leaving Champtoceaux at 02:00 a.m. and taking the ferry from Ouistreham
to Portsmouth our friends from Champtoceaux arrived in Verwood at 3 p.m.
in the afternoon. They
were greeted with a typically British welcome of
afternoon coffee, tea and cakes at "The
Hideaway" by the Mayor of Verwood (Cllr Simon Gibson)
and the chairman of the Verwood Twinning Association (Mr Terry Bright)
and their hosts. Some guests met up with old friends while others were
introduced to their hosts for the first time. Afterwards they were taken
to their hosts homes for a well earned rest.
Thursday morning at 0900 hrs most Guests and some hosts were taken
by coach or car from "The
Hideaway" for a visit to Milestones
Basingstoke. This is a brilliant undercover museum which
takes you back in time with a wonderful eclectic mix of a bygone
age, exploring life for Hampshire people in the past. Enthusiasts
could also enjoy their collection of beautifully restored vintage vehicles.
1300 hrs the party left Milestones to travel to the nearby
Basingstoke Golf Club for a superb buffet lunch.
Winchester with some time to explore the town.
is the ancient Capital of Wessex, the County Town of Hampshire.
Itís the burial place of many of Englandís Kings, Queens,
Saints, and famous people such as Jane Austen, Izaac Walton
and Keats. Here the rule of Common Law was established, the
Domesday Book compiled, and the Winchester Bible
The Group arrived back at "The
Hideaway" in Verwood at approximately 17:30 hrs.
Guests stayed with their hosts on Friday the 10th of May.
Some made visits to local landmarks or went out for a meal etc.
The morning and afternoon of Saturday the 11th of May were also
spent "en famille".
Saturday evening hosts transported their guests
and themselves to Crane Valley Golf
Club at 1700 hours for a Soiree starting with Pimms or orange
juice on arrival when music was provided by the Verwood
Concert Brass. The Meal starting at 1800 hours consisted of a
starter of Melon Balls, followed by Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding,
and then apple crumble and custard - a very
traditional English meal for our French friends who supplied all the
wine for the meal; there was also a cash bar available. Guests of honour
were the Mayor of Verwood and his escort.
the entertainment was provided by Fippenny
Speeches were made and a gift from Champtoceaux was presented during the
interval in which Terry Bright (the current chairman of twinning),
confirmed to everybody that he would be resigning at the next AGM and
took the opportunity to introduce Clive Grove (the incoming chairman).
Other speeches were given by the
Mayor of Verwood (Cllr Simon Gibson)
and representatives of Champtoceaux and its Canton.
Our friends departed from the Potters' Wheel
Car Park at 05:30 hours on the12th of May for the ferry at
Portsmouth and eventual safe return to Champtoceaux at around
hours in the evening.
Old friendships had been renewed and new
ones made and a very enjoyable time was had by all.
Thanks must go
to everybody concerned and to the management of "The
Hideaway" who allowed the Twinning Association
to park the French coach on their premises.
pictures and text by Stuart Clifton.