This section is devoted to articles, reports, jokes and anecdotes which give a humorous look at Twinning.
The Chinese authorities ban strippers from funerals
Striptease acts have been popular at funerals in Donghai County as a way of boosting the number of mourners and bringing honour and luck to the deceased but the Chinese authorities have now banned this form of "entertainment"..
read the full story here
When the village of Nottington had a set of 5 speed humps installed, the local motorists soon started complaining of damage to their car suspensions and journey delays..
Six months after the installation of the humps the inhabitants woke up to find a sign claiming that the village was "Twinned with the Himalayas". The sign was professionallly made and matched the official village sign. The identity of the perpetrator has yet to be revealed but the local authority has stated that they had no intention of removing the sign. They also said the speed humps would also remain.
Mr Potato Head
In 2001 the council of Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island, USA decided to present their English twin, Amber Valley, Derbyshire with a £6000 public gift, which was unveiled in public by officals of both communities.
Unfortunately, the British had not realised that the gift was a 7 foot tall fibleglass replica of Mr. Potato Head. This had been chosen because the Blackstone Valley was the home of Hasbro Inc. the manufacturers of the popular childrens toy.
The locals disliked it so much they formed a "spud u don't like group2" and pressured the council to have it removed, The figure was moved around the district for a while endng up at a school where it was quite badly disfigured.
Eventually it was passed to an American Theme Park near Ilkeston. There was obviously a bit of a furore about this lack of appreciation for a while especially by the benefactors, but the resulting publicity caused the Mayor of Belper Town Council to announce that although the story of this twinning gjift had been blown up out of all proportion by the worlds press, it had had the benefit of publicising the town of Belper around the world and put the town on the world map.
Imaginative Twinning Link
People will grab almost any situation to suggest or hint at an official twinning link, take for example the situation in Seaton Carew where a canoist went missing for eight years before reappearing, once the news hit the national newspapers and television a joker decided to claim a twinning link with Panama.
Read the full story here
However, there is a sequel to this, when the authorities tried to remove the sign they could not find it which prompted the jokers to admit their part in the situation and put out a public appeal for its return.
Read the sequel here
Whitwell Rutland twinned with Paris France (or David & Goliath)
After a few drinks in the pub one night someone jokingly suggested "wouldn't it be fun if we could get Whitwell (population 41) twinned with a major European City such as Paris (population 12,000,000).
In most places this sort of remark would have been forgotten the next morning, however, the people of Whitwell decided to pursue the idea and Sam Healey the Landlord of the Noel Arms wrote to the then mayor of Paris (one Jaques Chirac) suggesting the idea. Msr Chirac wrote back diplomatically suggesting that he thought he could only twin Paris with a similar Capital city.
However, that was not the end of the story, the self formed Twinning Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sam Healey, decided to try again and wrote once more asking for a positive response in a few weeks time, failing a refusal they would consider the link a fait accompli, so after a few weeks and no refusal from Msr. Chirac they decided to announce the "Twinning" and held a celebration in a marquee with can can dancers (shipped in from Melton Mowbray) and Morris Men and liberal quantities of French wine and English ale
Apparently the recollections of the event were somewhat hazy the next morning, (in fact Sam Healey woke up that morning in the coal shed) but no matter, to the inhabitants of Whitwell they had achieved a twinning with Paris and erected signs at the village entrance to inform all passing motorists and visitors to the area that they were twinned.
At the time of the "Twinning" Whitwell was in Leicestershire, but once the district had become Rutland the County Council removed the old wooden twining signs and replaced them with offical county metal signs.