Coleford Twinning Association

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August 2018 trip to St Hilaire

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The petanque match held in scorching heat.

The after-match supper in much cooler conditions

Are these ladies admiring the athletic bodies of Alan, Jean-Pierre and Michael ? Probably not. But we all admired the performamce of Michael and Alan durng their half-marathon race in very hot temperatures.

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Three key people who have helped make the twinning successful. On the left is Laurent Boudier, the mayor of St Hilaire de Riez, who, like his counterpart in Coleford, Nick Penny, has been a tremendous support to the two associations. In the centre is Damien Guibert, President of the St Hilaire association and on the right is Iain Baird, Chair of Coleford Twinning Association.

22 members of the Coleford Twinning Association travelled to St Hilaire de Riez on the 1st August. After a very pleasant coach and ferry trip, we arrived in St Hilaire at 9:00 pm to be greeted by our French friends, many of whom were hosting members of our group. After a good night's sleep we assembled at Amy's House, the restaurant run by Vincent, the deputy-president of the St Hilaire twinning association. One of the advantages of having a chef hosting us, is that we were presented with a wonderful selection hors d'oeuvres and wine.

That evening many of the group visited the free Arts Festival and watched music groups, jugglers and acrobats delight the large crowds of local families who wandered around the rural site.

The next day, however, was the petanque match between the Angus Buchanan team and the St Hilaire team. Angus Buchanan narrowly lost 10 - 3, but the real winner was the friendship that was established between the players in both teams. A relationship that was further strengthened by the wonderful supper that was prepared for the teams and the generous gifts that were presented.

On a very hot Sunday morning two of our members took part in the half-marathon, which was part of a number of running events staged by St Hilaire running club. Well done Michael and Alan.

It was a sad group who met on the Monday morning for the journey back to Coleford. Some lasting frendships have been formed, but we look forward to the next trip in 2019 when the friendships can be renewed.