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Cuckfield European Association

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President: Sir Clive Whitmore

Vice President: Nigel Page (Chairman, Cuckfield Parish Council)

Chairman: Andrew Symonds

Cuckfield European Association has one of the largest memberships of the village's many organisations and has an active programme of visits and social events that provides new members with access to the community's social calendar. The CEA is the place to make friends and find your way into the vibrant life of Cuckfield..

Cuckfield European Association was formed in 1991 following a village referendum which backed the idea with 76% in favour. Founded to forge closer links with our neighbours in Europe, the Association first fostered the twinning of Cuckfield with Aumale, France - a village near Amiens - that shares, in Robert de Warenne, a common Norman founder with Cuckfield. One of our founder members was Robert Burns, a feisty veteran of WW1, who went on the first twinning visit at the age of 97. In 1998 we twinned with Karlstadt, a village near Wurzburg in Germany.

Both are very attractive towns which offer a wide range of facilities to the visitor. The regular visits which the Association sponsors to and from the twinned towns strengthen mutual understanding and friendship. The visits are characterised by warm and generous hospitality and are always fun events greatly enjoyed by all those who participate in them.

In addition to the development of personal friendships, other activites have spun off from the twinnings. With the French we enjoyed regular visits in the past by Aumale's veteran footballers and by Cuckfield's Veterans team to Aumale. More recently, this has extended to exchange visits by the youth teams.

The German link is particulary strong: we had cooking exchanges (notably how to cater for a German wedding breakfast, and the sight of Germans sitting down to a full English Christmas Dinner in May).

There have been walking trips along the South Downs Way, and intrepid rowers have made an Anglo-German descent of the Thames from Oxford to London. Cultural links are also strong - a small group visited the Reichstag accompanied by friends from Karlstadt, and there have been musical exchanges of our respective local talents.

The Association is non-political. All its activities are financed by its members - through the organisation each year of a number of fund raising social events (many now an established part of Cuckfield's social calendar) - and from the small annual membership subscripition.