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Hello Everyone,

I would like to start this new thread, by introducing myself.

I am the Moderator of the Newcastle Metro Area Forum, within the North East England Sub-forum of Skyscraper City, over in the UK.

My reason for writing at this time (which I have already discussed with two of your Moderators, Taller, Better and desertpunk ) is to highlight the links between our two great Cities of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and to see if we can get any cross-forum "inter-city" dialogue going!

Briefly, we have just started a fairly new thread over on the Newcastle Forum, about our Official Twin Cities (part of the "Town Twinning" programme) and we are about to discuss our longstanding links (since 1977) with ATLANTA.

Here is a link to our 'Twin Cities' thread - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1521719

Both at home in the UK and over here in the USA, I do not feel our 'links' are perhaps at all well enough known about - so it would be nice to improve on that a bit!

To that end, I would just like to say that you would all be very welcome to 'pop over' and contribute to our thread, as well as responding on here of course, if you so wish?

To set the ball rolling, here is some COPY material about our Newcastle and Atlanta links, that have already been posted on our thread, and I would be very interested in knowing what you guys think about it all . . .



The "Friendship Force" with our Twin City of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Very soon after the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, visited Newcastle in 1977, the two Cities of Newcastle and Atlanta were officially "twinned" and The Friendship Force was started . . .











AND, here are some details of that famous 1977 visit that started it all, which I attended . . .


Jimmy Carter, President of the United States
of America, visits Newcastle on 6th May 1977



On April 2nd 2010, I wrote the below on this thread . . .

Newcastle Historian; April 2nd 2010 said:
The President of the United States of America visits Newcastle.

At some point in the future, I will do a full and detailed post to cover this visit to Newcastle by Jimmy Carter in 1977. The bulk of his time was spent, and all of his speeches and presentations took place, on the 'open spaces' (as he called them that day) in front of the Civic Centre and St Thomas' Church. He then went to 'Washington Old Hall', the ancestral home of the first president of the United States, George Washington.

I have quite a bit of information about this visit, and at some point will do a proper post on it.
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Well, I apologise that it has taken me so long to get around to doing so, but here is my 'story' of the Visit of Jimmy Carter to Newcastle on 6th May 1977.

AND . . . I was there :cheers:that day!

Actually, that morning both myself and 'Mrs H' originally decided that we were not going to bother going to see JC, even though a visiting president of the USA was a very rare thing in the UK, just as it is now.

I quickly changed my mind though (after we had split up to go off to our respective workplaces) and I headed off down to the Civic Centre, instead of going to work. I later got something of a telling off from my boss, for going 'awol' that morning!!

Unknown to me, Mrs H had done the same thing, and she was somewhere else in the big crowd, though I never actually saw her there.

It was very interesting to see Jimmy Carter, the 'peanut farmer from Atlanta', and to listen to him in front of our own Civic Centre. "J C" (I remember) famously said that morning (as he was given the 'Freedom of the City') in his pronounced 'Southern American' drawl . . .

"Howay the Lads - I'm very grateful to be a Geordie now!!"

Of course his visit to Newcastle that day is why we became a 'twin city' of Atlanta, Georgia, and there is much more about 'The Friendship Force' (as it is called) with Atlanta, later in this post.

I wanted to record the historic occasion personally, but in In those days I only had my little 'Kodak Instamatic' camera, with no zoom lense of any description. Anyway, the below photo, that I took, shows just how close I was to him (with no 'zoom lense') that morning . . .



Here is my full collection of six photos from that morning (from my own Photo Album from that year) and those "very little specks" in the distance are : Councillor Hugh White (Lord Mayor of Newcastle) James Callaghan (Prime Minister) and Jimmy Carter (US President) . . .





Here are two "slightly closer" (!) photos of those same events, taken from the folowing days Journal . .






This photo was taken by the 'Official City Council Photographers', as Jimmy Carter arrived at Newcastle Airport . .



A later letter of thanks to the Lord Mayor from the President of the United States . .



The visit, as recorded in the May 1977 issue of City News' . .




The visit, as recorded in the Evening Chronicle of that same day, 6th May 1977 . .




Shortly afterward, BBC Radio Newcastle issued an LP record of the day . .



This next item will be of particular interest to those of you who were not around in 1977, and so did not see the "endless" coverage of the speeches on the National News.

This is a short excerpt from Jimmy Carters speech, in a YouTube Video . . .



All the speeches that day took place in front of the Civic Centre, but after that the President then visited Washington New Town, as shown in this really excellent little book, published by the Washington Development Corporation . .




I recently posted the complete story of the Washington part of Jimmy Carter's 1977 visit, in four articles taken from the above ^^ book.

The articles are on the 'Sunderland & Durham' Forum, in their History and Old Photos thread . . .


