Appeal to keep Bedford Bamberg twin town scheme alive

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The organisers behind Bedford’s 40-year twinning with a town in Germany have appealed for help to keep the relationship alive.

Bedford councillors signed a formal twinning agreement with Bamberg in 1977, and thousands of people have taken part in exchanges and events ever since.

But after the council withdrew its funding as part of budget cuts, the Bedford Bamberg Association was forced to fund itself.

This week, after a successful round of activities to celebrate the twinning’s 40th anniversary, the association has put out a plea for help.

“We have an ageing membership and are in need of new members if we are to continue to survive in an effective way,” said a spokesman.

“When the council withdrew all funding, we became the contact point for Bamberg Council and it is essential that this is maintained in the future.”

The association organises social events throughout the year and biennial trips to Bamberg to stay with hosts.

“Many friendships have developed and stay strong to this day,” said the spokesman.

At the weekend a party of 35 people visited from Bamberg, led by their deputy mayor Wolfgang Metzner.

Anybody interested in joining can find details on www.bedfordbamberg.org.uk