The twinning of Weston-super-Mare, with Hildesheim, a historic city in Lower Saxony, Germany, dates back to 1983. This partnership has fostered cultural exchange, friendship, and collaboration between the two communities for forty years.
To celebrate, the Lord Mayor of Hildesheim Germany Dr Ingo Meyer will travel to Weston next week with six colleagues.
Educational exchanges have been a significant aspect of the twinning relationship. Students from schools in Weston-super-Mare and Hildesheim have had the chance to visit each other’s towns, staying with host families. This has provided invaluable cross-cultural experience. Members from the youth exchange team will also be coming to Weston to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the twinning of the two towns and to encourage more students to travel to become part of the exchange programme.
Whilst the guests are here The Mayor of Weston-super-Mare Councillor Ciaran Cronnelly and deputy Mayor Councillor John Crockford-Hawley will host the party showcasing some of Weston’s highlights.
The Programme includes a visit to the RNLI station, a tour of Thatcher’s cider farm, attending The Weston Lions Beer & Ale festival and an official Charter signing at Weston Museum to Re-Affirm the friendship between our two towns.
The Mayor said “We’ve had a long-established relationship with Hildesheim and we’re delighted that they’ll be returning this year to see our beautiful Town. This year is extra special because it’s 40 years since we twinned and we’re pleased to be able to celebrate this together and further strengthen our relationship. We live in a volatile world where fostering of international friendships and understanding between young people is more important than ever”
Twinning, or sister city programs, are initiatives that facilitate connections between communities in different countries, encouraging cultural, educational, and economic exchanges.
The twinning of Weston-super-Mare and Hildesheim has proven to be a meaningful and enriching experience for both towns. It has allowed the residents to appreciate their similarities and differences, promoting cultural diversity, and global understanding. The partnership has endured for many years, and it continues to strengthen the ties between these two vibrant communities.
You can follow the group’s week on The Mayor’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/mayorofwestonsupermare where regular updates will be posted.
Additional information –
The twining began as a youth exchange organised by the late Hugh Redman leader of Bournville Youth Club who had made friends with his counterpart in Hildesheim. In 1983 a formal twinning was agreed between the two local councils and that charter is being renewed this month in celebration of our 40 years friendship.
Until recently we had annual exchanges of young people with accommodation arranged in family homes. German youngsters remain very keen to come to Weston but I’m afraid British youngsters now seem less inclined to reciprocate. Maybe this is linked to a serious decline in the study of German in English schools? Fortunately scouts in Weston are looking into possible exchanges with German scouts and two of the scout commissioners in Weston will be meeting the Hildesheim youth leader and Lord Mayor on their forthcoming visit to Weston.
Each year the Mayor of Weston visits the counterpart Oberburgermeister in Hildesheim and vice-versa. Though these exchanges are largely social, there are many opportunities to see how our two very different systems of local government work and how we both try to tackle some of the social problems which we both share. I have personally been intrigued to see how the Hildesheim council approach to heritage conservation and replenishment is far in advance of our British style. Importantly we are able to learn from one another and grow in understanding and friendship which is the whole purpose of twinning
Hildesheim is a beautiful medieval city not far from Hanover twinned with Bristol.