A DRAMATIC phone call led to the postponement of a twinning ceremony at Nelson, with the French town of Criel.

A dispute involving the crew of the British Rail Sealink ship, on which the 270 strong French party would have travelled from Calais to Dover, meant it didn’t sail. Instead, the party had embarked on another boat to cross The Channel.

The ceremony had to be cancelled for 24 hours.

News of the hold-up meant a sleepless night got members of the twinning committee. Chairman the Rev Mark Kiddle, said: “We got the news late last night and were up until 3am ringing round to tell nearly 300 families of the delay.”

The visitors had been expected to stay in individual family homes.

The renaming of Railway Street as La Place de Criel is now expected to take place on Sunday.

Nelson’s labour agent Len Dole, featured in our front page image, prepared his own welcome for the French visitors who did not arrive.

He felt that they would feel more at home if he wore a beret and to complete the effect, he bought a string of onions. He said: “I thought this would make the party feel at home. I am very much in favour of twinning ceremonies, as I am an internationalist.”

In other news Liberal John Hipwell, a councillor on Burnley Council and Labour supporter Lawrence Fallows were to compete in a 50-mile walking race.

The confrontation took place at Bank Hall playing fields where they were attempting to complete 185 lengths of the track. Mr Hipwell originally threw out his charity challenge to Burnley MP Dan Jones, but as he was in Russia, Mr Fallows, a bricklayer, stepped in as his champion.