MOSSLEY is ready to roll out the red carpet to celebrate 50 years of its twinning arrangement.
But a fundraising effort is still going on.
The town wants to welcome about 50 representatives from Hem in France and Wiehl in Germany in September for a gala dinner to mark the half century of being linked.
A £1,000 grant has already been secured from Mossley Town Council to help put on the main part of the jubilee celebration, a showpiece at George Lawton Hall on September 24.
But the Twinning Committee admits ‘it still leaves us with fundraising to do’ and that if the planned showpiece does not sell out, ‘we could find ourselves in financial difficulties.’
It is hoped the three-day event will see performances from people and groups based around the town.
And it will be a celebration of Mossley, what it has learned from it twin and what they have earned in return, with as many members of the town’s community wanted to attend.
When making the application, David Kendrick of the Twinning Committee said: “2022 is not only the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it’s also the golden jubilee of Mossley twinning.
“Members of Mossley community groups, including all those associated with Mossley Twinning Committee, will be invited to attend and they will pay for their own tickets.
“However, the Mayor of Mossley and visiting mayors from Hem and Wiehl, with whom we have a close relationship, and their twinning committees’ members won’t have to pay as they’ll be guests of the people of Mossley.
“It will celebrate our great relationship with Hem. It’s intended to be the centrepiece, an auspicious occasion. It will be about northern hospitality and making an occasion of which Mossley will be proud.
“It’ll be about honouring our friends in France and making them feel at home. It’ll also be about looking forward to how future generations can benefit.
“It will reflect on local traditions but also a cultural understanding between the two.
“In particular, it will showcase Mossley’s talent, not only to our visitors but to our own community.
“This special event with wrap-around activities should send a buzz around the town and provide a springboard for more creativity.
“And while this application is for £1,000, the whole event will cost about £6,000.”
Other events around both the anniversary of Mossley’s twinning and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are planned for the town.
But this particular sum of money will cover hire of George Lawton Hall, some of the hospitality costs and gifts for the foreign guests.
Mossley’s relationship with Hem, which lies less than four miles from the border with Belgium and has a population of about 18,000 people, was made formal in 1972.
But the origins started in the 1930s, when French investment formed the Mossley Wool Combing and Spinning Company.
And the relationship is as strong now as ever, largely through Remembrance services as it is in the centre of the Somme.
Mr Kendrick added: “That investment came at a crucial time for Mossley as our local economy was in serious decline.
“Twinning was a concept brought about at the end of World War II to promote and heal international relations.
“So we fast forward to 1972, when the managing director of Dupont came together was the then town clerk of Mossley to propose the two towns of Hem and Mossley should be formally twinned.
“This was a natural progression and a real coming together as there’s so much industrial heritage in the towns.
“This relationship through efforts of our twinning committees remains firm and strong. Annual visits to each town so we can understand each other’s way of life have gone on for the last 50 years.
“It remains a very important constant that we attend the Armistice services in Hem, take part on the French remembrance ceremony but also with the assistance with our friends in Hem, attend a ceremony for the British fallen.
“At the cemetery in Hem, it’s a very moving ceremony. A poppy is placed on the grave of each British soldier, usually by the ladies of our group, sometimes assisted by children from Hem.”
Mossley Twinning Committee as set up a Just Giving page where people can contribute towards the cost of the 50th anniversary dinner.
You can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mossley-twinning-2022