THE “long overdue” twinning of Aberystwyth with an Irish town is a step closer to becoming a reality.
Members of the twinning committee held its first meeting last week, and decided the Celtic Challenge event in May would be a good opportunity to launch a twinning arrangement with Arklow in County Wicklow, when all the teams arrive in Aberystwyth.
After hearing that Aberystwyth Town Council had committed £1,500 towards the process, the committee also decided a charge of £5 per member of the committee would be made to help raise funds.
Cllr Wendy Morris, who is on the twinning committee in a personal capacity, said: “I’m so pleased that Aberystwyth and Arklow have now established the twinning partnership, it was long overdue. There are so many strong established links between both towns, that it can only go from strength to strength. I’m very excited to be part of this committee and look forward to building on the foundations already set.”
Aberystwyth’s links with Arklow go back to the 19th century, when sailing vessels from the two towns would transport cargo across the Irish Sea, docking in each other’s harbours.
In more recent years, the Celtic Challenge — a rowing race from Arklow to Aberystwyth — has been held every two years since May 1993, although the tradition of rowing the 90 miles to cross the perilous sea started with two sponsored rows: one in 1989 to raise money for Bronglais Hospital, and another in 1991 for a new lifeboat station.
Other links have also been established, said secretary of the twinning committee, Dai Jenkins, who is one of the organisers of the Celtic Challenge race, treasurer of Aberystwyth RNLI lifeboat station and staff member of Aberystwyth Marina.
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