Dartford - Hanau and Gravelines twinning
What is Twinning?
Town Twinning is a way of creating ties and friendships between towns of different countries, thereby promoting better understanding between its people. This is achieved by family exchanges and cultural links between schools and sports groups.
The old part of Hanau received its city rights in 1303. New Hanau was founded in 1597 by refugees settled down from Wallonie and Netherland. Both Hanau parts joined together to one City of Hanau at the beginning of the 19th century.
In the Hanau crest, which was designed 1905 by professor Hildebrandt / Berlin, we find signs from both parts of Hanau: the old town is symbolized by an mounting lion, the new part by three golden and red sparrs.
The Hanau colours are red and gold. On the top you find the swan, which has its origin in a former old crest of the dukes of Hanau.
History of Link
Last year Dartford and Hanau celebrated their 40th anniversary by visiting each other's towns. Hanau was Dartford's first Twin Town going back some 41 years and the link is maintained almost entirely by the Dartford Town Twinning Association. Consideration was given to linking the Chambers of Commerce and to look at common issues on economic development particularly bearing in mind Hanau's location relative to Frankfurt which closely mirrors Dartford's relationship with London. This has not led to any joint project proposals.
Gravelines' history dates from as early as 1160 when the Earl of Flanders ordered the fortifications to be built. The walls have survived many conquests and remain the pride of the town today and be visited on foot.
The Arsenal is now home to the Drawings and Engravings Museum, which is the only Museum of its kind in France, and has works by many famous Artists.
The charter between Dartford and Gravelines was signed in Gravelines on the 22 September 1991 by The Mayor, Councillor Tony Gillham, on behalf of Dartford Borough Council and Councillor A. May on behalf of the Dartford and District Twinning Association together with The Mayor of Gravelines, Monsieur A. Denvers and Monsieur C. Marquis, Chairman of their Jumelage (which is Gravelines' equivalent to Dartford's Twinning Association).
Members viewed the link as important, and recognised that the Twinning Association and other community organisations, such as sports clubs, have traditionally taken the lead in maintaining it. Members considered that it should continue as a 'community' and 'friendship link', with civic involvement where appropriate.
Officers of the Twinning Association
For details of the officers of the Dartford & District Twinning Association please see their webpage.