October 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to our three-monthly edition and I hope it finds you all well. In spite of all the difficulties the last three months has been the busiest we have known for the past two years. Although travel has still been restricted, we have still managed to maintain links across the sea with our dear friends in Heiligenhaus and Meaux. We are so looking forward to resuming our regular exchanges in 2022 and planning is well underway. We still have activities to go in 2021 and more about that at the end.

1st July – The Memorial to The Battle of The Somme

We have an “Empty Chair” at Lochnagar Crater on The Somme and on 1st July there is a ceremony to commemorate the starting of the Battle of The Somme on that date in 1916. The crater was made when a series of explosive deviscs placed by tunnellers was detonated. The site is now a World Peace Site. We had begun to visit the site and our chair prior to Covid restrictions but obviously we have not been able to travel. This year our dear friends from Meaux went to the ceremony to represent us. They met the British

Throughout the pandemic, our chair has been cared for by Alison and John, the English owners of The Old Blighty Tea Rooms in the village of La Boisselle at the bottom of the hill where the crater is situated. We have thanked them for their care and attention.

The pandemic has taken its toll, not just on people but on structures too. The walkway around the crater has suffered serious damage and deterioration and the Friends of Lochnagar put out an appeal for help with the restoration. We ran a funding page with Just Giving. With the help of our members and those from Heiligenhaus and Meaux we raised £400. Richard Dunning, the owner of the site is so grateful and wrote to us to thank us for our generous support. We all hope to be able to meet up again very soon at our “Empty Chair”.

Although we were not able to get to France, we have our own replica Empty Chair in Wat Tyler Park, Pitsea and or the past two years we have performed our own ceremony there.

Luke Elmes – Young Twin

Luke is about to join The Royal Marines and we all wish him well. He has given sterling service to Basildon Twinning. He has promised to keep in touch.

International Day of Peace 2020

No don’t adjust your eyes.  We play a peace game every year on September 21st. The game of 2020 was postponed. The same group of boys from Beauchamps High School and Woodlands School have played in the game since 2017 when they were in Year 8. We couldn’t let them leave school in July without giving them the opportunity to play the postponed game, so it was re-arranged for the week before they broke up from school for the final time. Councillor Kevin Blake refereed the match and the Mayor David Burton-Sampson attended in one of his final acts as Mayor of the Borough. The themes chosen for the match were the FA’s “Kick it Out” campaign and “Remembering Srebrenica”. The two team Captains, Ryan and Jake publicised the event.

Following on from this event, Ryan decided he had been moved by learning about the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica and spoke to his parents about wanting to do more to highlight the events. He was made aware of the pledge on the Thurrock Council Website and asked why Basildon did not have a similar pledge. He wrote to  Basildon Council to ask the question. He received an invitation to meet Councillor Terri Sargent and Grant Taylor. The meeting took place at the beginning of the “Remembering Srebrenica” Memorial Week. Work will commence on a Basildon Council Policy ready for 2022.

Work producing Alfie’s song that begun in June was finally completed in July thanks to the editing and green screen work by Young Twin Llyam Curtis. Listen for yourself on YouTube

Olympic Superstars

To coincide with the start of the Olympics in Tokyo, a superstars event was held at The Sporting Village. The original intention had been to invite our French and German friends to join us but naturally this was not possible. Instead, we ran a day of activities here and invited our friends across the sea to do the same in their towns, send their results so that we could run a virtual competition. It sort of worked. The Germans finally could not compete but the French in Meaux did.  We could not compare overall results as they did slightly different competitions but still enjoyed their day. We decided to award medals to our own teams and just be thankful that we were able to co-operate in joining together in an event.

The Basildon event was a huge success. The crowning glory was that it encouraged three families to sign up to Twinning. We have been asked to organise a similar event next year and hope that the Germans and French can join us this time.

MP Stephen Metcalfe with Young Twins

11th August – Richard Bartlett Memorial Cricket Match
As part of The Forget Never Project we had pledged to organise an annual Cricket Match to remember Richard Bartlett who was a Wickford Cricket Club Member who had been killed on The Somme in 1916.

