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, or Secretary Jenny Hills on 01305 267641.
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.
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Posted 28 September 2019 - 10:51 AM
BRADFORD PEVERELL and DISTRICT TWINNING ASSOCIATION
The recent visit from our friends from St Sébastien de Raids.
Reciprocating our spring visit to Saint Seébastien de Raids, twenty of our French friends enjoyed four days of glorious sunshine on their recent visit to Dorset.
After a welcoming drink at Bradford Peverell Village Hall, sponsored by the Parish Council, we spent our first evening 'en famille'. This fortified us for two very busy days.
On Friday morning we met at Cerne Abbas Village Hall to chose between a scenic ramble over the hills, or a murder mystery quiz exploring the many hidden and delightful locations within the village.
Both walks went well. Sadly, the murderer was not apprehended, though there were a few 'false arrests'. When the walkers returned to the village hall, a delicious shared picnic had been prepared by nonwalkers, some of whom were not hosting families.
That evening we again met in Bradford Peverell Village Hall for a delightful catered meal, followed by contributed desserts and cheeses. Throughout, we were serenaded with sea shanties by the jovial 'Dorset Wrecks'. Many joined in the singing, including our visitors.
Saturday was hot. With an early start, we arrived at the Oak Fair, Stoke Gaylard to enjoy this celebration of countryside, conservation, timber, woodland and craft. There was a wonderful mix of modern and traditional skills and tools on show. Something for everyone. And perhaps if I am lucky, I'm in the draw for a grey 1950's tractor for me!
The cluster meals for the evening enabled twinners to meet up in larger groups. Hosts prepared different courses, which were shared. Thanks to Gail and busy Oliver for hosting our cluster meal in their farmhouse in its idyllic setting. With strict instructions to avoid the 'B' word, conversations flowed in both languages. It was a great ending to a busy day.
Too soon, it was time to 'faire la bise' at Poole Ferry and to wish our friends 'bon voyage'. Having re-joined the association after a gap of some twenty years, it was great to see some familiar faces - some no longer children, but parents themselves!
(If you would like to find out more about the Twinning Association, which is open to anyone in Bradford Peverell and the surrounding villages, please contact Jenny Hills 01305 267641 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org)