The Harpenden Town Council Mission Statement - To promote the area as a place to live, a place to work, a place to invest and a place to visit
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Town Events Mayor's Diary


Harpenden’s Twin Towns


Harpenden has enjoyed the link with Alzey in Germany since 1963. 

Alzey is a small, bustling and picturesque market town 30 miles from Mainz, in the centre of the winemaking region of Rheinhessen.  The highlight of the year is their Wine Festival in September when the whole town is given over to dancing, singing, eating and tasting the local wine.  Alzey is easily accessible by road or rail.  There has been a constant flow of residents travelling between the two towns every year – school exchanges and youth camps, private family parties, sports clubs, artistic and cultural groups, especially choirs and orchestras, the Rotary Club and the Lions Club.

The ‘Friends of Alzey’ was formed in 1979 to bring members of the public into closer and continuing involvement with this partnership. The 40th anniversary of the twinning was celebrated in 2003 with an exchange of gifts between the Towns.  

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Alzey Town Square   Credit – Alzey Town Council

In August 2013 Alzey celebrated 50 years of Town Twinning with Harpenden.  The Friends of Alzey visited the town and joined in the special celebrations.   They enjoyed meeting up with their friends in Germany and attending special events over the weekend and visiting places of interest.   The Town Mayor and an officer formally visited Alzey and attended a 3-day programme on Climate Protection as well as attending the official evening celebration on the Saturday, which included presentations.


Unveiling a new signpost

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Presentations and awards at the Celebration Dinner - Saturday 24 August 2013

Speech by the Town Mayor at the Official Dinner and Celebrations - Saturday 24 August 2013

2014:  Harpenden’s Friends of Alzey played host to 32 of their German counterparts at the end of August 2014.   The German visitors came to Harpenden for a long weekend of activities that included a visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, excursions with their host families and a walk along the Wheathampstead Heritage Trail.  The visit began with a reception hosted by Town Mayor Mary Maynard at Park Hall.  

We had a great time with our German guests”, said John Lough, Chairman of the Friends of Alzey.  We were delighted to see old friends and make new ones.  These personal contacts are the essence of twinning.”    

2015:  The Friends of Alzey held a number of social events:

  • Conversation evenings  
  • AGM - 25 February 2015 - 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm - Silver Cup Public House
  • Dinner - 21 March 2015
  • Visit to Alzey - 3 September to 7 September 2015 
  • Quiz Night - 14 November 2015
  • German Carol Singing - 14 December 2015


Events in 2016 included a Dinner on 19 March 2016 and the highlight of the year, a visit by the Friends of Harpenden from 14 July to 18 July.   The Mayor of Alzey and the Wine Queen attended with a number of other visitors and were hosted by the Town Mayor at a welcome reception.  They also visited Hatfield House and the Mill Green Museum and took a walk on Dunstable Downs.  

The Welcome Reception hosted by the Town Mayor


The Friends of Alzey held their AGM in February and an Annual Dinner in March at which they welcomed a prestigious guest speaker from Berlin, Mrs Anne von Fallois, who spoke on the important role civic societies can play in future links between European countries.

In May the Friends attended a conference in Bristol organised by the British German Association.

In August once again the Friends received a very warm welcome during a visit to Alzey.  Alzey's Mayor hosted a welcome reception with local wines and brezels and the visitors enjoyed a tour of a former Royal summer residence, free time in the delightful town of Neustadt and a wine-tasting in a family owned winery in Kallstadt.  The weekend continued with time with host families, an optional visit to a local street festival and a farewell dinner.


The Friends' Annual Dinner on 17 March welcomed Mr Bim Afolami MP as guest speaker and was very well attended.  The Friends subsequently enjoyed, at Mr Afolami's invitation, a tour of Westminster in October.

