Willingham by Stow has taken the opportunity to broaden its cultural, linguistic and educational assets by forming twinning links with two other European villages. The first village to form a link with us was Moyenneville in France. Chosen for its many similarities which included its population and rural situation this relationship has slowly developed since its inauguration in 2000. The second community to become part of what is now a tri-partnership is the small town of Postrelmov in the Czech Republic. Following a number of visitations and trial visits the official agreement was signed in July 2011. Already, after several exchanges of hospitality, friendships have been made which strengthens the already deepening long term relationships we have with our French friends.
A small committee in each country maintains the continuity and organisational planning of the partnerships. All three countries are members of their respective national twinning organisations who give guidance and information as well as providing assistance in making applications for financial grant aid for visits.
The idea of hosting a French or Czech family or staying in the home of someone you have never met can be daunting, but those who have taken part have invariably enjoyed the experience and gained a mutual understanding of what twinning is about.
In July 2010 the first full three way visit was hosted in Moyenneville France. All three countries mingled, talked, partied and enjoyed the experience of being together. An excellent programme of events and cultural opportunities was planned by our Moyenneville hosts.
In July 2011 following our first exploratory trip the previous Autumn, a much larger group visited Postrelmov along with our French friends. The Czech people were welcoming to all our families and showed themselves to be excellent hosts. The formal signing agreement took place over the weekend along with visits to local amenities and attractions.
Since 2012 we have travelled to Moyennville and Postrelmov once every three years and they in turn have visited Willingham. About 50 visitors (25 from each country) come on each occassion and we enjoy days out, village functions and the hospitality of host families in each others countries.
The next twinning will be hosted by Willingham in the summer (2018)