TWINNING & FRIENDSHIP
Godalming has two formal twinning relationships both dating back to the 1980’s; the town is twinned with Mayen in Germany and with Joigny in France. The town also maintains less formal links with parts of the State of Georgia USA.
The twinning of Godalming with Mayen dates from April 1982 and followed on from that of their respective Districts, Waverley and Mayen-Koblenz.
Lying some 60 miles south of Cologne and 20 miles west of Koblenz, Mayen is in the midst of typical rolling Eifel countryside, with its wide areas of cultivated land, divided into narrow strips of crops, interspersed with rich woodlands.
The town itself was granted its charter by Rudolf von Habsburg in 1291, though its history goes back to Roman times when basalt mining was an important local industry which continued to the present century. Nowadays only light industry is carried out, the principal one being paper making. Its ancient castle overlooks a large pedestrianised market square and narrow side streets lined with bustling shops and cafes to satisfy its 20,000 population and many visitors.
The Godalming-Mayen Association encourages and facilitates exchange visits between individuals and organisations.
In May 1985 Godalming twinned with Joigny, the Gateway to Burgundy, an attractive town 80 miles south east of Paris, lying on the River Yonne.
Joigny and Mayen had already been twinned for 20 years and thus a three-way link was established.
A town of some 12,000 population, the historic part of the town is built on the side of a steep hill overlooking the river. Much of its medieval nature has been retained with narrow cobbled streets, courtyards full of flowers, and a number of timber-framed 15th and 16th century buildings and churches and the gate of St. Jean, a remnant of the original fortified City Wall (AD 998).
It has its own vineyard and is also on the edge of the Chablis wine growing area. The internationally known Cote St. Jacques restaurant is in Joigny.
The Godalming Joigny Friendship Association exists to foster ties between the two communities and to promote international understanding. Opportunities exist for clubs, societies, businesses, families and individuals to build contacts and make exchanges with the people of Joigny.
The Friends of Oglethorpe is a local voluntary organisation formed to foster friendship between Godalming and the State of Georgia.
The Oglethorpe Connection
The Friends of Oglethorpe is a local voluntary organisation formed to foster friendship between the State of Georgia in general and the cities of Savannah and Augusta in particular.
The organisation reflects the modern day link with one of Godalming’s most famous sons, General James Edward Oglethorpe, the local Member of Parliament who at the bidding of King George II, took the sailing ship Anne and 100 souls to found the State of Georgia, in the Deep South,1733.
The Friends of Oglethorpe initiate and organise visits to Georgia and welcome and host visitors from Georgia both as individuals and in groups who come to Godalming to seek the roots of their founder. The friends also organise local events and liaise with the Parish Church in Cranham where he is buried. The Oglethorpe family home was Westbrook House, now the Meath Home near Godalming Station which can be visited by arrangement.