Category Archives: Around Our Towns

Spring 2017 in our Twin Towns

A few words to celebrate the arrival of Spring:

Spring in Tendring

photographs and text contributed by Bianca Race

As spring draws closer and all things that have died are brought back from their sleep to bring colour ready for the summer when we start to see and feel more alive. This brings us lots of things to celebrate and enjoy including celebrating parents and longer days.  Spring gives us back the wildlife that was hibernating or had migrated and the flowers come to blossom in all kinds of colours, the trees no longer looking bare with fresh green leaves. 



Spring in Valence

poem and photographs contributed by Agnes Garelli (translations appear below)

Le Retour

J’ai tout de suite su que c’était le printemps.
Enfin les oiseaux se remettaient à chanter !
Enfin l’air était plus chaud en fin de journée !
On allait pouvoir recommencer…
Recommencer à semer, planter, biner.
Partir marcher le nez au raz du sol.
Est-ce que la violette est sortie de terre ?
La jonquille se dresse-t-elle fière ?
Oui tous sont là, fidèles à celui que l’on attend.
Le printemps !

Agnès Garelli le 18/03/2017 –

Le Retour (The Return) –    translated by Evelyn Logue

I knew spring was certainly here,
At last the birds are singing once more,
At last the warm air of spring evenings,
We can see a new beginning ,
To sow, to plant, to clear the ground,
Walking, looking at the fertile soil,
Is that a violet appearing?
Are the daffodils standing proud?
Yes, they are all there, faithful, awaited ones.         Spring!

Le Retour (Powrót) – translated by Dominika Lesniak

Wiedziałem ze wiosna była z pewnością tutaj,
W końcu ptaki śpiewają ponownie,
W końcu ciepłe powietrze wiosennych wieczorów.
Możemy zobaczyć nowy początek,
Siać, sadzić, wyczyścić ziemię,
Spacerować, patrzeć na żyzne gleby,
Czy to fiołek pojawia się?
Czy narcyzy stoją dumne?
Tak wszystkie one tam są, wiernie oczekujące.

Le Retour (Die Rückkehr) – translated by Sarah Phillips

Ich wusste, Frühling war tatsächlich da,
Endlich zwitschern die Vögel wieder,
Endlich die laue Abendluft des Frühlings,
Wir sehen den Neubeginn,
Säen, pflanzen, den Boden vorbereiten,
spazieren, den fruchtbaren Boden bestaunen,
Ist das etwa schon ein Veilchen?
Stehen die Osterklocken stolz empor?

Ja, sie sind alle da, treu, und lang ersehnt.


We asked our Twin Towns: How will Brexit affect our relationship?

By Joy Phillips, Chairman –

As a Twinning Association we really cannot now ignore the reality of Brexit.

On Tuesday, 28 March, the day before Article 50 was declared to commence the separation between Great Britain and the European Union, both Paul Sharpe and I were contacted by Sky News with a request to be interviewed the next day with regards to Brexit and town twinning. Please watch the clip for the full interview.

Before the interview we asked our twin towns how they felt the UK leaving the European Community would affect our twinning relationship. These are their replies:

FromŚwidnica (Poland) a reply from Vice-President of Town Hall and Chairman of Twinning Society:

(As we needed immediate replies from our Polish twin town, and were not able to take the time to go through our usual helpful translator, although we sent the question in written form, one of our members, who is Polish, agreed to telephone our friends in Świdnica to ensure an immediate response).

Their reply was that they do not expect that there will be any change in our arrangement and our twinning will continue the same as always. We are grateful to them for their continuing friendship and support.

The reply from Valence (France) was received from the Councillor responsible for twinning in the Town Hall, Olivier Desseaux:

“I would like to say there’s no chance the strong links we have with Clacton and Tendring District will be affected by Brexit: Simply because our relationships are human and friendly relations and are more important than administrative considerations. Clacton and Tendring District is our sister city and stays our sister city!”

Biberach an der Riss (Germany) reply from the Chairman of Biberach Twinning Committee, Christa Baumgärtner:

“Brexit did not impact our relationship at all. It encourages us even more to work closer together with our twin town, having more events, more personal exchanges, more visits with cultural programs of all kinds and fostering exchanges of young people. Twinning is about friendship and expanding relationships. Getting to know people and to see how they live, what their values are, their culture and history. Finally, it’s having fun together and enjoying the international community. Be a part of it!”

We also received  a reply from Wolfgang Grimm, President of Twinning in Biberach:

“We all did not want the Brexit, but now we have to accept it. But it means we have to enforce our activities. Twinning means to meet people preferably in the family. By these meetings we overcome fast the prejudices and very often friendship starts.

The next two years will not be easy, but therefore it is our responsibility to prevent that new prejudices will come up. If we gain more and more friends this will not happen. We should be so happy that we have peace in Europe since 72 years. Since we had the privilege to live in such a peaceful time it is our responsibility to preserve this peaceful time for our children and grandchildren. Therefore twinning is so important.”

Put in a nutshell, twinning is as important as ever – Brexit or no Brexit. We will continue to work toward consolidating and extending our links with our twin towns  – working, if necessary, that little bit harder.


Archive: Around Our Towns…… With Our Postal Workers

Around Our Towns…… With Our Postal Workers

This, the first of our home-page feature articles, is being written end of February / beginning of March, when I, like most people, have had enough of winter and am glad to see evidence of spring arriving.

Reflecting on what we and all our twin towns have in common – I thought about our postmen and women. They faithfully deliver our post six days a week in all kinds of weather conditions, frequently carrying heavy loads. Often they are faceless and we may take them for granted. Thinking of these important folk, I enlisted the assistance of someone in each of our twin towns to take a snapshot of those who deliver our mail.

La postière from Valence – taken by Agnes Garrelli

Polish Postman (listonosz) in Świdnica– taken by Aleksandra Rokicka

German Postman, Biberach – taken by Gareth Thomas



Tendring District Postman – taken by Joy Phillips

All our post deliverers wear clothes which identify them.

In Tendring, even in February, our brave, local postie wears shorts. Evidence, perhaps that we tend to be stoical and perhaps a little unusual !

Thank you to all who deliver our post, wherever in the world we live.

 Joy Phillips – March 2017