Located near the city of Düsseldorf, Hilden is a small town in North West Germany with around 57,000 people living there. It is surrounded by 400 hectares of woodland and lakes.
During the 1960s, the Lancashire Regiment, which was based at Peninsula Barracks in Warrington, was stationed in the Hilden area. Friendships which developed between the soldiers and German families were the basis of the links between the two towns.
The first youth exchange took place in 1965 and a formal partnership was signed in 1968.
Warrington’s Male Voice Choir and the Youth Orchestra have links with Hilden, which has a music school. The Fire Cadets also regularly exchange with their counterparts.
Fact: In 2004 Rod King cycled to Hilden and back. It took him four days to get there and five to get back!
Visit the official Hilden website.
Náchod, Czech Republic
The link with Náchod District dates back to the fall of the communist government in 1990, in what is now the Czech Republic. Náchod District is close to the Polish border, 148km east of Prague and 130km west of Wroclaw in Poland.
The link with Warrington came originally through Hilden, which is twinned with Nové Mesto nad Metují, a small town not far from the larger town of Náchod. Mutual partnership agreement was signed on 16 February 1993 by representatives of Warrington and Broumov, Cervený Kostelec, Ceská Skalice, Hronov, Jaromer, Mezimestí, Náchod, Nové Mesto nad Metují, Police nad Metují and Teplice nad Metují.
Náchod District has a population of 112,000 but this does not take into account the surrounding towns and villages that are also part of the partnership agreement.
80,000 people live in the ten towns mentioned above – 21,000 in Náchod, 1,750 in Teplice/M and the rest in surrounding villages.
Parts of the area are quite rural, wooded and mountainous. The town is set in a narrow valley and dominated by a castle which dates back to the 13th century.
Fact: At the castle there is a bear pit, which is inhabited by two bears, Dáša and Ludvík.