Twinning became popular following the Second World War and was encouraged as a means of redeveloping links with other countries and communities. The process was encouraged to break down barriers and prejudices between nations with the aim that this could help prevent another global conflict.
In the grim atmosphere of an exhausted and devastated Europe, the city of Bristol decided to send a goodwill mission to Hanover, to offer the hand of friendship and help. It was accepted. Further twinning links between some of the leading British and German cities and towns followed in 1948 and 1949. The idea caught on. This was a way to develop real understanding between people, to prevent discord and war. It could add another dimension to local community life. It provided activity for young people. Ideas and culture could grow.
The borough's two principal towns Long Eaton and Ilkeston have well established twinning links with European towns under which there is an active programme of exchange visits.
We are pleased to support these twin town arrangements which are described below, and extend a sincere welcome to all visitors to Erewash from overseas.
Ilkeston Twinning Association
Twinning also began between French and German cities and then in the 1950's the Société Bilingue with the help of the British local authority associations assumed the role of broker and began to urge British towns and cities to sponsor twinning links. They wrote to Ilkeston and in 1955 the Borough Council of Ilkeston decided to seize the opportunity. The rest, as they say, is history... The towns of Ilkeston and Châlons-sur-Marne (later to be renamed Châlons-en-Champagne) signed a twinning charter on 11 April 1957, but the story had really begun some ten years earlier.
Originally, the link was primarily a civic one between the former borough of Ilkeston and the Municipality of Châlons. Whilst the civic link with the twinning association remains, twinning activities have been extended in recent years to include exchanges between groups and societies in the two towns. Sporting exchanges are very popular with links through athletics, basketball, gymnastics, badminton and photography/walking having been made. It is hoped more sports will join in the future. Châlons-en-Champagne (population approximately 60,000) is noted for the many historical associations and its connections with the production of champagne.
The Ilkeston Association is managed by an Executive Committee which is elected annually by the Association and which meets regularly. Erewash will be hosting the next exchange in 2019. Further information on twinning generally please telephone the Democratic and Civic Officer, Susan Dunkley, at the Ilkeston Town Hall on 0115 907 1115.
Long Eaton and District Twinning Association
The Long Eaton and District Twinning Association was established in 1961 and its aims and objectives as described in its constitution are to 'promote good relations and exchanges of all types' between Long Eaton and its twin towns. These are Romorantin-Lanthenay, in the Loire Valley of France and Langen, near Frankfurt in Germany.
Organised visits take place each year with one town acting as host to the other two towns in rotation. Members stay with families in their homes and some entertainment and visits to places of interest are arranged by the host Twinning Association. In addition, various other organisations in the town have visited or been host to their counterparts in Romorantin-Lanthenay and Langen. The 2018 visit is to Romorantin and will be the 60th Anniversary of being twinned with the town.
The Association also has a wide social calendar of events for its members during the year. For further information please contact Diane Doughty, Secretary of the Twinning Association (telephone 0115 9254065 or email email@example.com) or Susan Dunkley, Democratic and Civic Officer at the Borough Council (telephone 0115 9071115 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ).