Newbury Twin Towns

Newbury Twin Town Association

History of the Newbury Twin Town Association

The Newbury Braunfels link has its origins in a visit to Newbury of a German local government delegation in 1953 organised by the British Foreign Office. The delegation spent a fortnight in Newbury studying British local government. Amongst the visitors was a young man called Heinz Hermans, a municipal employee from Duisberg, who had come to study Newbury’s traffic problems. They were greeted by the Town Mayor, Councillor Douglas F Cameron, and the Chairman of the Civic Committee, Alderman R. J. Huckle.[1]

Heinz Hermans subsequently returned to Newbury to renew the acquaintances he had made during the official visit. In 1958 Heinz Hermans became the Bürgermeister of Braunfels. In 1959 Braunfels linked with Bagnols-sur-Ceze.

In 1961 the Newbury Town Council was approached by two towns looking to form a twinning link. One was Braunfels and the other was St Claude in the South East of France. The matter was discussed by the General Purposes Committee which recommended Braunfels. The matter went to full council in October and, although some councillors wanted a French twin, the fact that Braunfels had expressed a spontaneous desire to form a link won the day.[2,3]

In June 1962 a small delegation from Braunfels, including Heinz Hermans, visited Newbury to discuss preparations for the formal link.[4]

At the end of August 1963 Newbury hosted the first part of the twinning ceremony. Alderman R. J. Huckle was the Chairman of the General Purposes committee and the sub-committee which had planned the arrangements for the ceremony. In November the Newbury-Braunfels committee was formed by the council with R. J. Huckle as its Chairman.[5]

In May 1964 a delegation of council officials went to Braunfels for the reciprocal twining ceremony. The party included R. J. Huckle, Frank Graham and  Gunther Schran. [6]

By October it had been decided to form a twining association. On the 3rd December 1964 the Newbury Braunfels Association was formed and the Newbury Braunfels committee dissolved. A young Gunter Jakob was present at the meeting. The first Chairman of the association was R. J. Huckle. [7]

[1] Newbury Weekly News 12th February 1953
[2] Newbury Weekly News 21st September 1961
[3] Newbury Weekly News 12th October 1961
[4] Newbury Weekly News 28th June 1962
[5] Newbury Weekly News 5th September 1963
[6] Newbury Weekly News 21st May 1964
[7] Minutes of the Newbury Braunfels Association 3rd December 1964