Levenmouth link with Bruges in France
There are not many communities in Fife with a claim to have a tram in a European continental city named in their honour – but Leven is certainly one of them. The tram, “Leven”, is part of the extensive public transport system serving the French city of Bordeaux. The symbolic naming ceremony took place in July 2016 during a visit of a delegation from Levenmouth to formalise a twinning arrangement with the community of Bruges in Gironde, located just north of Bordeaux and connected by the tram network. The conurbation of Levenmouth, in Fife on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, consists primarily of three towns, Leven, Buckhaven and Methil.
IIn addition to an official civic delegation from Fife Regional Council, Levenmouth was represented at the twinning events by a party of young people and their teachers from Buckhaven High School, members of youth organisations and of local archaeological and environmental societies, local business people, and also several dancers and musicians. In total, 35 people attended from Fife. They we joined at the festivities not only by the hosts, but also by delegations from the other communities twinned with Bruges, Umkirch in Germany and Polanco in Spain.
The following year, in June 2017, the Levenmouth Twinning Association, formed to promote the link with Bruges, arranged a reciprocal twinning ceremonial in Fife. The event was held at an arts centre in Buckhaven, where civic representatives from Bruges and Levenmouth completed the formalities in the presence of groups of young people from the two communities and from the associated twin towns in Germany and Spain. An evening of musical entertainment and food followed.
The main motivation for establishing the twinning link was to provide opportunities for young people to travel, meet others and experience life in another country. The Levenmouth association received some initial financial support from Fife Council, but subsequent activities were only made possible as a result of considerable fund-raising efforts amongst the public and local business organisations. This has enabled groups of young people from Levenmouth to visit Bruges and also to participate in international summer camps on the continent, alongside groups from the other communities linked in the twinning arrangements.
Following the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, links have been reestablished between Levenmouth and Bruges.
If you have any additional information about this twinning link that you would like to share with us, please use the form available HERE.
Levenmouth Twinning Association Facebook page
English Wikipedia page for Bruges
Bordeaux tram image © Smiley.toerist, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Bruges coat of arms image, public domain via Wikimedia Commons