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Darlington to celebrate 60 years of town twinning
DARLINGTON’S links with its twin towns in Europe are to be celebrated with a series of events to mark 60 years of friendship and co-operation.
The towns of Amiens, in France, and Mulheim am Ruhr, in Germany, became twins of Darlington in 1953 and have since shared sports events and civic ceremonies and helped hundreds of young people experience new languages and cultures.
The Darlington Town Twinning Association, led by Councillor Tom Nutt, organises a number of events with each twin town every year, but hopes that this year will be extra special to mark the anniversary.
Among the events planned are a number of football tournaments, with teams from Darlington schools travelling to Germany, France and Poland; a visit to a major tourism event in Amiens; and a visit by 40 Mulheim residents to Darlington.
The mayors of Amiens and Mulheim will also visit Darlington in June as part of a youth conference on training and catering to mark the 60 years.
Coun Nutt said the association, which has about 30 members, is looking for younger members to help keep town twinning alive, as it is the younger generation that has traditionally benefited from the arrangement.
He said: “We are trying to show all the positives of town twinning. It gives a lot of students who might not get to go abroad the opportunity to be involved, whether it is through football or study, and go to different countries.
“The financial situation across Europe means that all towns are cutting back on twinning, but we are trying to keep it going.”
Coun Nutt estimates that the programme of events for 2013 will cost about £15,000 – most of which has been found by the association.
The association is looking for individual members, who can join for £10 a year, or corporate members, who can sign up for £20 a year, to provide extra support to the initiative.
Coun Nutt has also asked for businesses to sponsor different events or one of the football trips to Europe.
For more information visit darlingtontowntwinning.co.uk or email email@example.com