Town-twinning helps to build links of friendship between different cultures and encourage trade and tourism. Didcot has been twinned with Meylan in France for a number of years and on Saturday 6th July 2013 Didcot extended its European links by signing a charter with the town of Planegg in Bavaria, Germany, agreeing to promote the development of cultural, sporting, educational and business links between the two towns.
Didcot and Planegg are both already twinned with the town of Meylan in France making this a tripartite arrangement.
The countryside surrounding the three towns is very different but all three are centres of science and business development, and share ambitions to further the health, well-being and education of their citizens. The interactions between the towns will be a catalyst to achieve these aims.
The ceremony was attended by about 60 Didcot residents plus 16 guests from Planegg and Meylan. The Mayors of Didcot, Axel Macdonald, and Planegg, Frau Annemarie Detsch, (pictured above) made speeches welcoming the coming together of the two towns and the opportunities this will bring before signing the Didcot-Planegg twinning charter.
Councillor Macdonald said in his speech:
“Today two towns from two different countries have come together in a show of unity and purposeful aspiration. Planegg joins Didcot and its twinned French town of Meylan – all joined by a common bond of science, commerce and a wish to share success.”
A copy of the full speech can been seen here.
Gifts were exchanged between the towns and between the Twinning Associations, and all attending toasted the new twinning agreement with a glass of champagne. In the evening a formal dinner was held in the Harwell Village Hall to mark the occasion.
During their stay in Didcot the visitors from Planegg and Meylan were accommodated by members of the Didcot Twinning Association. Free time on Saturday morning and Sunday provided opportunities for the hosts to show their guests around Didcot, some of the surrounding villages and Oxford.
If anyone is interested in knowing more or being involved, you can go to the Didcot Twinning Association website www.didcottwinning.org.uk or contact the Secretary of the Association, Geoff Oldham, on 01235 816602.