Image of town hall in Marquette-lez-Lille

Marquette-lez-Lille Hôtel de Ville

SLEAFORD AND DISTRICT TWINNING ASSOCIATION

Founded in 1999, the association is responsible for the three-way twinning between Sleaford, Marquette-lez-Lille (France) and Fredersdorf-Vogelsdorf (Germany). This means that they organise annual visits to both twin towns for anyone in the community who wishes to go and host a weekend in Sleaford for visitors from both towns, but they are also active in forging links between community groups and schools in all 3 towns.

Who is twinning for? The broad answer is everyone who is interested. Recent active links have involved: Sleaford U3A, 7 local schools, Sleaford JFC, Sleaford Rugby Club, Striders, Sleaford Cricket Club, The Concert Band and local artists. Some have travelled abroad, some have offered activities in Sleaford and some use the Internet to communicate.

What could twinning do for you? The advantages are social and educational: travel opportunities; language opportunities; a chance to make new friends despite language barriers and an opportunity to share skills and interests. For example members of all three communities shared a visit to the WW1 battlefields and cemeteries in 2011 and French and German guests discovered cricket in 2012.

Association members are also happy to bring a French or German experience (a typical breakfast for example) to primary schools or to help with any language activities.

In 2014 the association is offering two trips, to Marquette-lez-Lille from May 8th to 11th by Eurostar and to Fredersdorf Vogelsdorf from June 13th to 17th by air. They are also hosting a group in Sleaford at the end of July. The cost of trips is low, approximately £130 for each trip this year, because accommodation, activities, food and drinks are provided by the hosts, and all twinning activities are family friendly.

The association needs new, active members. The old guard who founded it are now in their 70s or 80s and the original “youngsters” can no longer claim that title. Find Sleaford and District Twinning Association on Facebook to see more, look at our website or call Chair Sheila on 01529 414309 or Secretary Barbara on 01529 415105. We meet socially about once a month in winter and rather less often, apart from visits, in summer.