Education links for Chichester and Pforzheim

NEW education links between Chichester and a German city look likely following a visit by two councillors during a holiday.

Pam and Tony Dignum, who are both members of the city and district councils, discussed the idea of greater co-operation with the city of Pforzheim, which was one of the last in the country to be severely bombed, only weeks before the end of the second world war.

A private charity sought help in recent years with the financing of a memorial to the raid, in which 18,000 people were killed, and among the sources turned to was Britain’s Dresden Trust, whose chairman, Dr Alan Russell, lives in Chichester.

A contribution was made by the trust, which is recognised by a plaque on the memorial, commemorated in 2010.

A party of people from Pforzheim visited Chichester last year, and Cllr Tony Dignum told the city council’s community affairs committee he and his wife decided to return the visit during a recent holiday.

“As well as tours, we were given family receptions, musical evenings and plenty of conversation in German and English to consolidate friendship,” he said.

Cllr Pam Dignum said they presented books about Chichester, calendars, cathedral music, a cathedral guide in German and a book about Chichester’s Council House.

They discussed with city representatives how co-operation might be taken forward.

“Perhaps the most promising is the education route,” said Cllr Dignum.

“While there we met the head and deputy head of a Pforzheim secondary school which also enrols mature students.”