FARNHAM recently welcomed a group of students from its twin town, Andernach in Germany as part of a continuing friendship between the two towns.
The secondary school students enjoyed a tour of the town including Farnham Castle and met a number of local representatives. During their visit they learnt about the town’s history and the role of the mayor.
“Farnham’s friendship with Andernach, its residents and businesses, continues to thrive,” said Iain Lynch, Farnham town clerk.
“Visits like the one made by the town’s students are really important in developing cultural understanding in the 21st century, particularly among young people.
“Although we are far better travelled today than even a generation ago, coming to a place like Farnham or Andernach and meeting the people who live there gives visitors a far more authentic experience of a country than, say, going to London or Berlin for a few days.
“It gives visitors a sense of a real working town and daily life rather than simply seeing tourist attractions. It’s always fascinating to discover the differences between the two towns and our common ground.”
Twinning began after World War II as a way of promoting peace and friendship between people from different nations, particularly in Europe but continues today to encourage international understanding and interest in the different cultures and history of participating towns.
School exchange visits and links between businesses, clubs and societies are among the practical benefits of Farnham’s twinning with Andernach and each year the Mayor of Farnham visits Andernach.
Farnham and Andernach celebrated their 25th anniversary as twin towns in 2016 with a series of concerts and visits.
Andernach has also been the inspiration for Farnham in Bloom’s Incredible Edible community growing project.
Andernach has been a pioneer of the edible city initiative since 2010, replacing municipal flower plantings with fruit and veg - and Farnham followed suit in 2016, planting containers with vegetables, salad crops and fruit outside Sainsbury’s in South Street.
Just like Farnham, Andernach is a historic and attractive town with a castle, located in the stunning Rhine Valley between Frankfurt and Cologne. Its population is around 30,000 (Farnham’s is a little more at around 40,000).
Farnham Town Council encourages links and activities between Farnham’s residents and businesses and the Andernach community. For more information about how to get involved, visit www.farnham.gov.uk/twinning.