History

 After the formation of the Whitstable Twinning Association in 1983, the first partnership was set up four years later. It was entirely appropriate that it should be with a town in Germany because the original concept of Twinning was to help repair relations after the Second World War.  Borken, in Westphalia, had been badly damaged by allied bombing but a friendly relationship with its people soon developed and today the Whitstable-Borken link is the strongest of any between towns in the UK and Germany.  Indeed, the relationship is so close that many people in Borken actually subscribe to and are members of WTA as well as their own association.

Meanwhile, separate groups of people in Whitstable and Dainville, in northern France, had been developing ties. The Whitstable-Dainville group later became a part of WTA.

The second town to become a partner with Whitstable was Albertslund (near Copenhagen). The formal signing took place in 1995. Five years later a link was formed with Říčany, a town near Prague in the Czech Republic. In the same year (2000) Whitstable staged an International Millennium Music Festival and a year after that the town welcomed two hundred young people to an International Youth Camp.

New links with towns on mainland Europe came about as a result of those towns already having their own links. It was rather like becoming a part of a chain letter. In 2003 Mölndal, near Gothenburg, was added, followed in 2007 by Grabow, in the former East Germany. The same year WTA also celebrated twenty years of twinning with Borken. In 2008 there was a further large celebration for the 25thanniversary of the formation of WTA. 

 

TIMELINE

1983    April First Meeting at East Kent Public House

1984    Steering Committee set up

            Link with Charenton-le-Pont, near Paris, France begins

            Very active programme of visits interrupted when Mayor of Charenton cancels Whitstable Town 

            FC match following Heysel Stadium Disaster, making national news and TV

1985    First elected Management Committee

1986    Discussions with Borken, Germany. 100 people travelling annually.

1987    Vote at AGM to twin with Borken

            Sept 26 Twinning Agreement signed in Whitstable

            Oct 17 Ratification of Twinning in Borken despite Great Storm

1988    New partnership drives forward. Tremendous initial enthusiasm

            Many school, sports and music visits. Already 800 people travelling to and fro.

1989    Unification plans begin as Berlin Wall falls. Contact and help for people from Grabow, formerly

            East Germany.

            Signing of a Twinning Agreement with Dainville, France.

1990    Consolidation begins. Sixth Formers on European Studies visit to East Germany.

            European Environment Academy in Borken supported by Partnertowns.

1992    Official Albertslund visit to Whitstable.

            International Youth Camp held in Borken. Art Exhibitions begin.

1993    Many Groups stay at St. Vincents Centre.

1994    Channel Tunnel opens giving new travel option. Big presence in Whitstable Carnival. Official

            visit to Albertslund.

            City Councillors joing Partnership Environmental visit.

1995    Twinning Agreement with Albertslund, Denmark.

1996    Ratification of Twinning in Denmark

            Borken Membership growing rapidly.

1997    10th Anniversary of Borken link. 500 people travelling annually.

             Sponsorship by Anglo/German company.

1998    WTA 15 years old. International Youth Camp in Mölndal (Sweden)

             Danish Jazz Group performs at Whitstable Oyster Festival.

1999    Whitstable/Dainville group comes into WTA.

             British Telephone Box to Borken. Exploratory visits to Ricany, Czechoslovakia and Mölndal,

             Sweden.

2000    Major Millennium International Music Festival.

            Ricany (Cz) Officlal Agreement signed.

            WTA gain 1st Prize in Whitstable Carnival. Teachers' Conference (Mölndal)

            1000 people going to and fro annually.

2001    International Youth Camp 200 young people, six nations

            Carnival entry. Youth Summit in Mölndal.

            WTA presentation at Twin Town Conference in Sweden.

            775 Celebrations in Borken. Borken WTA members party.

            WTA/Dance visit Ricany (Cz). Archive books sponsored

            Ukrainian Music Group Concert Tour.

2002    WTA at the cutting edge of International Town Partnership.

            Cultural visit to Albertslund. Grabow 750 Celebration visit.

            WTA (Borken Members) visit.

2003    20th Anniversary Celebrations.

            Partnership with Mölndal signed. Oyster Festival: Many visiting guests.

2004    First Ladies' Equal Opportunities Women's Conference.

            International Teachers' Conferencwe 60 delegates, seven nations

2005    Network Conference at the Castle.

            Whitstable/Borken best Anglo German link.

2006    New road signs.

            20 years contact to Borken Lunch.

            Grabow signing at Whitstable Castle.

2007    Friendship Links signed with Grabow.

            20th Anniversary Celebrations in Borken with Albertslund

2008    AGM in Canterbury Guildhall

            25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Dance at Seasalter

            Members Lunch and Conference at Whitstable Castle.

            Exhibition at Whitstable Museum.

            Big Whitstable Carnival Entry with new trailer.

2009    Tea Party for Borken WTA Members

            Firemen 10 years celebrations in Borken.

            First Scotland visit.

2010    Big Network Conference held at Whitstable Castle.

            Borken Partnership Association bring 60 guests.

            Dainville visitors taken to Rye.

            Grabow mark 20 years of German Reunification.

2011    Main visitors Albertslund visit Faversham

            Chairman and Secretary go to Czech Republic to revive Ricany Link.

2012    Preparations for celebrating 25 years of Borken Whitstable.

            Representative group attend Celebration Dinner and the Tudor.

            Beer and Wurst Lunch and Charman's Reception.

            Ricany Mayor and group visit with participants in Whitstable 10k race.

            Main visit from Grabow see Olympic Flame and participate in Oyster Parade.

            Artists complete WTA project with publication 'Bureau de Change Sociale'.

            Huge group attend 25 year Celebration Weekend in Borken.

            Church Service. Vennehof Reception and Grand BBQ.

           

 

2010