Exchange Visit to Shelford – July 2015

Report on the Twinning Visit from Verneuil-en-Halatte to Shelford

July 4th – 7th 2015

At the beginning of July we were delighted to welcome a group of 44 children and adults from Verneuil en Halatte, the village in France twinned with Great and Little Shelford.  We were on tenterhooks until the final moment as to whether the visit was to take place at all.  There had been a strike in Calais in the early part of that week that had caused enormous disruption, but luckily all was well by the time the group left.

The sun shone throughout the visit and everything went exactly to plan.  Our visitors spent the first day with their host families.  In many cases friendships were being renewed, but for others it was their first experience of twinning.  Many host families got together to share a meal and then give their guests a taste of what our area has to offer.  Others stayed in the village and enjoyed spending time together outside.  In the evening we all assembled for a ceilidh at the rugby club. This has become a regular feature of our visits and is much appreciated by French and English alike.

The next day we took our visitors to Hampton Court Palace, where they were able to visit the Palace and wander round the garden at their leisure.  The French were delighted, appreciating the Palace’s sense of history and its beautiful surroundings.

The following morning, the younger children went to Shelford School, where they had a wonderful time having a tour of the school, visiting most of the classes, watching a play rehearsal and having a school lunch.  They all had a lovely time, and were reluctant to leave at the end of the morning.  We are grateful to the school for welcoming the children so warmly.  The adults and older children had a tour round the colleges in French followed by some time for shopping.  Again, this was an experience that was much appreciated.

The next visit to Verneuil will be in Spring 2016, with a return visit to Shelford in July.

Sarah Haddow

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