The matches are played annually between Wickford and Billericay Clubs for Juniors and between Wickford and local celebrities as adults. Games alternate – adults one year and juniors the next.

Richard Bartlett Memorial Cricket Match

This year it was the turn of the juniors.

25th August Go-Karting Day

This may seem a strange addition to our regular programme but it had been decided that since the setting up of our Young Twins Group, Covid 19 has intervened in the running of events. It dawned on us that many of our new Young Twins had never actually met each other except for on WhatsApp. It was time to run something whereby they could meet socially and introduce themselves in the flesh.

Go-Karting Day

GB v Germany v France – Run Challenge

This September saw the second run challenge which was inaugurated in 2020. Last year the team from Basildon won the competition with ease but a strong challenge was expected from Germany as they were disappointed by their showing in the challenge. 2021 was therefore expected to be far more competitive. This year the French entered a team to make the event even more interesting.

At the end of the event Team GB maintained their advantage over the Germans but by a much reduced margin. However, the real shock that both Team GB and Germany were beaten narrowly by the French from Meaux.

Strong performances for Team GB came from Colin Wishart in the adult section followed by Llyam Curtis, Logan Curtis, Harry Wishart and Max Wishart.

We lost out to France in the trophy so 2022 issues a warning to up our game next year.

The International Day of Peace 21st September 2021

This year there were four football matches and tournaments and netball being included too. A film was made of Peace quotes and statements that involved interaction with our German and French counterparts.

On the eve of the UN Peace Day the match between our own Young Twins and the group made up of Basildon’s BME community and migrants organised by Ryan Donnelly in conjunction with the ATF took place. Basildon’s Mayor David Dadds was in attendance along with Councillor Yetunde Adeshile and County Councillor Tony Ball. Councillor Kevin Blake agreed to referee the game as he is a qualified FA official.

Ryan was praised for his efforts in getting the game together and the feedback received from the ATF group was they were pleased with the friendly and respectful way they had been welcomed and treated. A big thank you to all those involved.

The teams with Mayor David Dadds

Do you like the new twinning football kit?

The morning of 21st itself saw three Basildon Primary Schools meet up for a mini peace football and netball tournament.

Children from Northlands Primary School and Lee Chapel Primary School were hosted by Greensted Junior School. The theme of “Hate won’t Win” was well received by the children as can be seen on their video.

In the afternoon Year 8 students from Harris Academy travelled to Beauchamps High School to play the Peace Game. Harris Academy is Martin Leslie’s new School, having been a senior member of staff at Beauchamps High School up to 2020. The Head Teacher of The Harris Academy wrote a wonderful piece in this school magazine and to us for organising.

A few days after the traditional game between the Year 8’s of Woodlands and Beauchamps High completed their game and the contribution to the International Peace day. Hopefully these players will play every year for the next four years to continue the tradition and the commitment to the Peace Field Initiative.

Our thanks to Jenny Squibb, Basildon Council’s Voluntary Sector Development Officer for her attendance and the help in presenting the boys with their commemorative medals.

The photo reflects the fact that the teams may line up in a formal way at the beginning but in peace and friendship at the end.


Finally, as last year, a film was produced to show our commitment to the values of Peace. People from different walks of life are included and you can see it here

You might be interested to view other films related to this report on You Tube:         Ryan and Young Twins meet Councillor Sargent regarding Srebrenica         Olympic Superstars       Richard Bartlett Cricket Match       Go Karting Day    International Day of Peace Round Up        Woodlands V Beauchamps – An hour long as it involves the whole game. If you don’t want to view the entire match, then you may like to view the first two minutes and the last three to get a flavour of the annual occasion.

