TWINNING is winning was the slogan this weekend as two associations came together to celebrate a milestone.

Trowbridge and German town Leer celebrated 30 years of twinning with the overseas group coming to Wiltshire’s county town to celebrate their long established link.

Friendships were renewed at the weekend with members of both associations enjoying outings and visits and a dinner at the Civic Centre.

The group was born after a party of 55 people from Trowbridge including council leaders went to Leer in August 1988 to develop contacts in the area.

Dirk Schenzer, chairman of the German twinning association, praised the link between Leer and Trowbridge.

He said: “In the charter of the Leer Twinning Association it was agreed to maintain bonds between your and our members to encourage exchanges and friendship particularly between young people and to aim for peace in Europe.

“Now, 30 years after the signing of the historic Twinning Charter we are privileged to strengthen the links between us and demonstrate how much can be gained from Twinning”

Following the initial contact meetings, it was June 30 1989 that the official ceremony took place at the council chamber of West Wilts District Council, with charters, one in English and one in German, signed by Trowbridge Town Council’s then Chairman Cllr Jim Attenburrow and Leer’s Burgmeister Gunther Boekhoff.

Present at that ceremony was Trowbridge Town Crier Trevor Heeks who featured in this year’s celebrations.

At the original twinning ceremony, a wine cooler was given to Leer who gave a replica of their name sign to Trowbridge.

On Friday evening at the anniversary dinner Leer presented a giant flag to the people of Trowbridge to commemorate the twinning links.

A framed piece of artwork of Trevor Heeks himself was presented to the German visitors as part of the presents exchanged.

Following the setting up of the twinning arrangement between both towns exchange visits have become an annual feature, with the Trowbridge association visiting the Gallimarkt.

Trowbridge is also twinned with three other towns from three other countries: Oujda in Morocco, Charenton-le-Pont in France and Elbląg in Poland.

The longest pairing is with Leer, as the town has been twinned with Charenton-le-Pont since 1996, Elbląg since 2000 and Oujda since 2006.

To find out more about the Trowbridge Leer Twinning Association, please visit