Gosport mayor goes 5,000 miles to visit... Gosport

L-R Mayor of Gosport Councillor Richard Dickson with his American host John King. ''Councillor Dickson visited Gosport, Indiana
L-R Mayor of Gosport Councillor Richard Dickson with his American host John King. ''Councillor Dickson visited Gosport, Indiana
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IT WAS a tale of two towns for the Mayor of Gosport as he paid a visit to Gosport in America.

Mayor Richard Dickson spent eight days visiting the town in Indiana, eight years after officials there came over to celebrate Gosport’s 800th anniversary.

During his trip, Councillor Dickson had a packed schedule of activities, including visiting Gosport Elementary School, where he showed 5th and 6th graders a 20-minute video about his home town.

Cllr Dickson gave the students 50 letters written by students from Newton Primary School, in Queens Road, with the hope that some of the 10 to 11-year-olds will write back.

His trip even made the front page of the neighbouring town’s newspaper, Spencer Evening World, twice.

He said: ‘I met 50 children from the Gosport Elementary School and gave them the letters, which had pictures of the children in them.

‘Now we’re waiting for letters back from them.

‘You never know what will then come out from first contact.’

Councillor Dickson was shown around the town by Sue Trotman, 81, and her daughter Jennifer, 52, who had visited Gosport for the celebrations in 2004.

Since then he has kept an ambition to visit the Trotmans in Gosport, population 800.

‘We kept in touch ever since,’ he said.

‘I thought it would be nice to go if I was ever mayor.

‘Immediately after I won the election I contacted Sue and Jennifer to say “why doesn’t the Mayor of Gosport come over to Gosport?”.’

Cllr Dickson also met the closest thing to his opposite number – the three people who make up the town council.

His self-funded trip also saw the Gosport Mayoral badge make its furthest journey, only having been as far as France before.