Retford celebrates 45 years of twinning

by | 2 June 2024 | Business, Heritage, Notice, Retford

Bassetlaw’s first twinning link was set up 45 years ago – and Retford played a key part in this.

Although Bassetlaw now has four official twinning partners in three countries, the original twinning agreement was signed on behalf of Retford Town Council and Pfungstadt Council in Germany. Only later did other links follow and then join under the Bassetlaw umbrella, supported by Bassetlaw District Council and the Bassetlaw Twinning Association (BTA).

A weekend of anniversary celebrations took place at the end of April, attended by a German party of 11 people, including the Mayor and deputy, twinning chair, councillors, teachers and members of the fire service, saw a new agreement signed on the Saturday lunchtime at Worksop Town Hall.

The celebrations in Retford were rather noisier. On the Sunday evening, during the interval of a concert in Retford Town Hall given by the Bassetlaw u3a Swing Band, the Pfungstadt delegation was presented by the Mayor, on behalf of the Retford Charter Trustees, with a memorial plate looking back 45 years to that early link with East Retford.

After that, and the very welcome buffet provided by Bassetlaw District Council, the music got livelier, enticing many onto the dance floor!
According to one of the German group, who goes back a long way and has lost count of his twinning visits, the original twinning contacts involved clubs and associations including the table tennis clubs. He has fond memories of playing table tennis at Ranby Prison 40 years ago, and forming life-long friendships as a result.

Musical contacts have always played a big part in this twinning link too, and this was much in evidence over the weekend, with a packed-out concert on Saturday night in Worksop Priory given by long-standing BTA members Ryton Chorale and Whitwell Brass Band, alongside the Pfungstadt Accordion Association.

Twinning really is back on the agenda now, post-pandemic. A return visit to Pfungstadt is scheduled for September, Garbsen in Germany are looking forward to a visit next year, and the Aurillac group who came in 2023 can’t wait to come back.