Kirkcaldy link with Ingolstadt in Germany
The town twinning link between Kirkcaldy and Ingolstadt was inaugurated during a visit by the Oberbürgermeister of the Bavarian city to the “lang toun” on the Fife coast in September 1962. At a ceremony held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, he was joined by the Provost of Kirkaldy in signing a declaration of friendship between the two communities. During the speeches the similarities of the two towns were noted, in terms of size and industrial heritage, one located on the Firth of Forth, the other on the river Danube. It was also observed that Scots and Bavarians shared a reputation for stubbornness and pride in their distinctive cultures. A representative of the British Council, who promoted the relationship in the interests of friendship and mutual understanding between Britain and Germany, observed that the two communities formed a “very happy match”.
Over the following decades, an extensive range of links developed between the two towns connecting individuals and community organisations. The Kirkcaldy Ingolstadt Association was established in the Fife town in 1996 with the aim of further promoting the twinning relationship. Similarly, in Ingolstadt, the Freundschaftsverein Ingolstadt-Kirkcaldy (F.IN.KY) was formed for the same purpose in the following year. In addition to school exchanges and visits by youth sports teams, also involved were groups of local business people, musical performers, golfers and other sports players. (A team from Kirkcaldy introduced the Bavarians to “walking football”.)
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, beer has featured strongly in the twinning relationship. Visitors from Kirkcaldy attended the Barthelmarkt beer festival held at Manching near Ingolstadt and Kirkcaldy responded in kind by organising a bi-annual Bavarian Beer and Music Festival held in the Town Square – complete with imported Bavarian beer and brass band.
Inevitably, the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic caused many contacts to fade, though some were maintained in virtual form. However, the 60th anniversary of the twinning link in 2022 provided an opportunity to reinvigorate the relationship between the twin towns by holding a series of special events. These included the installation, on a plinth in Kirkcaldy Town Square, of a replica miniature model of historic Ingolstadt, originally carved in wood in 1571.
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Kirkcaldy Ingolstadt Association Facebook page
Freundschaftsverein Ingolstadt-Kirkcaldy (F.IN.KY) (Website appears inactive.)
English Wikipedia page for Ingolstadt
Flag of Ingolstadt image, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Ingolstadt model image © Paul Vyšný, CC BY-SA 4.0