Hastings has moved to strengthen its twinning links with the historic Dutch town of Dordrecht after Ken Sharples, chairman of Hastings Twinning Association travelled to Holland to meet Dordrecht Mayor Wouter Kolff.
A Dordrecht newspaper reported: ‘Mr Sharples would like to see a group of interested citizens from Dordrecht collaborate with the Hastings committee to give a new impetus to the long-running link.’
It went on to say ‘In Hastings, maintaining contacts with the partner cities is only reserved for residents themselves. This is in contrast to Dordrecht, where the municipality coordinates international policy.
‘The link between Dordrecht and Hastings arose shortly after the Second World War, because various sports clubs from both cities organized sporting exchanges. Later, the municipal authorities also came into contact with each other and in 1982 an official bond between the two towns was realised.
‘In addition to sporting and cultural contacts, there have also been exchanges between different professions for years.
‘Mr Sharples now hopes that a voluntary committee will also be set up in Dordrecht to support visits by residents.
‘In practice, this means that during the stay you do not stay overnight in a hotel, but at home together.
‘According to Mr. Sharples one learns each other in this way but also each other’s culture well and this can form the basis for a good friendship.’