It has been quite a challenge within the Tendring Twinning Association to include young people and children to participate in our activities. Because of the age of its members – not forgetting that next year we will be 50 years old – children don’t always fit very well into our activities. So when the Essex Book Festival asked if we would like to be part of their finale at the end of March, we were very excited. Their idea was to create a ‘peace panel’: to ask 3 classes of Year 6 pupils from Tendring and a class from Biberach, Świdnica and Valence to write and draw what they think the word peace means to them. Children also learned about the story of the folded-paper Peace Cranes made famous in Hiroshima after WW2.
The finale of the Book Festival took place at the Jaywick Martello Tower on 29 March 2018 and was managed by Kerith Ririe, one of our members. Some children came from Rolph Church of England School and also Two Village Church of England School. Our partner school in Valence sent us their replies and also a video; our school in Biberach sent us lovely replies as did the school in Świdnica. Not only did Świdnica send us their replies they also sent us 3 of their children accompanied by 2 parents!
We had a very happy morning at the Martello Tower: the children were invited to read out some of the replies to the question; Mr Mark Platt, Chairman of Tendring District Council spoke to everyone; then we did separate activities that included making cranes to be used in the peace display.
We are hoping to take the display of replies to all our twin towns in the next few months so that as many people as possible can appreciate all the hard work that went into our peace panel.
We are already talking to the organisers of the Essex Book Festival to invite our children to Harwich for the launch of the festival.
All our photos from the event are here: