Record numbers take part in town’s exchange visit

Kids from Merksplas are visiting Hatfield, as the two towns are twinned. Picture: Andrew Roe
Kids from Merksplas are visiting Hatfield, as the two towns are twinned. Picture: Andrew Roe

A WARM welcome was given to visitors from Hatfield’s twin town who enjoyed a three-day visit with an action-packed itinerary.

It was the first time such a large group from Merksplas in Belgium - including 23 under-16s - had visited Hatfield.

The trip was part of a link set up by Hatfield Town Council in recognition of World War II hero Corporal John Harper - who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery when he helped liberate Merksplas.

One of the most poignant moments of the trip was when children sang God Save The Queen at a memorial to Cpl Harper.

Twinning committee member Patsy Panks said: “It was absolutely brilliant. One of the activities was at the Ash Hill Academy, where pupils performed songs from Grease. There was no language barrier at all.”

The children also got the chance to meet war hero Ben Parkinson and attend Hatfield Water Park.