Downham Market Twinning Club

40th Anniversary trip from Civray

After months of organisation and anticipation, the 20th May arrived and the coach containing our French guests arrived at the Memorial Playing Field. Friendships were renewed and new ones got under way. Hosts and guests were paired off in the Sports Federation building, and everyone returned to their homes for a free evening with their guests.

On Saturday Morning a trip had been arranged, using the French coach to Sandringham to visit the house and gardens, this was followed up by lunch at the Feathers hotel in Dersingham. A bonus was the appearance of Glyn and Bridget Howells, founder members of the Twinning Club.

Saturday Evening was given over to an entertainment at Steve and Sharon Reynold’s house, fish and chips were followed by the ‘Booze Brothers’ an act previously seen at the annual dinner at the Castle Hotel. The guys were as entertaining as ever and everyone went home happily.

Breakfast on Sunday morning was at Arbuckles Restaurant at Stone Cross on the A10. Coffee and a full English was enjoyed and then we decamped to the Memorial Playing Field for some friendly, but very competitive Petanque. At midday we moved to the site of the old swimming pool, where a twinning garden is to be established. Our French guests had brought a Liliodendron tree as a gift and this was ceremoniously planted at the site. Once again Glyn and Bridget Howells were present and helped to plant the tree. Once finished, we all drifted home to prepare for the evening’s civic celebration.

The original Twinning between Downham Market and Civray was an arrangement between the Town Councils. Out of this grew both Twinning Clubs. The Downham Market Town Council decided that the 40th anniversary should be a civic occasion and proceeded to organise the event. A pre-dinner aperitif was offered in the Assembly Rooms and was followed by a parade into the Town Hall led by the Mace Bearers from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. A fine pageant to behold. A most acceptable meal ensued followed by dancing to the group Adlib. Speeches from dignitaries took place through the evening and included Downham Market Town Mayor, Marion Ross, Civray Mayor Monsieur Gilbert Jalladeau, Downham Market Twinning Club Chairman, Mr Steve Reynolds, Civray Twinning Club President Madame France Bernard, and the Worshipful Mayor of The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cllr David Whitby. Various gifts were exchanged between the two clubs. Unfortunately, the French were leaving at seven in the morning, so late nights were not the order of the day, home to bed! But it had been a lovely evening.

We were all on time for the coach on Monday morning and as ever a tearful parting of the ways took place. The next visit is from Downham Market to Civray for the first week of August and then there is our celebration trip to Civray in early October, it can’t come soon enough.