Cultural exchange marks 30th anniversary

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

A cultural exchange between Scarborough and the German town of Osterode-am-Harz has celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Rudi Bräkel, organiser of the German end of the arrangement, has been visiting the Scarborough area with others for 30 years.

The first time he came, in 1988, he brought his seven-year-old son Lennart, who was one of this year’s performers at a meal and concert at the parish hall in Scalby.

Lennart Bräkel sang Leonard Cohen’s Halleluja with about 50 members of Scarborough Community Choir.

The choir sang four numbers arranged by conductor Bill Scott and six-piece German band Los Losers performed skiffle, folk and pop.

The event was attended by about 120 people - the Osterode contingent, their hosts and a sprinkling of borough councillors including borough mayor Joe Plant, who told the visitors that Scarborough had been renamed Scarbados.

The four-day visit went very well according to Julia Thompson, who coordinates the visits from the English end, with help from the Anglo-German Society and the town hall.

Scarborough and Osterode take turns to visit each other on alternate years. Next year, a group from Scarborough will fly to Osterode.