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.  

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.


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:   


2021 remained a challenging year for the Friends of Alzey due to the impact of the pandemic however, the Friends had adapted to a more 'virtual' way of keeping in touch with Zoom meetings on Saturday mornings. A digital photo album was presented to the Friends of Harpenden at one meeting featuring scenes of Harpenden taken by members. 

A continued pattern of monthly German-speaking 'Stammitsch' meetings as well as English-speaking social evenings established shortly before the pandemic helped people to keep in contact.

A joint Christmas Zoom event was also held and will be repeated each year. In July the Friends held a second summer Zoom event, both Town Mayors attended. 

The Harpenden Town Mayor sent a message of support to the Mayor and people of Alzey following the large scale floods that happened in the area.  

An in person Quiz was held in October.


The Friends look forward to welcoming a visit from the Friends of Harpenden, postponed due to the pandemic, in July.

On 23 April an event to celebrate Town Twinning will be held with the Friends of Cosne.


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 of France.  It stands on the River Loire, about 180km south of Paris, 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).

2020 and 2021 were quiet years for the Friends of Cosne due to the pandemic, but virtual meetings and fortnightly Zoom sessions were held in French. An online Quiz was also held in 2021. 

In 2020 and 2021, a Christmas Carols event was held via Zoom with the Cosnois.

Cosne Sur Loire Town Hall   

                                Cosne Sur Loire Town Hall                                                                                Credit – Harpenden Town Council

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.

Harpenden Town Sign

Last updated about 4 months ago