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Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council

Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council

Twinning Association

Twinning Association

Ebsdorfergrund - our twin town

Bidford on Avon is twinned with Ebsdorfergrund - found close to Marburg in Rheinhessen, Germany.

Ebsdorfergrund is a beautiful part of central Germany, it is an area with much history, and is comprised of eleven villages, covering a large area. Our twinning history with Ebsdorfergrund is now over 25 years of age and frequent visits take place on an annual basis. This year we expect a party of 30 German visitors to come in late May 2006.

It was agreed at the 2004 Annual General Meeting that the Association be made open to all residents of Bidford on Avon. Anyone can participate. Notices of future events or visits are published in the Parish Magazine and also in the village library.

The concept of twinning, if new to you, is to develop and promote friendship and understanding between towns and villages in different countries. As you may know many towns have multiple twinning arrangements with different countries, but for the moment we are only twinned with Ebsdorfergrund - who themselves are also twinned with Linewo, in Poland.

The key of twinning success is friendship and understanding. Often when visiting or hosting our German friends we obtain a greater understanding of different traditions, life styles, folk law, etc. All of this is very important and particularly to younger people because you have the opportunity to live in another person's house for a short while and see how they live, what they hold as important or trivial, etc. As well as this, and very importantly, we have fun and it is really great to share the same sense of humour with people.

Update - October 2013

In May next year, our German friends from Ebsdorfergrund will be visiting Bidford on Avon and we know that for some visitors it will be their first time in England and especially our village.

The purpose of twinning is to foster friendships between peoples from towns or villages in other countries. Our Association is very well established and has been active for many years. The first visit took place shortly after the second World War when a German football team came to Bidford to play against us! Ebsdorfergrund is situated in Rheinhessen, a beautiful rural area of Germany between Frankfurt and Cologne.. You can view Ebsdorfergrund and surrounding areas on our village Parish website or via the internet.

From Wednesday May 28 to Sunday 1 June 2014, we need additional families who are interested in twinning and are willing to act as hosts for our German visitors. We do know that a great interest is shown in Ebsdorfergrund with families wanting to visit our village and form friendships. In 2015 a return trip to Germany will take place.

If you would like to act as a host family or would like to know more about twinning, then please contact Malcolm Dewsbury (contact details above right).

A Christmas Message 2011

We are delighted to have received this year's Christmas Message (pdf) from our friends in Ebsdorfergrund.

A Christmas Message 2010

We are delighted to have received a Christmas Message (pdf) from our friends in Ebsdorfergrund.

2011 Trip Update - December 2010

Following last year's very successful trip to Ebsdorfergrund, I am pleased to be able to advise you that another trip is planned for May 2011 and anyone interested in joining us is most welcome.

We will depart from Bidford on Avon on 28 May 2011 (returning five days later) by coach and hope to arrive early evening same day. (Cost approximately £160 per person). Accommodation is with our German host families in their own homes, who are most welcoming. Language is normally not an issue for concern, please do not concern yourself about this! We are twinned with eleven villages in a beautiful region of Rheinhessen. Details are available on the the Ebsdorfergrund website for those of you interested in viewing.

Junior members of the English Serenata Choir will be travelling to our twin villages and performing again in German. The Junior Choir lead by members of English Serenata, gave several performances last year, all of which were professionally performed and warmly appreciated with fully supported audiences. It was remarked that the villages had not had the opportunity to experience such wonderful live music and song.

Trips to the local city of Marburg, local schools and Churches will be arranged, as well as walks through surrounding forests followed with barbeques. We do hope for excellent weather which helps everyone, particularly those visiting Germany for the first time, to enjoy themselves and to see the beautiful Germany countryside.

Should you be interested in learning more about our twin in Germany and travelling with our group next year, please contact Malcolm Dewsbury 01789 772667.


30 Years of Twinning - June 2010

At the beginning of June, a party of 40 visitors from Ebsdorfergrund arrived in Bidford for a short stay to join us in celebrating our 30 years partnership.

The guests were met at a reception at Broom Hall by their host families, and were greeted by David Hall resplendent in his toastmaster's regalia. Afterwards, the guests were taken home by their hosts to settle in and relax after a long coach journey from Germany.

On Friday evening, everyone gathered at the Crawford Hall to enjoy the celebration party. The English Serenata Choir entertained us with a selection of songs and we all feasted on a magnificent buffet provided by Naylor Catering.

A new charter, commemorating the 30 years association between our two communities was signed by Erwin Junker, the deputy Burgermeister of Ebsdorfergrund, Fred Hiscocks, the chairman of Bidford Parish Council, and countersigned by the chairpersons of both twinning associations. An additional charter was also signed by young people from both communities to encourage more interest in the continuation of the partnership.

Gifts were exchanged between the two communities, a clock from Ebsdorfergrund and a tree representing the Heart of England from Bidford.

On Saturday, a garden party and barbecue was held at the home of Gay and Roger Leese in Dunnington with music by a Jazz Trio from Germany. Grateful thanks to Gay and Roger for their hard work and the use of their lovely garden.

It all ended too quickly, on Sunday afternoon our visitors departed for a break in Brighton before leaving on the journey back to Ebsdorfergrund.

The committee would like to thank the host families, and everyone who helped in some way to make this visit such a success.

A Christmas Message 2009

We are delighted to have received a Christmas Message (pdf) from our friends in Ebsdorfergrund.

Can You Remember?

Did you know that the association between Bidford on Avon and Ebsdorfergrund extends well before 1980 when the twinning was formally founded? At a recent visit to Germany, a few old football veterans who played football for Ebsdorfergrund apparently played here in Bidford-on-Avon and hosted a return game to Ebsdorfergrund in the late 1940s.

The question we need to ask - Is this correct? Did the village host a team from Germany in the late 1940s?

If anybody remembers, then please let us know because this would mean that the Twinning is over 30 years older than we thought.

Twinning Article - August 2007

Twinning Photographs - May 2007

A collage of photographs from the Ebsdorf branch of the Twinning Association from their visit to Bidford in May 2007 can be seen below.

Twinning Update - February 2007

At the end of January 2007, 29 people attended the Annual Dinner held this year at Norton Grange. After an enjoyable meal, secretary Malcolm Dewsbury outlined the arrangements for the forthcoming visit to Ebsdorfergrund in May. A party of about 30 are due to travel over during Spring Holiday weekend. Some going by car and others flying. These exchange visits are very important to the continuation of the Twinning Association, so it is especially pleasing that so many people want to go.

In August, one of the eleven villages is celebrating its 1250th anniversary. The secretary has received an invitation to the Association to join in the celebrations, so we are hoping to be able a send a delegation to represent Bidford.

Visit from Ebsdorfergrund - May 2006

Over the May Bank Holiday a group of 27 people from Ebsdorfergrund arrived in Bidford for a 4 day visit. They were greeted by their host families at a reception at Broom Hall.

An apple tree presented to us by our twin village was planted in the school grounds. After the ceremony everyone was invited to a tour of the school led by some of the pupils. We were all impressed by what we were shown, many thanks to the head teacher Mrs Honeybunn for making these arrangements.

Our visitors and some host families travelled to Bath on Saturday, despite the wet and windy weather everyone enjoyed seeing the sights there. In the evening at a party in the Crawford Hall the visitors were welcomed by the Parish Council chairperson Mrs Joyce Keeley. A superb buffet meal was provided by Naylor Fine Foods and the tombola proved to be a great success.

The final day of the visit was spent with the host families, some attending the church service and other exploring the local countryside.

On Monday morning the visitors departed for a short tour to Brixham before heading off back home to Germany.

The committee wish to express their thanks to the host families and everyone who helped to make this visit a successful one.

Planting the apple tree in 2007

Our Twinning Association

The following is a single extract from the 20th anniversary Festivity Paper produced in liaison with our friends in Ebsdorfergrund. The complete document is to be found in Bidford on Avon library. The extract is written by Andreas Schulz (Burgermeister). The extract has been very slightly modified, but left much in the original wording. The extract gives all residents an opportunity to understand the very close friendship that exists between our two communities. All residents of Bidford in Avon are now automatically members and can join in either hosting or visiting Ebsdorfergrund. Although the paper was produced in October 2000 it is still a very useful and enjoyable record for you to read. If you need to learn more about our twin village please do not hesitate to ask.

Please excuse the absence of some correct German spellings, English type-settings do not accommodate easily!

