Published on 21st July 2015

Gottingen market place

More than 80 Cheltenham residents will be setting off for Göttingen on Friday 24 July for a week-long visit returning on Friday 31 July.

The trip will mark 64 years of the twinning link between Cheltenham and its German twin town.

Most people will enjoy a stay with host families during the visit, which is being organised by the council and led by the mayor, Councillor Duncan Smith. Main events will include a welcome reception, a twinning party for all visitors and their host families, local visits around Göttingen including the university, day trips to Berlin, Hanover and Einbeck and a barbeque organised by the Göttingen Twinning Association.

Also in Göttingen at the same time, will be 60 members of the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, who will be giving two concerts with varying programmes during their visit. Members of the orchestra will also be joining in the various events organised and contributing to the musical entertainment at the reception and party.

Cllr Garth Barnes, chairman of the twinning association, said: “We are delighted that the Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra will be joining us on this four yearly visit to our wonderful German twin town. We started twinning with Göttingen in 1951 and I feel it is still as important now as it was then as we continue to stay united in Europe and strive for peace in the world.’’

Annette Wight, twinning officer, added: “We are always made to feel very welcome by the people of Göttingen and with over 140 Cheltenham people descending on the town, I am sure that many new friendships and links will be formed which will continue to reaffirm the great bond of understanding and friendship that we have had with Göttingen for so many years. ’’

The visit gives the council’s mayor and officers the opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practice with their opposite numbers and to discuss topics concerning both councils. A meeting will also be held to discuss the continued development of international linking and future events between the two towns.

The last big party visit was in 2011 when more than 100 Cheltenham residents visited Gottingen to celebrate 60 years of twinning between the two towns. Since then sports groups, school groups, work placement apprentices and the town choir from Göttingen have been to Cheltenham, as well as a party of over 130 residents for a week in 2013.

For press enquiries contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email: [email protected]