Mayor’s German trip

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LORD Mayor Sylvia Dunkley is being flown to Sheffield’s German twin city to attend a midsummer music festival.

Coun Dunkley and her consort - husband John - are heading out tomorrow afternoon, flying from Manchester to Dusseldorf, and transferring to Bochum, where they will stay for three nights.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: “I understand the £217 cost of Coun Dunkley’s flight is being paid from her Mayoral budget, but her consort is paying his own air fare. All their expenses in Germany are being paid for by their hosts.”

The Dunkleys will attend two performances of music, plus the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Starlight Express, and a variety show.

The trip also involves visits to cultural attractions in the city, including a fragrance exhibition, mining museum and cultural centre.

And they will be treated to a dinner, then a reception with Bochum’s Burgermeister and Oberburgermeister.

Bochum and Sheffield have been twinned since 1950, and the cities share common historical backgrounds.

Both date back to the middle ages and are associated with steel and coal.

In more recent history, while Sheffield became home to Meadowhall shopping centre, Bochum is home to Ruhr Park Germany’s biggest out-of-town shopping mall.

Regular exchange visits have taken place of children, civic dignitaries and other cultural groups between Sheffield and Bochum.

In Sheffield, a stretch of the outer ring road, at Norton, is named after Bochum, and the Peace Gardens is home to the Bochum Bell, presented to the Sheffield in 1985 to mark the 35th twinning anniversary.