Part One - Introduction and Background.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=77463231&postcount=359

Part Two - Waiting for the President . . and . . The President Arrives.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=77527381&postcount=361

Part Three - Leaving the Old Hall . . and . . The famous Tree Planting . . and . . The President leaves Washington.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=77927125&postcount=367

Part Four - Washington from Old to New.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=78541640&postcount=373



FOR ADDED INFORMATION - Please click either of the 'Newcastle' or 'Historic Newcastle' TAGS at the bottom of this thread, to find many more
threads about NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE . . .

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I state respectfully that Newcastle and Atlanta have absolutely nothing in common and should not be considered sisters. Newcastle has gorgeous old architecture. By contrast, everything in Atlanta is new.

Newcastle is a liberal, university town. Atlanta, however, is reactionary.

I'd say that Burlngton, Vermont or Providence, RI are sisters to Newcastle, moreso than Atlanta is. They're both very nice, but they're far too different to be "related."
 

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I state respectfully that Newcastle and Atlanta have absolutely nothing in common and should not be considered sisters. Newcastle has gorgeous old architecture. By contrast, everything in Atlanta is new.

Newcastle is a liberal, university town. Atlanta, however, is reactionary.

I'd say that Burlngton, Vermont or Providence, RI are sisters to Newcastle, moreso than Atlanta is. They're both very nice, but they're far too different to be "related."

Thanks RobertWalpole, good to hear from you.

Yes, I know what you mean and I agree that the two cities are quite different.

However, my understanding of the "Twin Cities / Town Twinning" movement, is that while similarity in appearance or history (for example) can be a consideration for twinning to occur, they are not necessarily the principal motivations of it happening in a lot of cases.

The overall concept is explained a little bit, here . . .

TOWN TWINNING.

Town twinning, also known as partnering towns or sister cities, refers to the concept of pairing cities across the globe as a way to foster human and cultural links among nations. The first official town twinning happened in 1930 between the cities of Klagenfurt, Austria and Wiesbaden, Germany. However, it wasn't until after WWII that town twinning actually became a popular practice.

Developed in Europe as a way of creating friendship ties and understanding between the countries affected by the war, town twinning quickly spread to other continents as well. In 1944, Vancouver became the first city to be paired with a transatlantic sister city, when it was linked to Odessa, in Ukraine. The pairing was a great way for both cities to provide support to each other during the war.

Town twinning is considered such an important concept that the European Union allocates about 12 million Euros a year to promote it. This often leads to cultural collaborations and economic trades, as well as frequent student exchanges.

Town twinning often pairs cities that share some common characteristics, such as similar demographics, same names, or similar development issues. For example, Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio, are twin cities. Certain countries have preferences when selecting cities. For example, 50 percent of the town twinnings established in the United Kingdom are with France.

There are no specific guidelines as to the number of town twinnings a city can have. For example, the city of Las Vegas has only one town twinning pairing, with Banes, Cuba. On the other hand, New York City has fifteen twin cities: Tokyo, Madrid, Beijing, Cairo, Rome, Budapest, Sydney, Jerusalem, Santo Domingo, London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Bogota, and Johannesburg.

Town twinning is a very popular system with students and young people, as youth clubs, junior colleges, and voluntary groups often organize exchanges between the paired cities. Most cities have a town twinning association, which runs the local community and deals with anything that has to do with exchanges between the sister cities. Many cities also work hard to establish new links with other cities to extend the network.

Source - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-town-twinning.htm#
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So, it seems that the main early motivations of "creating friendship ties and understanding between the countries affected by World War Two" are perhaps the most important ones (than actual 'similarities') with the former part of the above statement perhaps becoming more relevant than the latter, as the specific impacts of WW2 have naturally faded as time has passed.

Once again, thanks for responding to this thread!
 

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I just wanted to say thank you for posting this! It is very interesting. I actually had the luck to be able to visit Newcastle Upon Tyne about a year ago and found it to be a very interesting and fun city. I enjoyed my time there very much! I have also visited one of your other sister cities, Groningen, several times as well.

By chance do you have any other information on what led to us be selected as sister cities?

What unites us? Any business/economic or human intellectual capital similarities?


Robert, just a quick FYI, Atlanta is actually a large university town as well. We have over 30 colleges and universities and a couple of the universities are very prominent in their respective fields. It is a very important selling point for a large business base. Admittedly, the metro region is so large with a heavy presence of businesses it doesn't define our overall 'personality' as much as other smaller metros in the U.S. I figured it was worth mentioning.
 

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I just wanted to say thank you for posting this!

It is very interesting.

I actually had the luck to be able to visit Newcastle Upon Tyne about a year ago and found it to be a very interesting and fun city. I enjoyed my time there very much! I have also visited one of your other sister cities, Groningen, several times as well.

By chance do you have any other information on what led to us be selected as sister cities?