The Next Issue:

German reunification party and sponsored walk

Clay Pigeon Shoot Day

Bake off competition with cake and Tea

Basildon Round Table Fireworks Display

Remembrance Day and Volktrauertag (Remembrance Day in Germany)

Christmas Fayre

Nativity Play in a barn

Christmas Markets

End oy Year Report and Party

International Day of Peace 2021 – Games and Reflection

21st September is the United Nations designated International Day of Peace. It is the day when the United Nations highlight the need for those in conflict to lay down their arms and stop the hate.

Basildon Borough Twinning Association along with their partners in Heiligenhaus (Germany) and Meaux (France) organise a number of events to help promote this very worthwhile cause.

This year a special match kicked off the commemorations with a soccer game between a select XI of Basildon Young Twinning members and a group brought together from the BME community and migrants to this country. The match was attended by Basildon Mayor Councillor David Dadds and Vange Councillor Yetunde Adeshile. The match referee was Councillor Kevin Blake. It proved to be such a poignant occasion with a candlelit ending ceremony of reflection. Thanks to Southend ATF (Achieve, Thrive and Flourish) for attending with their Basildon-based members. A special thanks was extended to 16-year-old Young Twin Ryan Donnelly who was the inspiration behind this particular game.

The day began with a soccer and netball tournament at Greensted Junior School being played between Greensted Junior School, Lee Chapel and Northlands Primary Schools. A hectic morning of activity with the main theme being “Hate won’t win”.

The final match up was a soccer match between the Year 8 teams from Beauchamps High School and Harris Academy from Rainham. It was a competitive match thoroughly enjoyed by all those spectating.

A further traditional game between Woodlands School and Beauchamps High School is due to take place next Friday.

Statements of Peace were made at all venues and a film is being produced for YouTube and clips will be sent to The United Nations.

Contributions to the film will include snippets sent over from Germany and France.

Oktoberfest 2021


Please join us for our Oktoberfest on Sunday 3rd October at the invitation of Headteacher, Liz Keeble at Vange Primary School, London Road, Basildon SS16 4QA – from 3pm, on the anniversary of Germany Re-Unification Day.

£5 entry per person. Children Free.

Price includes one beer/soft drink and a Sausage per person (Extra can be purchased of course)

All funds to go to Basildon Borough Twinning Association

Liz Keeble will be walking for Twinning around the borough boundary and people can sponsor Liz by contacting us.

Please RSVP to by 27th September as we will need to know how many to cater for.

International Day of Peace 21st September 2021


Basildon Borough Twinning Association are once again highlighting the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21st September.

“One man giving all his time to peace will make news. Many people giving a little time will make history”

Our activities will begin at 18.00 at Beauchamps High School, Wickford on Monday 20th when the team of Young Twins led by 16-year-old Ryan Donnelly will play a symbolic game against Basildon-based refugees.

The referee for the game is Councillor Kevin Blake. Mayor of Basildon. Councillor David Dadds will be attending to support the event.

On Tuesday 21st, the actual International Day of Peace, Peace games are being held at Greensted Junior School for Primary Schools and in the afternoon again at Beauchamps High School.

On 1st October the traditional Basildon Borough Peace match between Beauchamps High School and Woodlands School will take place.

Students from Heiligenhaus and Meaux are contributing messages of Peace to a commemorative film which will be produced.

Twinning Run Challenge 2021

Twinning Run Challenge 2020

This challenge was launched in 2020 so people could run on their own, at a time convenient to them. It’s an event for all ages. Last year, Basildon beat Heiligenhaus but this year, Meaux are joining in too.

If you would like to participate, here are the rules:

-Your run can be completed anytime between 11th to 19th -September 2021-Distances that can be covered are 1km, 3km, 5km or 10km.
-Send evidence of the distance travelled and the time registered to Please send name, distance covered and age group in which you’re competing e.g. John Smith, 10km, Under 15. If possible, please include some video footage of your run.
-There are three categories: Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 14, Under 15, Under 16, Under 17 and Over 18 with no upper age limit. There are separate categories for males and females.
-Points will be awarded for the fastest time in each age group – 1st = 10 points, 2nd = 7 points, 3rd = 4 points and 4th = 1 point

Run Challenge 2020 YouTube video

Raising Funds for Lochnagar Crater

t costs, on average around £100 per day to preserve and care for the crater at Lochnagar.

