Aims

The principal aim of the Twinning Association, which is made up of people from many walks of life, is to further the good relationship between the towns of Huntingdon and Godmanchester, Salon-de-Provence, Wertheim am Main Szentendre and Gubbio. Teams of young people from all 6 towns compete every year in sporting competitions and take part in cultural events here and abroad. Dancers, choirs, musicians and other performers travel between all the towns to entertain and to join in local events.

Individuals enjoy work experience and the opportunity to improve their language skills. Many of us have manned stalls in Germany (on one occasion selling Guinness at a “bierfest”which was no mean feat), planted trees in Hungary as part of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution (a very moving experience), and been involved in the extraordinary celebrations for the birthday of Nostradamus in France. Whether he predicted our arrival is not known! All this and much more has helped to build friendships that have lasted for decades, while the programme gets more ambitious every year.

Secondly, although the Twinning Association is not a civic organisation, it is recognised by our two Town Councils and can provide assistance and advice, based on personal experience, in dealing with our Twin Towns.

We try to meet our aims by breaking down barriers to language and understanding and encouraging understanding of other traditions and ways of life. We do this by encouraging the formation of friendships between the different nationalities, both by individuals and groups. In particular, we believe that if we encourage such friendships between young people, these barriers will be broken down more easily or may not even arise.

We do our utmost to assist in any Twinning exchange project which involves young people. In school exchanges we assist by providing bursaries in a number of cases, including visits by Youth Groups.   As a prime example, we organise and sponsor the Youth Sports/Culture Festival held annually in one of the Twin Towns.

All of these projects require funding, and we are grateful for the financial support from our two Town Councils as well as from our business sponsors and local charities. We also raise money by annual fund-raising activities.

Twinning suffers from the widely held misconceptions that it is either primarily for civic dignitaries to visit each other at public expense or that it is just something printed on a town’s road signs while nothing actually happens at all. However, in the case of the Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association neither could be further from the truth.