Former Chairman of Council Councillor Anne Grigg, as one of her last events of her year as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, was invited to visit Bodo, the home of the Norwegian Air Force. The town has very close links with North Weald Airfield and so it was particularly apt that the Chairman was invited as she is also the local Ward Councillor for North Weald.
Councillor Grigg enjoyed a wonderful four-day visit as guest of the Town and the Royal Norwegian Air Force. She was very grateful to Bodo Mayor Odd-Tore Fygle and Per-Egil Rygg, chief 132 Air Wing, who were her hosts.
Former Chairman and her husband were accompanied by North Weald Airfield historian Arthur Moreton and his wife Marion. He liaised and worked with Norway throughout the organisation of the visit. The Norwegians were very friendly and welcoming with wonderful hospitality.
Councillor Grigg laid wreaths at a memorial to RAF pilots who flew Gloster Gladiator bi-planes in the wartime defence of Bodo and at the town war memorial.
The former Chairman enjoyed a day`s boat trip around the islands off the coast of Bodo, with lunch in a Village Hall on one of the Heligvaer islands. She was particularly pleased to spot several White-tailed Sea Eagles, for which the Bodo area is famed, from the boat in the afternoon.
Councillor Grigg was honoured to be invited to `inspect the guard` of the Nyholms Scandses Compagnie at the head of the National Day celebration parade on 17 May. Whilst we in the UK know very little of this the Norwegian National Day is celebrated in every town and village, with the entire country more or less coming to a halt every 17 May.
Councillor Grigg said: I really enjoyed seeing all the national costumes being worn by people of all ages.
She went on to say: I had a lovely time and was very grateful to the people of Bodo for their warm, friendly welcome. I was made to feel very much at home and part of the village during my stay. I felt very honoured that this was my last official engagement as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.