Bridging Links!

The three Bridge Clubs in Annecy invited Cheltenham Bridge Club to a friendly bridge game on Thursday 17th November.

We had an enthusiastic response from both towns and had thirty pairs playing in an online competition.

We are grateful for the organisational skill of Jean-Hervé Favre from Annecy who liaised with our local Bridge Club and was responsible for setting up the game on the RealBridge platform.  Playing on Realbridge was great as we could see and speak to our French friends for the whole evening. (RealBridge has been designed by a British player and it is a bit like a ZOOM that features a table and four players)

Annecy clubs offered us 6 free entries into next year’s Face2Face tournament in Annecy in 2023.  

Although the game was set up as a tournament the results were very close to a draw and, depending on how it was scored, either Annecy or Cheltenham won.  Cheltenham had the top score in a straight addition but  Annecy had two fewer players and a slightly higher average.  So a draw it was! 

It is really important to all our Cheltenham Bridge Club members that we keep our close and friendly relationship with the twinned towns of Annecy and Göttingen.  We hope that in the next year we can arrange further events and may even resume our visits to both these beautiful towns.

Article by Judith Sanis of Cheltenham Bridge Club

2022 / 2021 Twinning Activities

Twinning activities in 2021 were still very much curtailed by the corona virus pandemic, this however meant more online talks and virtual links being made. Many activities with Göttingen to celebrate 70 years of twinning had to be cancelled, but the online Cheltenham – Göttingen Photography competition to celebrate ‘My Town’ was very successful.

Twinning events in 2022 on a face-to-face basis started to pick up and the year started with the hosting of the Sochi International Film Awards in the UK. The year continued with visits of a group from Stampersgat to mark the 50th anniversary of the link; a delegation from Göttingen to honour the 70th anniversary; a citizens’ group visit to Annecy, a visit from the Deputy Governor of Kisumu and a photographic competition with Weihai to mark 35 years of friendship.

Residents visit to Annecy 2022

On 5 October 2022, a group of 33 citizens from Cheltenham set off on a week-long trip to the twin town of Annecy, France, to see the Descente des Alpages, a traditional folklore day when the animals parade through the old town of Annecy to mark the descent from the higher pastures to the lower for the winter.

In Annecy the group enjoyed a walking tour of the town, a boat trip on the lake and an official reception with the Deputy Mayor of Annecy. There was plenty of time to enjoy the local delights of the region and to take in the beauty of our twin town.

Twinning committee representatives met with their counterparts and discussed future potential projects and exchanges in the wake of the pandemic lull. Common themes centred around engaging young people in environmental and climate emergency initiatives and sporting events.

Photo gallery for 2022 visit to Annecy

Choirs combine for Concert

Cheltenham Bach Choir and the Göttingen Stadtkantorei performed a joint concert in the beautiful setting of Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday 29 October 2022.

The Göttingen Town Choir were in Cheltenham as guests of the Bach choir from 26-30 October. The two choirs have a longstanding link and exchange visits every two years. After rehearsals and a social evening on the Friday, they performed the Sunrise Mass, Ola Geilo, and Requiem, W A Mozart, to a packed audience. Members of the Twinning Committee as well as the Deputy Mayor of Cheltenham were there to welcome the choirs and their conductors and to be part of a wonderful evening highlighting a stunning example of what town twinning can achieve together.

Tewkesbury Abbey at night

Twinning supports 2022 World Clean Up Day

Cheltenham Twinning Association members joined together with Springbank Community Group volunteers to participate in a litter pick in Springbank Park and the surrounding area as part of 2022 World Cleanup Day on Saturday 17th September.

Springbank Community Group is based in West Cheltenham and runs a welcoming and successful Community Food Pantry, Community Cafe, Community Garden, Cheltenham Household Essentials Project and delivers open access Youth Work provision in parts of Cheltenham.

Initially established in March 2020 during Covid19 to make up and deliver food parcels to families and individuals in need in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, the group has gone from strength to strength providing valuable community services. More details can be found at https://www.springbankcommunitygroup.org/

World Cleanup Day unites volunteers from around the word to tackle litter and mismanaged waste from beaches, rivers, forests, and streets. The idea was initiated in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people cooperated in a nationwide clean up. Since then, World Cleanup Day has become a global civic movement involving 180 countries. We are delighted our twin towns of Annecy in France, and Göttingen in Germany participated this year. If you are interested in finding out more about twinning, visit: https://cheltenhamtwinning.uk/about/

Cheltenham and Weihai 35th anniversary photo competition ‘One planet… many ways to care for our environment’

Calling all amateur photographers!

