Sawbridgeworth has had town twinning links with Bry-sur-Marne, just east of Paris, for the last 50 years, starting in 1973, with the support of the Town Council and successive Mayors. We have had music links through The Leventhorpe School with Bry in particular and often take the student musicians with us on our bi-annual trips.
Bry is also twinned with the German town of Moosburg an der Isar, near Munich in Bavaria. Moosburg is an attractive commuter town on the River Isar, with a significant amount of industry but set in pleasant surrounding countryside and has about 18,000 inhabitants.
In March 2018 the Mayor of Moosburg and our then mayor, Cllr. Ruth Buckmaster, signed a formal twinning declaration in the Council Chamber to promote links and a partnership between ourselves and Moosburg. We therefore now have active three-way twinning! The various oaths and declarations hang in the hallway leading to the Council Chamber. You will also have noticed the two new updated town twinning signs on the roads into Sawbridgeworth. We expect to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sawbridgeworth Town Twinning in 2023.
During the pandemic we maintained our links with our twin towns through Zoom quizzes and informal chats. In November 2021 we had a very successful online discussion with Moosburg and Bry colleagues regarding our respective approaches to mitigating climate change following the COP26 conference. We also have two conversation groups of all language abilities, which meet monthly (on Zoom at present) and have wide-ranging discussions.
Visits to and from Bry-sur-Marne and Moosburg are usually over a long weekend (Friday-Monday) in September (Bry) or October (Moosburg), alternating between Sawbridgeworth and Bry/Moosburg. This year we expect to travel to Bry in September and to host a visit from Moosburg in October.
The hosting programme usually includes a drinks reception/welcome, a visit during the Saturday and dinner in the evening. Guests arrive on Friday and leave on Monday. You don’t need to be fluent in French or German: many Bry and Moosburg families know quite a lot of English. You do ideally need to be willing to host, usually a couple, from either Bry or Moosburg (or both). Hosts bear their own costs for meals and excursions; the Association aims to fund guests’ costs, possibly with some support from the Town Council, and we also do our own fund-raising to assist with the visits.
Twinning is open to all who live in Sawbridgeworth and its environs. It is non-political and based on an interest in experiencing a different culture and in building and maintaining friendships. For further information contact David Royle: email@example.com or Sally Pribul: firstname.lastname@example.org
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