Published on 22nd July 2022

Twinning representatives from Cheltenham and Gottingen in Germany, at a book launch, celebrating 70 years of twinning

A beautifully illustrated bi-lingual English/German book of short stories was launched last night (Thursday 21 July 2022) at a reception event.

The event was attended by representatives from Göttingen and supporters of Cheltenham twinning association.

The inspirational joint collaborative project marks the 70th anniversary of the link between the twin towns of Cheltenham and Göttingen in Germany. The 13 stories are written by William Lewis of Cheltenham, translated by Christiane Christen of Göttingen and illustrated by members of the Göttingen Kreis 34 Art Club.

The book launch is a highlight of the visit of the Mayor of Göttingen, Petra Broistedt, and a delegation from Göttingen - the first exchange visit since 2019.

The mayors of both towns have endorsed the book, with Cheltenham Mayor, Cllr Sandra Holliday, citing it as a ‘Collaborative celebration of our cultures’, and Mayor of Göttingen, Frau Petra Broistedt, saying, ‘A project like this is a symbol of good international understanding’.

The project has received financial support from Cheltenham Borough Council’s community fund, Göttingen Town Council, and Cheltenham and Göttingen’s Twinning Associations.

Annette Wight, twinning officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome a delegation from our twin town after a long break due to the pandemic. It is the first visit to Cheltenham for a number of the visitors, so we are very much looking forward to showing them what Cheltenham has to offer. 

“We shall also be holding discussions to see where we can work together on future twinning projects with topics around the climate emergency, eco exchanges, festivals and refugees high on the agenda.”

Cllr Diggory Seacome, chair of the Cheltenham Twinning Association, said: “I would like to express our huge thanks to William Lewis, and the team at the Göttingen Art Club for producing such a wonderful book.  It was wonderful to make copies available to attendees of the celebratory launch event. Cultural exchanges have played a prominent role in this longstanding and successful twinning partnership, and this storytelling collaboration typifies twinning at its best.”

The book, 13 Short Stories by William Lewis, is available for purchase on Amazon in book and e-book formats.

For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]

Cheltenham and Göttingen have been twinned since 1951, with 2021 marking the 70th anniversary of the link.  However due to Covid-19, celebrations to mark this milestone are continuing into this year.

Twinning at its Best – Cheltenham Twinning Association.

Photo, left to right:

Nina Winter, head of representation and international relations, Göttingen

William Lewis, author of ‘13 Stories’

Petra Broistedt, mayor of Göttingen

Cllr Sandra Holliday, mayor of Cheltenham

Christiane Christen, translator of the book and member of the art club, Kreis 34 in Göttingen, who illustrated the book

Onyekachi Oshionwu, deputy mayor of Göttingen