Lochnagar Crater

  • Lochnagar was purchased over 40 years ago to save it from being filled in.It receives no official financial support.All funds needed for its upkeep are raised entirely by voluntary donations.Thousands of hours of labour and tens of thousands of pounds have been spent to provide year-round, free, safe and rewarding access to visitors.It is increasingly recognized as an international symbol of peace and reconciliation.Read more about Lochnagar Crater here
  • Currently, the walkway around Lochnagar Crater is in urgent need of repair and Basildon Borough Twinning Association is raising funds for them. If you would like to donate, please click here

    Lochnagar Crater is the site of ‘The Empty Chair’ which you can read about here

    The Empty Chair at Lochnagar Crater

    Richard Bartlett Memorial Cricket Match 2021

    Players in Wickford v Billericay Richard Bartlett Memorial Match

    On Wednesday 11th August Under 15 teams from Wickford and Billericay Cricket Clubs played in the Richard Bartlett Memorial Cup. The clubs were able to play for the first time in two years and the games was enjoyed by players, parents and spectators who were relieved to be back in action after such a long break.

    Basildon Borough Twinning Association is grateful to the authorities at Wickford Cricket Club for putting on the match with all the work involved in the arrangements and to the coaches at Billericay Cricket Club for supporting the event once more. This match is part of the Forget Never Project which is an integral part of the Twinning Association’s work. Some of the players appearing on Wednesday are looking forward to visiting Heiligenhaus sometime when travel is permitted, to do some elementary cricket coaching and play some demonstration matches. We look forward to reporting on their exploits.

    On the day Billericay Cricket Club retained the trophy they won in 2019 after some spirited performances from the Wickford players.

    Wickford v Billericay Richard Bartlett Memorial Match
    Wickford v Billericay Richard Bartlett Memorial Match
    Richard James Bartlett

    Private 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment

    Killed on The Somme October 13th 1916 aged 22.

    Richard was born in Wickford. He was employed in the bakery in Wickford High Street.

    Along with most members of the Cricket Club that he was a member of he enlisted in the army in September 1914. They had formed a pal’s unit. 22 members of the Cricket Club lost their lives during the First World War, but Richard was the only one to have died during the Battle of The Somme.

    The report of his death concluded that he had been part of a unit capturing a German trench near the village of Guendecourt. The men were cut off during the night never to be seen again. His body was never recovered. He is memorialised on The Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme and the Wickford Town War Memorial.

    In 2014, The Forget Never Project came into being and a commemorative cricket match was played between the current players of the Wickford Club and a team of local celebrities. Following its success, another game was played in 2016 in memory of Richard Bartlett and a number of his relatives were invited to attend. In 2018 to commemorate the end of the war, a further match was played and on this occasion a youth game was added and played between the young players of Wickford and Billericay Cricket Clubs.

    Plans were agreed to hold bi-annual matches in the future – one year being a youth game and the following one between adults. 2019 was cancelled due to rain and 2020 due to the pandemic. The game on Wednesday 11th August 2021 will herald the re-launch of The Forget Never- Sacrifice and Legacy Project.

    The Battle of the Somme Commemoration

    The 2021 commemoration for the Battle of the Somme at Lochnagar Crater, France, wasn’t possible this year because of the pandemic. The Forget Never Project was represented by the Service de Jeunesse, Meaux.

    Groups and individuals from the three twin towns of Basildon, Meaux and Heiligenhaus marked the commemoration by making their own pledge to promote peace by quoting the Lochnagar Promise to the Fallen.

    Lochnagar Crater, Northern France

    The Lochnagar Promise to the Fallen:

    ‘I promise to honour all those who fell
    and to strive each day
    to make the world around us
    a place of more compassion and kindness;
    respect and tolerance; forgiveness
    and reconciliation.
    Let us now, in their honour, wage peace.’