The weekend for our French visitors was a great success.
Read the latest report from our Chairman Alison Hill.
Pangbourne welcomes record number of French Visitors for Twinning Weekend.
This bank holiday weekend saw a record 48 visitors to Pangbourne from their French twin town, Houdan. The visitors spanned four generations and some had been involved from the earliest days of the twinning. For others, it was their first visit. All the visitors were accommodated by people living in Pangbourne and its surrounding villages, some having forged close friendships extending over many years.
The weekend began with a reception in the Village Hall enlivened by the Pangbourne Silver Band who welcomed the visitors with the Marseillaise, and a set of French and English popular songs. This was followed next day with a river trip on the Thames in beautiful sunshine and, for some families who refused to be put off by the unseasonable weather, , a picnic in Pangbourne Meadow despite hail showers. In the afternoon the group met again for a stunning visit to Englefield gardens due to the kind and generous hospitality of the Right Honourable Richard Benyon and his family. In the evening, many of the hosts took their visitors to a charity concert in St James the Less, Pangbourne given by the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir and Anne Denholm, harpist to the Prince of Wales. This was a programme of international music including many welsh songs. The French loved the welsh harmonies and many sang along to the better known American and British songs. They even had a go at a communal rendition of Summer is Icumen In, sung in cannon.
On Sunday the group met again for a reception in the Vicarage garden, followed by lunch in the Village Hall. The French said many kind things about their visit and their longstanding friendship with the people of Pangbourne. They were delighted with their mascots: cockerels in red, white and blue, knitted or crocheted by local craftswomen. The President of the Houdan Twinning Association Sylvie Bouigue-Coffre presented Pangbourne with a scale model of Houdan’s famous 12th century keep made by a longstanding member of the Houdanais Twinning group, and promised their Pangbourne friends a warm welcome next year in Houdan. All agreed on the vital importance of continuing this relationship for cultural exchange, to foster friendship and understanding across the Channel in these difficult times. Talks are now underway to extend the visits to involve sporting and other cultural exchanges, especially involving young people.
Houdan is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. The town is famous for its poultry market. It was originally a Saxon town dating from the fifth century BC. It lies about the same distance west of Paris as Pangbourne is west of London.
Pangbourne Twinning Association welcomes anyone from Pangbourne and the surrounding area who is interested in French culture and social exchange. The French offer good company, warm friendship and much hilarity as we try to understand each other across the language barrier.
Pangbourne Twinning Association
FRENCH VISIT TO PANGBOURNE May 3rd– 6th 2019
Friday May 3rd
6pm _ French arrive at Pangbourne Village Hall by coach.
( Please let Alison Hill know if you can help set up the Hall from 4 pm.)
6 pm-7-pm _ Reception in Village Hall. ( Pangbourne Silver Band. Sparkling wine and Canapes.)
Evening with hosts.
Saturday May 4th
Morning informal visit to Pangbourne.
11am -12.30 River trip for visitors and some hosts. (Pangbourne Meadow to Pangbourne Meadow.)
Gather for embarkation 10.45am . Please note there are only 60 places.
We will give priority to our French visitors . (If you wish to make other arrangements with your guests for Saturday
morning, please let Alison Hill know by May 1st)
Other places will be allocated by registration at the welcome reception on a first come &rst served basis.
12.30 onward picnic provided by hosts at Pangbourne Meadow if fine.
Please provide seats/ picnic blankets, and all necessary food, drink and equipment for yourselves and your guests. .
7 pm - 9.30 approx. (optional) Oxford Welsh Male voice choir and harp concert in St James the Less Church .
Ticket price £12.50 in advance from Garlands . £15.00 on the door.
Booking advised. If we can book blocks of 20 or more we may be able to get them for £10.00 each, in advance. Please let Alison Hill know names and numbers by April 8th These will be handed out at the reception on Friday 3rd
7.30 pm onward dinner with hosts.
Sunday May 5th
12.00 Drinks and canapes Recepon in Rectory Garden .
1pm Formal hot buffet lunch in Pangbourne Village Hall.
(Please let Alison Hill know if you can help set up Hall and Garden from 10.30 am.)
Sunday evening with hosts.
Monday May 6th
9am Farewell and departure of French visitors . Pangbourne Village Hall Car park.
CONTACT Alison Hill firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 07900692299 .
25 St James Close, Pangbourne. RG7 8AP