Twinning is a long lasting relationship, based on friendship between two or more towns in different countries.
Street has been twinned with Notre Dame de Gravenchon in northern France since 1967 and Isny im Allgäu in southern Germany since 1994. Our organisation exists to promote exchange visits for families, couples and individuals. It is intended that our visits to both France and Germany will be timed to coincide with our school holidays (half term etc.) and that their visits will coincide with their holidays.
Members of Street Twinning alternate visits to and from these towns each year. As visitors, we stay with members of their twinning associations; as hosts, we welcome them into our own homes. Some members choose to twin with only one of these towns; whereas others are twinned with families from both. Some of us have been friends with our counterparts from Gravenchon and/or Isny for over 20 years.
Travelling to Gravenchon and Isny
Usually we travel by coach and ferry to Gravenchon and by plane and coach to Isny. We pay for our own fares, but that is almost the only cost when we are visiting our twinning friends.
When we arrive there is usually a reception with refreshments or a light buffet and drinks. Then during our stay we are taken on an organised coach trip to a town or attraction. In 2018 it was Paris and in 2017 it was Rottenburg in Germany.
There is usually a very informal dinner/dance.
These events are paid for by the host town council, the local twinning association and sometimes our hosts.
Whichever town we visit, we are always sure of a warm welcome by our hospitable hosts, who are pleased to take us out and about to see the sights in their towns and surrounding areas.
You don't have to be able to speak French or German as our friends usually speak at least some English. But if not, there is always sign language and/or "Franglais" which can also be quite amusing or even Google Translate.
Hosting visitors from Gravenchon and Isny
In recent years there has been an organised event or a reception hosted by Street Parish Council for our guests. We (the Twinning Association) usually organise a dinner/dance, beetle drive or other evening entertainment for everyone. There will be a coach trip to a place of interest and other group activities. In between organised events, hosts entertain their visitors in whatever way they choose. Most will go to Clarks' Village at least once. Some will visit tourist attractions in Glastonbury, Wells and the surrounding area.
Don't worry about the size of your house when hosting our visiting friends. They won't expect a 5 star hotel. In fact camp beds and sofa beds are quite usual and part of the fun.
What do we get out of Twinning?
For around four days every other year we have the enjoyment of staying with French or German families. During this time, we are wined, dined and entertained as well as experiencing different culture and lifestyle. In the intervening years our guests are able to experience our culture and lifestyle whilst we entertain them and show them the sights of the West Country. It is also a chance to make new friends from Street and the surrounding areas whilst you travel abroad together and go to organised events both abroad and in England.
We are an active organisation within our community and can regularly be found at the Merriman Park Fun Day, Street Christmas Cracker and Street Market. We have funded barbecues at local Primary Schools when they have been hosts to school children from Gravenchon. In the past we have contributed a grant to Street Football Club when they organised exchange visits to Gravenchon for their youth team.
Financing our activities
We organise various fund raising events each year and we receive a grant from Street Parish Council towards the costs of our twinning activities. We have organised events such as barbecues, barn dances, cheese and wine parties and themed social evenings. We raise money with our "Water or Wine ?" stall at local events and also hold a monthly cash lottery.
What does it cost our members?
- Adults are asked to pay a membership fee of £12 per year (children under 18 are free).
- Coach and ferry travel to Gravenchon. In 2018 the cost was £125 per adult and £60 for children.
- Coach and air fare to Isny. In 2017 the cost for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children under the age of 15) was roughly £340 all inclusive.
- Costs of hosting and entertaining visitors, transporting them to events etc.
- Host families pay for themselves when attending organised events, dinners or excursions in this country. In recent years this has roughly cost a family of four £100. Places we have visited include Longleat Safari Park and the SS Great Britain. Our guests, at such events are paid for by the Twinning Association.
- Any gifts that you may choose to give your host family when you visit them.
- It is hoped that members will support at least some of our fund raising activities.
If you are considering joining our association or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Our Facebook Page "Street Twinning Association" where you can see lots of photos of the excursions and events from both here and abroad.