“But, other than providing a destination forcouncillors in need of a holiday, what is thepoint of twin towns and have they had theirday?”Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster (2011)
• Earliest form 1836 – Paderborn Germany and Le Mans France• Starting in 1905 Keighly West Yorkshire “sister citiesarrangements Suresnes & Puteaux France• First recorded modern twinning agreement between Keighlyand Poix-du-Nord, France in 1920 after World War 1• Twinning started soon after 1945• Mostly countries divided by war• Promoted by Council of European Municipalities in 1951• 1950’s huge increase in the number an range of twinnings
Nowadays, twinning is about:•understanding cultural differences•involving everyone in the community – young and old•coming together to share experience and expertise ateducational, social, cultural and business levels•establishing a dialogue to understand people and learnfrom them•encouraging co-operation and internationaldevelopment•giving people an opportunity to promote their ownregion.•No prescriptive blueprint
Scale:-•No retained list but:-•160 countries with twinning links worldwide•43 countries within Europe•40,000 twinning links across Europe•More than 2,000 in the UK alone.•Since forming the very first in 1944, Coventry has gone on to collect 25more, giving it more than any other city.
Rank Overseas country British twins – top 101. France 10802. Germany 5003. USA 1434. Poland 785. Italy 566. Netherlands 527. China 428. Russia 409. Belgium 3510.Czech Republic 31
Rank British locality Twinning links – top 10 localities1 Coventry 262 Sherborne 213 Wirral 184 Desborough 155=Newcastle Upon Tyne 145= Whitstable 147 Edinburgh 138 East Staffordshire 129 Birmingham 1010= Barnet 910= County Durham 910= Manchester 910= Milton Keynes 910= Portsmouth 910= Wakefield 910= Wolverhampton 9
Coventry was the worlds first twin citywhen it formed a twinning relationship withthe Russian city of Stalingrad (nowVolgograd) during World War II. Therelationship developed through ordinarypeople in Coventry who wanted to showtheir support for the Soviet Red Armyduring the Battle of Stalingrad.The city isnow also twinned with Dresden, Lidice and25 other cities around the world
Overseas countries•The 2525 links are spread across 90 overseas countries.•Most links established in the 1950s and 60s were with localities in France andGermany.•In the1970s, France and Germany were joined by the USA.•In the 1980s, these three countries were joined by China, Italy, and Nicaragua.•In the 1990s, these three countries (France, Germany and the USA) were joinedby Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Poland.•Since 2000, most new links have been with localities in France, the USA andPoland.
Town Twinning - Douzelage InternationalThe Douzelage movement was the brainchild of the Granville andSherborne Twinning Associations in 1989. Delegates of the twelvefounder members, one for each European Community member state,met in 1991 in Granville to sign the charter formally bringing Douzelageinto existence.The aims of the Douzelage are to promote and foster the spirit of Europeand to establish among others educational, economic, tourist, sportingand cultural links between the towns for the mutual benefit of theinhabitants thereof.The name is a combination of douze for twelve and jumelage fortwinning, and although the number of member states and the number ofour member towns has grown in the meantime, as the EU is sticking toits twelve stars, so we are sticking to our douze.
The original 12 founder members were:Altea, Spain Bad Kötzting, Germany Bellagio, Italy•Bundoran, Ireland Granville, France Holstebro, Denmark• Houffalize, Belgium Meerssen, Netherlands Niederanven, LuxembourgPreveza, Greece Sesimbra, Portugal Sherborne, United KingdomTowns that joined later are:Karkkila, Finland - 1997 Oxelösund, Sweden - 1998Judenburg, Austria - 1999In a first step of further expansion, 5 new towns joined the Douzelage in harmonywith the European enlargement process:Chojna, Poland - 2004 Kőszeg, Hungary - 2004Sigulda, Latvia - 2004 Sušice, Czech Republic - 2004Türi, Estonia – 2004Since 2007, seven further towns have joined the organisation:Zvolen, Slovakia - 2007 Prienai, Lithuania - 2008Marsaskala, Malta - 2009 Siret, Romania - 2010Agros, Cyprus - 2011 Škofja Loka, Slovenia – 2011Tryavna, Bulgaria - 2011
There are 19 twin and partner towns in FifeTown Twinning and Fife
Ingolstadt and it Twin TownsPresented in July 2012 the Flag of theCouncil of Europe in recognition of theircontribution and commitment toTown Twinning
as a device, town twinning is modular. It hasbeen taken up and used by numerous differentinterest groups, in numerous different historicaland geographical contexts, with numerousdifferent ends in mind.
town twinning is not some quaint pastime of abygone post-war era, but is something current,something contemporary, something of recentlygrowing incidence – and probably, therefore, ofrecently growing importance as well.
"Dull, in Perthshire, and Boring, Oregon forges an unlikely link when Elizabeth Leighton,who lives in Aberfeldy, near the Scottish village, was on a cycling holiday in the US. Shepassed through Boring, and immediately phoned her friend, Emma Burtles, a resident ofDull, with an idea to link the two communities together."