Town twinning anniversary programme Beatles songs for everyone will soon be ringing out over Königswinter

Königswinter · From gin to history: around 30 events in Königswinter are dedicated to British literature, music, cuisine, games and history. The occasion is the 50th anniversary of the town twinning with the English town of Cleethorpes. Amidst the festivities, there is also a note of reflection.

Königswinter's mayor Lutz Wagner (from left), Ruth Kirchheim from the Königswinter twinning association, the director of the Siebengebirgsmuseum Sigrid Lange and Ursula Gilbert from the city's culture department with one of the banners for the anniversary of the town twinning with Cleethorpes (Northeast Lincolnshire).

Königswinter's mayor Lutz Wagner (from left), Ruth Kirchheim from the Königswinter twinning association, the director of the Siebengebirgsmuseum Sigrid Lange and Ursula Gilbert from the city's culture department with one of the banners for the anniversary of the town twinning with Cleethorpes (Northeast Lincolnshire).

Foto: GA/Lydia Schauff

Book and music lovers, gin connoisseurs, tea drinkers, Beatles fans, armchair sleuths, language and history buffs, mystery aficionados and dedicated board game players alike are in for a treat with the festive line-up celebrating the 50th anniversary of Königswinter's town twinning with Cleethorpes. Over the past year, the city's culture department has meticulously curated a program infused with a distinctly British flair to honour this special bond.

There are already nearly 30 events planned. But Ursula Gilbert, the mastermind behind the planning, says the programme is continuing to evolve. Highlights include a pub quiz, facilitated by the adult education centre, connecting quizzers from Königswinter and Cleethorpes. Additionally, attendees can test their knowledge at the "Quizpub" event on November 10th at Alter Zoll, complete with British beer. Gaming enthusiasts can also indulge in an evening dedicated to modern board games at Mosaik in Oberpleis on June 21st.

An evening of Beatles songs: singing along is encouraged

The Study Centre for Celtic Languages and Cultures at the Kunstforum Palastweiher offers the opportunity to "get a taste" of three languages that are still spoken in the British Isles today: Irish Gaelic (9 November), Scottish Gaelic (6 November) and Cymraeg/Welsh (16 November). Pop music lovers can immerse themselves in the sounds of the Beatles at a sing-along concert at the former Sea Life venue on Rheinallee 8 on October 24th, hosted by Jean Lennox, a Manchester native residing in Bonn, and Matthew Sonnicksen from Chicago,

Meanwhile, fans of mystery can join "Miss Marple for tea" on September 7th at Haus Bachem, where tales of the iconic sleuth will accompany afternoon tea. Delving into British culture, history, and tastes, events include a lecture and tasting exploring the history of tea drinking in Great Britain on October 12th and 26th at Alter Zoll, and a gin tasting experience at Finca in Oberpleis on June 21st.

The cultural immersion extends to literature with readings from John Murray's seminal British travel guide to Germany at the Siebengebirgsmuseum on 6 June. The Bruchhausen Reader's Theatre will also be coming to the museum on 15 November with Oscar Wilde's "Bunbury or Being Serious is Everything".

New exhibition at the Siebengebirgsmuseum

The Siebengebirgsmuseum will unveil a new exhibition titled "Too Beautiful - The English View of the Rhine" on August 22nd, showcasing pictures, caricatures, and travel literature, with participation from a delegation from Cleethorpes.

Among the latest additions to the programme is a concert featuring Handel's fireworks music. It will be performed by the Cologne Youth Philharmonic Orchestra on August 25th at the market square and it is made possible with support from the Drachenfels railway.

"Without the many co-organisers, this would not have been possible on this scale and in this variety," says Ursula Gilbert, looking at the extensive programme.

But there is also some reflection. Ruth Kirchheim, representing the Königswinter-Cleethorpes partnership committee, says she has noted a decline in interest over the past decade. She hopes the celebrations will revive interest in the twinning partnership. This is a sentiment echoed by Mayor Lutz Wagner, and discussions are underway to address this issue, with the anniversary serving as a catalyst for change. "I think that this programme will pique interest,", said Wagner, reflecting on the fact that there were not enough participants for a trip to Northeast Lincolnshire offered by the Königswinter twinning association in September.

The comprehensive program, continually updated online, can be accessed at koenigswinter.de/50jahre, with printed copies available at various locations throughout the city. The next event on the agenda is a lecture on the bilateral discussion forum "Königswinter Conference," scheduled for Tuesday, May 28th, at the Siebengebirgsmuseum Königswinter (Kellerstr. 16).

(Original text: Lydia Schauff / Translation: Jean Lennox)