20 years of French con­nec­tion

Bea­cons­field twin­ning group cel­e­brates its part­ner­ship with Lan­gres

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Tom Herbert tom.herbert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE BEA­CONS­FIELD Twin­ning As­so­ci­a­tion will be brush­ing up on their bon­jours as they head to France to celebrate 20 years of part­ner­ship with Lan­gres this week­end.

Signed in 1995, it marks the 20th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the char­ter that links Bea­cons­field with the French town.

Lo­cated in the Cham­pagne-Ar­denne re­gion, in north eastern France, Lan­gres has a rich and var­ied history, hav­ing been orig­i­nally founded as the cap­i­tal of the Gal­lic tribe the Lin­gones be­fore Ro­man con­quest.

Twin­ning as­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Phillip Shea­han said the char­ter is im­por­tant as it en­ables the cre­ation of a cross cul­tural ex­change of ideas, cit­ing what he called a ‘cul­tural ben­e­fit’.

He said: “I think it’s the ex­pe­ri­ence of meet­ing with peo­ple that you sim­ply don’t get as a tourist. It’s the at­mos­phere and the warmth of the welcome, and the op­por­tu­nity to to

go places.” He added: “Our main aim is to try and pro­mote to young peo­ple and fam­i­lies our ex­pe­ri­ence of in another cul­ture.”

These trips are im­por­tant, Mr Shea­han said, be­cause it en­ables peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence another way of life, as

life you’re be­ing in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties as a res­i­dent and not as a trav­eller on the tourist trail.

“There’s a lot of cul­tural ex­change,” Mr Shea­han said. “It’s a very rich and re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Mr Shea­han said he was look­ing for­ward to the trip, to ex­pe­ri­ence the town as a ‘fam­ily mem­ber’.

“It’s al­ways very good, and the hos­pi­tal­ity is ex­tremely warm and gen­er­ous,” he said. “You meet peo­ple you haven’t seen for maybe a whole year. It’s like catch­ing up with fam­ily re­ally. It’s good.” Con­tin­u­ing he said: “You’re stay­ing with peo­ple in their own homes so you are a guest and that at­mos­phere changes the dy­namic of it.

“You’re mix­ing with peo­ple at a fam­ily level so you do re­ally feel like part of the fam­ily.”

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