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Twin for Suffolk village

PUBLISHED: 12:58 13 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

AN informal twinning has been firmly forged between a Suffolk village and a village near the River Loire in France.

A party of 30 from Somersham journeyed by coach to Challain La Potherie in Maine-et-Loire where the visitors lived with French families for a weekend, and embarked on a round of sightseeing which included the magnificent Chateau Challain La Potherie.

AN informal twinning has been firmly forged between a Suffolk village and a village near the River Loire in France.

A party of 30 from Somersham journeyed by coach to Challain La Potherie in Maine-et-Loire where the visitors lived with French families for a weekend, and embarked on a round of sightseeing which included the magnificent Chateau Challain La Potherie.

Somersham entertained a group from Challain La Potherie two years ago and had planned a return visit last year, but this had to be postponed due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak.

The group took with them a commemorative plate, one of a pair made by Somersham potter Alan Baxter, which was presented to the mayor of Challain La Potherie by Somersham Parish Council chairman Terry Fordham at a lively celebration held in the village hall.

Terry's wife Gill read a greeting in French, which earned lengthy applause.

The French presented an historic map of Challain La Potherie to Janet Hodge, representing Somersham as a parish councillor, who had first set the twinning in motion by compiling and circulating in France a prospectus of Somersham.

Other members of the Challain community including the co-owner of the chateau joined the visitors and their French hosts at the party, and they were entertained by a folkloric dance group who performed traditional dances of the region.

Wine provided by the hosts flowed freely and was matched by the guests with cases of traditional Suffolk ales including Tolly Cobbold's Lovely Jub-I-lee, which has been brewed to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Vincent Moreau, a teacher of English at the nearby town of Candé had worked hard to organise the hosting of the trip and he took the opportunity to thank his Somersham counterparts, Somersham Garage proprietor David Haughton and Janet Hodge, who holds a Diploma in French from the Open University.


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