THE fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led to many changes in East-West relations.

For Keren Hunt of Smithills the end of the Communist regime in East Germany meant that she had the opportunity to meet her pen friend Uta Schwuntek for the first time in 13 years.

Keren and Uta had been writing to each other since they were 16 after being part of a school pen pal project between Bolton and Uta’s home town of Weimar,.

In 1992 Uta made the trip into what had previously been the ‘forbidden’ west and was staying with her pen friend for a week.

Keren was hoping to take her on visits to the Lake District, Blackpool and Manchester during her stay.

“Meetin Keren was strange at first,” said Keren, “but we are getting on great. Although I cannot speak much German, Uta speaks some English and we have got the dictionary out.