MANY years of work to twin Malvern with a town in the Czech Republic have finally been signed, sealed and delivered.

Malvern Twinning Association welcomed five officials from Marianske Lazne (formerly Marienbad) – which is also known for its fine spring water – from Thursday until Saturday.

The town’s mayors, Councillor Ian Hopwood and Dzenek Kral, marked the occasion by unveiling a sign – on Guarlford Road – recognising the official link ahead of signing the official agreement.

Coun Hopwood said: “I was proud to do it and to think that my signature will go down in history. “I’m now looking forward to going over there in May for the return visit.”

He also thanked Roger Sutton, chairman of Malvern Civic Society, for instigating the link between the towns and the Morgan Motor Company for the loan of a car to offer the delegates a unique touring experience.

Their visit represents the culmination of several years of efforts, which saw the civic society form Malvern Twinning Association to push the venture further.

The association has since spent more than two years laying the groundwork to get an agreement.

During the visit, the Czech delegates visited the Morgan factory in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern Hills Science Park, Malvern Museum of Local History in the Abbey Gateway, Great Malvern Priory and Malvern Theatres.

Links have been developed with Marianske Lazne because the town, like Malvern, has a history as a spa town. It is not far from Graffenberg, where Vincent Priessnitz pioneered hydrotherapy treatments in the 1820s and his example inspired Dr James Wilson to start the Malvern water cure. In April last year, a party from Malvern visited Marianske Lazne and a return visit took place in November.