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Big bienvenue for Helston's French twin town guests
1:00pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in Cornwall
The entente cordiale continued this weekend when visitors from the French town of Plougasnou were welcomed by Helston and District Twinning Association for three days of activities.
The trip from members of Helston’s twin town in Brittany coincided with harvest celebrations, which formed part of the visit. Arriving on Friday, the visitors were met by mayor Jonathan Radford Gaby with refreshments in the mayor's parlour at the Guildhall, before getting to see and hold community network manager Charlotte Chadwick’s Olympic Torch that she ran with as part of the Torch Relay in May.
This caused much interest, with many of them having their photo taken with it. A fish and chip supper at Thurleys was followed by a trip to the theatre, as visitors and hosts headed to the Epworth Hall for Sounds from the Shows. After a morning to themselves, the group rejoined for pasties in the Blue Anchor at lunchtime and then visited the harvest fair and Hellysardh activities in the town.
Judith Haycock, from the Helston twinning group, said the visitors were particularly impressed by the horticultural Show , as they had nothing similar in Brittany. Three of the French guests were asked to judge the wine section and were meticulous in their task, finding the quality “amazing.”
The day ended with a barn dance at the Epworth Hall. The ceremonial part of the visit took place on Sunday, with a tree planting in Coronation Park.
Helston’s mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby and the mayor of Plougasnou Yvon Tanguy jointly planted a ten-foot high ‘Tulip Tree’ donated by Trevena Cross Nursery at Breage.
This is the same type of tree that was planted by Helston's twinning members in Plougasnou during a visit in June. A 'traditional' English meal at the Lakeside Cafe rounded off the celebrations, with the visitors returning to France on Monday afternoon.
Mrs Haycock described it as “a very successful weekend” and said: “This is their second visit and they received a very warm welcome everywhere they went.”
She added: “The twinning association is always very keen to support local establishments for entertainment and refreshments, therefore helping the economy of the town. They have returned to France loaded down with locally produced items.”
The two groups are now arranging a visit of representatives from sporting and cultural clubs in Plougasnou in a few months time, to discuss exchanges between them and similar clubs in Helston.