40 years celebrating a French connection

Chairman of Arun District Council Stephen Haymes, Romain Bail and Susan Francis at the commissioning of the commemorative planter

Chairman of Arun District Council Stephen Haymes, Romain Bail and Susan Francis at the commissioning of the commemorative planter

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The Angmering Twinning Association was joined by more than 40 French friends over the bank holiday weekend to celebrate a 40 year connection and partnership.

The association welcomed visitors from the town of Ouistreham in North West France, as they celebrated a history of the relationship with Angmering with a special dinner and an exhibition.

The group at Ham Manor Golf Club for the Friday evening dinner.

The group at Ham Manor Golf Club for the Friday evening dinner.

This was followed by a boat trip for the guests, and a special presentation on Sunday, while the church bells were rung in celebration of the trip.

Eric Holmes, who has lived in Angmering since 1969 and formerly ran a business, Holmes Estate Agents, which continues today, was one of the founding members of the association, along with John King and Leslie Baker.

He attended a lunch at Ecclesden Manor, and remembers signing the Twinning charter when residents of Ouistreham first came to visit Angmering.

“We didn’t know if it would be a success,” he said, “But it has been a very substantial success.”

Chairman of the association Gill Partington said: “I think it went very well. The French seemed to enjoy it and the village looked fantastic. I think the gift they gave us was wonderful and it had two hands reaching up as a sign of friendship.

“40 years is a long time and that should be celebrated. I hope now to get more schools involved with the exchange programme because we want to see families involved.”