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.
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
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,
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.