The biggest event of the twinning calendar has taken place, with the visit of 125 people from Göttingen from 27 July to 2 August, led by the deputy mayor of Göttingen, Ulrich Holefleisch, representing the Green Party. The visit was a huge success with many new friendships and contacts being made between families as most of the visitors stayed in the homes of local people.
Highlights of the visit included a welcome reception in the lovely grounds of the Cheltenham Ladies College; a wonderful summer concert hosted by the Cheltenham German Club with music and singing from both Cheltenham and Göttingen musicians; a visit to Bourton on the Water; trips to Cardiff, Cheddar Gorge and the city of Wells; and guided walking tours of the town. A twinning party at Dean Close school for all visitors and their host families and friends, brought everyone together for a fun evening with a great atmosphere and rounded off the visit on a friendly high point.
During the week, contacts were made between representatives of the Göttingen and Cheltenham History Societies and strong links were formed with the German Club in Cheltenham. Also as part of the programme, an officer from Göttingen’s waste recycling plant visited the council’s environmental services provider, Ubico, and exchanged information, knowledge and best practice on topics such as street cleaning, grounds maintenance, waste and recycling collections. And jazz musicians from both towns teamed up to perform a series of jazz gigs at various venues in the town.
As the group left, the deputy mayor of Göttingen invited Cheltenham people to Göttingen in July 2015 for the next twinning festival and looked forward to continuing the very strong bond of friendship that exists between the people of the two towns.
A very big thank you to everyone who helped make this visit so successful – the host families, the twinning committee and members of the Association, the German Club – and many more. Thank you.