Object of the Association: The aims of the Association shall be to promote international friendship and understanding by strengthening by all possible means the links formed by Penzance and Cuxhaven stimulating and fostering the mutual exchanges at all levels between the people of the twinned municipalities and their surrounding areas; and by organising fund-raising activities to support the objects of the Association.
Although there had been isolated town twinning agreements between European cities in the early 1900s, it wasn’t till after the Second World War that town twinning really took off. After two devastating world wars, what better way of bringing European people into a closer understanding of each other than by setting up grass roots links between partner communities? Today the primary ideals of twinning remain as important as ever: friendship, co-operation and the building of a mutual awareness between the peoples of Europe.
While we talk about town twinning, the partner communities may be as large as cities or as small as villages. What matters is that they share a long-term commitment as partners and that this commitment involves both the municipality and the citizens of each twin town. When two towns become twinned, a formal agreement is signed by their respective mayors. A town twinning committee, comprising both citizens and a representatives from the council, will then build and develop the twinning relationship. Twinning will usually cover a wide range of links between the partners, be it in the realms of art and culture, sport and recreation, friendships between young people or business and economic development links. Above all, this relationship will be furthered by regular visits between the twin towns: it is amazing how spending just a few days with friends from your twin town can be so enriching.
Hearing the comments from some of our members after our recent visit to Cuxhaven may help you to see what we get out of it and hopefully make you want to get involved too. Remember, speaking the language of your twin town is not necessary (although if you do, it’s a great way to get a bit of practice!).
Aerial view of Cuxhaven.