"There is a connection between Bidford on Avon and Ebsdorfergrund who have been twinned together for 20 years. Men, women and families of both communities have supported this friendship. We say a big thank you to both twinning organisations for managing it and also for their administrative help to fulfil the objectives of the Partnership.

Last year in Ebsdorfergrund a twinning club was established based upon the English model and the 20 years anniversary celebrations for the year 2000 will be the first test for the new German twinning club! I do wish all our active members will be successful when preparing a pleasant and unforgettable stay for our English guests and that our plans for a lovely birthday party will be successful. Our local council members will make a full contribution to this event.

We call the twinning affairs 'foreign policy on a community level'. We wish that the foreign affairs could be local affairs. We could hope to realise a united Europe as a common home for all of us, even though it may take many years to realise this. It is very important for that: nobody should be afraid of loosing their own identity - it has to be kept anyway - but without prejudices against the other side. To learn to respect our mutual, national peculiarities, nevertheless to emphasise the ideas, which bring nations together- that, is the main point of each twinning community. And because the United Europe can't be ordered from any Government - there is nothing more important than supporting this process by the local administration authorities. The local authorities are conscious of this obligation. On behalf of that we enjoy to give support now and in the future of all twinning matters.

I say thank you for any co-operation, for becoming a host family, for carrying out the idea of nations agreements, which cross over language barriers. There is nothing else better for Europe, I think. I do wish that our forthcoming anniversary will bring us closer to Europe. For our guests we wish that you fell at home with us - your home in Europe."

Kind regards
Andreas Schulz

"Seit nunmehr 20 Jahren verbindet Bidford on Avon and Ebsdorfergrund eine auch offizielle Freundshaft. Diese Freundshaft wird von Frauen und Mannern beider Germeinden getragen. Dankbar kann man den beiden Partnershaftvereinen sein, die vor allem das Organanisatorische regeln und damit helfen, die beiden Kommunen bei ihrer Aufgabenerfullung zu entlasten.

Im Ebsdorfergrund wurde im vergangenen Jahr nach dem englischen Vorbild ein solcher Verein gegrundet das Partnershaft ist eine erste grosse Bewahrungsprobe fur den Verein. Und ich wunsche schon heute den Aktiven, dass es ihnen gelingen moge unseren Gasten einen angenehmen und unvergesslichen Aufenthalt bei uns in der Germeinde zu bereiten und uns allen ein schones und hoffentlich gut besuchtes Geburtstagsfest auszurichten. Die Germeinderverantwortlichen werden ihren Beitrag dazu leisten.

Partnershaft ist fur uns Aussenpolitik auf kommunaler Ebene. Wir wunschen uns, dass solche aussenpolitischen Dingen werden. Dann konnen wir das Vereinte Europa als gemeinsame Heimat verstehen, auch wenn da ein weiter Weg ist. Wichtig dabei scheint mire, dass niemand furcheten muss, seine Identitat zu verlieren, sie muss erhalten bleiben- ohne Vorurteile der anderen Seite gegenuber. Die nationalen Eigenarten gegenseitig zu repektieren lernen, gleichwohl das volkerverbindende Element zu betonen, ist Sinn und Zweck einer jeden Partnershaftsarbeit. Und weil Europa nicht einfach von Oben verordnet werden kann, gibt es nichts Wichtigeres als dass eben dieser Prozess von der Gemeinde unterstutztwird. Die Gemeindeorgane sind sich dieser Verpflichtung bewusst. Gerne unterstutzen wir deshalb die Arbeit des Partnershaftsvereins auch in Zukunft.

Bedanken mochte ich mich fur alle Mitarbeit, z. B fur die Bereitschaft, Gastgeber zu sein,und den Gedanken der Volkerverstandigungauch uber sprachliche Grenzen hinweg weiterzutragen. Ich wusste nicht, was Europa Besseres widerfahren konnte. Uns allen wunsche ich, dass uns die kommenden Tageder Begegnung Europa wieder ein Stuck naher bringen. Ihnen, liebe Gaste, wunsche ich, dass Sie sich bei uns wohl und zuhause fuhlen-zuhause in Europa."

Herzlichst Ihr
Andreas Schulz

More Information

If you wish to know more then please contact Malcolm Dewsbury on 01789 772667.