Barnsley welcomes twin town officials to celebrate 50th anniversary

Back in June 2021, we commemorated the official 50th anniversary of Barnsley’s official twinning partnership with Germany’s Schwabisch Gmund. Sadly, due to the pandemic, we were unable to celebrate the way we had hoped, so celebrations were put on hold until we could acknowledge this momentous milestone with the celebration it deserved.  

We’re delighted to announce that the time has finally arrived, and we are excitedly preparing for the arrival of representatives from our twin town to Barnsley, on Friday 27 May, which will kick start a weekend of celebrations.  

Our visitors from Schwabisch Gmund will enjoy a visit to Elsecar Heritage Centre, followed by the opportunity to enjoy a whole host of activities and entertainment taking place in the town centre’s Glass Work’s Square, as part of Twisted: Barnsley’s festival of natural art, which launches on Saturday 28 May. 

Activities include storytelling, music and dance performances, willow weaving, puppet theatre shows and silk kite walkabout puppets. They will also have the chance to take part in our fabulous Fantastical Beasts trail featuring six new willow beasts. 

We will also be hosting a civic dinner where our town twinning agreement, originally signed back in June 1971, will be reaffirmed with an updated agreement signed by both parties. This poignant moment will acknowledge the special friendship that has continued to flourish and strengthen between our two communities over the last fifty years. It will reflect the ongoing support we have given each other through difficult times and highlight our commitment to continue strengthening this partnership as we head into the next 50 years. 

In preparation for these celebrations, current mayor, Caroline Makinson and her consort, Barry Makinson, visited Schwabisch Gmund last month where she signed the official Golden Book, which is the equivalent to Barnsley’s visitor book.  

The mayor, Caroline Makinson, said: “As I approach the end of my term as the Mayor of Barnsley, it was an absolute honour and privilege to visit our twin town ahead of the 50th anniversary celebrations.  

“It was a real highlight of my time as mayor to be part of these celebrations and to sign their Golden Book alongside City Oberburgermeister, Mayor Arnold and members of the Schwabisch Gmund Twin Town Society.  

“50 years of friendship is a remarkable achievement and I’m so pleased we’re finally able to come together to celebrate. Here’s to the next 50 years!" 

Find out more about town twinning on our website.  

Find out what’s happening in the town centre through May and June on our events page. 

Photo: The mayor, Cllr Makinson signing the official Golden Book alongside the City Oberburgermeister, Mayor Arnold and members of the Schwabisch Gmund Twin Town Society.

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