Cyclists from German twin town get on their bikes to join in St Annes Carnival

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A group of intrepid cyclists pedalled all the way from Germany to take part in St Annes Carnival.

The 14-strong party from Lytham St Annes' twin town Werne covered the near 700-mile distance in six days to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our international partnership.

The cyclists from the RSC club left their home town on June 29, crossed Germany in a day and Holland the following day to arrive off the overnight ferry in Harwich on Monday, July 1.

They then followed a route covering Cambridge, Huntingdon, Nottingham, Derby, Mam Tor, the Snake Pass, Stalybridge, and Settle before arriving in Fylde via Scorton, Knott End, Fleetwood and Blackpool.

St Annes resident Adam Gee, together with other members of Blackpool Clarion Club caught up with the German group in Slaidburn in the Ribble Valley and accompanied them through Lancashire.

On arrival in St Annes they were welcomed by the Fylde mayor Coun Angela Jacques and St Annes town mayor Coun Viv Willder at the town hall, where Lytham St Annes Twining Association chairman Tony Ford was also present, and they were treated to refreshments.

An exchange of letters from Werne mayor Lothar Christ and the cyclists were given similar letters to deliver to their Burgermeister on their return.

The cyclists met briefly with Fylde MP Mark Menzies and took part in Saturday's Carnival procession, pushing their bikes on that occasion.

They enjoyed sampling pies en route and spent the rest of the day touring the Carnival and visiting Blackpool.

Seven of the of the group flew back to Germany on Sunday afternoon with the remainder travelling with their support vehicles back via Harwich and the overnight ferry to Rotterdam.

Stefan Ruhl, who organised the trip, said: “Everybody we met was welcoming and friendly and we look forward to a return visit.”

Tony Ford said: "The German cyclists have previously visited Werne’s other twin towns in Italy, Poland and France and it was great to welcome them to St Annes in such a special anniversary year."