Fantastic work to create two wonderful new murals in our towns!

The Bridging Arts Mural project came to fruition over the weekend of September 21st – 24th and was a resounding success. An article appeared in the Hunts Post yesterday which summarises  the events of the weekend – you can read it here:

There will be a full report from the steering committee in due course, but for now, here are just a few photographs to show a little of how the two beautiful murals developed, and also a couple of the social events which everyone enjoyed – a T-shirt painting picnic, and a hog roast at Buckden Towers with a drama presentation by the Huntingdon Youth Theatre.

Here is the Godmanchester Skatepark mural 1. nearly complete, and 2. with all the young participating artists at the Great Reveal:


Some photos from the Reveal at Huntingdon:

  1. The Szentendre team. 2. The (very nearly!) finished article. 3. The Wertheim group. 4. Gubbio students in front of their painting. 5.  The Huntingdon and Godmanchester students.

Here they are at the T-shirt workshop:

And finally some pictures of the presentation evening at Buckden Towers, enhanced by the presence of none other than Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon. and some of their courtiers (aka Huntingdon Youth Theatre!).


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Work on the Huntingdon mural has begun!

This weekend saw transfer of the background design and individual town sections onto the back wall of the Commemoration Hall, beginning a new chapter in the story of ‘the mural’. The original was painted back in 1987 by Brian Barnes and a team of St Peters students. HGTA members with David Brown, lead artist, and young people from Huntingdon Youth Theatre together with Paris, winner of the BAM Art Competition, all braved the sweltering heat and joined in. A huge thankyou to everyone, especially our young artists! Thanks also go to Emily Jolley, a local artist, who came along to help and to all the lovely people passing by for their encouragement and kind words. What a great start. Next week-end we move to Godmanchester Skatepark – keep a look out for updates!



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The BAM festival is almost here!

After months of preparation the Bridging Art Murals (BAM) Youth Cultural Festival is almost here!

This exciting collaboration between Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association and The Commemoration Hall will create a visual story of how our towns are linked with our European Friends.

Young artists from our European Twin Towns will be arriving on 21st September to join others from Huntingdon & Godmanchester in painting murals at the Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon and the Skatepark in Godmanchester. The murals will each be a montage of designs featuring landmarks in our twin towns, Wertheim, Szentendre, Gubbio & Salon de Provence, as well as Huntingdon & Godmanchester. Each young artist who created the winning design will be part of the groups painting and enjoying the week-end activities.

Over the week-end of 22nd to 24th September the Programme includes art-based workshops – Street Art led by Nathan Murdoch who created the murals in Literary Walk, and Fantasy Maps, based on our towns, led by professional illustrator Katie Bass – together with social events and activities in Huntingdon and Godmanchester.  Our European student guests will be staying at Buckden Towers, where the week-end will finish with a celebratory hog roast and entertainment by Huntingdon Youth Theatre, featuring an unexpected guest!

Preparations start on the week-end of 9th/10th September when some of the background design and outline drawing of the individual town section designs will be transferred, beginning a new chapter in the ‘story’ of the Commemoration Hall wall.  The original mural was designed and painted by Brian Barnes and a team of St. Peters school students back in the 1987.

The next step is preparation at the Skatepark in Judith’s Field, Godmanchester over the week-end of 16th/17th September.  This will see transfer of designs onto the facing wall of the Skatepark ramp, ready to transform a ‘blank canvas’ into something vibrant and exciting.

As well as the Festival Programme, civic representatives from our twin towns and members of their twinning associations with travel with the students to attend the annual Twinning Business Meeting, hosted this year by Huntingdon & Godmanchester Twinning Association.  Delegates will come together with the Mayors of Huntingdon & Godmanchester to discuss the four-year plan of work to support each town’s Charter responsibilities.

The whole event is being organized and run by volunteers from the partner organisations, and would not be possible without the amazing help and support of HGTA members, Commemoration Hall volunteers, Huntingdon & Godmanchester Town Councils, local artists and art groups, Huntingdon Youth Theatre members, schools, the Claretian Centre at Buckden Towers and all the many friends of HGTA.  We will be creating opportunities for our young people to form new friendships, promote further understanding of each others’ cultures for the future and provide a colourful and educational legacy that will enhance both towns.


