Bradford Peverell Twinning Association was formed in 1986 when we twinned with St. Sebastien-de-Raids, a village located approx. 40 miles from Cherbourg. St Sebastien is a small Normandy Village just off the Carentan- Periers road.
Generally, there is one visit each way annually. The time of year for the visits changes every couple of years to accommodate farming members and others get a chance to see different seasons. The visits are made over a weekend and crossings, as foot passengers, are by ferry from Poole.
Party sizes vary but are generally 20-30 and include children when term times permit. We meet each other off the ferry and then proceed to the homes of our hosts for the weekend. When reciprocating our members, where possible, act as hosts and a lot of effort goes into ensuring hosts and guests are compatible.
Weekends on both sides are usually very active with a group outing to explore areas of interest and the opportunity to interact with the larger group, especially at the gala dinner where twinners and other villagers regularly meet up.
There is no need to be proficient in French and each year we seem to build on mutual understanding of our conversations. There are, however, some members who are proficient and able to put at ease those who are less comfortable in French.
Each Association covers the costs of formal hospitality and entertaining of our guests and members are responsible only for covering their own costs, such as ferry fares and group trips out. Annual dues are £6 each and £1 for children under the age of 18.
Apart from the twinning visits themselves, the Association also has an active social side with regular opportunities for members to meet up socially. As a result the Association continues to be strong and over the years many firm friendships have been nurtured and in some cases through generations.
The simple message is that we don’t all speak French, we do have a genuine interest in France and in friendship with our closest neighbours with whom we have an inter-twined history. Most of all we welcome all villagers and if you are interested in joining us or learning more, please call our Chair Philada Rogers on 01308 485123, Secretary Jenny Hills on 01305 267641, or Treasurer Paul Sherratt on 01305 269266.
Presentation by the Mayor of St. Sebastien to 2 of the founding members, Elisabeth Lerouxel and Lorna Davison, on the occasion of the Association’s 25th anniversary in 2011.
Posted 07 April 2017 - 02:52 AM
Posted 05 November 2017 - 05:15 PM
4th – 6th August 2017
Wow! The French Twinning Association is strong and alive! Very early Friday morning, 27 adults, 3 children and one baby set off on the Barfleur ferry for Cherbourg to be met by our French hosts. Mooted by some as one of the best trips ever, the weather was kind to us and was perhaps a sign of the good things to come over the ensuing weekend.
No time was lost as we met in the afternoon for friendly games of boules, palets and even tennis. With our hosts, there must have been over 50 people present, playing and chatting in various degrees of French and English: it was the amount of laughter and camaraderie that cemented the already strong feeling of friendship between us. Once finished, it was off to the nearby Mairie where other French neighbours and friends joined us, so much so, that the hall became rather cramped! We were offered a welcoming drink of ‘kir royal’ (champagne and blackcurrant liqueur), soft drinks and ‘les amuse-gueules’ (nibbles), where further chats with old friends continued, the drink helping to improve one’s ability to discuss all sorts of things in French! Then, home with our hosts to savour the delights of sumptuous French food, and, well, perhaps a little wine.
Saturday morning saw almost all of us meeting at the local market at some point: the English invasion! French markets are such a feast to the eyes, with amazing and plentiful choices of cheeses, breads, cakes, fresh mussels and oysters caught that morning… the list is endless. After lunch at home, we met again for a most informative and interesting guided tour of the chaâteau de Pirou, with its most intriguing legend of the geese. (search: www.normandythenandnow.com/a-grimoiregeese-and-chateau-de-pirou-the-legend/)
Saturday evening, trying to match the French ‘savoir faire’ and their natural chic flair in dress sense, we took over a most pleasant restaurant in Saint-Symphorien-le-Valois, where formal speeches and toasts were made, whilst, yes, yet another superb 4-course meal was served, with wine à volonté.
Sunday morning, as is often the case, starts with fresh croissants from the bakery, tasting like no other croissant you can buy, with a little brioche, a soft sweet bread seen as a delicacy for special occasions such as Sunday breakfast. French families, together with their guests, then did their own thing. Knowing I was keen on gardens, we were taken to a chaâteau in Gratot, where they had the most amazing exhibition of plants for sale in a beautiful setting of a wellpreserved castle! I wanted to buy so much…
Finally, and sadly, the weekend was over and our French friends took us back to Cherbourg to catch the evening ferry home.
A lot of planning and hard work on both sides takes place before such an event, but the rewards are immeasurable. Language proficiency can be improved and cultural differences are appreciated, but possibly more keenly felt is the warmth and friendship of French friends. If you are considering, or would like to join the association, which is open to the residents of Bradford Peverell and surrounding villages, please contact Jenny Hills, secretary, on 01305 267641. You would be most welcome!
-- Barry Hills.
Posted 15 January 2018 - 01:41 PM
When? Saturday 3rd February 2018 at 7pm
Where? Bradford Peverell Village Hall
Following the Twinning Association’s brief AGM, there will be wine tasting and nibbles.
Cost? £2 per person, with a prize for the winner.
Everyone welcome, members and non- members, family and friends.
RSVP: Jenny Hills 01305 267641 or firstname.lastname@example.org