Thetford Twinning Association was founded in 1992, and works with Thetford Town Council to organise formal twinning and events with Spijkenisse in Holland, Les Ulis in France, Hürth in Germany and Skawina in Poland.
Town twinning really took off after the second world war, with the aims of broadening understanding and sharing projects of mutual benefit.
Usually, towns of similar size and characteristics are twinned. For example, Coventry joined firstly with Stalingrad and then with Dresden. All these cities suffered destruction during the war and twinning was seen as the beginning of peace and reconciliation. Other examples of links include the historic cities of Norwich and Rouen, Newmarket with Lexington in Kentucky which both have strong horse racing industries, and such as the ports of Bristol and Bordeaux. Thetford is twinned with similar small market towns that have a ‘new' aspect to them, such as Thetford's new town centre. Les Ulis was build from new in the 1970s; and Hurth and Spijkenisse have new town centres.
Thetford Twinning Association is a voluntary group which consists of residents of Thetford and the surrounding area with the aim of promoting friendships with members of twin towns. Although the Association has links with the Town Council it is not funded by the Council. Members of the committee give up their free time to serve on an entirely voluntary basis and are not paid for their work or travel.
The Association's objectives are promoting links with Hurth, Les Ulis, Spijkenisse and Skawina through social and cultural visits and exchanges by individuals and groups.
Members have guests from twin towns to stay in their homes at their own cost, in the knowledge that they will be hosted in the homes of people from our twin towns in return. Any travel costs or other expenses on visits to twin towns are paid for by members individually.
The Association encourages and will try to help with arranging traditional and e-mail communications between residents of the twin towns for people of all ages, in addition to helping find work, study and placements for students and donations towards sports and leisure activities. The Association has made donations to the Dolphins Swimming Club, Thetford Chess Club and to individuals from the town to enable them to take part in activities in Thetford's twin towns.
In 2014 the Constitution was amended to include promoting and fostering friendship and understanding with individuals or groups from any other countries. The name was amended to Thetford Twinning and International Links Association, but it is still known informally as Thetford Twinning Association.
For more information, please email Thetford Twinning Association.
In Europe, town twinning is supported by the European Union and our Association has been fortunate to receive grants from the European Union for two of its events, in 2009 and 2012.
More details of these events will be available nearer the time.
The next event will be the Annual General Meeting early in 2017.
Autumn Fundraising/Christmas Fair
This will be held on Saturday, 19th November in the Baptist Church Hall in King Street, Thetford. It will include a 'Winter Warmers' lunch (soups, puddings and cakes, etc), craft stalls and a tombola.
The Association's newsletters can be found .