THE Milford Haven mayor and his consort have returned from a historic trip to twin town Uman in Ukraine.

Councillor Guy Woodham and consort Colin Sharp accepted an official invite from Mayor of Uman Yuri Bodrov to attend Uman’s civic day celebrations and became the first Milford Haven mayor to visit its twin town in Ukraine.

The highlights of the fourday trip included a concert in central square attended by 30,000 people, a civic awards ceremony and a mass wedding.

They also visited the city orphanage during their trip, where they met Mama Victoria, an inspiring woman who has cared for orphaned children over many years.

On the final day of the trip, Cllr Woodham and Mr Sharp attended The Day of the City of Uman, where the official hoisting of the flag was followed by the Holiday March with more than 10,000 people participating in the two-anda- half hour long parade.

“I also gave an unexpected speech live for Ukranian television, which fortunately happened so quickly I didn’t have time to worry about it,”

said Cllr Woodham.

“Not only will I remember the wonderful hospitality but the passion the people of Uman have for their city and for life in general.

“It was also great to see such enthusiasm for twinning and recognition that it can bring so many positive benefits to a community.”

“Peter and Dorothy Walter, stalwarts of Milford Haven Twinning Association, are held in huge esteem by many people in Uman,” he said.

Mr Sharp said he was delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Ukraine.

“The visit to Uman was interesting and we were made to feel very welcome.

Learning about different cultures, while building friendships, made for an extremely worthwhile trip,” he said.

Cllr Woodham personally funded the UK travel and flights for the trip, while the city of Uman provided accommodation, transport and food during the trip.

Cllr Woodham is now hoping to arrange a trip to Milford Haven’s other twin town Romilly-sur-Seine, in France next year.