History

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 25th anniversary of the formation of WTA.

Timeline

  • 1983
  • April First Meeting at East Kent Public House

 

  • 1984
  • Steering Committee set up

 

  • 1984
  • Link with Charenton-le-Pont, near Paris, France begins

 

  • 1984
  • Whitstable Town FC match cancelled following Heysel Stadium Disaster

 

  • 1985
  • First elected Management Committee

 

  • 1986
  • Discussions with Borken, Germany. 100 people travelling annually.

 

  • 1987
  • Vote at AGM to twin with Borken

 

  • 1987
  • Sept 26 Twinning Agreement signed in Whitstable

 

  • 1987
  • Oct 17 Ratification of Twinning in Borken despite Great Storm

 

  • 1988
  • New partnership drives forward. Tremendous initial enthusiasm

 

  • 1988
  • Many school, sports and music visits. Already 800 people travelling to and fro.

 

  • 1989
  • Unification plans begin as Berlin Wall falls.

 

  • 1989
  • Contact and help for people from Grabow, formerly East Germany.

 

  • 1989
  • Signing of a Twinning Agreement with Dainville, France.

 

  • 1990
  • Consolidation begins. Sixth Formers on European Studies visit to East Germany.

 

  • 1990
  • European Environment Academy in Borken supported by Partnertowns.

 

  • 1992
  • Official Albertslund visit to Whitstable.

 

  • 1992
  • 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.

 

  • 1994
  • Big presence in Whitstable Carnival.

 

  • 1994
  • Official visit to Albertslund.

 

  • 1994
  • City Councillors joing Partnership Environmental visit.

 

  • 1995
  • Twinning Agreement with Albertslund, Denmark.

 

  • 1996
  • Ratification of Twinning in Denmark.

 

  • 1996
  • Borken Membership growing rapidly.

 

  • 1997
  • 10th Anniversary of Borken link. 500 people travelling annually.

 

  • 1997
  • Sponsorship by Anglo/German company.

 

  • 1998
  • WTA 15 years old.

 

  • 1998
  • International Youth Camp in Mölndal (Sweden).

 

  • 1998
  • Danish Jazz Group performs at Whitstable Oyster Festival.

 

  • 1999
  • Whitstable/Dainville group comes into WTA.

 

  • 1999
  • British Telephone Box to Borken.

 

  • 1999
  • Exploratory visits to Ricany, Czechoslovakia and Mölndal, Sweden.

 

  • 2000
  • Major Millennium International Music Festival.

 

  • 2000
  • Ricany (Cz) Officlal Agreement signed.

 

  • 2000
  • WTA gain 1st Prize in Whitstable Carnival.

 

  • 2000
  • Teachers’ Conference (Mölndal).

 

  • 2000
  • 1000 people going to and fro annually.

 

  • 2001
  • International Youth Camp 200 young people, six nations.

 

  • 2001
  • Carnival entry. Youth Summit in Mölndal.

 

  • 2001
  • WTA presentation at Twin Town Conference in Sweden.

 

  • 2001
  • 775 Celebrations in Borken. Borken WTA members party.

 

  • 2001
  • WTA/Dance visit Ricany (Cz). Archive books sponsored.

 

  • 2001
  • Ukrainian Music Group Concert Tour.

 

  • 2002
  • WTA at the cutting edge of International Town Partnership.

 

  • 2002
  • Cultural visit to Albertslund. Grabow 750 Celebration visit.

 

  • 2002
  • WTA (Borken Members) visit.

 

  • 2003
  • 20th Anniversary Celebrations.

 

  • 2003
  • Partnership with Mölndal signed.

 

  • 2003
  • Oyster Festival: Many visiting guests.

 

  • 2004
  • First Ladies’ Equal Opportunities Women’s Conference.

 

  • 2004
  • International Teachers’ Conferencwe 60 delegates, seven nations.

 

  • 2005
  • Network Conference at the Castle.

 

  • 2005
  • Whitstable/Borken best Anglo German link.

 

  • 2006
  • New road signs.

 

  • 2006
  • 20 years contact to Borken Lunch.

 

  • 2006
  • Grabow signing at Whitstable Castle.

 

  • 2007
  • Friendship Links signed with Grabow.

 

  • 2007
  • 20th Anniversary Celebrations in Borken with Albertslund.

 

  • 2008
  • AGM in Canterbury Guildhall

 

  • 2008
  • 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Dance at Seasalter.

 

  • 2008
  • Members Lunch and Conference at Whitstable Castle.

 

  • 2008
  • Exhibition at Whitstable Museum.

 

  • 2008
  • Big Whitstable Carnival Entry with new trailer.

 

  • 2009
  • Tea Party for Borken WTA Members.

 

  • 2009
  • Firemen 10 years celebrations in Borken.

 

  • 2009
  • First Scotland visit.

 

  • 2010
  • Big Network Conference held at Whitstable Castle.

 

  • 2010
  • Borken Partnership Association bring 60 guests.

 

  • 2010
  • Dainville visitors taken to Rye.

 

  • 2010
  • Grabow mark 20 years of German Reunification.

 

  • 2011
  • Main visitors Albertslund visit Faversham.

 

  • 2011
  • Chairman and Secretary go to Czech Republic to revive Ricany Link.

 

  • 2012
  • Preparations for celebrating 25 years of Borken Whitstable.

 

  • 2012
  • Representative group attend Celebration Dinner and the Tudor.

 

  • 2012
  • Beer and Wurst Lunch and Charman’s Reception.

 

  • 2012
  • Ricany Mayor and group visit with participants in Whitstable 10k race.

 

  • 2012
  • Main visit from Grabow see Olympic Flame and participate in Oyster Parade.

 

  • 2012
  • Artists complete WTA project with publication ‘Bureau de Change Sociale’.

 

  • 2012
  • Huge group attend 25 year Celebration Weekend in Borken.

 

  • 2012
  • Church Service. Vennehof Reception and Grand BBQ.