HAILSHAM: Ten years of twinning is celebrated

Members of the twinning association at the ceremony

Members of the twinning association at the ceremony

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MEMBERS of Hailsham & District Twinning Association took a trip across the Channel for a long weekend to mark the town’s 10th anniversary of its link with Gournay-en-Bray in France.

A delegation of 42 people including Hailsham & District Twinning Association chairman Keith Townsend, town clerk Liz Jones and Hailsham town councillors John Puttick, Paul Holbrook and Sharon Cottingham, spent three days with their host families before witnessing the official renewal of the twinning partnership between the two communities on Friday February 25.

The Mayor of Gournay-en-Bray, Jean-Lou Pain, and Councillor Puttick signed the Twinning Charter – once again affirming the friendship between the two towns – in the presence of guests of honour such as the Mayor of Remshalden, Gournay-en-Bray’s twin town in Germany.

This was followed by an evening civic reception at Gournay-en-Bray’s nearby Chateau Fleurette de Foret on Saturday where guests were entertained by a live band and a magician.

There was also an impromptu rendition of four traditional songs led by Hailsham & District Twinning Association member Ian Meikle playing an accordion.

Other highlights of the trip included a coach trip to Rouen with a guided tour of the city and an official street-naming ceremony, where a road in Gournay-en-Bray newest development was officially named after Hailsham to mark 10 years of twinning between the two towns.

“We would like to thank everyone who made our visitors from Hailsham so welcome last weekend,” said Twinning Association chairman Keith Townsend. “Thanks in particular must go to the host families who looked after them and made them part of the family during their stay. The Twinning Charter was renewed in Gournay with all due ceremony and the programme of events was very impressive and well organised. There can be no doubt that the Hailsham community is really welcomed in the twin-town family.”

The Hailsham & District Twinning Association is currently looking for new members, who can be as much or as little involved as they want to be in the group’s various activities.

Annual membership for 2011 costs £7.50, rising to £10 in 2012. Anyone interested in becoming a member should contact John Puttick on 01323 441787 (evenings). Alternatively, log on to www.hailsham-gournay.org for further details.