Attending the Annual General Meeting of the Cromer Twinning Association at the Cromer Bowls Club was an enjoyable experience. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic-related restrictions and upheavals, the evening presented an excellent opportunity to reflect on the progress made over the past year.
Despite the obstacles, the resilience of teamwork and the unwavering dedication to the association’s mission was palpable throughout the evening. The collaborative efforts of the association’s members have undoubtedly contributed to the continued prosperity of the organization.
The evening commenced on a cheerful note, with a steaming cup of tea to dispel the night’s chill. Our esteemed President, Jilly Boockock, opened the proceedings by providing a detailed summary of the past year’s activities, emphasizing the many accomplishments and successes of the Society.
Annual Cromer Twinning Report by Chair Jilly Boocock
After a few quiet years due to the pandemic, I am pleased to report we have had a good year meeting up with our Twinning friends.
We invited friends from Crest and were delighted that five came to join us and Nidda for a private visit for the Queens Jubilee weekend. We heard nothing from Nidda.
They loved the events, and on my part with two who were staying here, we managed to do the town things plus watch the big things on TV, have good food and lots of wine, plus hot drinks to fend off the chill! My scarf and glove box were raided on many occasions for trips out.
The last day was finished off with Lunch for all at The White Horse, my two kindly treated me which was very kind. Due to the chill, there was a tendency here to come in in the evenings, to have a hot shower and sit in PJs watching the day’s events around the fire.
Our only hiccup was three needing a PCR to return to France, thankfully Norwich Airport came up trumps, and all tested negative.
At the Thanksgiving service at the Church, they were particularly touched to be mentioned as being here by Mayor Pat West.
I went down to collect them from Luton Airport thanks to First Choice taxis who were superb, and First Choice returned them on their own with a 5.30 am start from here.
Two weeks later after a rocky start of our outward flight being cancelled, and rearranging down, we set off for Gatwick, again courtesy of First Choice, taking a very scenic route due to road works.
We arrived with the temperature at 36C, which turned out to be a warning of what our few days may be like, it got up to 41C.
We had a lovely morning at the market, where foodie things were exchanged by the visiting towns, the market is magic on Saturdays., A tour of Crest, finishing up for some of us with President Laurence taking us to a lovely restaurant in town for lunch sitting in the much-appreciated shade.
Two evening events were organized. The first was a musical informal evening in the sports hall, which was great fun, the second was the formal evening, in a stiflingly hot hall with no aircon, gifts exchanged, speeches were done and a display of French dancing. A great deal of effort was put into it, with good food and wine, local cheeses and wines. The extreme heat caused the table flowers to wilt, rather like ourselves. It was 36C when we left at 11 pm.
A guided Tour of the Tower and a visit to the Fire Station were on offer for those who wished to go.
We returned exhausted, loaded with lovely gifts and having had a wonderful time receiving great hospitality and friendship, so good to see them again. We managed to avoid Covid but were informed a week later, that 12 from Nidda had tested positive on their return home.
Thank you to Stuart for organizing our travel arrangements.
In July a summer BBQ was held for committee members in the garden which was enjoyed by all.
A wreath was laid at the Annual Remembrance service in November at Cromer Church on behalf of the Association.
A Christmas Tree was set up in the Church for the annual festival and decorated with French and German sweets, plus some decorations from the Italian schools and Christmas greetings in French and German. Information about the twinning and a photo book was on display. Members also attended the Civic Carol Service.
Committee members met for a Christmas Lunch at the White Horse in December.
I have had regular Zoom meetings with the twinned towns, but it looks like the proposed visit to Nidda is not going ahead, they are not functioning well at present, so we work towards our hosting the next year 2024. We will need hosts so please think of people who would like to join us for a few days of fun and friendship.
We hope to have one or two social events this year, please think of people who might like to join us.
Chair of Cromer Twinning Association
Cromer Mayor, Pat West: Other highlights
Annual General Meeting
It was a pleasure to have the mayor of Cromer, Pat West present at the AGM. Pat underlined how important it was to keep the association going for strong overseas relationships with our twinning towns. He also highlighted the many events that involved our twined visitors during the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
The anniversary celebrations kicked off with a four-day festival that brought Cromer to life with a bunch of exciting events. Local dignitaries made announcements that echoed across the streets as torches lit up the night sky. And to keep the festive mood going, live music performances added to the overall ambience. It was definitely a great time for our visitors and townsfolk alike.
Our members had some great discussions and shared their thoughts on how we can keep the twinning spirit alive. We talked about ways to preserve the memories of twinning experiences from the past, through stories and pictures.
It’s really important to us that we pass on the true meaning of twinning to future generations, and we believe that sharing our past achievements is key to making sure it continues to thrive.
That’s why we’ve created this website as a new platform to share Cromer Twinning news, both old and new.
Mr West added, “We also acknowledged that we’re facing some tough times ahead, so we need to work together more than ever before.”
Our brilliant treasurer, David Stevens, gave us an update on our finances and confirmed that we’re in good shape for the immediate future. But we need to keep up our voluntary efforts to ensure that we can continue to do the great work that we do.
Looking back at activities with the secretary, Angela Wrighton
A Group representing Cromer recently attended a European Twinning weekend held in Crest (Drome), France. Other participants included those from Nidda in Germany, Dobre, in Poland, Ponte san Nicolo in Italy and Slovenia.
Our hosts organised a full programme of events which provided a very enjoyable weekend. This included a guided tour of Crest in different language groups, a visit to the local fire station and an opportunity to attend Church services, and a morning inviting passers-by to sample food and drink from different countries during a very popular Saturday morning street market.
Amidst a sea of vibrant colours, the flags displaying the coat of arms, of Nidda, Crest, and Cromer, hang proudly. A testament to our shared bonds and the power of community.
Participants also met together to discuss the future of Twinning and to plan the development of further links between towns. One of our group was specially invited to take part in the annual remembrance act of June 18th as a British representative.
There were two evenings where all participants got together to share a meal and entertain, with further speeches and an exchange of gifts between the different nationalities. The Cromer Town Council sent gifts of ceramic poppies to both Crest and Nidda, and the twinning committee commissioned Artyfax to design a canvas to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Cromer – Crest Twinning in 2020.
Host families also provided meals and entertainment in the way of local visits and activities. The weather was exceptionally hot but that did not distract from the overall enjoyment of the time together and the opportunity to build new relationships or revisit old friendships.
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”