Ulverston-Albert Twinning Association
Ulverston is twinned with the French town of Albert, situated in the Somme region of France, north of Paris and not far from Amiens. Albert is a town heavily charged with history and is in the heart of the Somme battle fields.
The Municipal Council of Albert and the Town Council of Ulverston first forged links over 30 years ago with the aim of promoting and fostering civic, social, cultural and commercial links between the townspeople of Albert and the townspeople of Ulverston, in furtherance of the cause of international friendship, understanding, peace and goodwill.
Frequent visits and events are arranged between the two communities. The following visits took place in 2010/11:
GSK Ulverston Rangers Football Team visit Albert 22- 26 April 2011
Visit to Albert for the 95th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme & 35th Anniversary of Twinning 30 June - 4 July 2011
Albert visit to Ulverston for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2 - 5 June 2012
Albert visit to Ulverston for the Dickensian Festival Weekend 24 - 25 November 2012
In 1976, Ulverston in Cumbria was formally twinned with Albert in Picardy, France. This was thought to be the first link between the two towns. However, when Paula Kesteloot was carrying out research relating to the commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, she closely examined two maps of the period. The maps are copyright and are published by GH Smith & Son in Easingwold, York. They are trench maps of Thiepval Wood and Ovillers. The originals are dated 1916.
The maps show all the trenches in the area, which are referred to as "streets". Amazingly, an Ulverston street is clearly marked just to the west of the village of Ovillers-la-Boiselle.
Once the significance of the discovery was recognised, the town of Albert erected a memorial with a plaque on the site of the trench. The plaque is inscribed in English, French and German. The stone memorial and plaque was unveiled by the then Ulverston Town Mayor Elect, Mrs Brenda Marr in 2006. In the background can be seen the Thiepval Memorial Arch, where the names of over 72,000 Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918 are immortalized in stone.
It is hoped that each year, a party from Ulverston with a party from Albert, will lay a wreath of poppies at the Ulverston Trench memorial. On 11th November 2008, the 90th Anniversay of Armistice, floral tributes and poppy wreathes were laid at the site by a British, French and German delegation, in the presence of dignitaries from Albert.
The twinning links between Ulverston and Albert have been strengthened by the creation of the Memorial and it is true to say that as Albert is also twinned with Aldenhoven and Niesky, a bond of friendship is now developing between those towns and Ulverston.
On the programme used at the inauguration of the Memorial at the Ulverston Trench are the following phrases:
No more war
Plus jamais la guerre
Nie wieder Krieg