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French twinning association return from trip to Avon

MELKSHAM & District French Twinning Association (MDFTA) recently returned from its traditional biennial visit to Avon, France.

Melksham and Avon councils have been ‘twinned’ for 36 years and this year 32 people from Melksham travelled to France.

The group, led by Pam Wiltshire, deputy mayor of Melksham, were welcomed by the first deputy mayor, Francois Roy and the regional councillor responsible for twinning, Beatrice Rucheton.

15 children from the local school performed for the visitors. The children sang two songs, including “If you’re happy…” in English and managed to persuade the audience to clap along!

Badger class, year 5, of Rivermead Primary School, continue to exchange letters and messages with the primary school in Avon and their French teacher. Helen Simonsen, took letters, photos, small gifts and English biscuits  from the children and presented them to Marie-Christine Hagopian, the Avon primary school teacher.

The Melksham Twinning Association presented gift bags to five of the Avon dignitaries. These each represented the taste, smell and sights of Melksham and included samples from the K&A Brewery and from Sainsbury’s, a pot of Wiltshire honey, Melksham tea towels from the Tourist Information Centre, a copy of Melksham News and Union Jack serviettes for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Saturday evening saw the visitors and their hosts enjoy a meal with a ‘Jazz Night’ theme at a restaurant in Samois-sur-Seine.

Every year, there is a weekend festival with master classes of ‘Gypsy Jazz Guitar’ in Django Reinhardt’s honour as he lived in the village until his death in 1951.

The Sunday was spent with hosts and on Monday there was an excursion to the SAFRAN Museum of Aerospace, followed by a visit to a macaroon factory with a cooking demonstration and tasting. The group returned to Melksham on Tuesday 24th May.