Anniversary 2022

Gifts Epping Anniversary 2022
Formal exchange of gifts between the respective mayors and twin-town representatives

An international celebration takes a lot of planning – and marking the 40th anniversary of our twinning was no exception. Where should it take place, and when? Covid had not helped matters.

We decided that the only way was to celebrate in both countries: 2022 in Epping, and 2023 in Eppingen. On both occasions the town councils and the twinning associations pulled out all the stops, and the result was two magnificent events.

Here we take a look at the 2022 celebrations in Epping.

Im On Friday 28 October 2022, a large group of town twinners flew from Eppingen to Epping to take part in our joint 40th anniversary celebrations there. The German guests were greeted in the ‘Community Garden’ in Epping High Street by Victoria Robinson. This garden had been created by Victoria and her team of helpers, and the flowers looked particularly attractive in the autumn sunshine.

Snacks were served, including some creative pumpkin specialities. Late that evening an official delegation – including mayor Klaus Holaschke and members of Eppingen Council – arrived in Epping after a 16-hour bus journey.

The formal celebratory event took place at 10.30 the following morning in Epping Town Council’s function room at Epping Hall. Guests were greeted by Humphrey Wheeler, the long-standing president of the Epping twinning association. Musical entertainment was provided by the Epping Forest Band.

The current mayor of Epping, Barbara Scruton, then spoke about the town’s long history, and the advantages and disadvantages of a location so close to London.

Urkunde ÜberreichungKlaus Holaschke, the Mayor of Eppingen, chose as his theme the goals of mutual understanding and tolerance, achieved in this case through friendships between people from different European countries. Our partnership served as a role model for communication, trust and cultural exchange between our countries as a whole. The strength of these links was evident in this anniversary celebration. He then presented his opposite number in Epping with a document commemorating the 40th anniversary of the town twinning.

An overview of the partnership’s history was then given by Jim Heath, the current chair of the Epping committee. From its beginning in 1981 until today the twinning had featured a variety of exchanges, including informal language courses in each country. Other voluntary organisations, and the brass bands of both towns, had all played their part. And we could be confident that the partnership, rooted in so many personal friendships, would continue to flourish long into the future.

Torte AnschnittHeike Lachowitzer, chair of the Eppingen association, thanked the many supporters of the partnership and mentioned more of the numerous mutual activities. These included visits by Epping twinners to the Eppingen ‘Altstadtfest’ (Old Town Festival), and that town’s recent Garden Festival. It had even been possible to maintain contact during the pandemic, even if only via Zoom meetings.
The final speech was a greeting from local MP Dame Eleanor Laing. There were then rousing renditions of both national anthems, accompanied by the Epping Forest Band. In the evening, the celebrations were rounded off with a formal dinner.

The following day, Sunday, an excursion to Maldon was on offer. This is a historic Essex town on the River Blackwater, close to where it enters the North Sea. It was here that over 1,000 years ago the invading Vikings defeated an Anglo-Saxon army. After a guided tour of some noteworthy buildings, the group enjoyed a meal in a restaurant by the harbour.

There was time on Monday morning for the German visitors to explore Epping’s weekly market. Then it was a pub lunch before the group travelled back to Stansted Airport by bus.

A special anniversary cake was baked, featuring both national flags.
Epping Forest Band 2022
Epping Forest Band accompanied a rousing rendition of both national anthems.
Fond farewells at a pub lunch before the transfer to Stansted airport.