Downham Market Twinning Club

Well here we were, preparing for another visit from our French friends, with all the excitement and anticipation that it brings. Sunday arrived and as is usual the call came that they would be a bit late, with all the cross channel problems they had gone via Dunkerque and were running an hour late, not too bad in the circumstances. On arrival families were introduced in the Town Hall amid cups of tea, coffee and biscuits. Old and new friendships began or were rekindled.

On Monday afternoon, a BBQ/Picnic was held at the estate of Steve and Sharon Reynolds, the weather held and despite the draughty conditions, a good time was had by all, later a karaoke was held.

Tuesday featured an early start, with the coach leaving for London at 7.30. The itinerary was not helped with a breakdown by the coach on the way. A walk was held in London and the French found their own lunch in or around Covent Garden. A boat trip took place from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, followed by a tour of Tower Bridge. The coach returned later than the expected 8.30 in the evening and late dinners took place for the second time in the week!

The early morning on Wednesday was free, with a coach taking the visitors to Sheringham before lunch, some visitors made the beach, some actually made the water! In the evening we had a dinner for 12, including another French couple and also visitor Muriel who we had met in France many years previously.

Thursday featured a trip to the Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre and Archaeology Park, followed by an excellent lunch at the Bell Hotel in Stilton. There was then free time for our guests in Peterborough, perhaps for some retail therapy, or a visit to the cathedral.

The Mayor welcomed us all at the Town Hall on Friday morning, speeches were made by the Mayor, our Chairman, Steve Reynolds and the French Chair Mme France Bernard. At lunchtime we adjourned to the Memorial Playing Field for sandwiches, cake and Petanque. In the evening a dinner dance was held at Dents Farm Barn at Hilgay, the ambience was good, as was the music, the band for the evening was ‘Ad Lib’ who had played at a previous Twinning Club event, they were excellent. ( The food however was rather average. Much dancing took place and visitors and members alike seemed to enjoy themselves.

The weekend was free from organised events, so members took their guests to different venues and events, we took our guests to meet members of my family and we visited the Castle Hotel on Saturday night for a most excellent, meal. On Sunday we moseyed around King’s Lynn and had a barbeque in the evening. Roselyn, who was staying with us had expressed surprise about the oven gloves in our kitchen, she had not seen them in France, and in King’s Lynn she bought four pairs, for all the family!

All too soon, Monday morning came and we all met at the Hollies for the French to catch their coach, goodbyes were made and a few tears shed, with 2016 being the 40th anniversary of our twinning, there will be three trips, two to France and one from. Most of us can’t wait.

The French apparently arrived back in Civray about 2am, we had bought some clothes for our visitors grandchild, on turning on my computer on Tuesday morning there was a picture of Nina wearing one of the dresses on Facebook, now that’s quick work!

Stephen Nunn

(Pictures Stephen and Christine Nunn, Brenda Holley and Elaine Heath)

Visit from Civray. July/August 2015