A truly well-rounded thing: the contact between the TuS Medebach and West Lothian

by Josef Drilling

It was in 1979 that through the Hochsauerlandkreis the TuS Medebach (Medebach sports club) got in touch with the Scottish partner council West Lothian for the first time:  The under­19 TuS football team visited the Queensferry High School. There were three football matches carried out with little chance of success for the HSK team. But this did not affect the new friendship with this school: one year later, the High School team came to Medebach and played the opening match at the inauguration of the new feld.

Edinburgh Military-Tattoo 2011: an unforgettable experience for every visitor

Edinburgh Military-Tattoo 2011: an unforgettable experience for every visitor

Until 1999, the TuS Medebach partnership was carried out annually and in turns in Scotland and Medebach. On the German side, it was youngsters from Medebach, Hallenberg, Winterberg, Worbis, Solingen and Kamen participating.  On both sides, the stay was always organized in families –  a proven method, as the participants could personally experience the live of the families that were still much less demanding than in Germany. A total of about 1000 youngsters and adults have participated in the meetings. The schools contac­ted are in Queensferry, Blackburn, Bathgate and Livingston.

For learning something about Scotland, many trips were organized: to St. Andrews, Stirling (main residence of the Stuarts), Fort William, Edinburgh, Oban, Loch Ness, Aberdeen, Balmorel, Irvine, Inverness, Glasgow and to many other places and sights. On the German side, the organization of these trips was mainly done by Josef and Marlies Drilling, and at the beginning by Franz Wolf, while in Scotland it was Godfrey and Jean Fairbairn organizing them and joining their children on the travels to Medebach as well. The bus drivers were Bernd Hellwig, Klaus Müller and Ulrich Hellwig.

Josef and Marlies Drilling have been meeting Godfrey and Jean Fairbairn and family for many years

Josef and Marlies Drilling have been meeting Godfrey and Jean Fairbairn and family for many years

Numerous events have been visited, e.g. the Highland Games, Tattoo Edinburgh, school events and evening meetings with folk music. From Medebach, the guests were offered trips to the surrounding area as well as to Kassel, Köln, Worbis, Stukenbrock and the Loreley. A trip to the then East German Border (GDR) has made a strong impression. The Scots were astonished and deeply touched, as they had never seen some­thing like this in Europe. It was absolutely quiet in the bus.

Many contacts are still kept up until this day, be it by letter, phone, e­mail or through personal visits. In 2009, a group of eight people travelled to Scotland. In October 2011, Godfrey and Jean visited Medebach along with their son and their daughter in law.

At the celebration of the 40th anniversary of our partnership in 2012, we from the TuS Medebach can only report positive things. The Scotland visits have been impressive – not only for the youngsters. Also the social differences that were  noticeable at the beginning of the partnership in comparison to Germany were very instructive for our youngsters.  The great Scottish hospitality remains unforgettable.