Downham Market Twinning Club

We departed by coach from the Hollies car park in Downham Market and in due course arrived at Stansted Airport. There had been some severe storms early in the morning and this resulted in the plane being rather late in departing. However we arrived at Poitiers airport and began to load onto our coach, we discovered at this point that one of our number was missing, all sorts of scenarios went through people’s minds but the truth was easy, Marion had missed the plane! She caught up with us at the picnic at Civray the next day.

We arrived at the Town Hall at Civray and were introduced to our hosts and after a glass of wine and a biscuit we were whisked away to our host’s homes and a good meal, some wine and lots of catching up since our last visits.

On Tuesday morning most of us visited the market at Civray and then made our way to the picnic which took place over the afternoon and evening, once again no cause for hunger or thirst. A long, (and I mean long) session of Petanque took place, although there were only two games apparently and the French lost one of them, unheard of.

On Wednesday morning we departed for a visit to Saint-Junien, a very pleasant little town which has a history of the leather trade, specifically making gloves. A visit to a glove factory ensued and then people made their own arrangements for lunch. In the afternoon we visited the Martyr village of Oradour-Sur-Glane. This is where on June 10th 1944 the occupying German forces murdered virtually the

entire population of the village and then tried to burn down what remained, 642 people died. The village has been left in as original condition as possible although of course with the passing of time buildings etc. are beginning to fade away a little. It was a moving experience, especially in the church where the bullet holes in the wall were too clear to miss, more than 400 women and children died there.

On Thursday morning the Mayor and Council held a welcoming reception for the club. In the afternoon we visited a village called Verteuil and took in the gardens of the local Chateau, followed by a visit to a local water mill which is still in everyday use.

Friday saw a very early start for a visit to Saint Emilion, we had a tour of the local area and then a visit to the Grand Cru Chateau of Chateau Roylland, and this was conducted by the owner Monsiour Chambard. Lunch at the Chateau followed and then free time was available in the town.

On Saturday evening the Civray Twinning Club dinner was held at the Town Hall where excellent food and wine was consumed while people also danced the night away.

All day Sunday and Monday morning was free with families before the return journey began.

This is the bones of the visit, but members will have been wined and dined at other members hosts or maybe at restaurants, we were lucky enough that our host’s family visited on the Sunday, a big family meal was held and we went out for a walk together in the afternoon.

We all look forward to the return visit next August.

Visit to Civray July/August 2014