The latest trip to Barrie


(The iconic, ‘Spirit Catcher’ providing a stunning image on the Barrie skyline.)

HIP Director, Mary Fennimore, recently managed to squeeze in a two day visit to Barrie while in Canada for a family  wedding, and hosted by the Deputy Mayor, Barry Ward, and his wife Marg . Barry and Marg were civic guests in Harrogate for the UCI World cycling last September.

They were given a tour of City Hall by Barry, and Bill Sergeant from Barrie’s International Relations Committee.

They were shown  Sir Robert Barrie memorabilia and paintings, and a wonderful photograph of the bay on the wall round the council chamber, as well as seeing the view from the top floor offices. Bill then took them to the art gallery, where they had a behind-the-scenes look at the latest exhibition which was being set up, and then on to the military museum.

Mary said that Barry and Marg were wonderful  hosts, introducing them to Barrie by night, and sampling the ‘brew’ from the ‘best pub in town’!

They also managed to fit in a trip north to Midland, to the annual First Light festival at ‘Saint Marie Among the Hurons’ (an early settler site), where the attractions included food, music, crafts, fireworks, musket firing, and a lesson in First Nation drumming (!).

Proving ‘it’s a small world’, they met someone who had lived in Shipley for several years, and another local who had been to the Harrogate riding centre!

Bill Sergeant and Bunty Brooks were presented with a gift for the Barrie International Committee, which was the new Harrogate Monopoly set! That went down really well!

The next event on the horizon with Barrie is the return visit of the St Edward’s choir, next July. Bunty  is particularly involved with that, and is very much looking forward to coming back to Harrogate, as we are to welcoming her!


Bryony Halcrow – What a Star!!

Aneto 3Congratulations to local, long distance runner, Bryony Halcrow, who took on the challenge of the 64 kilometre Aneto Trail (yes sixty four), and starting and finishing in our twin town of Luchon last weekend (6 June).Aneto Map

That sounds hard enough, but ‘Aneto’ is the highest peak in the Pyrenees to a height of 3,404 metres,  that’s nearly 11,200  feet! Luckily the race only went to 10,000 feet, but still an 8,000 foot climb from the start in Luchon, to the turning point below the mountain summit and across the border in Spain*.

Aneto Plan

Aneto 2Not only did Bryony complete the course, but she finished an incredible ‘THIRD’ to bring a medal back to Harrogate and taking just 11 and a half hours. Not bad for a first attempt in running a distance of 40 miles, and with a vertical climbs of nearly 3 miles!! (The men’s race winner took just under 9 hours.)


Any more volunteers for next year?!

* But if BREXIT happens, you made need a passport to get over the border from France into Spain!!!!



Trustees fact finding trip to Montecatini

HIP Trustees, Mary Fennimore and Nigel Clay, and their partners, made their first visit to Harrogate’s twin toIMG_20190515_174129033wn in Northern Tuscany in early May. Despite some knowledge of the town and area, all four were blown away by the beauty of the town and the surrounding countryside.

The similarities to Harrogate with the 19th century spas, and the open parklands in the centre of the towns, were matched by the range of activities and places to visit nearby.

The convenience of getting their, with direct flights from Leeds/Bradford to Pisa, and with the rail link from the airport to Montecatini also providing easy access to the local delights of Florence, Sienna and Lucca.

Montecatini’s long history can be experienced  by a funicular railway journey up to the ancient settlement of Montecatini Alta, overlooking the town and providing panoramic views of the rolling Tuscan hills.IMG_20190515_152212721

As well as exploring the medieval castle and church, and taking in the surrounding landscapes, the compact square is filled with shops and restaurants.

Casa Gala proved to be an excellent choice for lunch and Maître d’, Valentina, is looking forward to welcoming more guests from Harrogate in the near future!