Visitors from north enjoy Fair old time

DELIGHT: Mary Cammack presents the Fair Trade renewal certificate to Garstang Mayor Coun Sandra Perkins watched by a party from Norway
DELIGHT: Mary Cammack presents the Fair Trade renewal certificate to Garstang Mayor Coun Sandra Perkins watched by a party from Norway

How do you say “welcome” in Norwegian? Ask a local!

Garstang resident, and native of Norway, Roseanna Naeshagen stepped in as a translation expert this week.

Her lingusitic skills were in demand as Garstang’s FIG Tree Centre welcomed its first “package tour” visitors - and its boss predicts more will follow.

A party from Norway made a special pilgrimage to Garstang, the world’s first Fair Trade town and to the The FIG Tree, a Fair Trade cafe and an international visitor centre for the Fair Trade movement.

They were delighted to share ideas and news with Garstang’s Fair Trade supporters, dine at the High Street restaurant site where the Fair Trade town idea was born (now Pipers Restaurant), take a Fair Trade tour of the the town and visit Dewlay cheese makers.

The whistle stop visit, - the party of 10 arrived on Sunday evening and went home yesterday - cemented already established links between the FIG Tree and Norway.

Bruce Crowther, FIG Tree Director said: “It’s Garstang’s first organised international fair trade package tour.”

They were officially welcomed by town Mayor Coun Sandra Perkins and Town Crier Hilary McGrath.

The delegation included Laura Seltveit, the vice-Mayor of Sauda, Norway’s first Fair Trade town.

She said Garstang’s fame had spread, adding: “It’s great for us to meet Bruce here in Garstang. We need some more inspiration and ideas.”

Deputy Mayor of Randeberg Jarle Boe said: “It’s very interesting. It’s a way to learn more how we can take Fair Trade to our community.”

The ground-breaking visit took in the FIG Tree, Dewlay, Garstang Cars, Pipers and the Crofters Hotel join together to create the three day programme for the delegation from Randenberg and Sauda.

The visit also saw the the renewal of Garstang’s status as a Far Trade Town.

Mary Cammack, chairman of the Garstang Fair Trade steering group said: “This marks the fifth renewal of Fair Trade town status, first granted to Garstang more than 11 years ago.

“Indeed this event sparked a worldwide movement, leading to over 1,200 Fair Trade Towns in 24 countries.”

“The future plans of the Garstang group will focus on support for local schools and youth groups in their bids to achieve their own Fair Trade status in the coming year.”

Norwegian visitors presented a special flag and local guide book to the Mayor and Bruce.