Connect with us

News

Cambridgeshire ‘loses’ twinning partner Kreis Viersen in the mist of time 

In the 1980s the friends’ group in Germany raised DM18,000 for the restoration of Ely Cathedral

Avatar photo

Published

on

It began with an announcement in the Times Educational Supplement from Kreis Kempen-Krefeld – later Kreis Viersen – looking for a twinning partner. Informal friendships with the region began in 1971 but it was not until 1983 that the formal twinning ceremony took place.

First links with Kries Viersen – a German region on the border with the Netherlands- included exchange visits between schools and sports clubs.

The informal arrangement continued for 12 years when it was formalised in ceremonies held in St Ives and Kempen in Kreis Viersen.

But by 2013 the world, and Cambridgeshire, had moved on.

The county council chief executive Mark Lloyd explained there had been representations about the moves to end the twinning link.

He pushed for the twinning link to end pointing out that “as the financial pressures have mounted over the last five years we would have to admit that we have allowed the activity we would normally expect through a twinning link to lie dormant”

“The main hub of activity geographically was in Fenland although there was also an emphasis on singing and choirs,” said Mr Lloyd.

He said some achievements were impressive, and in the 1980s the friends’ group in Germany raised DM18,000 for the restoration of Ely Cathedral. This is commemorated in a marble plaque located behind the high altar in St Etheldreda’s Chapel.

But Mr Lloyd said financial restraints and the change in nature of local government meant the exchanges were less regular.

Sign outside Shire Hall, Cambridge, but no one can recall if the county council’s postponed axing of the link with Kreis Viersen, Germany, became a reality

Shire Hall, Cambridge, but no one can recall if the county council’s postponed axing of the link with Kreis Viersen, Germany, became a reality

He said that two years previously an attempt was made to revive it but “whilst there was good will and a belief in principle, nothing new emerged”.

“The relationship between the two regions continued to flourish until the turn of the millennium, but over the last 10 years, perhaps in keeping with the social and political changes underway in Western Europe, the financial constraints and the change in the nature of local government, the exchanges became less regular,” was how he put it in a report to the cabinet.

However, the council’s senior members were reluctant to axe it and a council spokesperson explained after the meeting there had been representations about the moves to end the twinning link and as a consequence the matter would be discussed at a later date.

But what happened thereafter is buried in the midst of time.

County council officials admitted to CambsNews this week: “We’ve had a look into this for you. We believe the Kreis Viersen decision was made in November 2013, but cannot find the associated documents as they’re only held for seven years.”

The spokesperson added: “Sorry we can’t be of more help.”

My curiosity had been piqued by the announcement this week that the signs that have stood at Cambridgeshire County Council’s former headquarters for over 40 years are being preserved following a warning their appearance was beginning to deteriorate.

Sign outside Shire Hall, Cambridge, but no one can recall if the county council’s postponed axing of the link with Kreis Viersen, Germany, became a reality

Sign outside Shire Hall, Cambridge, but no one can recall if the county council’s postponed axing of the link with Kreis Viersen, Germany, became a reality

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

The two hand-painted signs, featuring the authority’s coat of arms, were positioned outside the entrance of Shire Hall on Castle Hill, Cambridge.

And they state – quite starkly – Cambridgeshire is twinned with Kreis Viersen.

The council left this site in 2021, moving to New Shire Hall in Alconbury Weald, and the signs were removed this week after the council “was alerted to their deterioration by one of the sign writers that had helped to create them” said the council spokesperson.

Paul Mumby, who was an apprentice at the time, said restoring the signs would be very difficult because of the way they were painted.

“He said the paint was flaking and any attempt to repaint them could damage them further,” said the spokesperson.

“Not wanting to lose these pieces of Cambridgeshire County Council history, the authority has removed both signs from the outdoor elements.

“They have been taken to a central Cambridge storage location until a final decision is made regarding their future use and where they are to be displayed.”

The re-marketing of the old Shire Hall, to find a commercial partner to redevelopment the site, will begin on Monday 29 January and run until the end of May.

It comes after the former preferred bidder, Brookgate, confirmed it was unable to complete the deal.

Since then, officers have carried out a detailed review of the six-acre site to provide them with a comprehensive update on all the options available.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of the council, said: “Shire Hall was our home for over 40 years and the signs that stood proudly at the entrance were a significant feature

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of the council, said: “Shire Hall was our home for over 40 years and the signs that stood proudly at the entrance were a significant feature.”

