Bridgend Bridge

Town Twinning

Town Twinning

Bridgend has Town Twinning links with Langenau in Southern Germany and Villenave d’Ornon in Aquitaine and a Friendship Link with Hechtel Eksel in Belgium.

Chair: Adrian Kendal

Bridgend – Villenave d’Ornon (South West France).

Villenave Coat Of ArmsBridgend has been twinned with Villenave d’Ornon since February 1994.  Villenave d’Ornon is a small town on the outskirts of Bordeaux in the South West of France, and is very proud of its close relationship with Bridgend, perhaps helped by the fact that it is one of the strong rugby areas of France. The area surrounding Villenave d’Ornon is famous worldwide for its wine production. Oysters and duck dishes are a speciality of the region and the climate is excellent. Close to the town are the largest sand dunes in Europe and the Dordogne is within driving distance. Since we became partners, there have been a number of exchanges involving both school pupils and adult learners. The Bridgend Tablernacle Choir has also sung there.
 2014 saw the twentieth Anniversary of twinning links between Bridgend Town Council and Villenave d'Ornon. To celebrate this occasion Bridgend Town Council  hosted a visit of delegates and a choir from Villenave in June that year.

Bridgend - Langenau (South Germany).

Langenau Coat Of ArmsThe partnership was formed in April 1971. Exchange visits have been mainly annually. Hosting is in private homes, in both towns. Permanent friendships have  been made between all age groups, including marriages.

Langenau is a small town in the beautiful rural area of the rolling Swabian hills, 10 miles from the city of Ulm, South Germany. The regional airport is at Stuttgart, which is the state capital of Baden-Wurttemberg. Our hosts live within easy reach of Munich, the Black Forest, Austria and Switzerland. The climate is cold in winter, with hot summers and very little Spring and Autumn.

 

Bridgend – Hechtel-Eksel (Belgium)

Hechtel Eksel Coat Of ArmsIn September 2014 a “Hand of Friendship” Town-Twinning Charter was signed between Bridgend and Hechtel-Eksel.

Hechtel-Eksel
Hechtel-Eksel is a municipality in Limburg and is situated in the North East of Belgium, near the Dutch and German border. The municipality has more than 12,000 inhabitants and was formed in 1977 from the fusion of the villages of Hechtel and Eksel; due to the absence of industry, Hechtel-Eksel, is a typical residential community

World War 2 
Hechtel-Eksel  displays many memories of the 1939-1945 war years;  for example,  a Sherman tank is proudly displayed in the town as a war memorial to the Battle of Hechtel (September 1944). Every September the Battle of Hechtel is remembered and this commemoration is always attended by a large number of members of the Welsh Guards Association.

The Surrounding Countryside
Hechtel-Eksel  is set in beautiful countryside, with a varied landscape of high sand dunes, deciduous forests and coniferous forests. The dunes in Hechtel are unique of their kind in Flanders and even within Europe are rare. In the surrounding forests you will find different tree varieties especially birch, pine and oak;  Hechtel-Eksel has the biggest forest surface in Flanders.

The Teutens
In Hechtel-Eksel  you will find several Teuten houses. The Teutens were itinerant merchants and artisans, and were a typical phenomenon for North-Limburg and had a determining influence on the prosperity of the entire region. The poor sandy soils prompted them to seek an alternative income and so they left their homes with their merchandise to trade with Luxembourg, France, Netherlands and Germany; some travelled as far as Denmark. On average they were away from home for nine months of the year. Hechtel-Eksel  has some good examples of Teuten houses. In 1845 there were 35 Teuten  in Eksel and 7 Teuten in Hechtel. They lived in long gable farm houses, and later in houses that had influences of urban architecture. A characteristic of the Teuten houses in Eksel is the brass ring at the door.

Further information can be found on the Bridgend Town Twinning website: www.bridgendtowntwinning.co.uk