Forty years of cross-Channel friendship celebrated in Wellingborough

The trip was enjoyed by all

The trip was enjoyed by all

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Friends from across the Channel were welcomed to Wellingborough to celebrate a milestone for the town’s twinning association.

Last weekend saw 25 members of the Association Jumelage Niort-Wellingborough travel from Niort in France to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the twinning treaty between the two towns in Wellingborough.

The visitors enjoyed several meals out

The visitors enjoyed several meals out

They enjoyed a packed programme during their four-day visit, including a trip to the Richard III exhibition in Leicester followed by a tasting banquet at Bobby’s, one of the Indian vegetarian restaurants well-known to the Indian community in Wellingborough.

This was the first time the French had been to an Indian restaurant, and they also visited a sari shop where one of the Niortais acted as the model for how to put on a sari.

During their time here, they also had a guided visit of Bletchley Park with translation provided by members of Wellingborough Twinning Association.

A celebration meal was held at The Castle theatre for more than 100 people, inluding the Niortais, their hosts and others who have had connections with Niort over the years.

The visit to the sari shop

The visit to the sari shop

Music was provided by The Cordwainers from Earls Barton, who also treated them to some songs and a few barn dances.

Lesley Emerson, chairman of Wellingborough Twinning Association, said: “They all agreed it was one of the best visits they had had, particularly because of the variety of experiences while they were here.

“It was good this year to welcome some new members of the WTA who acted as hosts for the first time.

“Next year sees the 40th anniversary of the Niort signing of the twinning treaty.

The Cordwainers in action

The Cordwainers in action

“The biennial visit there will also celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War.”

For anyone wanting to find out more about the twinning association, a selection of books and other material about Niort and the twinning association are on show in a display at Wellingborough Library.

Once the display is finished, the books will still be available to view on the library shelves in the local history section.

For more information about the twinning association, email Lesley at lesleye@hotmail.com.