- Encore Une Fois!
Verwood Visits Champtoceaux in 1988 Report by Angela Daymond written in
The Pipe Band of Champtoceaux
The Verwood Twinning Association
has just made a second successful visit to Verwood's twin
. This time there were two coaches - a total of 104 people
of whom some could speak fluent French, some a little and
some not at all. For some it was their first time abroad,
but for everyone it was totally successful, even though a
little tiring. The warmth and friendliness of the French
people has to be seen to be believed.
The two coaches duly set off from
Verwood on Friday 29th April, boarded the night ferry to St.
Malo and at the end of a pleasant 4 hour drive through
, arrived at Champtoceaux at
where the waiting hosts greeted us with wine and biscuits.
Then it was off with our hosts to freshen up, have lunch,
some relaxation if you were lucky and perhaps some
Val Chantant at the evening concert.
everyone was due at a local centre for the evening event.
Unfortunately by then it was raining and so the Ringwood
Pipe Band were unable to do their display outside, but coped
magnificently, cramped on a stage. They were followed by
songs from La Val Chantant, the French Choir which had
visited Verwood a year before.
By now it was
and the meal commenced. It was
before it was finished! There was pate followed by fish in
a delicious butter sauce and "seconds" were
readily accepted by the 250 people present. The main course
was a speciality pork with pineapple and vegetables. That
was followed by charlotte russe and coffee all accompanied
by plenty of wine. During the meal there had been a variety
of entertainment in the form of dancing, music and mime. At
it was time to start the dancing. The band was excellent
and French and English interchanged partners, especially
when one of the pipers provided the music for the Gay
Gordons. Hosts and visitors gradually dwindled in numbers as
fatigue took over and the dancing finally finished at
to R -
Champtoceaux Mayor - Alain Levoyer:
Chair of Verwood Twinning - Jon Palethorpe:
Chair of Champtoceaux assoc
- Danielle Cousseaux.
Sunday was spent "en famille"
after a procession from the town centre to name a new street
"Avenue de Verwood". The pipe band led the way
followed by the Mayor of Champtoceaux, Twinning Committees'
Chairpersons, guests with their hosts and the Champtoceaux
Band and Majorettes. The main street was decorated with
flowers ready for a flower festival and fancy dress which
was held in the afternoon. The Avenue de Verwood leads to
the public college which is for children aged 11 to 16, so
the children of Champtoceaux can't fail to be aware of
Verwood. A march along the avenue and a display by the pipe
band was followed by a return to the town centre and more
wine this time in the garden outside the local museum. The
flowers in Champtoceaux are some two to three weeks ahead of
ours and there were some delightful displays of wisteria
along with the spring flowers we all know and love.
Colin Campbell from Verwood
Monsieur and Madame
Jean Carr was the principle French organiser/of the
Eating 'en famille' is so different from
home. A different wine is served with each course and cheese
is served before dessert. Everyone had different experiences
to relate on the journey home which came the following day.
There was no doubt that absolutely everyone, from the young
teenagers to those of retirement age, had thoroughly enjoyed
their visit; made new friends and strengthened old
Departure time was 8.30 am Monday, or
thereabouts! Everyone reluctantly boarded the coaches after
a piper played Auld Lang Syne and arms were linked in a last
gesture of farewell. It was time to go. Presents exchanged
included a collection of items from first school children in
Verwood. The Head Teacher of the new
is aware of the Twinning Association and maybe in due
course twinning will be fulfilled with the exchange of our
students. There's no doubt that time spent 'en famille'
leads to greater understanding of each other and our
different languages. The Twinning Committee are to be
congratulated on their organisation for this trip and should
be encouraged in their continuing activities for entente
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