Axminster twinners join Germans for weekend in France

White doves released after parade through Douvres led by piper Brian Young from Kilmington

Members of Axminster Twinning Association crossed the Channel for celebrations involving three countries.

Also taking part in an extended weekend of events in Douvres were the French town’s other partners from Orlenbach in Germany.

Deputy Mayor Jeremy Walden represented Axminster at a host of civic events to mark the occasion.

These included sailing, sand yachting, church and museum visits, walks, a ‘petite’ train tour of Caen and an excellent investigative beach walk.

Dance and band concerts took place on Friday and Saturday evenings, attended by members of all three associations.

To compliment these activities, the French, with their usual expertise, fed and watered the visitors admirably, treating them to two receptions with copious quantities of ‘Kir Normande’ a mix of blackcurrant and Normandy Cider and delightful canap�s.

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On Saturday morning everyone converged on the town hall for a grand parade through the town. The German twinners were dressed in national costume and the parade was led by Brian Young, from Kilmington, dressed in full Scottish regalia and playing the bagpipes.

The mayors and the chairs of the twinning associations were driven in vintage cars to Basilique Church, where speeches were made. Afterwards, each Mayor released a white dove followed by the release of a large number of pigeons.

Saturday evening completed the main activities with a festive dinner with excellent traditional food.

Early Sunday morning the Germans departed for home leaving the French and English to spend the day ‘en famille’ and attending church if they wished.

Axminster twinners chairman Caroline Hilyard said: “I would like to think that what we are doing via twinning to create friendships in Europe is a very small contribution to the healing of wounds and to the shoring up of the resolve that history should not, under any circumstances, be repeated.”

Axminster Twinning Association welcomes new members and anyone interested - whether they can speak French or not – should contact, Caroline Hilyard on 01297 34497, membership secretary Jasmine Littlewood on 01297 32755 or information officer David Gale on 01297 551414.

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