Visitors from Alzey visited Harpenden from 28 June to 2 July and enjoyed a varied programme including a visit to Highgate Cemetery, a picnic on Hampstead Heath and a walking tour of Harpenden's historic buildings and open spaces.  The Deputy Mayor also welcomed the visitors on 28 June at a civic reception in the Town Hall.

A quiz was held in October.


This year marked the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Friends of Alzey.  An anniversary tea party was held in Park Hall to celebrate the occasion on 27 April.

Between 19-23 September twenty-five of the Friends of Alzey were given a warm welcome by the Friends of Harpenden when they visited Alzey.  The Friends of Harpenden organised an excellent programme which included a welcome reception by Mayor Christoph Burkhard, a tour of the impressive new fire station, a guided tour of the Schau und Sichtungsgarten Hermannshof, time to enjoy the town of Weinheim an der Bergstrasse and the opening of Alzey's Winzerfest (Vintner's Festival).

The Friend's Annual Quiz took place on 26 October.

The Friend's monthly conversation evenings continued through the year and in addition, the Friends held two events in March to give members an opportunity to meet and socialise.

The Friends continue to encourage and maintain their good links and strong friendship with each other.  For more information or if you are interested in joining please visit the Friends of Alzey website:   or contact them by email:   


Harpenden commenced its twinning with Cosne-sur-Loire at an official twinning ceremony in October 1982 when a delegation from Cosne, led by their Mayor and Member of Parliament, signed the Twinning Charter.

This small French town (population 14,000) is the busy centre of an attractive wine-growing district near Sancerre in the middle ofFrance.  It stands on the River Loire, about 180km south ofParis, on the main railway line to the south and just off the N7 motorway.  Like Harpenden, Cosne has few industries, but it does have over 300 shops, a cinema and 41 café-restaurants.  It also supports a very large and lively market twice a week.  Sport features largely at Cosne, especially football, rugby, tennis and judo.  There is also a magnificent swimming pool.  A beautiful campsite lies beside the Loire and there are chateaux to be visited in the neighbourhood.

 Several private parties have visited in both directions, staying in private homes, although there are several hotels in Cosne.  The ‘Friends of Cosne’ brings together socially all those interested in Harpenden’s French link and organises hospitality for visitors from Cosne.

There was a visit from the Cosne Sur Loire Friends in 2011 and the Harpenden Friends visited Cosne in June 2013, celebrating their 30th Anniversary of Twinning (2012).

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                                Cosne Sur Loire Town Hall                                                                                Credit – Harpenden Town Council

2014:  The AGM took place on the 19 March and a quiz evening was held on the 31 May.  An outing was planned for the summer with a barbeque for the Fetes Nationales in July.   A soiree was held in November.  


Social Events included:

  • AGM - 25 March 2015 - 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm - The Engineer Public House
  • Visit by the Friends of Harpenden - 22 to 25 May 2015
  • Fete Nationale - 14 July 2015
  • Quiz Night - 3 October 2015 - Park Hall - 7.00pm  Tickets cost £10.00 each  
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The Town Mayor at the Soiree 2015

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Social Events included an AGM in March, Quiz Night in May and two coffee mornings.


The AGM was held in March and a quiz early in the year.

The visit to Cosne planned for June was postponed to June 2018.

An enjoyable wine tasting was held in place of the usual annual soiree.


The following took place in 2018:

7 March - the Friends' AGM was held as usual at the Engineer Public House.

on 8-11 June the Friends enjoyed a visit to Cosne which included a trip to a nearby medieval town and costume exhibition.

A wine tasting session featuring flagship wines from the area was held.


The AGM will be held on 6 March.

Two Wesley's coffee mornings are planned for the year.

A visit by the Cosnois is planned for the weekend of 14-17 June which will coincide with the Friends' soiree. 

The Friends of Cosne can be contacted via their website:

The Friends of Alzey and the Friends of Cosne welcome new members.

The Town Council have recently reinstated the Twin Town Shields on the Town Sign representing the link between Harpenden and its Twin Towns; a photo is shown below.

Last updated about 1 year ago