Fringe Box



Twinning Year Ends on a High (Street)

Published on: 13 Dec, 2023
Updated on: 14 Dec, 2023

By Barbara Ford

chair of the Guildford Twinning Association

The Guildford Twinning Association (GTA) has been working hard all year to maintain Guildford’s warm 44-year relationship with Guildford’s only twin town, Freiburg, in the south-west of Germany.

The efforts have continued in spite of the difficult economic environment, transport difficulties, and lingering Covid – in both towns.

Looking back over the year the association’s highlights include:

Filmfest, part of the GTA’s cultural outreach – a day of German films presented in collaboration with Surrey University’s German and Film Departments with free public admission.

We showed Die Austernprinzessin (the Oyster Princess), an early, silent and funny Lubitsch film, plus Oscar-winning Das Leben der Anderen(The Lives of Others) a gritty film about Communist-era East Germany, plus sci-fi rom-com Ich bin dein Mensch (I’m Your Man), starring Dan Stevens of Downton fame as a robot.

Members’ trip to Freiburg (see Nick Bale’s photo journal for details).

Support for Guildford Chamber Choir’s visit to Freiburg.

A Guildford/Freiburg Zoom quiz for Halloween, mixed teams in Zoom “breakout rooms” tackled tough questions eg about people who were born or died on October 31 (such as: painter Egon Schiele and Footballer Marcus Rashford).

Participants dressed up for the Halloween Quiz

A Short Film Competition for Schools, in both twin towns. The brief: make a 2-minute film in German, topic ‘Ein Interview mit…‘.

Judges Professor Susan Pratt of Surrey University and Mayor, with Short Film Competition prizewinners Lizzie Johnson, Daisy Usherwood, Caspar Noble & Felix Newton

The Guildford results have just been announced and prizes awarded by the Mayor (see the winning films from George Abbot School and Guildford County School here).  The Freiburg results – their films had to be in English – will be announced later.

GTA Christmas Market – We sold gifts and stocking fillers

And finally, last Sunday, a German mini Christmas market in the Guildhall on the High Street – almost 900 visitors, profile and funds substantially raised via stalls manned by a loyal group of hardworking members, fuelled by Glühwein, a staple of German markets.

GTA Treasurer Martin Stringfellow drummed up customers in the High Street

We hope to do at least as well in 2024, and to facilitate more visits back and forth by local groups. Let’s hope that conditions ease a little, here and in beautiful Freiburg.

Special mugs for Glühwein

Share This Post

Responses to Twinning Year Ends on a High (Street)

  1. Jane Hepburn Reply

    December 13, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    Nice to see this has spanned the years but whatever happened to Guildford’s controversial twinning with Dongying in China, October 2017? See: Inscrutable Progress on Dongying Partnership

    Or was it quietly and happily shelved?

    Editor’s response: The relationship with Dongying was described as a “partnership” not a twinning but no activity has been reported since 2019.

  2. Barbara Ford Reply

    December 14, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    To see another take on the issue of twinning or partnering with towns which are not as enlightened as one’s own Western European home, (some even have different diets…) have a look at Freiburg’s film about its many twinnings, including with Isfahan in Iran and Suwon in South Korea:

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *