Logo

Activities:

 NLUK

These are the Activities that are organised by the Leiden-Oxford-Link
 or in which they have been  involved.

   

    

   Agenda 2018

     Report Mara Smeel Folkatron
      Letter Lord Mayor
      Mayvisit 2018
      Speech Roelof Hol 2018

   Agenda 2017

       Remembranceweekend Oxford
       Mosaic Leiden Square
                                           Janneke Ottevanger
                                           John Chipperfield
       Bike-Event 2017
                                   Aat Smits
                                   John Chipperfield
                                   Bram Danen

       Oxford to Leiden- Bike ride
       Mayvisit 2017
       Speech Roelof Hol at Diner

   

   

Report Mara Smeel Folkatron


Mara, student from Leiden enjoys Ethno week

 

Spending a week with musicians all over the world. Could you think of something more fun? 

When I was asked to join Ethno England I thought this would be a very special opportunity. 

During Ethno England about 20 young musicians from all over the world teach each other songs 

or tunes from their country. This experience was even more special than I expected. Arriving in 

England I had a warm welcome in a group of lovely musicians. Which became to feel like a 

family during the week. In Ethno we play folk music and learn by ear. For me being recorder 

player and not a folk musician it was very interesting and instructive to come into contact with 

a totally different way of playing music than I am used to. Not playing music from dots and 

attempting to play everything as perfect as possible, but learning by ear, creating an atmosphere 

together and make it sound great as a group. The highlights of the week were busking in Oxford,

driving around in a truck while playing and the concert at Tandem festival. It was lovely to be 

around with musicians playing music all day.

I'm really grateful that I got the opportunity to participate in Ethno England and I definitely 

want to go again. Thanks to Ethno England I have great new friends and it opened a totally 

new way of making music for me.

 

Concert:

Busking in Oxford:

Rehearsing

Mara Smeel

Letter of Lord Mayor


Mayvisit 2018

Visit Oxford to Leiden in May 2018
From May 2-6 our friends from
Oxford visited our city again. And although the group of those directly involved will become smaller over the years, the program is still alive: exchanges with the hockey club Roomburg, the participation of UVS in an international football tournament, the Leiden participation in a music event in Oxfordshire and the possible appearance of street dancers at Gymsport led some of the topics on the agenda during formal and informal meetings. 

The two city bond committees held their Joint Meeting on 4 May about the program for the coming period. The municipality was host.
The essence of the visit in May is of course the arrival of the Lord Mayor, in this case Jean Fooks, who participates in the commemoration meetings on 4 May (Haagse Schouw, Pieterskerk, Stille Tocht and wreath laying). The official party was also extended this year with Reverend Bob Wilkes, who until his recent retirement for years the Remembrance Service in November in
Oxford, where our mayor is always present. 

The Lord Mayor also visited the university this year with a reception in the Academiegebouw. The usual dinner of the mayor with his official guests after the commemoration meeting took place in The Print Cabinet. 

On 5 May the Lord Mayor, together with our mayor, was also on the podium in the Doezastraat at the reception of the Leiden Roadrunners who had taken part in the Liberation Run from Wageningen (87 runners groups). The foundation Stedenband Leiden-Oxford took care of the guests from Oxford a historic city walk from the Castle to the Doezastraat, a lunch at Passion Food in the Herenstraat and a boat tour from café Babbels through the city canals. The nice weather made these activities a success.
The annual dinner of the Stedenband took place this year at Brasserie Cronestein. Besides the official guests from
Oxford, the board of the council, Frederick Zevenbergen and his wife, mrs. C. Black, present.


 

Roelof Hol
Chairman of the
Leiden-Oxford Town Council Foundation

to top

Speech Roelof Hol 2018

 Lord mayor of Oxford, Jean Fooks, her escort Mrs Carolyn Naylor, special guests from our burgomaster, Bob and Sheila Wilkes, again welcome to our annual dinner

·         Also a hearthy welcome to the representative of our city, Mr. Frederick Zevenbergen, nestor among our town councillors and his escort, Mrs.  Carin Zevenbergen

My short speech is about heritage and legacy.

This year Leiden won the BNG Award, BNG being a bank for municipalities in the netherlands and they fund a price fort he cities that have the best policy and actual operation on heritage. Leiden was not only the best of four nominees, but we won also the price given through the public vote. And for all of you who did stroll about  today through the heart of our city may conclude that this award came tot he the right place. There are a number of criteria which I will not summone all, but one of the criteria is that the city seeks an active rol of its citizens in preserving the heritage  element in their hometown. Especially the privately owned houses along the canals, but also living quarters outside the centre of the city show off of commitment of its inhabitants. And, just fort he sake of example, the policy of  the citycouncil to financially contribute to business buidling in the city to restore the windows of their shops in to their original glory was one of the elements that the jury gave reason for granting te award to Leiden. The phrase “Leiden, city of doiscoveries’ has more to it than just a phrase.

How do we desrcibe these actions? Is it just heritage or is it also legacy? And then I do not mean legacy in the IT-business because there it has a negative connotation: outdated system that is still being used by persons who do not want to change? No, in ur case it is heritage: this generation, old an dyoung, take care of what they did inherit form our predecessors and in my case we will give it a new meaning. As you may know Leiden used to be a very indiustiralised city up till the sixties of the last centrury, then we lost all industrial activity, wheter it was textile, heavy metal or otherwise, so we were left with all kind of buildings that originally did not have any other function that produce some industiral product. Of course,  a number were demolished but the  majority got a new function, sometimes for housing, by conversion the industrial building into appartments or a p8ublic function. And that process is still continuing.

And in all those years that I have just described we had a link with Oxford, a tradition that also changed its outlook: large numbers of people who participated in exchanges, later more project related activities when the numbers of people involved in exchanges dwindled. As we all are aware, the link is not a dead heritage thing, but should remain a n active and vivid element of connecting people.

Just to show you how active our program is, I just want to give you a few examples: next week 28 fieldhockeyplayers from two girls teams U 16  from the one and only hockeyclub in Leiden, Roomburg, will visit Oxford, together with 7 adults accompanying them. In our joint meeting we discussed details on how we could make this event a success. Our collegeagues from the Oxford-Leiden Committee will arrange a Alice in Wonderland boattrip to show our girls part of the Oxford experience. And since this is an exchange, the Oxford hockeyclub will come over in August to participate in an international womens twinning hockeyfestival in which hopefully also Torun, a link of Leiden, will participate. And just yesterday we discussed the possibilities to have the Messy Jam Dancers from Oxford to visit Leiden and perform together with the dancers of Gymsport Leiden in July. And a footballteam of UVS will participate in an international twinning torunament with teams form Russia, Germany and Oxford in August.

In June people from Oxford, Torun and Leiden will participate in the Bike Event in Torun. This is the third edition of a project that started in Leiden in 2016. And we hope to continue this event next year in Leiden again. On the individual side, Mara Smeele , a recorder, will travel tot he Folkatron in Jun e  in Oxfordshire.

So you see, ladies and gentlemen, although the majority of the people present here are far above the middle age, activities in our twinning program still involve younger people. And that is where the spirit of twinning should come from. Then we might conclude that our generation left a legacy to new generations in order to have a heritage  tradition even if it is not a building or any other physical proof. Meeting each other in ones own environment will give a strong base for future contacts, the more important now that the European framework will look different in a couple of years. Twinning will keep crossing borders without legal or political impediments.

And tot hat, my dear froiends, I would propose a toast tot he everlastging fustuire of the twinning link between Leiden and oxford.

Roelof Hol,

Chairman twinning program Leiden-Oxford

Remembranceweekend Oxford 

November 2017


Mosaic Leiden Square

     

Mozaïek op Leiden Square in Oxford

Maanden van voorbereiding gingen vooraf aan de officiële onthulling van een mozaïek

ter herinnering aan 70 jaar Stedenband Leiden-Oxford op zaterdag 11 november 2017.

Burgemeester Lenferink en Lord Mayor Mevrouw Fooks hielden een toespraak op

Leiden Square in het gloednieuwe winkelcentrum Westgate, waarna het mozaïek aan

iedereen getoond werd. 

Het werk is ontworpen door drie jonge kunstenaars: twee uit Oxford en één uit Leiden, Emma van Noort.
Het werk is ontworpen door drie jonge kunstenaars: twee uit Oxford en één uit Leiden, Emma van Noort.


Er was héél veel belangstelling voor het  feestje, dat van 12 tot 15 uur duurde. Er klonk veel muziek: uit Oxford speelde de Cutting Edge Big Band en uit Leiden de stage band van K & G. Tussen deze twee  optredens  dansten jongeren (verschillende leeftijdsgroepen) 

van de Messy Jam groep de sterren van de hemel. De welbekende Don Rouse, deputy president van de Oxford-Leiden   Link, die, samen met Hans Ladan en Eric Filemon, ervoor gezorgd had, dat K & G optrad,  hield ook een toespraak. Ondanks de kou trok het spektakel duizenden toeschouwers. 

The Cutting Edge Band from Oxford at

the opening of Leiden Square

The Burgomaster of Leiden, Henri Lenferink, 

and the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Jean Fooks,

unveil the Oxford-Leiden mosaic in Leiden Square, Oxford

Een uur vóór de optredens was er paniek: de stroomvoorziening werkte niet. Een

 verbinding met één van de restaurants op het plein bracht uitkomst, zodat het programma

 toch gerealiseerd kon worden.

 In zijn speech benadrukte Burgemeester Lenferink dat er nu een nieuw tijdperk in de

 betrekkingen tussen de twee steden was aangebroken. En de Lord Mayor sprak de hoop

 uit, dat de samenwerking en vriendschap tussen Oxford en Leiden, en ook de rest van

 Europa, voortgezet zal worden.    

 Janneke Ottevanger

Leiden Square opening and mosaic unveiling

Thousands of people joined our celebrations to mark the official opening of Leiden Square in the 

Westgate Centre and the unveiling of the Oxford-Leiden mosaic.

 Months of planning came to a head on Saturday, 11th November when the Lord Mayor of Oxford, 

Jean Fooks, and the Burgomaster of Leiden, Henri Lenferink, performed the honours. 

With Bonn Square in the north and Leiden Square in the south, Oxford’s two long-standing twin city 

links are now both prominently and permanently recognised in the city centre. 

After the mosaic had been unveiled, we enjoyed a feast of music from the 

Cutting Edge Big Band from Oxford and the K&G stage band from Leiden, 

interspersed with dancing from the celebrated Oxford dance troupe, Messy Jam.



The three-hour programme of music and dancing outside the John Lewis store, 

with our deputy president Don Rouse as MC, was watched by thousands 

of people who thronged the square or watched from the balconies on the upper floors.

 Despite all the intensive planning, however, not everything went to plan. 

As the big day dawned at around 8am, we suddenly realised that we had no power in the square.

 It may have been down to teething problems with the new shopping centre, or perhaps 

the Dutch electrical equipment wasn’t compatible with the Westgate circuits. 

Whatever it was, with true Oxford-Leiden grit, we managed to improvise, 

one solution being to run a lead from a plug inside one of the nearby restaurants!

 The Cutting Edge band was due to start playing after the two minutes’ silence for Armistice Day at 11am, 

but the problem had still not been sorted out when the Lord Mayor and Burgomaster  arrived 

at midday to unveil the mosaic. But soon afterwards, everything sparked to life, and the music and 

dancing carried on without further hitch, to the delight of the performers and the large audience of shoppers, 

and to the relief of our members who were putting on the show! The Burgomaster told everyone 

at the unveiling that he was delighted with the mosaic and square, 

hailing them a “new era” of partnership between our two cities.

 He added
“It is such a high-quality public space. You have succeeded in bringing new quality to an ancient city.”

 The Lord Mayor said: 

“We very much hope the collaboration and friendship between our two cities, 

and indeed the rest of Europe, may continue.” 

The circular mosaic brings together a symbol for each city – blue arcs representing

the horns of Oxford’s ox, and a cross representing the cross keys in Leiden’s coat of arms.

It was created by three of our young artists, Lauren Baldwin and Tamsin Corrigan from Oxford and 

Emma van Noort from Leiden, who were all at the ceremony to see their work unveiled.

 

Our thanks to everyone who played a part in making the day such a success.

 

John Chipperfield

Bike-Event 2017

Oxford Cycle Event 

14 juni t/m 18 juni

A report of Aat Smit

 

Aat Smits

 to top

Bike Event 2017

 

By John Chipperfield

  

 

Left to right, Eva van Ingen, Sarie Beames (front), Hafida van Ingen, Phil Grunewald (winner), 

Phil’s son Max, Jasper van Ingen, Theresia (Resel) van Ingen

A magnificent trophy was presented in memory of Carel van Ingen during 

Oxford Bike Week and five members of Carel’s family travelled to Oxford to hand it over. 

It was a fitting tribute to Carel, who had supported our Link so well as Leiden City Council’s 

international officer and after his retirement, as a member of the Leiden committee. 

He died just before Christmas.

The trophy, in the shape of a cyclist, was commissioned in Leiden and was presented 

to Oxford cyclist Phil Grunewald, the winner of a timed hill climb at Shotover,

It was one of a series of events in the annual Oxford Bike Week, which this year had 

an international flavour with cyclists from Leiden, Bonn and Leiden’s Polish twin town of Torun.

 We were delighted to see so many of the van Ingen family present at the hill climb and

the presentation. Carel’s widow, Theresia (Resel), was joined by her son and daughter in law, 

Jasper and Hafida, daughter Eva and grand-daughter Sarie Beames. 

They chose the hard way to reach Shotover, joining other cyclists at Beeline Cycles 

in Cowley Road and cycling all the way. They may have regretted the decision, 

as they tackled the long, potholed climb to the top of Shotover Hill! 

They made it (a little exhausted) – at least the homeward journey was downhill!

 The competitive hill climb (on a different hill) was keenly contested and the fastest, 

Phil Grunewald, accompanied by his son Max, who also took part, 

was delighted to become the first recipient of the Carel van Ingen Trophy.

 Bike Week had begun with a ‘getting to know you’ drink and dinner at the 

Rusty Bicycle pub in Magdalen Road. Other events included cycle tours of Oxford,

a forum to discuss cycling initiatives and visits to the hydro project at 

Osney Lock and Trax, the charity which helps disadvantaged youngsters 

develop their skills. 

The programme also included a tour of Christ Church and punting on the river as well

as plenty of time to discuss cycling in various pubs. 

We also took the opportunity to present all the participants with copies of the yellow book,

compiled by Carel, tracing the first 60 years of our Link’s history.

 In the Cape of Good Hope pub after the hill climb, Leiden and Torun cyclists wrote 

messages to each other on the blank pages at the front of the books

– a clear sign that friendships had been made.

Picture captions Six Leiden cyclists

Back row (left to right): Sari Verdijk, Mieke van Immerseel, Daniël Amesz

Front row (left to right): Tinke Weenink, Ines Noordermeer, and Sophie de Jong

 

 

The Carel van Ingen hill climb in progress

Carel’s family at the presentation of the trophy

By John Chipperfield

 to top

Verslag Fietsevent 2017 

Auteur: Bram Danen

 

Aanleiding

Naar aanleiding van een discussie over de revitalisatie van de stedenband Leiden-Oxford 

is het fietsevent tot stand gekomen. Dit event, wat voor het eerst gehouden werd in 2016 in Leiden, 

heeft naast het revitaliseren van de stedenband tot doel om de uitwisselingen te verjongen. 

Fietsen wordt zowel in Leiden als Oxford veel door jongeren (studenten e.d.) gedaan. 

Dit is dan ook het middel bij uitstek om jongeren bij de stedenbanden te betrekken. 

Na de succesvolle pilot in Leiden nam Oxford de organisatie dit jaar op zich. 

Het fietsevent vond plaats tussen 14 en 18 juni. 

Naast de Leidse delegatie waren er ook afgevaardigden uit Torun en Bonn.

Het programma

Het programma bestond uit fietstochten en bezoeken aan verschillende aan fietsen 

en duurzaamheid gerelateerde projecten. Een aantal interessante projecten waren:

·        

     Broken Spoke: startup die Oxonians leert om hun eigen fietsen te repareren. 

     De fietswrakken die de gemeente heeft verzameld worden daarvoor gebruikt.

Osney Lock Hydro Plant: burgerinitiatief op het gebied van duurzaamheid

     De waterkrachtcentrale levert energie aan 200 huishoudens. Combinatie met zonnepanelen

     om gedurende de zomer voor de lagere waterstand in de rivier te compenseren. 

     Levert ondertussen netstroom.


·        Sociale werkplaats: jongeren uit probleemgezinnen en/of met strafblad leren een vak bij een garage. 

     Ze repareren o.a. fietswrakken (net als bij Broken Spoke geleverd door de gemeente).

Over het algemeen genomen kan worden geconcludeerd dat er veel kleinschalige initiatieven zijn in 

Oxford om het fietsen te promoten. 

Er wordt veel vanuit de samenleving zelf georganiseerd, ook juist vaak vanuit de 

private sector (bijvoorbeeld Broken Spoke). 

Naast de fietstocht was er een symposium over fietsbeleid. Chris de Vor verzorgde de input namens de gemeente Leiden. Het belangrijkste dilemma voor Oxford is het gebrek aan politieke steun voor grootschalige projecten. Chris adviseerde hen om daarom juist in te zetten op kleinschalige veranderingen door aanpassing van de fietsinfrastructuur te koppelen aan grotere infrastructuurprojecten. Door een aantal succesvolle voorbeelden aan te kunnen halen wordt het bij toekomstige projecten eenvoudiger om politieke steun te krijgen.

Tot slot was er nog een wedstrijd ter ere van Carel van Ingen. Hiervoor bleek veel animo te zijn bij wielrenners uit Oxford. Het wedstrijdelement had duidelijk een mobiliserend effect. Het is daarom het overwegen waard om van de Carel van Ingen Trofee een jaarlijks terugkerend event te maken.

Bij alle activiteiten waren de onderstaande studenten betrokken:

 

 Het vervolg: Torun 2018 en daarna

In 2018 zal Torun het fietsevent organiseren. De delegatie uit Torun is erg enthousiast 

over dit vooruitzicht. De Stichting Leiden-Torun zal hen in de organisatie ondersteunen.

Het inzetten van de studenten was een succes. AEGEE Leiden zou graag betrokkenheid houden

bij de stedenband met Oxford. De eerste mogelijkheid hiervoor is de inzet van jeugdvertegenwoordigers. 

Vrijwilligers van AEGEE kunnen een rol spelen in het programma. 

Wellicht dat we ook één of twee studenten naar Oxford kunnen sturen als vertegenwoordiger van Leiden.

Op de langere termijn is het wenselijk dat AEGEE banden ontwikkelt met één van de colleges. 

Dit zou de uitwisselingen een meer structureel karakter (en onafhankelijk) geven. Louise Upton, 

Raadslid en professor neurowetenschappen, kan hier wellicht een rol spelen. Zij ging naar New College. 

Mogelijk heeft zij daar ingangen waarvan AEGEE gebruik kan maken.

De uitwisseling tussen Oxford en KLSRV Njord is blijkbaar een aantal jaar geleden gestopt. 

Om de studentenparticipatie te versterken kan Leiden trachten deze uitwisseling weer op gang te brengen. 

Vanuit het Comité Oxford-Leiden is hier interesse in.

Ten behoeve van de strategische doelen van de gemeente Leiden is het wellicht ook wenselijk om 

een uitwisseling tussen ambtenaren tot stand te brengen. Oxford heeft veel aan onze kennis op het 

gebied van fietsinfrastructuur. Leiden kan op haar beurt een ambtenaar naar Oxford sturen om 

kennis op te doen op een voor ons strategisch belangrijk vlak. Dit hoeft niet beperkt te zijn tot 

fietsbeleid, maar kan ook slaan op domeinen als duurzaamheid e.d.

 

https://translate.google.nl/#

Bram Danen

to top


Oxford to LeidenBike ride

Mayvisit 2017

Bezoek Oxford delegatie in mei

Zoals te doen gebruikelijk kwam ook dit jaar weer een groep vrienden uit 

Oxford naar Leiden rond onze Dodenherdenking. Behalve de officiële delegatie 

van de Lord Mayor en de Lady Mayoress kwamen ook 13 vrienden uit Oxford over. 

De groep arriveerde op 2 mei en werd ontvangen in La Place bij Zoeterwoude.

      

    

Er was deze keer geen gemeenschappelijk programma anders dan de officiële momenten. 

De beide voorzitters en Emma van Noord, één van de deelnemers aan het 

gemeenschappelijke kunstenaarsverband, KLICK, 

overlegden over de wijze waarop KLICK een kunstwerk 

kan ontwerpen voor de opening van het Leiden Square in Oxford in november 2017. 

Op 4 mei was de zg Joint Meeting in het stadhuis met aansluitend een 

gemeenschappelijke lunch van beide besturen, aangeboden door het Leidse stadsbestuur. 

Tijdens de joint meeting brachten beide voorzitters hun rapportage uit over het laatste half jaar. 

Die middag waren vertegenwoordigers aanwezig bij de herdenking bij de 

Haagse Schouw 

 

 

en des avonds woonden de gasten de herdenkingsdienst in de Pieterskerk bij

en de aansluitende ceremonie hierbij.

Na de bijeenkomst vond bij bestuurslid Menno Fitski thuis

de social evening plaats. 

De beide voorzitters namen toen deel aan het door de burgemeester aangeboden diner in De Gapende Eter. 

Op vrijdag 5 mei stond Roelof Hol met de  Lord Mayor en de Lady Mayoress op uitnodiging 

van de voorzitter van de ondernemersvereniging van de Doezastraat, Nelly Brands, bij de Wilhelminabrug. 

Daar stapten zij in één van de voertuigen van de optocht van Keep them rolling om het laatste stuk 

van de tocht naar het rapenburg mee te rijden. Een bijzondere ervaring 

om in een jeep uit WO2 leiden binnen te rijden. 

 

Het gezelschap liep mee met de Band of Liberation vanaf Barrera (Soldaat van Oranje) naar de Doezastraat om, 

samen met wethouder Paul Dirkse, de lopers van de Liberation Run te verwelkomen. 

Daarna maakten zij een wandeling over de vrijmarkt in de Doezastraat en de Herenstraat. 

Na een korte lunch bij Giuseppe in de Herenstraat kregen de Lord Mayor en de 

Lady Mayoress een korte stadswandeling onder leiding van de voorzitter van de 

Leidse stedenband, afgesloten met een rondvaart van Rederij Rembrandt. 

Die avond vond het gebruikelijke diner van de beide stedenband besturen plaats 

bij De Lepelaar aan de Apollolaan. Zo’n 40 personen namen hieraan deel, 

evenals de wethouder Paul Dirkse. Op 6 mei vertrokken de gasten uit Oxford.

https://translate.google.nl/#

R.C. Hol

Speech Roelof Hol 

Speech Chairman Citylink Leiden-Oxford at the diner at 5th of May 2017

·       

Lord Mayor of Oxford, councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan and Lady Mayoress Jamila Akhter-Altaf,
our alderman of Leiden, Paul Dirkse, Friends of Leiden-Oxford.

     

The subject of my speech is, understandable, about the inevitable outcome of the referendum in 2016, 

      the British call for the execution of art. 50 of the European Treaty of 1992, instituted in Maastricht by the way.

.

Mind the gap

Last Saturday I attended a meeting in a Leiden bookstore where Titia Ketelaar, who was correspondent 

or the NRC since 2010 and has just returned to The Hague, presented her book Mind the Gap. 

Het Engelse eilandgevoel en de vele tegenstellingen in één land. 

Her research directed itself on how on earth the English voted for Brexit, the English character 

and how the country is now faring. It is a book worth while reading, so if you have time, start learning

Dutch. And for those who already read Dutch, buy the book and learn a bit more about the English

character of our long-time neighbours and friends. Now that the 27 other countries of the European 

Union have decided on their approach towards the coming process of divorce, but also on the process 

after the divorce has been concluded. It will take a considerable amount of time, 

but we should focus on the future. There is no going back.

Mind the gap, 

the friendly, female voice in the London Underground that warns us to take care when leaving the 

train since the gap is not everywhere of the same size, but it is always  there, a mere symbol of the Channel, 

the North sea. Even the one physical connection between the continent and the British Island, 

the Channel tunnel, was not a strong argument for 52% of the British people to vote for remaining 

in the European Union. Because we shall not forget that 48% voted for remaining. Many comments 

on Brexit keep reminding us of the sharp distinction among the British people themselves: 

North vs. South, city vs. rural areas, poor and rich, Scotland vs. Great-Britain etc... 

To remind you, in Oxford more than 70% of the votes were for remaining in the EU. 

My personal conclusion is that there are more gaps to “make do and mend” than only between 

Great-Britain and the European Union. And bridging those internal gaps also will take much effort of the 

English people themselves.

Last year my Jaguar club had it’s biennially trip to “ye Old England”. We travelled through those counties 

and landscapes that attract so many people form abroad: the cottages of the Cotswolds, university cities 

of Cambridge where I visited Peter house College where I stayed in the 70ties just after UK had decided

to get into the EU,  Oxford and of course the heritage race track of Goodwood. In a small village in the 

Cotswold I got into a discussion with some local people, first of course on vintage Jaguars, secondly 

on Brexit. Their main issue was in fact not a European thing, but the fact that so many of their cottages 

were bought by rich Londoners and their children could not afford the housing prices and had to leave. 

Those ‘rich temporary dwellers’ as someone called them have global interests, are ‘into the EU, 

and we do want our village back. Food 4 thought.

And despite the whole Brexit issue, Leiden maintains its strong ties of friendship with Oxford.

As our burgomaster said on several occasions: “whatever the outcome, we should continue the 

link with Oxford”.And by that credo the Leiden-Oxford committee will act: ‘make do and mend’. 

Just one example: the Bike Event in Oxford in June is a multi-city event. Not only Leiden and its 

Polish twin town Torun are participating, but Oxford also invited their twin towns to join the project that 

started in 2016 in Leiden with three cities. We will also commemorate our late board member, 

Carel van Ingen, by organising a hill climb trial for bikes. More important is that this project connects 

young people to the link activities. And that is an urgent issue in the twinning program. 

If we do not put all our efforts in bringing twinning to the next generations, the twinning might fade 

away. Now that WW2 is becoming more and more something from a far away past we will have to 

look into ways that, besides the strong ties on remembering, provide younger generations 

with perspectives for the future. Because if we fail to do so, the common ground on twinning fades 

into the background. That is why both the committees already put much effort in the exchange 

of ideas between young artists from both cities, united in the KLICK movement. 

Their working together on joint projects gives hope for the future of the twinning program. 

And the same attitude we find with the Leiden Mesh festival organisers where dances form several 

cities create together in a few days a performance on stage. Mind the gap in optima forma.

And to that future, my friends, I would raise my glass to the twinning program of Leiden-Oxford.

 

Roelof Hol/May 2017


to top