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All about Twinning

The Falkirk District Twinning Association (promoting twinning with Créteil France) and The Odenwald Association (promoting twinning with Odenwald, Germany) are the twinning bodies for the Falkirk Council area. They work individually and together to:

  • promote friendship and links within the partnerships
  • cultivate greater understanding of our twin communities
  • help in arranging exchanges and visits
  • include as diverse a range of activities and abilities as possible
  • help financially, if feasible
  • stimulate interest in twinning
  • aid communication between interested parties in all areas of activity within the communities

Contact details and membership forms for the associations here.

How you can get involved

Both associations have encouraged a variety of exchanges and visits over the years. Not everyone is involved in traveling to the partner areas but have acted as hosts to visitors or participated in letter writing, sending tapes, video conferencing, e-mail, etc. You decide how you want to be involved.

For membership information on the Odenwald Association or the Falkirk District Twinning Association please visit our Contact page.

Twinning Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is twinning?
A. Twinning is friendship in partnership through links with our partner countries

Q. Who are Falkirk’s Twinning Partners
A. Falkirk twins with the Odenwald, a rural region in South-west Germany and Créteil, a large cosmopolitan town, South of Paris.

Q. How does a twinning start?
A. A twinning agreement between two organisations requires a partnership commitment to be agreed and signed. This allows the people affected by the agreement to begin to get to know each other in a variety of ways.

Q. Who can get involved in twinning?
A. Twinning is not restricted to ‘official’ involvement and activity and is open to individuals of all ages and abilities, schools, colleges, groups, organisations whether in sport, art, music, dance, or anyone who simply wants to make new friends. Most importantly, it is about having fun!

Q. What do I get out of twinning?
A. Twinning is a great opportunity to learn about a different country by meeting the people, not simply traveling as a tourist. It is an opportunity to make friends, share culture, explore common interests and possibly learn the language, ‘first hand’.

Q. Do I need to be able to speak the language?
A. No, but it does help. Many people who visit their twinning partner country or host people in this country are encouraged to learn the language so they can get to know each other better.

Q. How do I become a member of the Twinning Associations?
A. The Falkirk and District Twinning Association and The Odenwald Association are two independent Associations who support twinning within the Falkirk Area. Membership form is available in the Odenwald Association’s own section of the website. For the Falkirk and District Twinning Association, contact the Secretary.

Q. Can I attend meetings of the Twinning Associations?
A. Anyone can attend meetings and chat to members to find out more about the Associations with a view to joining.

Q. What kind of events do the Twinning Associations organise?
A. Events are organised for anniversary celebrations or when visitors from partner countries are being hosted. Ceilidhs, concerts and evenings with traditional entertainment are always popular. In addition, there is a programme for members during the year at the regular meetings. This may take the form of speakers, films, demonstrations and general social evenings. Also, fundraising events are held to raise money for trips to partner countries and to enable young people to be assisted financially.

Interested in joining either twinning association – or both – or finding out more? Please get in touch with us.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Active Twinning

Schools / College

Larbert High School – Odenwald
Graeme High School – Créteil

Arts/Culture

Jenkins School of Highland Dancing – Odenwald
Airth Highland Games – Odenwald
Falkirk Band, “The Tonkerers” – Odenwald
Falkirk Folk Club – Odenwald and Créteil

Community Groups

Royal British Legion, Scotland – Creteil

Twinning history in Falkirk District

Representatives from Créteil celebrate with some of their twinning representatives from around the world.
Falkirk District Twinning Association History

In the early 1980’s an approach was made by the Municipality of Créteil to Falkirk District Council with a view to twinning. This was followed by an official visit led by Cllr Jim Lafferty to Créteil.

After a well-attended public meeting, a Steering Committee was set up, chaired by Dick Love, Principal Teacher of Modern Languages at Denny High School. He was involved in the earlier Denny-Souillac twinning. Other teachers of Modern Languages served on the steering committee because of their interest in France.

In 1982 a visit by Councilors, teachers and other interested parties was made to Créteil for the Fêtes de Juin. Also included in the party were members of Camelon Pipe Band and a group of Scottish Country Dancers who performed at the Fêtes de Juin. The Depute Provost, Frank McKeever flew out to join the group  as the official representative of the Council. It was on this visit that the group first met the Anciens Combatants at their headquarters in Créteil and a friendship was struck up with Colonel René Dessailly. Many visits followed this meeting and long standing friendships were formed, some existing  to the present day.

It was after that initial trip in 1982 that a meeting was held to inaugurate the Falkirk-Créteil Twinning Association at which Councilor Jim Lafferty was elected President of the Association and Jill McMillan as Vice-President.

1983 saw the visit by a large group from Créteil, led by Mayor Laurent Cathala, consisting of the members of the “Commission Ecosse”, various dignitaries and a group of entertainers who performed at the twinning ceremony in Callendar Park.

In 1984 there was a return visit to Créteil for the Fêtes de Juin and so a pattern of exchanges was set up of very successful school exchanges, with home to home exchange. Schools involved were Graeme High, St. Mungo’s and Woodlands. Sporting exchanges were also arranged. Hundreds of children from the Falkirk area visited Créteil or hosted young people in their homes in the Falkirk area.

From these beginnings, some long-lasting friendships were formed,  still existing today, with people continuing to enjoy the benefits of learning about another country through getting to know the people, the culture, the cuisine, the festivities, but most importantly, creating lasting bonds in real friendships and having fun!

A tree is planted in Odenwald in 2009 to mark the area’s links with Falkirk.
A plaque notes the partnership between Germany and Scotland.
Odenwald Association Twinning History

1965 Larbert High School Scottish Country Dance Teams represented Stirling County Council at a folk dance festival organised by Kreis Erbach.   Mrs Nancy McLaren, Teacher, and Miss Grace W McWhirter, County Youth Officer, were in charge of the party.   Such was the success of this visit that dialogue between the two areas continued.

1969  A formal twinning agreement was signed on Whitsunday between Stirling County Council and Kreis Erbach.

Balfron Fire Station officers and staff were the first to take part in a twinning visit to Kreis Erbach.

1972 as a result of Local Government restructuring in Germany, Kreis Erbach merged with other Councils within its immediate area and became Odenwaldkreis.   

1975 due to Local Government Reorganisation, Central Regional Council was formed and a revised twinning partnership was signed between the two ‘new’ authorities.

1975 The Odenwald Association was formed to promote twinning links between Central Region and the Odenwald.

1977 The first Youth Exchange was hosted in Central Region with a return visit to the Odenwaldkreis the following year 1979.

1978 the Schottland Vereinigung (the sister organisation of the Odenwald Association) was formed in the Odenwald for the purpose of promoting twinning links from a German perspective.  At this time the Associations started a programme of exchange visits, with visits to Scotland and the Odenwald occurring in alternate years.

1998 following the most recent Scottish Local Government Reorganisation, Falkirk Council decided to maintain the twinning partnership with the Odenwaldkreis.

2008 Re-affirmation of Falkirk Council Twinning with the Odenwaldkreis.  Signatories Provost Pat Reid and Landrat Horst Schnur.

2008 Visit to Odenwald to celebrate 30 anniversary of the Schottland Vereinigung

2008 July the 10th anniversary of the Falkirk/Odenwald link was celebrated in Falkirk.

2009  the Odenwald hosted the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the original twinning agreement of 1969 between Kreis Erbach and Stirling County Council.

2015 Odenwald Association celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Interested in joining either twinning association – or both – or finding out more? Please get in touch with us.

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