A community is playing host to visitors from Germany this week, more than 30 years after first welcoming visitors  from the same town.

Sedgefield is twinned with Hamminkeln in North-West Germany and residents from the two towns have been arranging official visits to each other since the early 1980s.

This year, 18 German visitors travelled to Sedgefield, including Mayor of Hamminkeln, Holger Schlierf.

As well as spending time in and around the area, the Hamminkeln residents are joining their host families on day trips to attractions such as Cragside and Lindisfarne in Northumberland and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum on Teesside.

The organisers from both towns have also been discussing ways to get the next generation of residents involved in the twinning activities.

Councillor Tim Jeanes, chairman of Sedgefield Twinning Association and a member of Sedgefield Town Council, said: “Groups such as the Scouts and Guides have been very active in the past, which has helped get young people involved. “However, for the long term health of the twinning association, we’d now like to explore opportunities for more sports and cultural groups to develop exchange activities, particularly involving the younger generation.”

Mr Schlierf, who presented Mr Jeanes with a German watch to thank him for his hospitality, added: “I am delighted that Hamminkeln has this enduring friendship with such an active community.”

To find out more about Sedgefield Twinning Association, contact Mr Jeanes on tj.jeanes@btinternet.com or Joyce Jordan on joyce-jordan@sky.com.