Hinckley's link with Herford in Germany

Town Twinning Association

Coat of arms of Herford

The seeds for the Hinckley and District Twinning Association were sown in the 1950s by Mr Ron Nightingale a teacher at the Cedars, Barwell and Heathfield School and Herr Worfgang Tschauner, Wiesestrasse Realchule. This led to the former Hinckley Urban District Council establishing an official link with Herford in the 1960s. Hinckley and Herford formalised the partnership by exchanging charters in 1972 when the first family exchanges took place.

The aims of the Association are to foster links with Herford through social, sporting, educational, industrial and cultural activities. Its overall objective is to engender a spirit of friendship and understanding, with exchange visits taking place each year.

Herford in Germany

With records going back to the 8th Century Herford is one of the oldest towns in Westphalia. In the Middle Ages it became a member of the Hansiatic League of important Merchant towns in Northern Germany to increase trade and defend each other when under attack. Herford became an affluent town from its trade in flax and linen. In 1669 the Hanse became redundant but in 1983 was re-established.

The town of Herford in Germany
Hinckley's link with Herford in Germany

British Military Connections

Herford is the location of the 1st Armoured Division and the HQ of British Forces Germany. In 1972 the 7th Signal Regiment was given the freedom of Herford in recognition of the close ties between the Regiment and the town.

Currently 870 soldiers and families alongside civil staff are based in the town.

Herford is also the home of the British Forces Broadcasting Services in Germany.

In the words of Eva Schmidt in 1977

“Als Reiseziel hätten die Touristen die Stadt Hinckley vielleicht nicht bevorzugt aber, wie die Herforder Freunde, wer sich in Hinckley zu Hause fühlt befindet sich ganz im Nabel Englands”.

“Tourists might not choose to visit Hinckley, but like our friends from Herford, those who feel at home here find themselves in the very Heart of England”.

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