Twinning History

Easter Sunday April 21st 1984

Preparations begin ………..

The Northavon Area Youth Officer made a speech in the Town Hall of Bad Salzdetfurth. He was part of a delegation visiting Hildesheim as part of a youth exchange. Young people from Yate were part of this visit.

Bob Wood, the Youth Officer, had been asked by the Town of Yate to look for a town in the district of Hildesheim which might be interested in a twinning arrangement. There was a positive response to the request for an expression of interest. 

Therefore in June 1984 Sue Walker as Chairman of Yate Town Council invited groups to a meeting on Friday July 13th in Yate Parish Hall to discuss the possibility of such a twinning. The newspaper report of that meeting shows that the response was very positive. 

September 6th - 9th 1984

Yate visit to Bad Salzdetfurth

First official Yate Twinning Visit to Bad Salzdetfurth

The first official visit of interested Yate councillors and residents took place in September that year. The visiting group took part in the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of Bad Salzdetfurth.

September 28th 1984 

30 people attended the inaugural meeting of the Twinning Association. A committee was formed which was composed of the following:

  • Chairman: Bill Hargreaves
  • Secretary: Fiona Blair
  • Treasurer: Mike Minogue
  • Committee members: Mr Myers, Mr D. Dodd, Mr B Chessell, Mr D Stanton, Mrs L Chamberlain, Mr B Barnard, Mrs I Barnard, Mr E Jabs, Mrs S Jabs, Mrs S Walker, Mrs M Minogue.

October 1984

Bad Salzdetfurth visit to Yate 11-15th

There was a civic reception held in the Southwold Sports Centre (Yate Leisure Centre) which was attended by 150 people.

Sue Walker, Chairman of Yate Town Council, was quoted as saying ‘everyone turned up trumps to make the visitors welcome.’ Local organisations were very well represented. The Women’s Institute was responsible for a buffet supper; the Girl Guides provided some entertainment along with many other groups including representations from Yate Dragoons, St Mary’s Church Choir and the Tudor hand bell ringers. During their stay the German guests visited local attractions including the Fire Station, St Mary’s Church, Tescos, Yate Athletic Club and King Edmund’s School.

Chairman of Northavon District Council Cllr. Alan Higgs officially welcomed the Burgermeister of Bad Salzdetfurth

Above: Chairman of Northavon District Council Cllr. Alan Higgs officially welcomed the Burgermeister of Bad Salzdetfurth Gunter Sturmer and his party to the reception at
Southwold Sports Centre. 

The German guests at a civic reception at Southwold Sports Centre

Above: Cheers to the taste of English beer! The German guests at a civic reception at Southwold Sports Centre.

In November 1984 Yate Town Council formally agreed to go forward with the twinning with Bad Salzdetfurth. In December 1984 the Bad Salzdetfurth Town Council decided to set up a
Partnerschaft and published the official notices in the newspaper. The inaugural meeting for the Partnerschaft was set for January 8th 1985. 

Telegram sent to Sue Walker

Above: This telegram was sent to Sue Walker showing that the Bad Salzdetfurth Council was in agreement with proposals.

All was now set for the arrangements to be made for the signing of the Charter in 1985.


The Charter is signed……….

The actual signing of the Charter took place in March 1985 in both Yate and Bad Salzdetfurth. A delegation of councillors and residents from Germany visited Yate during the

weekend of March 8th – 10th. There was a ceremony in Yate Sports Centre on Friday March 8th when the Charter was signed in England.

A further ceremony was held during the weekend of March 15-17th in Bad Salzdetfurth when Yate councillors and residents travelled to Germany. The Charter was signed on Saturday March 16th in the Schulzentrum.

The Charter is signed

Above: Sue Walker, Chairman of Yate Town Council, and Gunter Sturmer, Burgermeister of Bad Salzdetfurth sign the Charter.

Fiona Blair providing translations

Above: Fiona Blair provided all the necessary translations.

Developing local links with younger people. 

During 1985 various local sports clubs made connections with our twin town in Germany. The local newspaper reported on several of these links – gymnastics, athletics and football were featured.

Special Events through the years

The Salt Truck

The Salt Truck

Above: In October 1985 the Association had been presented with this historic salt truck as a sign of the partnership between the two towns. In 1986 it stood outside the Yate
Community Centre on Station Road. The Committee of the Association decided that the truck needed to be placed in a more central position in the town.

