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Pathfinding Trondheim Visit

By - Tue, 12th Nov 2002

Text of a letter that appeared - in Norwegian - in Trondheimís local newspaper following the September 2001 visit.
Dear Editor

Following a highly successful visit by Trondheimers to Dunfermline in August 2000, the Dunfermline - Trondheim Twinning Association were delighted to be invited to visit Trondheim from llth to l8th September, 2001. 18 people travelled from Scotland to create and renew friendships, and explore joint projects and possible exchanges involving young folk from our twin cities. The party was welcomed into the homes of their generous hosts who made sure that they enjoyed a unique insight into Norwegian life. Many friendships were cemented that will be valued for years to come. The Trondheim - Dunfermline Twinning Association, led by Isla Ulvestad and Bodil Dugstad, co-ordinated the visit and its excellent programme, providing opportunities to find out about Trondheim, past and present.

What a beautiful and welcoming place Trondheim is! And what beautiful countryside lies all around it! A bus trip to Gammeltunet Hanshus at Soknedal, the old church at Budal, followed by a Storen pastry! As the song says, "You know you`re home in the land you love when you taste a Storen pastry!"

Some members of the party had been involved in the early youth visits in l946 and1948 - as visitors and as hosts. One member, Bert Sadler, had been, in1945, Chairman of the Dunfermline Youth Council which established the Bond of Friendship between the youth of Dunfermline and Trondheim as the Second World War ended. Very appropriately he was welcomed to Trondheim by Bodil Dugstad who helped to organise the very first youth visit to Dunfermline in 1946.

We were privileged on 14th September, while visiting your magnificent Domkirke, to share in the short and moving service to remember those who had died in the terrorist atrocity in New York. That same day we were welcomed to an informal lunch in the Town Hall by the Acting Mayor, Liv Sandven. In her address she reminded us how important it was now that friendship links between people from different cultures and races should be created and maintained, something with which we all agreed.
Central Trondheim at the mouth of the Nid

The party included members with various special interests looking to future visits and exchanges. Abbeyview, a part of Dunfermline which includes an area named Trondheim Parkway, sent 7 representatives to find out how community services are able to assist people with problems finding work, who commit crimes, or are misusing alcohol or drugs, and to explore the possibilities of young folk from Abbeyview coming to learn in more detail about ideas and schemes which might inspire them.

This group was welcomed by Torbjorg Sandberg, a leader of the Byasen community, who helped them meet community police, teachers, supported employment workers, people working with those caught in the drug net, and many others from Byasen area. They were inspired by the adult learning initiatives they saw at Granskogen, and very moved by a morning spent with asylum seekers at Fossestau.

Much valuable and constructive information was gathered about the whole spectrum of Trondheimís community services and they were greatly impressed by the thoroughness of social provision and the dedicated enthusiasm of all whom they met - particularly those offering assistance to young adults with difficulties.

Links were also established between schools by Jan Bagnall, an Assistant HeadTeacher at Dunfermline`s Queen Anne High School who was made very welcome to Lade, Bundalen, Rosenberg, Singsaker and Biralee International schools, meeting several classes and answering questions about such essential topics as haggis, "Nessie", bagpipes and the kilt.

Staff were enthusiastic about developing links with Dunfermline schools - indeed links have already started with e-mail contacts.

Dunfermline Folk Club musicians also made contacts all over the city with concerts in Byasen and Blusovold schools, County Council offices, the small Olavshallen, and Ringve Museum. The New Makars song-writer held a workshop at Byasen School where the children developed and sang to their friends a special song of their own.

This concert also featured songs about Trondheim - Nidelven and Litjavisa mi - led by the teachers and Arne Hestholm. The Dunfermline players - George Haig (autoharp), Belle Hammond and Gifford Lind (singers) ended their stay with a little street busking! All of us were quite overwhelmed by the level of interest in Scottish folk music and by the talent of the Norwegian musicians - particularly Olav and Knut and the dancers at the Pot Luck party in BULís Cabin on the Saturday night and the numerous musicians who performed at the farewell evening at Benito`s, including Trondheim`s own Italian tenor, Benito himself.

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