It's top 20 for twins

PUBLISHED: 11:40 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 14:44 12 May 2010

Ex-Royston mayor Cllr Bill Prime at the civic reception in La Loupe

Ex-Royston mayor Cllr Bill Prime at the civic reception in La Loupe

TWENTY years of town twinning has been celebrated with a visit to France. Thirty members of the Royston and District Twinning Association travelled to twin town La Loupe - and were given a civic reception which showed the strength of the French connection

Tony McMurray, Ken Wells and Gill Pavitt

TWENTY years of town twinning has been celebrated with a visit to France.

Thirty members of the Royston and District Twinning Association travelled to twin town La Loupe - and were given a civic reception which showed the strength of the French connection.

During the visit, Royston's immediate past mayor, Cllr Bill Prime, presented Christian Escobar, the Mayor of La Loupe, with a copy of Jack's War, the First World War diary of Jack Halstead.

The diary recalled the time Jack spent in France during the last years of the Great War.

"It was something which was quite appropriate for the occasion. It shows the strength of the link between Britain and the French over the years," said Cllr Prime.

One of those making the visit to La Loupe was Sue Barnes, the niece of Jack Halstead.

Cllr Prime said a poignant moment came when he visited the town hall in La Loupe, which had been bombed accidentally during the Second World War by the Americans, and the whole town council had been killed.

"It was a touching moment to see the memorial to those who had lost their lives," said Cllr Prime.

"Nowadays, I suppose, the incident would have been as the result of so-called friendly fire."

Cllr Prime was presented with two aerial photographs of La Loupe.

In a short speech, Mr Escobar spoke of the strength of the link between La Loupe and Royston, but said there was a need for more children to be involved.

David Gray, chairman of the Royston Twinning Association, announced that Steeple Mordern Primary School was seeking international school status, and wanted to be linked with a school in La Loupe.

Mr Gray said he hoped that some of the children and parents at Steeple Mordern could be persuaded to take part in the next visit to La Loupe.

For some, the serious business of the visit came in the annual boules competition.

This year it was won 13-12 by the team from La Loupe.

But in the tradition of twinning, the team donated its winning champagne to their rivals from Royston.

- A party from La Loupe is expected to visit Royston next May.

- The twinning association will be holding its annual meeting at Royston Town Hall on Wednesday, June 28, at 8pm.

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