Wells Twinning Association
Twinning is about enabling the citizens of different towns in different countries to gain a better understanding of each other's society and culture through personal contacts organised by officially recognised organisations in the respective partner towns.
In the UK twinning does not attract public subsidy but town to town twinning links are usually authenticated by the appropriate local council. In response to public requests, the Wells City Council has formalised each of the twinning links by arranging for the creation of charters and hosting the signing ceremonies. The Wells Twinning Association organises and sustains the links.
The Mayor of Wells is the president of the Wells Twinning Association; the Mayor frequently welcomes groups of visitors from the twin towns into the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall.
Twinning activities are open to all those who live in the Wells area, the Wells Twinning Association has over one hundred members and is involved in organising twinning visits to and from partner towns. It also raises money by holding local events in order to pay for some of the costs of these visits. The current chair of the Association is Mr Richard Hibbert (e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org) and the secretary is Dawn Payne (email@example.com)
Wells is twinned with Paray-Le-Monial in France; Bad Durkheim in Germany and Fontanellato in Italy.
The twinning movement in Wells was started in the mid-1970s and led to the first twinning link being completed in 1979. Our first partner town was Paray-Le-Monial which is renowned for its 11th century basilica and lies in the heart of the French burgundy country.
Paray-le-Monial is a town of about 10,000 people and is situated in the Saone-et-Loire department of France. Apart from its basilica it is an administrative centre for an area of farming and wine production. It has a railway station and some light industry. It is a centre of pilgrimage for many Catholics around the world.
Our French partners suggested that Wells should also twin with their German twin town Bad Durkheim, so that we have a twinning triangle.
The twinning link with Bad Durkheim was completed in 1983. Bad Durkheim is located in the Rhineland Palatinate and is renowned for its annual Wurstmarkt and its wine production.
Bad Durkheim is a town of over 20,000 people and lies twenty miles to the west of the industrial cities of Ludwigshaven and Mannheim, to which it is connected by tram. It is a spa town and is said to have the largest barrel in the world, which is now partly used as a restaurant. It claims to be the largest wine-producing commune in Germany. Its wine festival every September attracts over 500,000 visitors each year.
Much more recently Wells established a twinning link with Fontanellato in northern Italy. This was in response to requests from the Italian community in Wells and others to have an Italian twin town. This was completed in 2012 with ceremonies in both towns. Fontanellato shares with Wells the fact that during world war two there were prisoner-of-war camps in both places, each having POWs from the other's country.
Fontanellato is a small town serving a population of over 7,000 people in the Italian region of Emila-Romagna, about ten miles west of Parma.
It is an administrative centre with a stunning medieval moated castle and market place. The area is renowned for its production of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. It is also close to the famous operatic composer Verdi's birthplace, and his final home, which is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.
If you would like to get involved with the Wells Twinning Association then please contact the Chairman Mr Richard Hibbert (e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Secretary Dawn Payne (email@example.com) directly.