On Friday 23rd June, visitors from Bristol, Hannover and Bordeaux celebrated the 70th twinning anniversaries at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Mayors Rees of Bristol, Juppé of Bordeaux and Schostok of Hannover had spent a day at City Hall with their council delegations, discussing issues common to all three cities: Economic Development and Inclusive Growth, Clean Streets and Restorative Justice, Refugees and Integration.
In the evening they and their delegations joined over 2000 citizens of Bristol at the Zoo, with a full programme of entertainment on the stage. In their statements, all 3 mayors emphasised the importance of these city links between the citizens of Europe in these difficult times, and their enthusiasm was echoed by a lively programme of entertainment, with the Denny Ilett jazz trio, Bulipp the clown from Hannover who captivated the audience with his dance and mime, French songs from Sol band, songs from ‘the girl from Hannover’ Daisy Chapman. But the high point was probably the song and the poem which were both written specially for the anniversary. The song ‘City Bridges’ was written and composed by Jennifer Henderson and Liz Lane respectively, and sung by the Bristol Youth Choir, accompanied by Ashleigh Turley of the South-West Open Youth Orchestra, and conducted by David Ogden. The poem, The Blessed Twinning, was written and read by Bristol’s Poet Laureate, Miles Chambers.
There were animal talks, children’s activities, including some in French and German, and stalls advertising the activities of the Bristol-Hannover Council, Bristol-Bordeaux Partnership and the Alliance Française. A great time was had by all, and we look forward to the next 70 years!