Howell’s plays host to German visitors

A party of German youngsters thought they’d arrived on a Harry Potter film set when they came to the Vale of Clwyd.

They were on a five day trip to celebrate Denbigh’s long-standing twinning links with the town of Biebertal in the Hessen region of Germany.

Twenty young people, aged 10-17, stayed at the independent girls boarding school, Howell’s School, and used it as a base for trips out to places of interest across the region.

Howell’s was shortlisted as a possible location for Hogwarts in the blockbuster Harry Potter film.

The Potter-mad German schoolchildren were delighted with the “magical” surroundings.

Accompanied by an 11-strong group of teachers, they jetted into Manchester Airport and on to an official welcome to the town by civic officials.

The group had a packed schedule, beginning with trips to Conwy and Llandudno before a guided tour of Denbigh along with an excursion to the Cai Dai 1950s museum in the town as well as an expedition over the border to Chester with Bodnant Garden, near Llandudno, and Ruthin also on the itinerary.

They were guests at Howells School, the all-girls boarding school, and used it as a base for trips out to places of interest across the region.

Keith Welsh, who. organised the trip, said: “It is part of a programme of reciprocal visits between Biebertal and Denbigh which happen each autumn and have been going on for a number of years.

“Next year, it will be the turn of young people from Denbigh to go over to Germany.

“Howells School has always supported the program, it has all the facilities they need and is within easy travelling distance of many attractions in North Wales.”

Eleri Ames, of the Denbigh Twinning Association, said: “The twinning link with Biebertal was established over 20 years ago and I think people get a lot from it, such as being able to learn about each other’s culture and heritage.

“I know the people from Biebertal enjoy coming over here and we like to go over to Germany and stay with them.

“The group of young people we had staying at Howells School were really impressed with the building.

“They thought they had walked on to the set of a Harry Potter film and were visiting Hogwarts!”

Howells School Trustee Nicola Locke said: “We’re delighted to play host to the visitors from Germany. The link between the town and Biebertal is an enduring and important one.

“As a school with its own long and distinguished international links we know how important that is and what opportunities it provides – here at Howells our own Prime Warden, Kotoe Kuroda,
is Japanese and we welcome boarders from all over the world.”

Petra Schmidt, leader of the party from Biebertal, said: “We have enjoyed our stay. It’s been lovely here.

“We’ve been to Llandudno, Conwy and Chester and to the Fifties Museum in Denbigh which was fun and we’ve had a tour of the school as well. It’s a fantastic place.”

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