Twin Town Gerlingen

Since April, 1988 Seaham has been twinned with Gerlingen which is on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany. Over the past 32 years more than a thousand residents in both towns have participated in exchange visits. The people involved with twinning show genuine affection; display hospitality, warmth and honesty and provide a friendly welcome staying in each others homes.

The twinning is not restricted to official contacts between the Councils. Friendships have been developed between countless people in every walk of life and mean a lot to people in both towns. The partnership between Seaham and Gerlingen continues to flourish. In September, 2005, Seaham was awarded the Council of Europe Flag of Honour in recognition of their efforts in developing European unity and friendship links with Gerlingen. In 2008 both towns celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Twinning Agreement between them. 2013 marked the 25th anniversary and appropriate celebrations were held in both towns.  An overview of the town of Gerlingen can be viewed through the following link Gerlingen, Germany.


Unfortunately due to issues surrounding Covid-19 it has been necessary to cancel the visits to both Seaham and Gerlingen for 2020. This is very unfortunate however we look forward to once again being able to see our friends in Gerlingen once the matter subsides.


During the April visit to Seaham the group received a guided tour of St. Mary’s Church and Bowes Railway Museum. The group also had a day visit to Whitby with the chance to see the wide variety of attractions on offer including a tour of HM Bark Endeavour.

Whilst visiting Gerlingen in September the group received a guided tour in Ludwigsburg in addition to a guided tour of the synagogue at Freudental by a member of the host families which is pictured above.


This year was a special milestone in the Twinning partnership which is now celebrating the 30th anniversary since the long standing friendship began. During the April visit the group visited Woodhorn Museum along with a day at Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District where boats trips and a tour of the Holker Hall and Gardens had been arranged. 


As part of the 30 year celebrations Stadt Gerlingen organised a group of 31 runners to complete a 1400km relay run from Gerlingen to Seaham. The run started on 6th July, 2018 and finished on Friday, 13th July, 2018 in Seaham to mark the start of the Carnival weekend. The Gerlingen admin team has attended and held a stall at Seaham Carnival for a number of years for a number of years which has always been very well received with the selection of goods they offer to sample at their stall. Below are images of the runners taken during the run.

The visit to Gerlingen in September, 2018 saw the group receive a guided tour of Radolfzell am Bodensee before going on a boat trip on the Bodensee to the island Reichenau. A planned visit to Markgröningen then Lembergerland Kellerei Rosswag winery was organised with the group able to participate in a wine tasting session. Below is a selection of images from the locations the group visited.


The annual visit to Seaham in April, 2017 saw our friends from Gerlingen visiting Preston Park Museum and Grounds along with a day trip and guided tour of Durham City. As is traditional the visit coincides with the Mayor Civic Ball which all guests are welcome to attend and enjoy the evening. 


During the reciprocal visit to Gerlingen in September. 2017 the opportunity for new and long standing participants of the exchange to meet with their friends in Gerlingen also provided a variety of excursions for the group whilst there. The group had free time during the visits to the historical towns of Schwäbisch Gmünd and Weil der Stadt before attending the informative tour at the local mill. As is tradition everyone was welcome to attend the two day street festival which is always a highlight of any visit.


In April, 2016 a party from Gerlingen visited Seaham for the annual exchange visit. During their stay the group took part in a guided visit of the National Glass Centre and Castle Bolton. Below is a picture of the group whilst visiting Castle Bolton.

During the annual exchange visit from Seaham to Gerlingen which took place in September the group had the opportunity to visit many sites. The visits included exploring the historic city of Waldenbuch before a guided tour of the Ritter Sport Chocolate World and an arts museum. The group also had a day visit to the historic town of Schorndorf to explore at their leisure. 


In September, 2015 a party of Seaham residents along with the Mayor of Seaham and Town Councillors enjoyed a visit to the Strassenfest.  Below are a few photographs of their time there.

A group of Gerlingen residents arrived in Seaham on 23rd April and began their journey back to Germany on 27th April, 2015.  During their short stay here they enjoyed a visit on Saturday, 25th to Holy Island where they took the opportunity to visit Lindisfarne Castle and the Priory.  They then travelled down via the beautiful Northumberland coastal route to Seahouses where they again had free time to look around.  A selection of photographs of the day can be viewed below.


A party of Seaham residents visited Gerlingen in September, 2014 when the annual Strassenfest takes place.

During their visit they enjoyed a visit to the Mercedes Benz Museum and also to Lake Konstanz. Photos of the excursions can be viewed by clicking on the relevant link.  In addition the Mayor, Councillor Bruce Burn and Burgermeister Georg Brenner rededicated the red English telephone box which was a gift to Gerlingen from the people of Seaham in May 1988.  The telephone box is now a 'book-box' for the community to donate and swap books.

During the visit to Seaham during April, the guests from Gerlingen visited Hexham Gaol on Friday  25th April before attending the annual Mayor's Civic Ball.  The group visited Berwick upon Tweed on Saturday, 26th April during which they 'walked the walls' and enjoyed tea and cake at the Barn at Beal on the way back to Seaham.  The usual Farewell evening where everyone enjoyed the Ceilidh took place on Sunday 27th April.


In 2013 the twinning friendship celebrated its 25th anniversary; this was commemorated at the Dawdon Welfare Miners Club with a party night on Saturday, 4th May, 2013 and  took the form of a 50s/60s Rock and Roll night with karaoke and a pie and pea supper. 


The party from Gerlingen arrived in Seaham on Thursday, 2nd May and enjoyed a trip out on Friday 3rd to see the Tynemouth Priory and Bedes World prior to attending the Mayor's Civic Charity Ball.   On Saturday 4th May they travelled to Whitworth Hall in Spennymoor, the former home of the Shafto family (Bonnie Bobby Shafto) where they fed the fallow deer, followed by a visit to the Hartlepool Maritime Experience.  Photographs of the excursions are shown below.


In September, 2012 at group from Seaham visited Gerlingen and participated in the annual Strassenfest.

In June of 2012 one of Seaham Town Council's Elected Members participated in a Gerlingen to Tata relay. Tata is another town that Gerlingen is twinned with and Seaham's representative for the event was Councillor Ken Younger.

In April a party from Gerlingen visited Seaham and during their time here the group visited The Durham Brewery on the Friday as well as attending the Mayor's Civic Charity Ball. This was followed on the Saturday with a trip to Whitby followed by free time with their host families during the evening. A farewell evening was held on the Monday evening when entertainment was provided by the Endeavour Ceilidh Band.


What happened in 2011?

In April a party from Gerlingen visited Seaham and during their time here the group visited Durham Cathedral and the Angel of the North on the Friday as well as attending the Mayors Civic Charity Ball. This was followed on the Saturday with a trip to Beamish Museum followed by free time with their host families during the evening. A farewell evening was held on the Monday evening when entertainment was provided by the Endeavour Ceilidh Band.


In September a group from Seaham travelled to Gerlingen to enjoy the Strassenfest which was to take place during the weekend of their visit. They also enjoyed a trip to a shoe museum, a wine growing estate where they could sample the wine, and also had a guided tour of Albgold, a noodle producing company and herb garden.


A short film showing an event enjoyed by the Seaham party whilst in Gerlingen in September 2011 can be viewed by clicking the following link Germany Mixed Video 2011.