Recent Events

Recent Events

20th Schmallenberg Woche 2016

At the end of August a group from Burgess Hill Town Twinning Association together with the Mid Sussex Brass Band and the Mayor of Burgess Hill travelled to Schmallenberg for the 20th Schmallenberg Woche.This year the theme of the Woche was ‘Schmallenberg mit Schirm und Charme’ (Schmallenberg with Umbrellas and Charm). The town was decorated with brightly coloured umbrellas which were very appropriate for the British visitors although the weather for the whole weekend was unusually hot.

On the Saturday morning we attended a reception at the Sparkasse, where we were warmly welcomed by Herr Halbe, the Burgermeister of Schmallenberg, and Herr Vogt, manager of the Sparkasse. In his welcome address, Herr Halbe commented that in the light of the Brexit vote, the spirit of Twinning is more important than ever. During the afternoon, members of the association served an English Cream Tea together with a fruit punch from their stall on West Strasse.

Over the course of the weekend, the Mid Sussex Brass Band performed three concerts. They played on the stage at the Schutzen Platz on Saturday afternoon. They performed outside the main church on Sunday Lunchtime where they were joined by some local folk dancers. On Sunday evening they took part in a joint concert with Oberkirchen Brass Band at the beautiful Hotel Schutte in Oberkirchen where old friendships were renewed.

2015 Visit of Oberkirchen Brass Band to Burgess Hill

Oberkirchen Brass Band visited Burgess Hill on the 15th October 2015. Members of the Band together with family and friends toured the centre of Burgess Hill during the morning before Burgess Hill Mayor, Anne Jones, welcomed the group, together with members of Burgess Hill Town Twinning Association, at a reception in the Town Council Chambers. The afternoon was spent visiting Beachy Head and Alfriston.

In the evening Mid Sussex Brass Band (MSBB) hosted a joint concert in St Johns Church. MSBB have visited Schmallenberg on a number of occasions and were delighted to renew acqaintances with the Oberkirchen Band members and welcome them to Burgess Hill. The first half of the evening consisted of a medley of Brass Band tunes, emding with the old favourite 'Sussex by the Sea', performed by the hosts MSBB. After the interval, the Oberkirchen Band entertained the audience to a selection of typical german 'Blas Musik' and folk tunes.

At the end of the evening, the Oberkirchen Band presented their hosts with a 'survival kit' for their next visit to Schmallenberg - 2 kegs of Veltins beer, a local Scmallenberg brew.

25th Anniversary Celebrations in Schmallenberg 2014

2014 marked the 25th Anniversary of Town Twinning between Burgess Hill and Schmallenberg. The special anniversary formed part of the Schmallenberg Festival Week which takes place every two years. Representatives from Burgess Hill Town Council, Burgess Hill Town Twinning Association, the Sussex Harmonisers, the Mid Sussex Brass Band as well as citizens from Burgess Hill travelled to Schmallenberg to join in with the special celebrations and to be actively involved in the Schmallenberg Festival week. On Friday night the Sussex Harmonisers Choir took part in a concert together with the Fleckenberg Sound Project. The program included a wide range of Pop, Gospels and Barbershop music.

On Saturday the 25th anniversary was celebrated at two special receptions which were attended by representatives of the town council, the town twinning association and citizens from Burgess Hill. Burgess Hill Mayor Anne Jones and Schmallenberg Bürgermeister Bernhard Halbe signed a renewal of the Twinning Charters. The Mid Sussex Brass Band performed 5 concerts throughout the Festival Week and members are already planning their next visit to Schmallenberg in 2016. This year’s theme of the Festival Week was ‘simply beautiful places’. Each stall had a pictures wall made up of 32 cartons. Further cartons were decorated by children of all ages with images that they perceived as being beautiful and these boxes provided seats along the high street for passers-by to sit on. A big thank you goes to Oakmeeds students who took part in this initiative and whose decorated boxes formed part of the Town Twinning stall in the Weststrasse.

Schmallenberg School Trip 2014

An email was received in the spring of 2014 regarding a short half day visit to “twin town Burgess Hill” by senior students at the Schmallenberg Realschule. It was hoped that a visit to a local school could be arranged but as this occurred during the examinations period it was not possible. Instead after a short visit to the Help Point and the town centre they were taken to St Johns Park where the skateboard ramps etc interested them such that they planned to make a request to the Stadt for similar facilities in Schmallenberg!

25th Anniversary Celebrations in Burgess Hill 2013

For the first time when a group of "town twinning visitors" from Schmallenberg have come to Burgess Hill they stayed in our town rather than being based in Brighton. For most of the 25 years of the twinning there was little other option as we were a town without a hotel and hotel stays had always been requested. The opening of the Premier Inn in Charles Avenue has changed that situation and happily it proved to be a successful change of venue.

Our German friends arrived in the early evening of 25th September, quickly settled into their hotel rooms, professed the hotel to be quite satisfactory (even though it seems to British eyes a world removed from the splendid hotels in the Schmallenberg area !!) and got together for a meal at the associated "local", The Acorn. They were looking forward ta series of visits, some organised by their leaders Peter Petersen and Hannelore Schmitz and others under the auspices of Burgess Hill Town Council and BHTTA.

Strictly, the visit pre-empted the 25th anniversary of the signing of the first twinning charter by some two months; it had been brought forward to the Burgess Hill Bonfire Society's procession weekend, rather than coinciding with that of Lewes when the first of the charters was signed here. Peter is of course a near expert on tours of Sussex and this time took the party to all the usual sights and sites - including Clayton Church, Jack and Jill, Brighton (incorporating a tour with a blue badge German - speaking guide to the Lanes, Laines and Pavilion)and visits to Arundel and Chichester.

Locally the visitors were entertained to a buffet lunch at the Town Council Chamber followed by visits to three companies in the Victoria Business Park, a concert in St John's Church by the Mid Sussex Brass Band, arrangements to view the Bonfire Society's procession and fireworks display and a special 25th anniversary dinner at Burgess Hill School for Girls. These events were arranged under the auspices of the town council and the association, guided mainly by the Mayor and President of BHTTA, Chris Thomas-Atkin. The procession was headed by a burning framework of the Schmallenberg coat of arms and this caused some raised eyebrows among the guests, overcome by explaining that this was the society's way of marking a special or controversial event. (It was followed immediately by a burning oil drill marking the fracking at Balcombe so the controversial topic was covered). The group then viewed the firework display from the patio area at The Woolpack.

The formal dinner was attended by some 100 town council and German guests, including Herr Bernard Halbe the Burgermeister of Schmallenberg, and BHTTA members. All attending sat at tables of mixed nationalities, thus emphasising the links between the peoples of our towns. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all, thanks to the skills of the school catering department and the willingness of all three groups to get along together to overcome any language difficulties.