October Twinning Weekend
“La Mayonnaise Prend” French Twinning Group News
Clearly, the weather gods smiled kindly on our hugely successful Twinning Weekend in early October. The Cuckmere sparkled in perfect autumn weather and our countryside looked at its best.
On Friday morning, the first contingent of a thirty- five strong group of French families and friends arrived at Newhaven and were welcomed with aperitifs chez Babette, before moving on to their host families. Later that afternoon in the Tye Twitten, a plaque commemorating our twinning, which reads
”Commemorating the twinning of Veules-les-Roses, Normandy and Alfriston, two villages divided by the Channel yet joined by close links throughout the centuries” was unveiled before the Mayor of Veules-les-Roses Jean-Claude Clare, Dr June Goodfield - on behalf of the Twinning Association - and a group English and French Twinners. A private dinner followed in The Star which had also offered us space for a fascinating photographic exhibition of Veules-les-Roses ‘then and now’.
On Saturday morning as special guests of Harvey’s Brewery, we were greeted in Lewes by Sally Jenner and Miles Jenner, the Managing Director, who had reserved, places for us to attend the Special Harvest Thanksgiving Service in St Thomas a Becket Church. The Choir in the period costume of 1790, when Harvey’s was founded, provided a stunning musical entrée to the service in the beautifully decorated old church. The launch of this year’s brew of Harvey’s Old Ale followed the service, with much conviviality. Morris teams danced in Harvey’s Yard, and there was free beer and refreshments for our lucky twinners! We think the Morris dancers will certainly be over in Normandy next year; and we hope the ale will be too.
In the evening, our Pot Luck Supper took place in the prettily decorated Old Chapel Centre which was packed to the doors with over a hundred twinners enjoying the continuing conviviality, with a wide variety of great food and wine provided by our members. It was an informal evening full of lively conversation and laughter. The day ended as we made our way home on a perfectly calm, starlit night, with Orion looking down from the heavens in approval at the friendship and happiness between our two villages in Normandy and Sussex, our two nations. As the Maire commented with a big smile “La Mayonnaise prend” a metaphor for something which is successful due to its wonderful combination of different element
This happy mood continued the following day, Sunday, with a superb and well organised lunch for eighty twinners at Deans Place Hotel. It was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Alas all good things must come to an end. Our French friends and their children who had to be at work or school at 8 am the next day, left on the night ferry due to arrive in Dieppe at 4am! Our retired friends left at a more leisurely time on the Monday morning sailing. See you all in France next year À la prochaine.
Jean Cash Want to join us Tel. 01323890373, or firstname.lastname@example.org for details