On 22nd April 1978, the formal twinning documents between Norwich and Koblenz were signed in Koblenz,further promoting and extending links and building on the firm foundations that had already been established between the two cities. The first contacts between the Rhineland Palatine and the County of Norfolk go back to school exchanges as early as 1947 and official contacts between the Koblenz region and Norwich were sealed in 1956.
Since then a wide range of links on educational, cultural, sporting and many other levels has developed, all of which have served to deepen friendship and understanding between the two cities and regions
On 16th September 1980, the Norfolk & Norwich Koblenz Friendship Association was founded at the Sewell Barn Theatre with the aim of promoting informal links between Norwich and Koblenz and, in the same year the first visit to Norwich by a group of people representing Koblenz took place.
NDPS’s connection with Foto-Club Koblenz began in 1987 when several of their members visited Norwich with the Norfolk & Norwich Friendship Association and for the first time a courtesy panel oftheir photographs was included in that year’s NDPS Annual Exhibition held in the Castle Museum. This relationship between the two Clubs has continued and flourished to this day without a break.
The following year in 1988, to celebrate ten years of twinning between Norwich and Koblennz, an exhibition was arranged in the Lohr centre in Koblenz which included photographs from both Clubs. Alan Taylor and his wife, Alison attended representing NDPS and received a warm welcome, staying as a guest in the home of one of the Foto-Club Koblenz members. This was the start of a very close friendship with several Foto-Club Koblenz members that still exists today and that Alan Taylor did so much to strengthen, develop and promote from these early days right up to his death in 2016.
In 1989 Foto-Club Koblenz organised ‘Interforum 89’ an exhibition of prints from the four partner Clubs, Maastricht (Holland), Nivernais (France), Koblenz and Norwich. Although this was not competitive NDPS were considered to have presented the ‘best panel’ with Brian Ebbage’s ‘Gannet’ the best print. David Button, Chairman and Alan Taylor, Exhibition Secretary, attended the opening in the Dresdner Bank in Koblenz. Upon their return to Norwich, David and Alan contacted Barclays Bank and persuaded the Bank to sponsor bringing the exhibition to Norwich and display it in the then flagship branch in Bank Plain. This began the tradition of images from Foto-Club Koblenz being exhibited in the NDPS Annual Exhibition.
In 1992, at the request of Foto-ClubKoblenz, their contribution to NDPS’s Annual Competition was made competitive and the Norfolk & Norwich Friendship Society presented a trophy. This trophy stays permanently in Koblenz andi s known as the ‘Friendship Trophy’.
In 2017, an inaugural annual competition was held that included for the first-time images from Koblenz, Nevernais and Norwich after which the ten best images from each of the three Clubs were displayed at an exhibition in Nevers.
In 2018, for the first time the three Clubs will compete for the ‘Alan Taylor Memorial Trophy’ donated by NDPS in recognition of the outstanding contribution Alan made to the continued success of NDPS both as a member and in the different roles he held including President over many years. When asked if they agreed with the proposed name for the new trophy Foto-Club Koblenz replied “We fully agree with the name of the trophy. It is a precious recognition for Alan Taylor’s work he did for our two clubs”.