Thursday the 5th of May 2016 the Verwood Twinning Association and
the hosts waited at the Verwood Heathland Heritage Centre to welcome our
70 friends from "Champtoceaux and
Orée-d'Anjou". The visitors were served tea coffee and
biscuits while our friends were introduced to their hosts, that is those
who had not been before. In the party were a group of staff and students
from the music school in Champtoceaux called Melody. They were welcomed
by the mayor while some committee members took the coach to the parking
area adjacent to the Fire Station and then raided the coach for the wine
that had been brought by our friends for use at the Saturday Barbecue.
The rest of the evening our friends spent with their respective hosts.
In most cases an early night was called for as the group had left
Champtoceaux at 2 a.m. in the morning.
Friday the 6th of May hosts took our friends to the HUB car park where
they were taken by the committee on a trip to Poole in order to visit
the RNLI. Due to the numbers involved the group had to be split into 2
groups with the first visiting the RNLI then had lunch at the "Italian
Gossip Restaurant" situated next to Poole Pottery on the Quay.
After that some went shopping while some went to the old town and
general sight seeing. The other group did the same thing in reverse
finishing up at the RNLI before taking the coach back to Verwood. The
visit to the RNLI seemed to go very well and most of the group seemed
suprised that it was completely self funding without any government
support. I believe that the simulator proved particularly popular as a
certain member of the group managed to crash the Lifeboat and the
simulator which had to be restarted. Probably not a suitable candidate
for future training.
the evening hosts arranged different things, some hosts met together
with their guests and had a joint buffet. while others just went home
for an evening meal.
Saturday Morning some guests with walking problems were taken to Moors Valley car park by car but there had been an agreement with a
group of the hosts to meet at Potterne Park and go for a stroll down to
Moors Valley. On arrival at the station a number of visitors
(particuarly children) went for a ride on the Moors Valley Railway which
was celebrating its 30 year anniversary, this is the same length of time
that the Moors Valley Country Park has been open.
After leaving the
staion the group walked down to the childrens' play area where again a
number of children enjoyed themselves, One
older visitor wanted to "Go Ape" but unfortunately there was
not enough time. Having managed to gather up the children from the play
area some went on to have a snack in the cafe while others went back
home for something to eat. Some of the guests were required to return
early as they were taking part in the evening Soiree and Barbecue and
were required for rehearsals. One group left at 13:00 hrs to walk back
to Potterne while another group were able to leave sometime later as
they were not required before the Soiree started at 16:00 hrs.
evening Soiree started in the Memorial Hall at 16:00 hrs with 3 of the
staff of Melodie (an Ecole de musique d'Orée-d'Anjou) taking us
on a very enjoyable musical tour of the world. Around 17:00 hrs
the ensemble of "Verwood Concert Brass"
entertained everybody with their
usual high standard.
18:00 hrs all visitors and guests enjoyed a barbecue provided by
"Fired Up" the Barbecue Specialists with all the wine being
supplied by our guests from Champtoceaux (This was an Anjou Rouge and a
was followed by a group of students from "Melodie"
from the "Ecole de Music Orée-d'Anjou" leading
some of the initial dancing. after this there were speeches and the
giving of the gift of a photograph of "Durdle Door" in West
Dorset. Some of the children decided that it was more fun to check out
the newly installed MUGA equipment.
on in the evening at around 9 p.m. Guests and Visitors were entertained by
and danced to the Band "Murphy's
Lore" which is a Bournemouth/Dorset based Celtic
band, performing mostly traditional Irish music. Calling was done
in both French and English.
was a request from one of the younger French group for "Dirty Old
Town" which all sang enthusiastically.
Sunday the 8th May Hosts and guests gathered slightly later than planned
at 10:45 a.m.in the HUB car Park for the departure of our friends back
to Champtoceaux et Orée-d'Anjou.
must go to our hosts, and the Organisers in both Twinning Associations for all their hard work and
support in organising the visit.
pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.