Twinning VisitVerneuil-en-Halatte to Shelford
30th Anniversary July 2019

On Saturday July 6th 2019 the host families welcomed our French guests from Verneuil-en-Halatte, aged from 7 years old upwards, who had come to take part in the annual twinning visit. This was a very special weekend as both associations were celebarting the 30th anniversary of the signing of the twinning charter between Verneuil and the Shelfords in Great Shelford in 1989.

30th Anniversary
Commemoration of plaque & trees

This was a very special visit as it was the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Twinning Charter in Shelford, and to celebrate this we gathered on the Memorial Green on Sunday 7 July.

Following speeches by representatives of the Great and Little Parish Councils and by Madame Claudine Laulagnet on behalf of the Mairie of Verneuil-en-Halatte, a plaque was unveiled which records the planting of a Tulip Tree and a Hornbeam Tree, both kindly donated by Scotsdales.

Speeches and vin d’honneur

Proceedings of the afternoon were kickstarted by a vin d’honneur, speeches from both the French and English contingents, and then the exchange of gifts.

One of the highlights of the Twinning Weekend is time spent together over food and wine engaging in conversation with each other as well as dancing to the music provided by the Magogs Ceilidh band.

Afternoon Tea
Shelford Memorial Hall

Visitors and host families enjoyed a traditional English afternoon tea in Great Shelford Memorial Hall.

The children were treated to a Teddy Bears’ picnic which had been generously provided by Waitrose.

The afternoon tea culminated with the cutting of the commemorative cake which had been provided and decorated by Cornelia Ede.

Let the dancing begin

Restored by sandwiches, scones, cake and tea, the group then embarked on an energetic ceilidh, led by the Magogs Cedilidh band, in the Shelford Feast marquee.

In the evening, a joint venture with the Shelford Feast committee, we were joined by local people … some of whom had never danced before, but were persuaded onto the dance floor.

Food and wine for the evening was provided by Shelford Twinning Association.

Burghley House

On Monday, the group spent the day at Burghley House, with a special quiz for both children and adults. The group enjoyed a picnic together in the grounds afterwards.

The Final Day

Tuesday morning saw a crocodile of smiling French children set off to join classes in Shelford School, while the teenagers and adults went to Cambridge.

As a final triumph of organisation, on returning to the coach the group had a close-up view of her Majesty the Queen as she was driven down Silver Street on her way to lunch at Queens’ College.

Returning to Shelford, the French enjoyed a goodbye lunch sponsored by the local Tesco and Co-op, before sadly saying au revoir to old and new friends, with promises to meet again in 2020.

                                                                                                                                Judith Wilson