The links between Ashington, Newbiggin by the Sea and the Remscheid area of Germany go back to the early 1950’s.

The town twinning agreement was one of the first between the United Kingdom and Germany following the Second World War.  The objective was to develop peace and understanding between the nations and the concept is as probably relevant now as it was at the time.

To support these historic links a new town twinning group has been developed.  The Ashington & Newbiggin by the Sea Town Twinning Association will host its first open meeting on Wednesday 11 April and they are encouraging people to come along to find out more about town twinning and how they can get involved.  The meeting will take place at the Elephant Public House, in Ashington, commencing at 7.00pm.

The signing of the town twinning agreement, in 1952, commenced formal links between Ashington, Newbiggin by the Sea and the Remscheid area.  A rich history of friendship has been developed and continues right up to the current day.  Many cultural and sporting exchanges have taken place over the years as well as a focus on encouraging links between the young people of the two areas.

Following the reorganisation of local government in Northumberland, in 2009, there were concerns that this would have a negative effect on town twinning.  However, links have been maintained and, in 2015, a new partnership agreement between the town council’s of Ashington and Newbiggin by the Sea and the City of Remscheid Council was duly signed by the respective mayors of each area. In the spirit of the agreement the Association has been developed with the aim of encouraging more people to participate in town twinning as well as to provide practical support in developing and organising exchange visits.

Mr Peter Millar, the new Chair of the Association, said ‘We are delighted to develop the Association which we are sure will build on the links that have been made over the past sixty years.  We would like to extend a warm welcome to residents, as well as organisations, to the meeting so they can find out more about town twinning and how they can become involved’.

Mr Bill Gale, the new Secretary, adds ‘In recent years the Luttringhausen Church Brass Band has visited the area, performing at both the Holy Sepulchre Church (pictured) and the Newbiggin Maritime Centre and in coming weeks a coach party from Germany is also planning to visit with the new Association supporting the visit.  We are planning to visit Remscheid later in the year to attend a community festival and where we will also have the opportunity to meet our German counterparts in their town twinning group’.

The Association extends a warm welcome to the open meeting on Wednesday 11 April at the Elephant Public House, on Newbiggin Road, in Ashington (NE63 0SZ).  A website is currently under development to keep everyone aware of activities.  If you require any further information on the Association and the meeting please call Bill Gale on tel: 07706 820 099.