What unites us? Any business/economic or human intellectual capital similarities?
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Hi,

I have searched through my papers, but I think that I have put all the information that I (currently) have about the Atlanta/Newcastle link-up, in the Opening Post.

Essentially it grew specifically out of close relationships established in both cities, following Jimmy Carter's 1977 visit to Newcastle.

The "Newcastle City News" articles, posted in the opening post, go some way towards explaining that.

Others may have further information, though . . .
 

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Wow. I'm stunned that I've never heard about this despite growing up around ATL since 1974. Quite neat to know, but don't hate me - I'm a Gooner!

Robert's right that culturally these are quite different animals. I'd protest his depiction of Atlanta as reactionary and suggest the city is instead reserved and architecturally meek. It's a far cry from the USA's largest and older cities, being more a peer of Dallas and Houston than Philly or Boston, and the absence of a defining natural feature (coastline, mountains, big river) means the social and civic scenes have limited amenities with which to work. An adage from the heyday of the 1980's went "Atlanta, a great place to live but I wouldn't want to visit there!"

I'd say one thing they have in common is the aspiration to grow beyond their perceived status. Atlanta is longing to be like Seattle or San Francisco as a hub for bio and hi-tech industry, but right now is hurt by lacking the regional partner metros to make this happen. It's come a long way since the '96 Olympiad in creating more urbanity and special civic spaces, but it can also feel like an island (or culutral enigma) amidst the rest of the southeastern US.

I'll look into Newcastle with greater attention and then offer more. Anything that can help our community is obviously welcome, and if we can provide anything in return then all the better.
 

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An adage from the heyday of the 1980's went "Atlanta, a great place to live but I wouldn't want to visit there!"
I know this is off topic, but this reminds me of a section of a in-flight magazine I saw once showcasing Minneapolis.

The front page had a nice picture of some part of it and the eloquent Font of the subtitle said something along the lines of "Minneapolis... Not the excitement of New York... Not the __I forget__ of San Francisco... but a place to live"

The first paragraph went on about how there was nothing exciting about the town, but it was great bedroom community with good jobs.

I just remember thinking... Wow... if you are going to showcase a city for travelers be a little nicer and show them where to go!
 

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Wow. I'm stunned that I've never heard about this despite growing up around ATL since 1974. Quite neat to know, but don't hate me - I'm a Gooner!

I'll look into Newcastle with greater attention and then offer more. Anything that can help our community is obviously welcome, and if we can provide anything in return then all the better.

I wouldn't hate you for being a "Gooner"! For those who don't know, there is a football team in London called Arsenal, and their supporters are sometimes called Gooners.

Hope you enjoy your research, just click any of the TAGS at the bottom of this thread to start off with.

Plenty to read on the Newcastle Forum.

If you are looking for the history and development of the City of Newcastle, we have about 20 great historical threads, but this one is probably the best one to start off with . . .

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=982536

Have fun!
 

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I state respectfully that Newcastle and Atlanta have absolutely nothing in common and should not be considered sisters. Newcastle has gorgeous old architecture. By contrast, everything in Atlanta is new.

Newcastle is a liberal, university town. Atlanta, however, is reactionary.

I'd say that Burlngton, Vermont or Providence, RI are sisters to Newcastle, moreso than Atlanta is. They're both very nice, but they're far too different to be "related."
Atlanta has numerous sister cities:

Salzburg, Austria (1967)
Brussels, Belgium (1967)
Cotonou, Benin (1995)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1972)
Salcedo, Dominican Republic (1996)
Asmara, Eritrea (1993)
Toulouse, France (1974)
Nuremberg, Germany (1998)
Tbilisi, Georgia (1988)
Kumasi, Ghana (2010)
Olympia, Greece (1994)
Ra'anana, Israel (2000)
Yoqne'am, Israel (2000)
Montego Bay, Jamaica (1972)
Fukuoka, Japan (2005)
Lagos, Nigeria (1974)
Taipei, Taiwan (1974)
Bucharest, Romania (1994)
Daegu, South Korea (1981)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (1987)
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom (1977)

I'm sure there's less in common between ATL and several of the cities listed above than between Atlanta and Newcastle. My own city (Albuquerque) is twinned with Sasebo Japan, among others. There is almost nothing in common betwixt the two.

BTW the city of Atlanta is hardly "reactionary". Certain suburbs of Atlanta have that characteristic but the city itself is fairly sophisticated.
 

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Very interesting! Overall though, the two cities are very different.

Different architecture, landscape, climate, demographics (ATL is majority black)

Not much of a resemblance.


I think Atlanta and Johannesburg should be sister cities.
 

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Very interesting! Overall though, the two cities are very different.

Different architecture, landscape, climate, demographics (ATL is majority black)
While the city proper may have a majority of black residents, the City of Atlanta only accounts for some 400,000 of the 5.3M residents in the metropolitan area. Thus it's easy to walk around many parts of the city and the region and still see how much the black population remains a minority.

