Remscheid – Day of Associations 2023

Councillors Alison Sutherland (Mayor), Fiona Rowley (Deputy Mayor) and the Town Clerk, Elaine Brown recently visited Remscheid in Germany after being invited to an event hosted by the Ober Burgermeister (Lord Mayor) of the Twin Town.

The links between Ashington, Newbiggin by the Sea and the City of Remscheid is one of the longest Town Twinning arrangements, commencing in 1952 to contribute to the reconciliation and friendship of the two nations post World War II.

The friendship was demonstrated in December 1984 when the people of Remscheid donated £2734 towards the Miners Hardship Fund which was used to buy food vouchers to help families in the Wansbeck Area. Many exchange visits have taken place over the years, Alison recalls as a young teenager in the 1980’s taking part on a school exchange trip to Remscheid – in fact a corridor on the Town Hall in Remscheid is dedicated to our area of Northumberland and is adorned with images of the Ashington and Newbiggin area.  Perhaps you recognise some faces from the photo of an exchange trip from 2012?

The works of reconciliation and friendships remain through the Ashington and Newbiggin Twinning Association and following the dissolving of the former Wansbeck District Council and the creation of new Town Councils in Ashington and Newbiggin by the Sea, a new partnership agreement was reaffirmed by both town councils in 2015.


The Day of Associations is an event held in Remscheid and it was special because it was the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic that our towns have had opportunity to come together. Remscheid is also twinned with 8 other towns and we had the pleasure of meeting also with dignitaries from Ashington, Pirna, Schmalkalden, and Kırşehir.


In a packed Town Hall of Stadt Remscheid on Sunday 3rd September we proudly watched our Mayor, Alison Sutherland,  deliver a speech on behalf of the Town Council and the people of Newbiggin by the Sea, acknowledging the importance of the twinning partnership in continuing to provide alternative ways to engage and collaborate, and offer opportunities for learning, connecting, supporting and sharing in solidarity, now and for future generations.  The speech was translated into German.

Deputy Mayor, Fiona Rowlely, and the Town Clerk also accompanied the Ober Burgermeister and other dignitaries in the official opening of a new fountain in the Town Centre.


Over the course of the weekend we were given the opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions of the City of Remscheid, visiting the landmarks and meeting the people of the town.


The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk all went on a tour of the current projects the administration of Remscheid is working on – including the restoration of a War Memorial and the refurbishment of a park.  Similar projects are being looked at in Newbiggin as we are due to commemorate the Centenary of Memorial Park in 2024.


We were interested to learn that in response to Climate Change, Remscheid plant a tree sapling for every child born in Remscheid in a project called twin trees. Honouring our Twin Town and our pledge to offset carbon omissions, Newbiggin Town Council will be considering joining in this sentiment to mark every child born in our parish.


Cllr Sutherland said ‘It was an honour to represent our community at the recent twinning event . We have rekindled the foundations of a great partnership going forwards, with opportunities across the ages to become involved‘.

Cllr Rowley added ‘It was a very busy and productive  weekend and on a council and personal level I have learned of  many new and interesting projects I would hope we can replicate in Newbiggin by the Sea. We were hosted incredibly well by Remscheid, something I would hope  Newbiggin can reciprocate at some stage‘.


If you are interested in joining the Ashington and Newbiggin Town Twinning Association or learning more about the partnership please contact Mr Bill Gale on tel; 07706 820 099 or email;


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