Cambrai has its foundations in the 5th Century as part of the Frank Kingdom and became part of France in 1677.
It has an impressive history of churches and famous bishops but its most recent famous son is Louis Bleriot the first Channel aviator.
The gates of the giant walls that once ringed the town still stand testimony to a number of armies that have been defeated and some that captured Cambrai.
There are also the three bell towers - St. Gery's church, the Cathedral and the high Watchtower. Financing and building the fortifications including a giant Citadel exhausted the inhabitants and took their funds across the centuries.
Being on the St. Quentin Canal and astride the busy auto routes makes Cambrai an important commercial centre surrounded by miles of agriculture in the flat landscape that also produced its other fame - that of the location of the first ever use of tanks in battle.
Cambrai is known today for its Baroque churches, important libraries and art collections, embroidered handkerchiefs, its internationally renowned mint sweets 'Betises' and andouillette -- special tripe sausages.
Cambrai has its own twinning association and the Gravesham members have known many of the families since the link began in 1989, being hosted in their homes.
Known as l'association Cambrai-Gravesham, the group is very active arranging visits by groups and also linking schools and sports organisations.
There are several festivals in Cambrai each year and they include the 'geants' (giants) Martin and Martine, huge figures being paraded through the streets.