Following the article in July’s Crier about two towns in the United States called Torrington, John Kelly has told us about his visit to Torrington, Connecticut in 1990. He was invited, as mayor of Great Torrington, to take part in the American city’s 250th anniversary celebrations.
At a reception for 200 people held in the town hall, John presented a Dartington Crystal engraved bowl to the mayor, Dee Donne, as a gift from the people of Great Torrington. The event was televised and the following day a police patrol car pulled up alongside John and an armed police officer got out and approached him. ‘Oh no, what have I done?’ was John’s first thought, but the policeman merely wanted to tell him he’d seen him on TV the previous night!
On Sunday 30th September there was a carnival as part of the anniversary celebrations. John rode in a car with Dee leading the procession which stretched for four and a half miles! His wife, meanwhile, sat with Dee’s husband on a platform outside the town hall from where she had an excellent view of the floats.
John and his wife were given very generous hospitality during the four days of their stay. They were shown around the town and were given a Torrington flag which they presented to the museum back home. The photo shows a plaque outside the town hall which tells of the origins of Torrington, Connecticut.