A Celebration of Cheltenham and Göttingen Storytelling Project

A beautifully illustrated bi-lingual English/German book of short stories was launched on Thursday 21 July 2022 at a reception event attended by delegates from Göttingen and supporters of Cheltenham twinning association.

The inspirational joint collaborative project marks the 70th anniversary of the link between the twin towns of Cheltenham and Göttingen in Germany. The 13 stories are written by William Lewis of Cheltenham, translated by Christiane Christen of Göttingen and illustrated by members of the Göttingen Kreis 34 Art Club.

The book launch was a highlight of the visit of the Mayor of Göttingen, Petra Broistedt, and a delegation from Göttingen – the first exchange visit since 2019.

The Mayors of both towns endorsed the book, with Cheltenham Mayor, Cllr Sandra Holliday, citing it as a ‘Collaborative celebration of our cultures’, and Mayor of Göttingen, Frau Petra Broistedt, saying, ‘A project like this is a symbol of good international understanding’.

The project received financial support from Cheltenham Borough Council’s community fund, Göttingen Town Council, and Cheltenham and Göttingen’s Twinning Associations.

Annette Wight, twinning officer, said: “We were delighted to welcome a delegation from our twin town after a long break due to the pandemic. It was the first visit to Cheltenham for a number of the visitors, and we very much enjoyed showing them what Cheltenham has to offer. 

“We also had discussions to see where we can work together on future twinning projects with topics around the climate emergency, eco exchanges, festivals and refugees all high on the agenda.”

Cllr Diggory Seacome, chair of the Cheltenham Twinning Association, said: “I would like to express our huge thanks to William Lewis, and the team at the Göttingen Art Club for producing such a wonderful book it was wonderful to make copies available to attendees of the celebratory launch event. Cultural exchanges have played a prominent role in this longstanding and successful twinning partnership, and this storytelling collaboration typifies twinning at its best.”

The book, 13 Short Stories by William Lewis, is available for purchase on Amazon in book and e-book formats.

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