HGTA’s mission is to promote friendship and cultural links with its twin towns of Salon de Provence in France, Wertheim am Main in Germany, Szentendre in Hungary and Gubbio in Italy. We do this by facilitating school, community and business links. Our goal is to foster fellowship and understanding by bridging communities across Europe.
We try to break down barriers to language and encourage understanding of other traditions, cultures and ways of life. Key to this is the formation of friendships between the different nationalities, both by individuals and groups. In particular, we believe that if we promote such friendships between young people, these barriers will be broken down more easily or may not even arise. We do our utmost to assist in any Twinning exchange project which involves young people and Youth Groups. As a prime example, every year teams of young people from all 6 towns compete in sporting competitions and take part in cultural events here and abroad. In the case of school exchanges, we sometimes assist by providing bursaries.
Members of our Twinning Association (HGTA) enjoy many benefits. For example:
- group visits to our twin towns;
- a programme of social events throughout the year, including themed dinners and an annual garden party;
- being entertained by dancers, choirs, musicians and other performers who travel between all the towns, joining in local events. In recent years we have enjoyed the spectacular Flag Throwers of Gubbio and the internationally renowned Höhefeld Fanfarenzug marching band from Wertheim.
- the opportunity to widen their knowledge of different cultures by hosting visitors from our twin towns;
- participating in local festivities like the Summer Galas, the Huntingdon Carnival and the Christmas Lights switch-on.
The Twinning Association is made up of people from many walks of life and our activities have helped to build friendships that have lasted for decades. We have manned stalls in Germany (on one occasion selling Guinness at a “bierfest” – no mean feat!), planted trees in Hungary as part of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution (a very moving experience), and been involved in the extraordinary celebrations for the birthday of Nostradamus in France. Whether he predicted our arrival is not known!
Our programme gets more ambitious every year – but all of these projects require funding. As a voluntary organisation, we are extremely grateful for the financial support we get from our two Town Councils as well as from our business sponsors and local charities. However, we also need to raise money by annual fund-raising activities – which we encourage all members to participate in.
The Twinning Association is not a civic organisation. It is an Association of volunteers, recognised by our two Town Councils, who can provide assistance and advice based on personal experience in dealing with our Twin Towns. This alliance may account for the fact that, in the past, there was a widely held misconception that Twinning exists primarily for civic dignitaries to visit each other at public expense, or that it is just something printed on a town’s road signs! In the case of the Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association nothing could be further from the truth.
Interested? Why not come and join us. To find out more, contact us via this link.
The HGTA UK Officers for 2019-20 are listed here.