Bideford twinning charter arrives at last

Joseph Bulmer

BIDEFORD S official twinning charter with the North Carolina town of Manteo was officially presented at the town council meeting on Thursday night – ending a 25-year wait. Retiring Mayor Cllr Andy Powell, who has been researching Bideford s ancient links

BIDEFORD'S official twinning charter with the North Carolina town of Manteo was officially presented at the town council meeting on Thursday night - ending a 25-year wait.

Retiring Mayor Cllr Andy Powell, who has been researching Bideford's ancient links with North Carolina stretching back more than 400 years, visited Manteo last month and signed the charter with Jamie Daniels, the Mayor of Manteo.

Apart from their historic links, the two towns made formal contact and exchanged gifts 25 years ago. The American always considered themselves to have been twinning, but the signing of an official charter never took place.

In presenting the framed charter - and a framed aerial photograph of Manteo - Mr Powell said that the signing ceremony had been watched online by around 72,000 people in America, reflecting their great interest in England and their heritage.

Mr Powell revealed that the American mayor was keen to set up an English Heritage Day event linked with Bideford next year.

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