The 2010 Census counts portray blacks as about 53% of the city population, but only about 325 of the metro population. The metro area also includes about 400k persons of Hispanic origin and 300k persons of Asian origin. FYI
 

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I've used this opportunity to introduce some new/more geography discussions with my kids. They're young enough to know the major cities but not so much secondary cities. The older one knew the Newcastle name from our PL telecasts, but we're going to start comparing histories and economies to see how the cities are similar or different. Helps that the Olympics were in London to keep the curiosity about England at a peak.

Historian, how would you describe the relationship between Newcastle and Sunderland? Atlanta is much further removed from a comparable urban peer, so economic development efforts are pretty direct and defined. I imagine having such close neighbors like in your case makes for a more dynamic relationship, sometimes cooperative and sometimes competitive, no?
 

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While the city proper may have a majority of black residents, the City of Atlanta only accounts for some 400,000 of the 5.3M residents in the metropolitan area. Thus it's easy to walk around many parts of the city and the region and still see how much the black population remains a minority.

The 2010 Census counts portray blacks as about 53% of the city population, but only about 325 of the metro population. The metro area also includes about 400k persons of Hispanic origin and 300k persons of Asian origin. FYI
Yeah, some suburban counties are mostly White. But Clayton and Dekalb County, GA are both majority black and the black population is growing quickly, especially in Clayton County. Atlanta is one of the best examples of 'Black Flight'
 

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Historian, how would you describe the relationship between Newcastle and Sunderland? Atlanta is much further removed from a comparable urban peer, so economic development efforts are pretty direct and defined. I imagine having such close neighbors like in your case makes for a more dynamic relationship, sometimes cooperative and sometimes competitive, no?

There are three main urban areas near Newcastle, but outside the City Boundary.

These are Gateshead (the closest), Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

The way North East England has developed, Newcastle is the Regional Capital, and dominates the region, with most major cultural, sporting, economic, retail and administration activities (Regional Agencies of National Government and other regionwide organisations, etc) usually being centred in or around the City.

As such, there is no real rivalry, from a Newcastle perspective.

However, the other locations often cite Newcastle as "their" rival, on many occasions, and these local feelings (perhaps because of the proximity) can cause occasional bad feeling, particularly where the national sport of football becomes the focus of them.

There are major football clubs, that are well supported, in both Sunderland and Middlesbrough, and this enables them to (in some ways) 'challenge' Newcastle (Newcastle United FC) on the football field.

I very much like and enjoy Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, they are great places, with many strengths and attractions of their own.

I have friends and relatives (I was born and lived for some years near Middlesbrough) in all of them, but they are all very different to Newcastle, and are not genuine rivals in the same way as (say, in North West England) the quite comparable Cities of Liverpool and Manchester are.

I should add that the above is in part "in my opinion", but is also primarily factually based.

Hope this answers your question?
 

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Thanks. That iron bridge is awesome, btw! Love the gracefulness of the design.

I knew Gateshead was across the river, and thus always treated it as kind of a borough or Newcastle. Sunderland, however, I thought was smaller but comparable in scale and population to Newcastle. Didn't know if Sunderland's closer access to the coast made it more appealing for some industry and thus competitive with Newcastle. Middlesbrough, meanwhile, I presumed is too distant for my particular issue.

Atlanta shares a similar role as a regional government center. It is the southeastern home for several federal offices, including courts, treasurey offices, etc. This certainly gives it an edge over neighboring peers and led to the strong growth in the 60's through today. Especially once the international airport was realized, the metro area began to envision a much stronger future for itself. Some momentum was lost when Charlotte benefitted from North Carolina state laws that lured some banks to move regional headquarters out of Atlanta, and with the advent of ebanking there's not as much impetus for downtown Atlanta to serve as the sole hub of finance for the region. I've some old newspaper articles showcasing prospective developments for a southern counterpart to Wall Street (NYC) just before this shift began, and often dream about what might've been.

So what can we offer you fine folks about our fair city?
 

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So what can we offer you fine folks about our fair city?

I have loads of great photos that I can post over here on this thread, if you think people might be interested?

Those that desertpunk has posted here, are a good selection, already.

While I have been visiting your forum, I have enjoyed myself looking through (amongst others) the 'Skylines Thread' and the 'Great South Photos Thread' and the 'Skylines back in the Day Thread'

Certainly, a selection of chosen "Atlanta Photos" posted over on OUR Twin Cities thread, on a Thought you might like to see these of your Sister City . . . sort of basis - would be GREAT !!

Anyway, I think it is really canny (that's Geordie slang for good) that we're having a good exchange on this thread, already!!
 

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Some excellent photo's there. I'm a Gateshead lad and pleased to meet you all :)

Steve
 
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