Bristol, Hannover & Bordeaux 70th Twinning Anniversary 2017


Following the aftermath of the Second World War, Bristol citizens reached out in friendship to cities in Europe devastated by the conflict. In 1947 this resulted in two of the first ever formal, twinning relationships in the UK. Hannover and Bordeaux entered into twinning agreements with Bristol within months of each other, and these have lasted to the present day. Focusing on practical support in the early years – sending clothing, food, etc – these relationships have developed into cultural, economic, sporting and educational exchanges. All three cities benefit from the strong links forged nearly 70 years ago, with many schools, associations, sports clubs, musicians, researchers and businesses visiting each other’s cities every year. Many of the visitors are hosted by local families, getting to know the local customs, language and culture, resulting in lasting friendships.

Therefore, 2017 is an important anniversary year. Celebrating the success of the past 70 years, it will give impetus for future exchanges and collaborations with our sister cities. Bristol will host a wide variety of events to deepen and strengthen its relationships with Hannover and Bordeaux, covering all aspects of the vibrant life of the three cities.  Many will host young people, citizens and dignitaries.  Bristol will also send young people, orchestras, clubs and civic dignitaries to events held in Hannover and Bordeaux during the year. A truly ambitious (and diverse), programme is planned.


Aims and Objectives

Bristol-Hannover/Bordeaux2017 will support the objectives of the twinning associations. We will enhance these and broaden our relationships into areas that are of importance to today’s generation. This will include trade and commerce, the green agenda (and climate change), European citizenship and international understanding among all peoples.

The 70th Anniversary programme of activities will achieve this by celebrating the historical links between our cities and provide events, and joint projects, in arts, business, environment, science, sports and education. The year will be a springboard for further collaboration, exchange and trade. It will improve connections between cities, strengthening relationships for beneficial cooperation between the city leadership groups. The high-quality, exciting and engaging programme will involve many citizens from all three cities and stimulate cooperative activities between organisations.

During the year, the 70th Anniversary celebrations will engage thousands of Bristol citizens, along with visitors from Hannover and Bordeaux. Bristolians will become aware of the close relationships we have and why this is. The year will encourage schools to arrange exchange visits that will enrich the lives of the young people from our city. A number of joint projects will be initiated involving businesses, higher education establishments, Bristol Zoo, environment groups and Bristol City Council.  The legacy of the year will be a lasting increase in cultural exchange, trade, cooperation and understanding.