TWINNING WEEKEND 27-30 MAY 2016
54 visitors from Winchester spent the late May bank holiday weekend as guests of
host families in our partner city in Picardy which is situated 50km from Reims
and 130km from Paris.
The Winchester Twinning Association has developed strong ties with its opposite
number in Laon, through annual exchange visits which take place in each city in
alternate years. On this occasion the Twinners were accompanied by 25 singers
and musicians from the Madding Crowd Group who gave a joint concert with a Laon
choir – and most impressively, introduced themselves and their pieces in perfect
An action packed weekend included an interesting visit to the Mining History
Centre near Douai, where the group experienced an underground tour of a former
coal mine, now a tourist attraction, followed by an excellent lunch and a pause
in Arras on the return journey. On the Sunday, Winchester visitors were
entertained by their hosts, some taking a guided tour of the old city, and
everyone enjoying a French Sunday lunch, either home cooked or in a restaurant.
The evening concert was followed by a buffet supper with a welcome in fluent
English by the Mayor of Laon who is also the area's Sénateur (equivalent to a
Member of Parliament).
Laon is a lovely city, France's largest listed historical site, with a beautiful
early Gothic cathedral, many other mediaeval buildings and ramparts and is well
worth a visit, it sits on a plateau overlooking the plains of Champagne and
Picardy. Champagne of the liquid variety was a prominent feature of the weekend!
The welcome, hospitality and friendship could not have been warmer and everyone
enjoyed the experience and had a marvellous time. Language was no problem, with
even people who spoke little of each others' language managing to communicate.
The Twinning Association holds a number of social evenings for members in
Winchester, usually with a French flavour, and produces a quarterly newsletter.
New members are always welcome and it is not essential to speak French. Anyone
interested in joining should please contact the Secretary, Phil Waterton, at
SUMMER POOL PARTY AND BRING & SHARE LUNCH, ON A SUNDAY IN AUGUST
Sandra Savage has kindly invited Twinning members and their families and
friends to a Bring & Share lunch at her house in Chandlers Ford on a Sunday
August, starting at 11.30 am for aperitifs. Those of you that have been
before will know that Sandra has a lovely, very large, garden, with a heated
swimming pool, so bring your costumes! More details to follow.
WINCHESTER EXECUTIVE TRAVEL
A local business specialising in port and airport
transfers using Mercedes cars and VW 8 seater MPVs
5% discount to members of Winchester-Laon
07795 254 193