THE STORY OF TOWN TWINNING

Town Twinning is about creating friendship between towns, communities, groups, families and individuals.  The idea was born out of the ashes of the Second World War, part of a determination that the countries of Europe should live in peace.  They decided that the way forward should be to create a series of links and relationships between them, such as to make war impractical, unthinkable.  That was the thinking behind the European Community – you don’t go to war with your suppliers, or your customers.  Equally, you don’t willingly accept war with the people who host your children’s school exchange visit, or send their church choir to perform in your town.  That’s what twinning is about.  

So - create personal friendships - but how? 

In Prudhoe we have always found that it works best if you link like-minded groups.  Everyone knows in advance that they have something in common - you’re a musician, you’ll host another musician; you’re a swimmer, you’ll stay with another swimmer.

Here’s just a taste of some of the activities that we have seen in 2011. 

A group of hikers from our French twin town, Mitry-Mory, came over for a walking weekend, that took us up the North Sea coast and along the River Tyne.  Prudhoe walkers went over for their hiking weekend.  Photogrpahs from the walks here in England can be seen below. 

Along with the walkers came a jazz group called- Dr Folamour (Dr Strangelove). They joined forces with Eric Robertson and Bob Hindhaugh’s Classic Rock musicians for some memorable performances, including at a barbecue at Matfen Brewery.  Photographs from this event are also shown below.

Sometimes a direct link isn’t obvious. Mitry-Mory has a very strong Wrestling Club and we don’t.  But we found out that a Boxing Club had just started at the East Centre and they made a very good match.  Wrestling in Mitry-Mory is a popular family sport - both sexes and all ages participate. The group included two little six-year-old girls, and Cindy, a five times national female champion.  Cindy issued a challenge to our local lads … That was interesting … as you can see in the fabulous shots below!

Totally different - a group from Prudhoe (Derek Gillespie, George and Judy
McCreedy and Dave Vause) travelled over to represent Prudhoe at Mitry-Mory’s annual Christmas Market.  The Market is a big event in the town’s preparations for the festive season - there are always stalls stocked with fine foods and wine, farm-produced pâtés, olives, preserves, as well as handicrafts, decorations and gifts.  The mainstays of the Prudhoe stall traditionally are our marmalade and fruit cakes - the French love jams and preserves, and some people stock up with a year’s supply of Prudhoe marmalade, to keep them going until next Christmas. It’s something so small - but so many breakfast tables in Mitry-Mory include a little bit of Prudhoe every morning.

For further details of Town Twinning please contact me, Derek Gillespie (Chair of Town Twinning) on (01661) 834033 or e-mail derekigillespie@hotmail.com

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS AND ARCHIVE MATERIAL WERE SUPPLIED BY MRS MOIRA WOOLDRIDGE, WE HOPE YOU ENJOY VIEWING THEM