Visit to Twin Town of Liffré, Brittany - May 2015

Hilary Neve  |  Published: Jun 19th 2015
The delicate work of etching an inscription on an enormous bell!
The delicate work of etching an inscription on an enormous bell!

On Thursday, 21 May a group of 23 members of the Wendover Twinning Association boarded the coach in Wendover and travelled down to Poole where we stayed overnight before catching the ferry over to France.  After a pleasant 4 hour crossing, we arrived in Cherbourg and drove down through the French countryside, stopping en route in the town of Avranches, before arriving in Liffré in the early evening.  We were met with a very warm welcome from our French hosts, with a drinks and nibbles reception and welcome speeches, ably translated by our Twinning Chairman, Dawn Rance!  Afterwards we all went home with our respective French families to settle in and have dinner “en famille”.

On Saturday morning we had an early start as we had a full day of events organized for us.  We visited the pretty Normandy village of Villedieu-les-Poêles where we had a tour of the Copper Workshop to see the artisans at work, followed by a delicious 3-course lunch with wine at a local restaurant. We then had a tour of the Bell Foundry, famous for making the bells of Notre Dame in Paris!   After some free time to wander around the town, we boarded the coach once more to continue on to Ferme de L’Hermitière, to see how they produce their ‘local brew’, Cider.  We also had the opportunity to enjoy a tasting before stocking up on local produce such as Cider, Pommeau and Calvados in the shop to take back home.  We then returned to Liffré for a relaxing evening with our families.

Sunday was a free day which we spent with our hosts.  The activities organized by each host family were varied, and included visits to the coast, games of boules, and even a 40th Wedding Anniversary Party where there was plenty of opportunity to practise our French!

It was an early start again on Monday to board the coach back home, with the traditional warm French farewells  (much hugging, kissing and waving goodbye!)  We stopped en route to visit the Pegasus Bridge Memorial and Museum, commemorating the action of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who captured the bridge on the night of 5/6 June 1944. 

Finally it was on to Ouistreham and the ferry home.  We arrived back in Wendover at midnight, ending another very memorable visit to our twin town of Liffré.

In 2016 we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Twinning between Liffré and Wendover. Over the summer, we are organising several social events, beginning with a Cheese and Wine Evening on Sunday 12 July. If you would like to find out more, please contact Dawn Rance on 01296 625718 or email dawnrance@hotmail.co.uk.

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