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Twinning’s contribution to 70 years of Peace in Europe

Following WW2, European governments vowed that such a war should never happen again in Europe.  

They set in motion the twinning movement, so that European people should ‘make friends, not war’.  Bristol & Hannover was one of the first partnerships to be established.

Information had come from Hannover that in the bitter winter of 1947 many children were unable to go to school, because they had no shoes.  The people of Bristol collected shoes and a Goodwill Mission of five prominent Bristol citizens took them to Hannover.

It is a matter of pride in both cities that the link was the first of its kind and that it came spontaneously from the wishes of its own citizens.

Pat Oatley, on behalf of Frome Twinning Association reported, “Frome exchanges with Château-Gontier began in 1974, followed by Murrhardt in 1981 and Rabka-Zdrój in 2008.  Hundreds of local people, from all walks of life, of all ages, have enjoyed such exchanges over many years and made friendships, some lasting 40 years through several generations.

“Contrary to a recent press release, twinning has NEVER been ‘simply civic ceremony’.  It is about getting to know people from other countries through sharing time in each others’ towns and homes.

“We are in a rare partnership of four inter-linked towns, and this year it is Frome’s turn to host old friends and new from Château-Gontier in France, Murrhardt in Germany and Rabka-Zdrój in Poland.

“For the weekend 2nd-6th July, at the beginning of Frome Festival, we are expecting about 75 visitors, including 15 or so young people, continuing twinning into the next generation.

“To make this weekend a success we still need offers of help with accommodating these visitors, especially the young people – this is a great opportunity for young people in Frome to expand their horizons and knowledge.

“The Twinning Committee have arranged an interesting programme of events, to which hosts will be invited, should they so wish.  Accommodation would involve bed and breakfast, and some meals, the rest being provided by the Association.

“These visits are enjoyed by hosts and guests alike, so why not join in.  There is no need whatsoever to have any knowledge of the three languages, communication in whatever manner can be fun!

“We would really hope to hear from local people who would like to get involved.  Alternatively, would anyone be able to assist with taxiing visitors who may be staying in hotels etc?  Or do you know of anyone who might be able to help?”

If you feel you could help, or would like more information, please contact Pat Oatley of  Frome Twinning Association on 01373 463985, or email patriciako@talktalk.net