The Billericay Twinning Association was formed early 1998 to promote and foster friendship and understanding between the people of Billericay and other similar communities overseas. It is a non-local authority organisation.
Fishers in Indiana USA was the first 'twin' with which the Association developed strong links with a charter signing in the USA in June 1999. A second twinning was agreed with Chauvigny, France and this charter was signed in France in July 2005. Visits to and from these twinned towns are arranged by the Association.
Fund raising events are held to cover most of the costs. Each year in June Fishers sends a teacher and four students to Billericay and in October there is a reciprocal arrangement where a teacher and four students from the High schools of Billericay visit Fishers.
Visits to and from Chauvigny take place every other year when up to 20 visitors from Chauvigny are hosted in Billericay by members of the Association. A similar arrangement is provided for members who visit Chauvigny.
Fishers is situated about 25 miles from the city of Indianapolis in the state of Indiana and came into being in June 1872.
The railroad quite naturally drew residents and businesses to the area. Fishers is located in Delaware and Fall Creek Townships in South Eastern Hamilton County. Most of the early history of Hamilton County centres on Delaware Township which was acquired from the Indians when Indiana became a state in 1816. Hamilton County was initially divided into only two townships, White River in the north and Delaware in the south.
Fishers population grew slowly to 388 in 1960 when the local and interstate highway network was expanded the town became a commercial and residential centre. Today it has a population of about 36,000 and boasts approximately 200 miles of roads; it is a rapidly growing suburb of Indianapolis providing good access to downtown Indianapolis and other parts of the region.
Chauvigny a medieval market town is on the banks of the river Vienne, and located 23 Kms (30 miles) east of Poitiers and built on a high rocky spur. The town grew up at the cross roads of two major routes of communication, an East-West route from the Atlantic towards Lyons, a North-South route linking northern France to southern France following the River Vienne.
Chauvigny is in the department of Vienne and has a population of 7,000. It is the home of the famous Aplico porcelain factory. Chauvigny, officially classified as a 'town of artistic interest' is above all a tourism centre.
The Gouzon Keep, consolidated and restored is home to an industrial archaeology museum and the main attractions of the Upper Town. Not to be missed either are the nearby archaeological and social history museum and the Romanesque collegiate of Saint Peter with its unusual capitals. Guided tours of the Upper Town are under the aegis of the CNMHS. Also well worth a visit is the wonderful falconry display at the Baronial chateau. Chauvigny is also twinned with Trino in Italy, Geisenheim in Germany and Banfora in Burkina Faso.
View more information on the website here: http://www.chauvigny.fr/index.php/vie-institutionnelle/114-jumelage (French content)