Additional information about Buckden Towers

Buckden Towers dates from 1186 when it was the residence of Bishop Hugh of Lincoln.  He was a well-loved figure who rooted out corruption and opposed nepotism in his appointments and began the rebuilding of Lincoln Cathedral after damage caused by an earthquake in 1185.  With some interludes in private ownership, in 1957 Buckden Tower’s religious connection was renewed when the Claretian Missionaries took possession. Many notable people visited Buckden during its heyday, including King Henry III, Edward I and Thomas Wolsey.  Probably the most important was Catherine of Aragon, sent here by order of Henry VIII after the annulment of their marriage.  The ordinary people of England had deep sympathy for Catherine and she was very popular with the villagers of Buckden.  Henry tried to move her out in 1533 but was defeated in his attempt by local support. Catherine eventually moved to Kimbolton where she lived until her death in 1536.  Henry VIII went on to visit Buckden with later wives. There is also history associated with the ‘Witches of Warboys’, and in the 17th century it was the site of many grand theatrical performances. Much restoration has taken place over the years and Buckden Towers is now a retreat and centre for Catholic life in the district. The Towers welcomes visitors, both local and from farther afield, especially young people.


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Coronation Soldier!

Some weeks ago, Huntingdon In Bloom, in conjunction with the Town Council, offered local organisations the opportunity to join a project to paint a series of crowns and soldiers to decorate the town in celebration of the coronation of King Charles III.

Of course, HGTA joined in enthusiastically. A group of members, led by Liz Perrett and our artistic advisor, David Brown, painted a very smart soldier in the uniform of the grenadier guards, complete with a busby in which his plume was an advertisement for our upcoming BAM event. The planning and painting was done in Liz & Brian Perrett’s garage!     


Di Gutteridge attended the launch of the project on behalf of HGTA, and our soldier is now in pride of place in Huntingdon Town Square.


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T4T (Twinners for Tomorrow) event in Gubbio

A group of 15 representatives from HGTA, including two Godmanchester youth councillors and a member of Huntingdon Youth Theatre,  travelled to Gubbio for three days of presentations, workshops and social events organised by the Associazione Gubbio Gemellaggi, our twinning partners in Gubbio. The theme was ‘Twinners for Tomorrow’, and the focus was firmly on young people, and how we can make Twinning more relevant and appealing for a younger age group. It was a fantastic event, and there are full reports on our Facebook page, courtesy of Simon Maylor. Here are just a few photos to give you some idea of the beauty of the town of Gubbio and the camaraderie of the conference.

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Programme of Events 2023

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Two beautiful French films! 19th January and 30th March 2023

HGTA members enjoyed two afternoons of French culture with the showing of La Gloire de mon Père, and Le Château de ma Mère, accompanied by tea and coffee and ‘real’ French biscuits!

Set in Provence at the turn of the 20th Century, La Gloire de mon Père is a charming film, loosely based on the early life of the author Marcel Pagnol. It tells the story of a young child’s idyllic summer, and the developing friendship between two brothers-in-law in their quest for the provençal sportsman’s ultimate prize – the elusive ‘bartavelle’. Le Château de ma Mère takes up the story a year or so later, and sees young Marcel and his siblings through to adulthood – and an inevitable degree of tragedy along the way.

Gentle, at times amusing, at times poignant, and filmed in the glorious, wild landscape of the mountains of Provence, these films are modern classics of French cinema.

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Truffle Festival in Gubbio, October 29th – November 1st 2022

Seven lucky (and jolly hard-working!) members of HGTA spent a weekend in Gubbio, helping our friends in the Associazione Gubbio Gemellaggi  to celebrate their annual truffle festival. There is a full report on our Events page. Here are just a few photos to give you an idea of the weekend, the town, and the wonderful hospitality of our Italian friends.




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Spotlight on Provence, October 1st 2022

A social event focusing on Salon de Provence was held in Huntingdon Town Hall on October 1st. 54 twinning members enjoyed an ‘international’ meal and a presentation about Provence given by Peter Downes. You can read more about it on the Events page  

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Programme of Events, 2022-23

We have an exciting programme coming up over the next few months. More information will be available in advance of each event, so make a note in your diaries and keep an eye on the website!

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