TWINNING WEEKEND 7-10 JULY 2017

On the 2017 Twinning weekend the Winchester-Laon Twinning Association entertained 64 visitors from our partner city, a beautiful mediaeval town in Picardy for an action-packed weekend. Saturday was spent in Winchester or at Romsey's Beggars' Fair and in the evening a French choir and Hampshire's 'Madding Crowd' gave a joint concert.

Sunday brought a visit to Portsmouth with visits to the Historic Dockyard and Nelson's flagship HMS Victory. In the evening everyone attended a hog roast where there were short speeches by the presidents of both Laon and Winchester branches of the Association and by Winchester's Mayor, David McLean and Laon's Deputy Mayor, Philippe Mozin. Live music was provided and members enjoyed excellent food and drink, not least a Nebuchadnezzar of champagne (equivalent to15 litres) provided by kind French visitors.

The Winchester-Laon Twinning Association was inaugurated in 1991 and by creating this network of friendships, aims to foster an understanding of each country's culture, traditions and histories. In Winchester events with a French flavour are held throughout the year. New members are welcome and it is not essential to speak French although a few words are useful. Guests and hosts always mange to communicate!

Beryl Dixon

TWINNING VISIT 2018

Your committee has been working hard to organise our visit to Laon in May, and we are now able to give you the following details.

Unfortunately, as we are a smaller group of about 25 this year (no choir) the cost of travelling by coach would have been prohibitably high so we’ve decided to hire two minibuses. These will be driven by Andrey and Belida Wasylciw who are both qualified and experienced minibus drivers as they run their own taxi company. They will also be participating fully in the weekend's activities.

We will leave Winchester at approximately 4pm on Friday 24th May and will travel to Folkestone to take the Shuttle to Calais. We will spend the night in a hotel in Calais. On Friday morning after an included breakfast we will travel to Laon, stopping at Arras where we will have time to visit La Grande Place (where we spent just five minutes last time) and other places of interest. We will have plenty of time for lunch. After lunch we will continue to Laon and hope to arrive at about 5pm.

We will return on the morning of Monday 28th May, leaving at about 8am as usual, going via the local Leclerc supermarket but then straight to Calais where we will take a late afternoon Shuttle. We should arrive back in Winchester early in the evening.

The cost per single person including hotel accommodation with single room occupancy will be £165

The cost per couple including hotel accommodation with shared room occupancy will be £260

If single people are prepared to share a room the cost will be £130

As agreed at the recent AGM, we will need a non-refundable deposit of £60 per person no later than 30th March.

Cheques for £60 per person (payable to Winchester-Laon Twinning Association) should be sent to Elspeth Brown. Alternatively, you may pay by direct transfer to the Association’s Santander Bank Account (details on request). Please let Elspeth know by email if you pay by this method.

Please confirm as soon as possible that you are still able to participate in the Twinning weekend, Clearly if people drop out we will have to increase the prices which are presently set assuming a group size of 25.

A SPRING SUPPER AT BRASSERIE BLANC

We have booked tables for 24 people on Monday 19th March at 7.30pm at Brasserie Blanc, Jewry Street, Winchester. This will be for a 3-course prix fixe menu at £23.50 per person which will include a glass of wine. The menu will be available nearer the time.

Payment in advance please - cheques for £23.50 per person (payable to Winchester-Laon Twinning Association) should be sent to Elspeth Brown. Alternatively, you may pay by direct transfer to the Association’s Santander Bank Account S(details on request). Please let Elspeth know by email if you pay by this method.

Please let us know if you are coming, and ensure Elspeth receives your payment no later than Monday 12th March. We do hope you’ll be able to join us for what should be an enjoyable evening.