead Pipe Band.
The team at the stand were supported by members of the Friends of North Lanarkshire (Motherwell) Twinning Association in Schweinfurt.
The North Lanarkshire stand had impressive scenes of places and events of the area with tartan decoration and tartan outfits worn by the team.
The stand offered a variety of products including 10 Scottish beers, whisky flavoured marmalade, Border Biscuits, caramel shortcake by Kerr’s Bakers, Lees sweets, whisky miniatures, Edinburgh Tea Company caddies, and other Scottish theme gifts.
Tourism was also promoted through a range of publications from Visitscotland.
The official opening of Ufra by Oberburgermeister Sebastian Remelee (equivalent of our Provost) took place in Hall 1 where the North Lanarkshire stand was situated.
The Oberburgermeister and other guests visited the North Lanarkshire stand where they were welcomed by Councillor Shevlin and the twinning association members from North Lanarkshire and Schweinfurt.
Councillor Shevlin was also able to tour the Schweinfurt area with the head of the economic regeneration department and see at first hand the investment in retail outlets and industrial units.
Graham McKay was popular with the visitors to Ufra when he performed a range of bagpipe music on stage during his time at Ufra. He also visited schools where he played the bagpipes and answered questions about the traditional kilt and his music.
The North Lanarkshire delegation, along with the delegations from Schweinfurt’s other twin towns of Chateaudun in France, and Seinajoki, Finland, hosted a twin town reception when gifts were presented to Oberbürgermeister Remelé, the Mayor of Chateaudun, the leader of the Seinajoki delegation, and guests of North Lanarkshire who help with the event.
Ufra allows businesses of all sizes to display their goods and services.
Along with the many stands there is continuous entertainment by professional and amateur artists and groups of all ages.
Selling and promoting Scottish products, mostly from Lanarkshire, was an important part of the event but UFRA also provided the opportunity to meet many friends who have been involved in town twinning over the years and promote the town twinning partnership which, this year celebrated its 50th anniversary.