The Committee wrote to the Town Council suggesting that the truck be moved to the new roundabout which was being built at the junction of Westerleigh Road, Station
Road and Kennedy Way.

Salt Truck located in centre of Yate

Telephone Box gift

Above: Yate returned the gesture and arranged for a red telephone box to be transported to Bad Salzdetfurth. This is sited near the Rathaus in the centre of the town. 

It was agreed that a new development in North Yate be named in connection with the twinning link. The surname of the Burgermeister seemed appropriate – hence the name Sturmer Close.

Mick Robbins loses the ducks…….

The duck race took place in 1989 – one thousand ducks were put into the river – 63 were lost never to be found. The race raised much needed funds for the association.

Further international contacts

Visit to Strasbourg

Above: In October 1996 a small group of Yate Twinners went to Benicassim to take part in the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Charter between the Spanish town and Bad Salzdetfurth.

In October 1997 a group of Yate Twinners joined others from South Gloucestershire in a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg arranged by
Ian White MEP.

Family group visits to Germany.

A particular strength of the Association is the family visit to our twin town. The visit usually takes place at the end of August every other year. About 45 twinners
from Yate and District take part in this 10 day holiday.

The journey has recently included an over night stop in each direction in a Belgian town. The travellers now have some experiences of places such as Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels.

Previously the journey involved an overnight crossing of the North Sea. Before and after each visit the practice has been for the travellers to meet to discuss pre-visit arrangements and afterwards to share videos and photographs. 

In the October 1992 edition of the Twinning Times there was a very long article which gave a detailed description of the recent visit, including:

  • An overnight crossing on the Olau line ferry from Sheerness to Vlissingen
  • An early morning start the next day to the Volkswagen van factory in Hanover followed by a visit to Herrenhausen Palace and a quick tour of Hanover
  • A trip to Goslar and the Harz mountains, including Hahnenklee and then on to St`Andreasberg roller toboggan.
  • Wine tasting on Wednesday evening
  • A visit to Einbeck Brewery on Thursday
  • A visit to Kelbra in former East Germany
  • Celebrating the 850th birthday of the Bodenburg Festival – some Yate folk were exhibiting a fetish for green tights. 

And they call this a holiday!!!!

A feature of the ‘Auf Wiedersehen Evening’ at that time was the presentation of awards to celebrate those memorable occasions which happened during the ‘holiday’ week.

Awards for 1992 included:

  • Busman’s Holiday Award: Alan Spiller - For translation services provided
  • Dedication to Duty Award: Sue Walker - For attending an official meeting instead of visiting the brewery
  • Endurance Award Pat Turner: - For going without a cigarette for more than 15 minutes
  • Navigator Award David Spiller: - For failing to navigate the St Andreasberg roller toboggan run properly
  • Malcolm Campbell Award: Iris Cheverton - For setting the World slow speed record on the St `Andreasberg roller toboggan run.

Was 2000 the best?

Whether the visit in 2000 was the best yet can be left to journalistic licence – perhaps earlier or later visits have been better…… it very much depends on whether you were there or not………

Twinning Trip the best yet

Twinners climb Berlin Wall

Above: Yate Twinners climbing The Berlin Wall

Enjoying Einbeck Brewery

Above: Enjoying Einbeck Brewery

The Tenth Anniversary Celebrations - 1995

10th Anniversary Celebrations 1995

Above: Members of the Twinning Association admiring the floral display that was on Goose Green Way near to Wellington Road.

10th Anniversary Gifts exchanged

Above: Gifts were exchanged to commemorate the 10th Anniversary. This piece of work was produced by members of Brimsham Green School.

The 10th Anniversary Dinner

This was held at the Pump Rooms in the Roman Baths in Bath.

Formal Dinner in Pump Rooms - 10th Anniversary

Above: A formal dinner in the Pump Rooms. ... Our visitors were very impressed.

The Anniversary visits

Each Year in March there is a celebration of the signing of the Charter – one year in Yate and one year in Bad Salzdetfurth. A small group of councillors and members of each association meeting to review progress and make plans for the next year.

March 1989

March 1989 Anniversary Visit

March 2001

March 2001 visit to Bad Salzdetfurth

A photograph taken in during the March 2001 visit to Germany.

Photographs of twinners just enjoying each others company

Dressed for the mines

Dressed for the mines

An excellent visit

That was an excellent visit

2005 - (20th Anniversary Celebrations)

Yate Twinning celebrates 20th Anniversary

Yate Twinning 2005 Newspaper Article