Sochi International Film Festival

Cheltenham Twinning Association is delighted to be hosting a series of events this month (February 2022) to celebrate our cultural links with the Sochi International Film Festival and to mark 60 years of friendship with Sochi.

Events include an art exhibition, film screenings and musical recitals all held at Chapel Arts Centre. Find out more and buy tickets.

Our sincere thanks go to sponsors, the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and Paul Baker Insurance Services as well as many individuals, to enable these events to happen.

70th anniversary photo competition ‘Celebrating My Town’


Cheltenham and Göttingen 70 year anniversary logo

To celebrate 70 years of twinning between Cheltenham, UK and Göttingen in Germany, Cheltenham Borough Council and Cheltenham Twinning Association, in conjunction with Cheltenham Camera Club and Stadt Göttingen (Göttingen Town Council) are organising an amateur photo competition.

Competition details

The competition will run from Sunday 14 November to Sunday 12 December 2021 inclusive.

Cheltenham and Göttingen have been twin towns since 1951 and during this time there have been many opportunities to experience the life and culture of the twin town through visits and exchanges and close friendships have been made. With this joint photo competition, we want to celebrate our towns and show how close the friendships between Cheltenham and Göttingen have become over the years.

We suggest images relate to the theme of ‘Celebrating My Town’ and that they highlight a special image of Cheltenham town – friendships, its people, architecture, environment, culture and entertainment, to show an aspect of Cheltenham to the people of Göttingen. Göttingen Town Council are holding a similar competition.

35 images will be selected by a panel of judges. Göttingen will also select 35 images totalling 70 photos, representing every year of the twinning link.

First, second and third prize winners will be chosen from the 35 selected photographs.

The prizes are:-

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

The selected images will be displayed on the websites of Cheltenham Twinning Association and Göttingen Town Council in the new year and printed for display in each of the towns in Summer 2022.

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:

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

Image files uploaded must be in JPEG format.

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.

Full terms and conditions

Online Bridge with Annecy

Playing card - Wikipedia

Annecy bridge clubs invited Cheltenham Bridge Club to participate in a teams’ match online on 28 October 2021.

The event was a huge success and each town entered 14 teams of four into the competition.  112 bridge players enjoyed a friendly and fun evening.  We were lucky that the online platform RealBridge gave us the use of the facilities for free.  RealBridge enables video and sound so we were able to see and chat to our French friends.  Cheltenham Bridge Club has had regular contact with the Annecy players over the years and we have enjoyed mutual hospitality, it was therefore an added pleasure to renew old friendships.

Cheltenham and Annecy have arranged a return match on 18th November.  This will be a pair’s game.

We congratulate Annecy on winning the teams’ match and we will try to do better in the pairs!

Report from Judith Sanis, Bridge Director for Cheltenham Bridge Club

Twinning’s Own Climate Summit – Cheltenham Young Ambassadors invited to join discussion for a common peaceful, sustainable world

Has COP26 got you interested? Are you 16-18 years old and want to engage with other young people from across the world in discussion on sustainability and climate protection? By taking part in Göttingen’s online student discussion on a more peaceful sustainable world you could be an Ambassador for Cheltenham.

The event takes place over the weekend of 19-21 November for a couple of hours only each day. The deadline for registration has been extended to Thursday 11 November 2021. Only 5 students from each of Göttingen’s twin towns will be accepted, so dont delay in registering your interest.

More information can be found here, together with the link to register.

For any queries contact the Twinning Officer.

70 Years of Cheltenham and Göttingen


To mark the 70th anniversary of the twinning link between Cheltenham and Göttingen, a joint project between the Local History Societies of both towns has been undertaken and a presentation of photos has been put together that clearly shows the changes that have happened in the townscape of Cheltenham and Göttingen during the past 70 years of the partnership.

Below are the links to the two presentations which can also be viewed on the websites of Göttingen Local History Society and Cheltenham Local History Society.

The partnership between the cities of Cheltenham and Göttingen has existed since 1951. This year, numerous face-to-face events were planned to mark the anniversary. As in previous years, there would have been many opportunities for the citizens of both cities to make face to face contact and friendships or to continue to develop existing connections. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, these encounters have not been feasible. Both Cheltenham and Göttingen greatly regret this, but this has lead to various projects such as this one being done in an online format.

Cheltenham for Europe Online Talk – 22 September – Friedland Welcomes Refugees

Following on from the joint Europe Day Celebrations with our twin towns of Annecy and Gottingen, C4E is delighted to present a talk about the Refugee Transit Camp in Friedland, 12 miles from Gottingen. The talk will be given by Klaus Magnus of the Museum of Friedland who will provide an overview of the creation of the transit camp, the refugees who have been processed here, its importance to  Germany’s humanitarian programme and the impact over the years on the local population. This is a fascinating insight into how refugees are welcomed into a foreign country.  

Founded in 1945, Friedland Transit Camp has processed over 4 million people arriving in the Federal Republic of Germany. The transit camp near Gottingen has been a reception centre for refugees and expellees after the Second World War, for released prisoners (PoWs) and displaced persons (DPs), for ethnic German immigrants and for people seeking refuge from many parts of the world. Today it is the initial reception centre for ethnic German and Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union as well as asylum seekers and refugees under resettlement and humanitarian intake programmes.

We look forward to welcoming you to hear this incredible story.

You can book here: 

Friedland Welcomes Refugees Tickets, Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite

Sochi Film Festival UK

On Friday 10 September at Chapel Arts Gallery in Cheltenham, the Sochi International Film Festival and Cheltenham Twinning Association launched their season of Russian film, art and culture which will culminate in the Sochi Film Festival UK awards being held in Cheltenham in February 2022.

The event was very successful with a good audience including Russian language students from Balcarras school who met with Luba Balagova, the Founder and President of the Sochi Film Festival. The picture shows the students with Luba and one of the awards.

Further details can be seen from the Press Release.

We are now actively seeking sponsorship or donations to make the gala awards event in February as impactful and interesting as we can. Please see the sponsorship flyer and contact the Twinning Officer if you would like to make a donation or get further information.