‘A big success, enjoyed by all’ - Royston & District Twinning Association members hail visit by French counterparts from La Loupe

PUBLISHED: 12:21 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:21 30 May 2017

Royston town mayor Vera Swallow, centre, and twinning association chair, Elizabeth Freeman - second from right - were among the guests at the barbecue reception at the Heath Sports Club.

Royston town mayor Vera Swallow, centre, and twinning association chair, Elizabeth Freeman - second from right - were among the guests at the barbecue reception at the Heath Sports Club.

Archant

A packed programme of excursions and entertainment awaited more than 50 visitors from Royston’s French twin town during their bank holiday weekend trip.

Vice chairman, Keith Ginsberg, and president of La Loupe twinning committee, Sophie Lereau, in front of the new sign at La Loupe Court.Vice chairman, Keith Ginsberg, and president of La Loupe twinning committee, Sophie Lereau, in front of the new sign at La Loupe Court.

The visit was to mark 30 years of the Royston & District Twinning Association’s link with La Loupe, in the Eure-et-Loir department of northern France, west of Paris.

Twinning committee member David Barrett said: “The twinners arrived by coach on a glorious summer evening when even the weather played ball.

“With some of the guests never having visited the UK before, we were particularly keen to make the weekend a positive, memorable experience.”

Guests enjoyed a trip to Sandringham House in Norfolk, and a barbecue and reception at Heath Sports Club in Royston – attended by their hosts, association members and Royston’s new mayor, Vera Swallow.

Guests and and hosts together for a farewell photo. Guests and and hosts together for a farewell photo.

The entertainment was rounded off the following evening with a French-themed Entente Musicale concert in the parish church, with members of La Loupe’s wind band Atout Vents joining forces with the Royston’s town band and development band for the first time.

Fellow committee member Sheila Ball said: “The joint concert made the twinning weekend even more special this year.”

And Royston Town Band chair Charmian Flowerday said: “It was fantastic to be able to rehearse and play together.

“I hope this is the beginning of a new relationship and that we will be able to take Gilles Allard, conductor of Atout Vents, up on his invitation for the Royston bands to come to La Loupe next year.”

There was also a serious side to the occasion with Sophie Lereau, president of the La Loupe Twinning Association, giving a speech expressing solidarity with Britain in the wake of last week’s Manchester terror attack, and inviting everyone to continue forging and consolidating links and friendships.

In celebration of the 30-year twinning between the two towns, a ceremony was held in Royston Town Hall – where new development La Loupe Court, off Kneesworth Street, was officially named.

Association vice-chairman Keith Ginsberg added: “It was a highly successful visit by 53 twinners, including 15 children.

“The visit to Sandringham House was much enjoyed by all, and the Royston twinners are looking forward to the return visit next year.”

Anyone interested in taking part is invited to contact the twinning association through roystontowntwinning.org.

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