You are invited to submit photo(s) for this twinning photographic competition on the theme of “One planet… many ways to care for our environment”.

The photographs should highlight a special image of people and the environment, preferably within Cheltenham or the Cotswolds. Entries should capture people’s interactions with nature illustrating images that motivate us to live sustainably.

The competition is being organised by Cheltenham Twinning Association in conjunction with the Cheltenham Camera Club and Weihai City Council in China. It celebrates 35 years of twinning links between Cheltenham and Weihai, as well as the 50th anniversary of ambassadorial diplomatic relations between China and the UK.

Winners will receive a monetary prize. Winning photos will also be displayed both online and offline.

Competition details

The competition opens on Sunday 4 September and closes on Monday 31 October 2022.

Up to 50 images will be selected by a panel of judges in Cheltenham. Weihai will also select 50 images. 

First, second and third prize winners will be chosen from the 50 selected Cheltenham entries.

The prizes are:

  • First prize – £100 cash
  • Second prize – £75 cash
  • Third prize – £50 cash
  • Three ‘Highly Commended’ certificates will also be awarded

The selected images will be displayed on the website of Cheltenham Twinning Association and will be printed for display in Weihai Mass Art Gallery.

How to enter

The competition is open to everyone, with the exception of professional photographers and those organising the competition and judging. Up to two photographs can be entered per participant in either colour or monochrome.

Images should be uploaded onto the entry system: photocomp.uk (opens Sunday 4 September).

You will be asked to provide your name, email and contact phone number.

Image files uploaded must be in JPEG format and should be no larger than 2000 pixels high and 2000 pixels wide. Images larger than this (such as images from a mobile phone) will be resized automatically to fit these dimensions.

Each image must have a title. Titles must be 35 characters or fewer. ‘No title’ or ‘Untitled’ are not allowed.

By submitting a competition entry, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions.


Terms and conditions

You can download the terms and conditions or read them below.

