After four years of waiting, friends from our twin city of Göttingen, Germany, came back to Cheltenham to celebrate 66 years of twinning from 22-27 July 2017. A group of 13 students, 33 senior sports participants and 60 Göttingen residents, including the official delegation led by Rolf-Georg Köhler, Mayor of Göttingen, visited us for the ‘big party’!
After our German friends arrived on the Saturday evening, Cheltenham Mayor Klara Sudbury welcomed them at a reception at Chapel Arts on Sunday. Mr. Köhler presented a picture of the ‘Gänseliesel’ (goose girl), the most kissed woman in Göttingen, and gave it as a present to Cheltenham.
Many of our friends stayed with host families, friends saw each other again and new friendships were made. It was a happy and warm atmosphere which also seemed to influence the weather.
The visitors participated in fantastic day trips to Bath, Gloucester and Three Choirs Vineyard, saw the amazing Waterperry Gardens and took the steam train to Toddington to see the beautiful Cotswolds around the picturesque market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.
After a productive twinning meeting on Tuesday, our long partnership was celebrated with a twinning cake, English humour, interesting talks, entertainment by the Gloucestershire Morrismen and dancing at the Barbeque party.
Friends met again, new friendships were made and our twin cities got closer together. That’s what twinning stands for: bringing people from different countries together, having a cultural and linguistic exchange for a better understanding and standing side by side even in difficult and uncertain times.
We are glad to have this strong partnership with Göttingen and look forward to taking a large group of people from Cheltenham to celebrate the ‘big party’ in Göttingen in the summer of 2019!