Warm wel­come for some old friends

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OFF THE RECORD - by Mike Ben­nett

ASH­FORD Twin­ning As­so­ci­a­tion has hosted an­other hec­tic but highly suc­cess­ful visit from the French friend­ship town of Fougeres in Brit­tany.

From the mo­ment they ar­rived to be wel­comed to the bor­ough at Willes­bor­ough Wind­mill by Mayor Rita Hawes, long-stand­ing links were rekin­dled, some stretch­ing back al­most three decades, and new friend­ships were forged. Af­ter Ash­ford club chair­man Gil­lian Lines had greeted them in French, Fougeres group pres­i­dent Jac­que­line Pele, one of the pi­o­neers of the twin­ning link, spoke pas­sion­ately about the friend­ship and joy of be­ing back in Ash­ford.

She said: “Two years ago we were here at the time of the 60th an­niver­sary of the Al­lied vic­tory over Nazi bar­bar­ity. Then I re­called the main rea­sons for our pro­found at­tach­ment to the Bri­tish peo­ple.

“Apart from that you have been com­ing to Fougeres reg­u­larly for the last 20 years so the bonds have de­vel­oped be­tween mem­bers of our two clubs.

“That is why this morn­ing, as al­ways when we sail into Dover and see the White Cliffs, we know we will soon be in a town in the Gar­den of Eng­land that we get more and more at­tached to ev­ery time we visit and know that time spent with you will be rich in warmth and friend­ship.”

The party of 25, who ar­rived last Thurs­day, all stayed in mem­bers’ homes across the dis­trict.

On Fri­day they vis­ited Leeds Cas­tle. Hosts took their guests to many places of in­ter­est. They gath­ered on Satur­day night in Great Chart vil­lage hall for a meal and barn dance be­fore the guests headed home on Sun­day.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne pd1206346

Mayor-elect Rita Hawes wel­comes French twin-town guests at Willes­bor­ough Wind­mill

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