Seaford, historic former Cinque Port; and once a Rotten Borough returning two M.P.s. to Parliament, including three men who became Prime Minister; twinned in 1984 with Bönningstedt.
Bönningstedt is a former farming town, and dormitory town for Hamburg, in Kreis Pinneburg, a Kreis which is itself twinned with the county of East Sussex. Pinneburg is in Schleswig Holstein, between Hamburg and Denmark.
Click here for the History of the Friends of Bönningstedt
(pdf document requires a suitable reader)
The twinning was a result of Bönningstedt's quest to find a twin within East Sussex. Prime movers were the then Burgermeister Werner Bornholdt, and Heinz Oertel. From Seaford the enthusiasm came from the town's Silver Band; and the efforts of the late John Dyer, Andy Anderson and Peter White, the Town Crier who became the "Stadtausrufer" of Bönningstedt in 1982.
Initially called "The Friends of Bönningstedt" a friendly group was formed with monthly social gatherings e.g. quiz night, bingo, traditional pub skittles, visiting Bönningstedt every other year, and welcoming visitors from their twin town in the intervening years. They also have friendship links with Bönnningstedt's other twin, Crivitz in Mecklenburg Vorpommern in the former East Germany. Also there are now links with Crivitz' other twin in USA, Crivitz in Wisconsin.
The group was renamed "Seaford Twinning Association" in 2008 but reverted to
its original title when the Association was disolved in 2017 due to lack of volunteers willing to serve on the committee. However, the Twinning link remains unbroken and the Plauschgruppe continues.
The former members welcome further expressions of interest from new enquirers. They do not have to live in Seaford, neither do they have to be able to speak German or to host visitors, but they must support the ideals of international co-operation and twinning, and enjoy the company of others!
We also host the Seaford German Conversation Group (known as the Plauschgruppe). Anyone who is interested in speaking German: of any age, to any standard, of any regional variation; meeting mainly in pubs and cafes about once a month; is welcome to attend. Watch out for notices on this site, posters, press announcements, or contact Peter on 01323 897360, or Liz on 01323 896315.
It is the hope of many of the former members that an active Twinning Link; evidenced by road signs, the name of the Bönningstedt Promenade, and the existing Twinning Charter displayed in the Council Chamber; might be resuscitated by enthusiasts at a future date.
The town crests for the two towns (shown above) are described as follows:-
Seaford's crest shows the Royal Lions, the Seaford Shag (either a cormorant or an eagle) and the medieval Cinq Ports Ship
Bönningstedt's crest shows the traditional ice pick used to cut ice from rivers in winter to use to preserve meat or sell in nearby Hanseatic Ports such as Hamburg.