Lyme’s French connection is sealed

PUBLISHED: 13:25 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:25 23 September 2013

Cheers to twinning: Pictured after the charter signing are (left to right) John Dover, Ms Christiane Gancel,  Sally Holman and Jean Deville.  Photo by Richard Horobin

Cheers to twinning: Pictured after the charter signing are (left to right) John Dover, Ms Christiane Gancel, Sally Holman and Jean Deville. Photo by Richard Horobin

Archant

Officials sign the charter to formally recognise the twinning link with Barfleur, in Normandy.

C’est vrai! Lyme Regis is now formally twinned with the French fishing port of Barfleur.

In a very English ceremony involving two mayors, macebearers and a town crier the link between the two communities was sealed at a ceremony in The Guildhall on Saturday.

A beautifully crafted charter on hot pressed goat skin parchment was signed by Lyme Regis mayor Sally Holman and the Mayor of Barfleur M. Jean Deville in the historic Guildhall.

The signatures of the chairman of the Lyme Regis/Barfleur Twinning Association, John Dover and his opposite number from Normandy, Ms Cristiane Gancel were also added.

Then wax was applied using the centuries old town seal, usually kept under lock and key in the museum.

Seven residents of Barfleur crossed the channel for two days of celebrations in Lyme Regis to mark the twinning.

Highlights included a tour of the renowned boat building academy, a visit to St Michael’s primary school and the opening of ArtsFest.

During the ceremony Cllr Holman said the two ancient martitime communities had played significant parts in the development of both nations over the past 1,000 years.

She said it was from Barfleur in 1066 that William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, departed to defeat Harold at Hastings. And Edward 1 granted Lyme Regis its royal charter in 1284. During his son’s reign Edward 2 sacked Barfleur in 1346 maintaining English rule in that area for another century.

Mr Dover said he was confident that many organisations and individuals in both communities, beyond the work of the twinning committees, would cement mutually beneficial ties.

After the guildhall ceremony there was a visit to one of the town signs to view the addition of Barfleur.

After a celebration dinner at the Mariners Hotel, the Barfleurais left for home on Sunday morning.


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