This concluded that the development of the site for office and hotel use remained the most valuable option for potential developers and local taxpayers – with a likely annual return in the region of £3m each year.

A report seeking approval of the preferred bidder was expected to be put to the assets and procurement committee on 18 June.

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of the council, said: “Shire Hall was our home for over 40 years and the signs that stood proudly at the entrance were a significant feature.

“I’m thankful to Mr Mumby, not only for helping to create them but for alerting us to the need to preserve them.

“A permanent new home is yet to be decided but I’m sure they will be a welcome addition to any collection of Cambridgeshire memorabilia.

“It comes at an exciting time as we prepare to re-market Shire Hall to find a new commercial partner.

“The site, which has been a seat of local government since Norman times, is in a prime position in Cambridge City and has huge potential for an ambitious developer.”

 

 

Facebook

Read More

Cambridgeshire Police control room utilised GoodSAM to find the lorry after one of the men dialled 999 to say they couldn’t breathe. Cambridgeshire Police control room utilised GoodSAM to find the lorry after one of the men dialled 999 to say they couldn’t breathe.
News15 hours ago

Six migrants rescued from refrigerated lorry between Ely and Soham

'The caller stated they couldn’t breathe, before the call dropped out'

Camp Beagle wishes to close down MBR Acres, a huge beagle breeding factory near Huntingdon, which supplies about 2,000 puppies a year to toxicology testing laboratories across the UK. Above is John Curtin who has been banned from the area. PHOTO: Camp Beagle Camp Beagle wishes to close down MBR Acres, a huge beagle breeding factory near Huntingdon, which supplies about 2,000 puppies a year to toxicology testing laboratories across the UK. Above is John Curtin who has been banned from the area. PHOTO: Camp Beagle
News18 hours ago

Camp Beagle campaign organiser arrested and banned from Huntingdon

GoFundMe appeal launched to fund John Curtin’s legal costs

McSpadden (right) was in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) when he went into Tesco with Momot (left) and stole crème eggs worth £59.40 McSpadden (right) was in breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) when he went into Tesco with Momot (left) and stole crème eggs worth £59.40
Crime19 hours ago

Chocs away – crème egg shoplifter from Wisbech jailed for 9 weeks

'McSpadden and Momot are prolific shoplifters in Wisbech who blatantly disregard the orders of the court'

A Stagecoach spokesperson said re-opening the section will see ‘journey times between the Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Railway Station radically reduced to less than 5 minutes’. A Stagecoach spokesperson said re-opening the section will see ‘journey times between the Biomedical Campus and Cambridge Railway Station radically reduced to less than 5 minutes’.
News21 hours ago

Stagecoach ‘delighted’ at re opening of key section of Guided Busway

In 2022, the Busway was named by the Daily Telegraph as one of Britain’s 10 most beautiful bus routes

Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court Florin Buti, 19, of Ridgwell Road, London, denied rape and fraud by false representation, but he was found guilty following a trial at Peterborough Crown Court
News23 hours ago

Three men jailed for total of more than 28 years for raping woman in Cambridge

'Buti and the other defendants in this case clearly went looking for a woman to attack'

Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech Running between Friday 19th April until Thursday 25th April, special screenings will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Luxe cinema, Wisbech
News23 hours ago

The Luxe Wisbech: 15 Years of Movie Magic!

We have always seen ourselves as part of the heart of the town

MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page MP Steve Barclay visits Whittlesey to promote election prospects for police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and a local Conservative by election candidate. Videos made by Mr Barclay were ordered to be removed from a town council Facebook page
News2 days ago

SPECIAL REPORT: Fenland Council orders MP Steve Barclay’s videos to be removed from Whittlesey Town Council Facebook page

'I have also requested that any reference to Whittlesey Town Council is removed'

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13 then touring
News3 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Immaculate performances’ in The School for Scandal at Cambridge Arts Theatre

The School for Scandal is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, April 13

A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. A 33-year-old man from Huntingdon has now been arrested on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
Crime3 days ago

Police arrest man who allegedly brandished imitation firearm in Huntingdon

'At about 7pm a man produced the firearm and pointed it at someone'

Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media Whitemoor Prison, March, Cambridgeshire, where forensics experts are looking for DNA and other evidence after a prison officer was seriously assaulted. PHOTO: Bav Media
News3 days ago

GoFundMe appeal to help family of prisoner officer seriously injured by Whitemoor inmate

As a result of being assaulted, he has spent almost 3.5 weeks in intensive care