Friday, 6 January 2012

Twin town...

So, it looks like local authorities around the country are severing the special relationships between British towns and cities and those in other countries; town-twinning is falling out of favour, if the BBC is to be believed.

The first twinning in modern times in Europe was between Keighley in West Yorkshire and Suresnes and Puteaux in France in 1905. However, the practice didn't really get going until the years immediately after the Second World War. This was an effort to promote understanding and provide support between towns in different countries following the trauma of the war.

The slow demise of the practice stems from the opposite stance taken by certain left wing councils  and the Thatcher government in the 1980s. The adoption by Dundee of the West Bank city of Nablus and the flying of the flag of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation from the city chambers stirred up opinion considerably.

Cardiff's twin towns are:
Stuttgart, Germany - 1955
Luhansk, Ukraine - 1959
Nantes, France - 1963
Xiamen, China - 1983
Hordaland, Norway - 1996
In case you'd ever wondered, this is why we have a Stuttgarter Strasse and a Boulevard de Nantes slap in the middle of the Welsh capital. I've yet to find a Luhansk Lane or a Hordaland Avenue in Cardiff but I live in hope.

With the tightening of civic purse strings coupled with the channels of communication now available to us in our digital age, I can understand why there may be quite some pressure to sever these formal links or at least allow them wither. However, I hope we don't let this happen because it is precisely at uncertain times such ours that we may need that understanding and support such twinnings bring. Indeed, you could argue that we should extend the twinned towns arrangement and reach out even further.

Click on the following link for a list of UK towns and cities and their respective twin towns.
Today's run at 17:32
Distance4.04 kmTime21:51
Pace5:24 min/kmCadence82 spm
Comments: Squally showers.

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