Wisbech looking to strengthen links with French town Arles as twinning relationship reaches 50

Arles.

Arles. - Credit: Archant

Efforts are being made to strengthen links between Wisbech and Arles, the historical French town it was twinned with 50 years ago.

Arles.

Arles. - Credit: Archant

The Wisbech Arles Twinning Club plans to organise a series of the events to celebrate the milestone and promote further collaboration between the two towns.

Arles.

Arles. - Credit: Archant

There has been a conscious effort to boost links in the past year - a website was set up by Wisbech Grammar School and Thomas Clarkson Academy called “The Twinning Wiki”, where schools in Wisbech and Arles can share materials and information about their different cultures.

Arles.

Arles. - Credit: Archant

Last year, Wisbech Town Councillor David Hodgson and his wife Judy visited Arles, where they met with Arles Twinning president Jean-Claud Marchesseau and Councillor Florence Rivas, who runs twinning for the Arles council, to discuss anniversary events during a meeting at Arles Town Hall.

Ideas put forward to celebrate the landmark include a rugby match between Wisbech Grammar School and an Arles team.


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There are also plans to send a French photographer to capture the Wisbech Arts Festival.

Roger Powell, Wisbech Arles Twinning Club chairman, says a strong relationship with Arles would benefit the town.

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He said: “I think our twinning relationship with Arles is very important. We are fortunate to be twinned with such a prestigious town.

“Hopefully these links can be strengthened. Twinning boosts tourism and business, cultural and sporting links could also be strengthened.”

Arles is famous for its Roman amphitheatre and was briefly Vincent van Gogh’s home - the artist produced more than 300 paintings and drawings during his time there.

It also hosts “Rencontres D’Arles”, an annual international photography festival.

An AGM will be held at Wisbech town hall on Thursday January 9 at 7.30pm where celebratory events and how to develop the relationship will be discussed.

If you would like to join the Wisbech Arles Twinning Club or be involved with the 50th anniversary events, contact Cllr Hodgson at fen.country@sky.com or via Wisbech Town Council.

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