  1. THE COMPETITION
    Competition Theme – ‘One Planet… many ways to care for our environment’. The photographs should highlight a special image of people and the environment, preferably within Cheltenham or the Cotswolds. Entries should capture people’s interactions with nature illustrating images that motivate us to live sustainably.
    • 1.1 Weihai City Council is holding a similar competition.
    • 1.2 Up to 50 images will be selected by a panel of judges in Cheltenham. Weihai will also select 50 images. The selected images will be displayed on the website of Cheltenham Twinning Association and will be printed for display in Weihai Mass Art Gallery.
    • 1.3 First, second and third prize winners will be chosen from the 50 selected Cheltenham entries.
    • 1.4 The competition is open to everyone, with the exception of professional photographers (where Photography is the prime occupation) and those organising the competition and judging.
    • 1.5 Up to two photographs can be entered per participant in either colour or monochrome.
    • 1.6 Entries must be genuine photographs and must not have pixels added from an external source. By virtue of submitting a photograph, the entrant certifies the work is his or her own. (Images may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else (for example: clip art, images or art by others downloaded from the Internet).
  2. OPENING AND CLOSING DATES
    • 2.1 The competition will run from Sunday 4 September to Monday 31 October 2022 inclusive.
  3. HOW TO ENTER
    • 3.1 Images should be uploaded onto the entry system: photocomp.uk
    • 3.2 Entrants will be asked to provide their name, email and contact phone number.
    • 3.3 Image files uploaded must be in JPEG format and should be no larger than 2000 pixels high and 2000 pixels wide. Images larger than this (such as images from a mobile phone) will be resized automatically to fit these dimensions.
    • 3.4 Each image must have a title. Titles must be 35 characters or fewer. ‘No title’ or ‘Untitled’ are not allowed.
    • 3.5 By submitting a competition entry, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions.
  4. ELIGIBILITY
    • 4.1 If your photograph features any person or people, they should be aware that they are being photographed and permission should be obtained from all involved (or their parent’s/guardian’s permission if under 18) for their photograph to be submitted in the competition. You must make the person aware that the images will be used for the purposes set out in these terms and conditions. If it is clear that the people are not aware of their picture being taken or are embarrassed in any way by any entry we receive, Cheltenham Borough Council reserves the right to disqualify the entry.
  5. JUDGING
    • 5.1 A panel of 4 judges, including members of Cheltenham Camera Club will select up to 50 images. These images will be judged on how well they meet the theme of “One Planet … many ways to care for our environment’’.
    • 5.2 The first, second and third prize winners will be selected from these 50 images.
    • 5.3 The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. PRIZES
    • 6.1 The Prizes are:
      • First prize – £100 cash
      • Second prize – £75 cash
      • Third prize – £50 cash
    • 6.2 Three ‘Highly Commended’ certificates will also be awarded.
  7. WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT
    • 7.1 The images of the selected entries will be displayed from 31 October 2022 on the Cheltenham Twinning Association website and authors will be informed by email.
    • 7.2 First, second and third place winners will be informed by email and announced on the Cheltenham Twinning Association website from 31 October 2022.
    • 7.3 Prizes will be presented by the Mayor of Cheltenham.
  8. POLICIES
    • 8.1 Cheltenham Borough Council reserves the right to remove or refuse any entries to the competition for any reason.
    • 8.2 Should any entries fall below the standard required by the competition organisers and the judges, then the organisers reserve the right not to award prizes.
    • 8.3 These terms and conditions shall be governed by English Law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  9. Copyright and permissions:
    • 9.1 By submitting images to Cheltenham /Weihai 35th Anniversary Photography Competition, each participant confirms that they:
      • Are the sole author of each entry and it is their original work.
      • The photo does not infringe the copyright of a third party.
    • 9.2 By entering the competition Cheltenham Borough Council and Weihai City Council have irrevocable permission to reproduce, enlarge, publish or exhibit, on any media, the images provided, for any purpose connected with Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham Twinning Association and Weihai City Council. This may include but is not limited to inclusion in or reproductions in online or print media which may be produced in the future; displays at exhibitions; displays on websites or social media for promotion; and for use in press releases to be distributed to national, regional, local or specialist press for information or promotion of present or future competitions.
    • 9.3 Cheltenham Borough Council will make every reasonable effort to ensure that name credits of entrants are reproduced on photos published in online and printed publications.
  10. DATA PROTECTION
    • 10.1 The information you provide will be collected and stored by Cheltenham Camera Club on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘the Act’). We will only use your information for the purposes of administration of the Competition (including publishing your name and country if you are the winner) and any other purposes which we have advised or the Act allows. We will not use or pass your details on to any third party for direct marketing.
    • 10.2 By entering this competition you agree that Cheltenham Twinning Association may transfer the information you provide to Weihai City Council for the purpose of administering this competition.

Safe water provided for Kisumu schools

A successful fundraising appeal by Cheltenham Twinning Association in conjunction with Cheltenham Rotary Club means two water wells can be rehabilitated in Kisumu, Kenya to provide safe water to two primary schools and their communities. The Chippenham-based WellBoring charity is managing the process including the well installations (https://www.wellboring.org/).

The first well was completed in July 2022 at Kunya Renja Primary School in Kisumu, (total population 581). A second well is set to be rehabilitated at another Kisumu school following the October to December 2022 rainy season.

Pupils fetching water from the rehabilitated well

The Kunya Renja primary school and local community had a well that fell into disrepair in 2018. Since that time, mainly the women and children have had to walk long distances to fetch water from the Nyamasaria stream. This is shared with animals and contains impurities from the local Kibos sugar factory, resulting in water-borne diseases being frequently contracted.

The clean water source at Kunya Renja Primary School will help reduce the water-related stomach diseases rife among pupils, and lead to higher school attendance and performance levels. Hygiene and sanitation standards will also be improved as there will be an abundant source of water for cleaning classrooms. Availability of this water will also help save time during lunch preparations, as cooks will not have to walk all the way to the stream to collect water for cooking.

WellBoring works in partnership with Kisumu school authorities to create a Water Management committee at well locations. At Kunya Renja Primary School, Headteacher, Dominic Awuoth has agreed to head up the committee, to ensure safety, operations and sustainability of the well.

A total of £2,393.75 was raised by Cheltenham Twinning Association via a JustGiving page (£1,940 + £453.75 Gift Aid). The GiftAid is currently in the process of being reclaimed. A further £1,000 was raised by Cheltenham Rotary Club. All monies were donated to the WellBoring Charity.

Cheltenham has had a friendship link with Kisumu since 1985, the third largest city in Kenya. It is hoped connections between Cheltenham and Kisumu can be further developed focusing on the sharing of IT knowledge and expertise.